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Orchestra Department

SFHS School Of Arts Logo with pictures representing each departmentPurpose: To provide all high school orchestra students of Cumberland County an environment where they can develop their musical skills and knowledge to the fullest in all possible musical genres.

Participation: Participation in the Academy is open to all High School Students in Cumberland County. Students must meet the following requirements for admission to the 71st Arts Academy in Orchestra:

  • Students must complete an application.
  •  Students must complete a placement audition on their instrument(s),
  •  Recommendation letter must be filled out by current principal, guidance counsellor and/or teacher.
  •  Students may continue to participate as long as they complete all requirements of the program. This will include successful progression through the performance requirements of the orchestra program.
  •  Each student will be required to take at least one orchestra class per year and fulfil all the requirements. The director will assign the class.
  •  Participating students will also maintain a 3.0 average in Arts classes while in the program and a 2.7 overall average while in the program.
  •  Students will be expected to demonstrate proper behavior within the entire educational environment.
  •  Academy students will be required to take honors level orchestra classes usually in Grades 11-12.
  •  Students that fall short of any of the academy requirements may be removed from the program. In most instances, the student will be placed on probation and given a chance to improve any deficiencies first. This includes student conduct.

Auditions: Auditions will be held in March for the next school year. Each student will:

  1.  Play the Eastern Regional All-State Orchestra requirements for their current year (JHER or ER).
  2. Prepare a short solo that demonstrates their musical ability. Please bring 2 copies for the faculty to read. (Accompaniments are allowed, but not required)
  3.  Sight-read to demonstrate current musical ability.
  4. Complete a short written theory test that will help to determine the students’ level of musical ability.

Reassessment: Students will be re-evaluated each year based on their growth in their technique and performance.

Classes and Ensembles: Orchestra students at 71st High School may participate in the following classes:

  • Orchestra I – 9th-grade students
  • Orchestra II – 10th-grade students Orchestra III-11th grade students
  • Honors III-11th- grade students
  • Orchestra IV-12th- grade students
  • Honors IV- 12th-grade students (second semester)
  • Music Theory – Students learn the written, aural and pitch skills needed to fully understand music. The course is a necessity for students intending on studying music in college.
  • Full Orchestra – There is a full symphonic orchestra that Honors 3 and 4 students will participate in.
  • Small Ensemble – A small chamber group is required for the Arts Academy.

Travel, Enrichment and Honors: Academy participants will be given an opportunity to participate in special educational trips and performances to enhance their musical knowledge. Students will receive special graduation recognition at graduation from the Academy. Students may also become a member of the Tri-M National Honor Society.

Published by Betty Houghtaling on June 3, 2019

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