Description of Orchestras

 Description of Orchestras

 
Beginning Orchestra

Beginning Orchestra is made up of mostly 6th graders however, all students must start here regardless of grade. In the past, we have had 7th and 8th graders want to learn a string instrument as well. Unless they have had previous instruction for a full year, these students must learn the basics with everyone else in Beginning Orchestra. We use “Sound Innovations: Book 1” for this course. This group will perform for the fall and spring concerts. Students in Beginning Orchestra also have the opportunity to perform in Festival Orchestra, Solo and Ensemble Contest, and Ovation Music Festival.  


Philharmonic Orchestra

Philharmonic Orchestra is designed for students who have at least one year prior experience on their instrument. Basic concepts are reviewed with a focus on developing tone quality, bow techniques, and intonation skills. This group uses "Essential Elements 2000: Book 1" for their method book. Philharmonic Orchestra students will perform in the fall and spring concerts. Students have the opportunity to perform in Festival Orchestra, Solo and Ensemble Contest, and the Ovation Music Festival. Students who are in 7th and 8th grade that have prior experience playing violin, viola, cello, or bass in Orchestra for a full school year and would like to learn a second string instrument will start learning their non-principal instrument in Philharmonic Orchestra.


Symphony Orchestra

Symphony Orchestra is a competing orchestra on the non-varsity level. Students focus on developing vibrato, improve tone quality, build sight-reading skills, and learn intermediate bowing styles. This group uses "Sound Innovations Book 2" for their method book. Symphony students will perform at the fall and spring concerts and in the Region 2 UIL Contest. Students in this ensemble will also have the opportunity to perform in Festival Orchestra, Solo and Ensemble Contest, and audition for All-Region Orchestra. Students must maintain academic eligibility to perform in competitions.


Chamber Orchestra

Chamber Orchestra is a competing orchestra on the varsity level. Students focus on advanced upper position techniques, vibrato, bowing styles, and sight-reading skills. This group has a greater focus on literature. Chamber students are assigned either "Sound Innovations Book 2,3,or 4" as their method book. Students will perform at the fall and spring concerts, the Region 2 UIL Contest and will frequently perform for school and community events. Students in this ensemble will also have the opportunity to perform in Festival Orchestra, Solo and Ensemble Contest, and are highly encouraged to audition for All-Region Orchestra. Students must audition for this ensemble and must maintain academic eligibility to perform in competitions.


Festival Orchestra
Festival Orchestra is an optional orchestra students can participate in that is a combination of Beginners, Philharmonic, Symphony, and Chamber Orchestra students. Festival Orchestra begins rehearsing in the spring semester and competes at the varsity level. This group is for students who want a challenge and gain experience performing in a large ensemble. Due to the advanced level of music, Beginning, Philharmonic, and Symphony students must meet ribbon/level requirements to gain the necessary techniques to play the contest repertoire. Please note that since we combine orchestras for this contest, the morning rehearsals are crucial to the students’ success at contest. Students who cannot attend the before school rehearsals may not perform in this ensemble.

 
(*Students do not automatically move up to a higher orchestra each year. Students are placed by skill level. A student's placement can be lowered if the student does not uphold the obligations of their current orchestra.)