Music programs interact in complex ways with the schools and communities in which they reside. This article explores ways that access to participation in a secondary rural choral program was impeded or enabled by facets of the school culture. Data generation for this case study included 34 hours of observation, semistructured interviews, and document analysis. Participants included the choir teacher, students in grades 7–12, parents, and school staff. Findings suggest the choir teacher’s beliefs and practices, perceived benefits to choir participation, and academic and social features of the choral program enabled participation by aligning with school and community values, including a well-rounded education, academic excellence, career exploration and college preparation, and relationships. Factors impeding access to choir participation included social meanings of singing related to gender and class and curricular programs, including the scheduling of career and technical education (CTE) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Students disrupted stereotypes related to class, gender, and choir participation utilizing resources such as relationships and the value of well-roundedness. Students enrolled in CTE courses missed a year of choir and other electives, while conflicts that arose between limited AP offerings and choir courses were overcome with accommodations requested by students and families and agreed to by the choir teacher. The community and school valuing of access to music for all students as part of a well-rounded education was in tension with limited resources and the value placed upon providing varied career exploration opportunities to students living in an economically depressed area.

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