Saxon Choir 2020-2021

Dear Saxon Choir Family,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! Even though this will be a very different year, to say the least, I am so excited to be with you and to make music together, whether it be virtually or in-person!  

About Me:

My name is Arielle Sazima (saz-muh), but you can call me Sazima, Mrs. Sazima or Mrs. S. If you need a reminder for how to pronounce my last name, it rhymes with “asthma”. 🙂

I graduated from Willamette University (Go, Bearcats!) in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. I then got my Teaching Credential from Azusa Pacific University in 2016. The past four years (Fall 2016 – Spring 2020), I was the Choir Director at Mountain View Middle School in Beaverton, Oregon.

I started my musical journey officially when I was 8 years old, joining a local youth orchestra on violin. I started taking piano lessons shortly after. I sang often, but I didn’t join Choir or until my Junior year of high school, and I fell in love with it! I immediately knew I wanted to be a high school Choir Director when I grew up. I sang in choirs all throughout college and was a part of the Willamette Singers and the Willamette Chamber Choir while I was a student at Willamette which was definitely a highlight of my life so far! 

I met my husband, Matt, in the Music Program at Willamette. He was the pianist in the Willamette Singers, among many other ensembles, and he is now the new Director of the Willamette Singers as of this Fall!

We don’t have any kids yet, but we do have a couple “fur children” – a cat named Bernie who is very affectionate and vocal but also illusive and independent and a Goldendoodle named Annabelle who is incredibly friendly, cuddly, and playful, and just the cutest girl you’ll ever see. 

I want you all to know that my priorities this school year are to…

  • Build relationships with my students
  • Create a safe community, virtually and in-person
  • Build confidence in my students and in their voices
  • Focus on the positives
  • Be engaged and be engaging 
  • Be consistent
  • Be real
  • Learn and teach life-long lessons and skills
  • Help my students improve and expand their Music Literacy and Listening skills
  • Sing! And help to grow my student’s skills as a vocalist and Choir Member

Hopefully that gives you an idea about who I am! I am SO excited to get to you know all of you as well!

2020-2021 Choirs and Scheduling:

This school year, all choirs will be separated into grade levels creating 3 main choirs: a 9th Grade Choir, a 10th Grade Choir, and an 11th and 12th Grade combined Choir. Each full grade level choir will be split into semesters with each semester also split into two cohorts: the Columbia Blue Cohort and the Scarlet Red Cohort. The Columbia Blue Cohort will attend SLDs (Synchronous Learning Days a.k.a virtual classes) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the Scarlet Red Cohort will attend SLDs on Wednesdays and Fridays. For everyone, Mondays will be used for connecting with your teachers and receiving other supports. The days you do not meet for Synchronous Learning are called Applied Learning Days (ALDs). You will be given assignments and activities to complete on your ALDs along with attending Homeroom (which you will do everyday). 

I am aware this is a bit confusing and much less than ideal, but this schedule is consistent throughout the district. If I would have had it my way, I would have kept the structure SSHS Choirs has had previously. However, I am committed to staying innovative, creative, and positive while maintaining community and focusing on using our voices together. This is an unprecedented time with a great need for flexibility and open-mindedness from all of us! We will still make great music together.

Please bear with me while I am working on getting everything updated and getting communication out! In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to send me an email at

Again, I am so excited to get to know all of you and to make great music together! As cliche as it may sound, we truly are in this together!

All my best,

Arielle Sazima – SSHS Choral Director 2020-2021

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