Tentative 2019-2020 Calendar
    Under contruction - Subject to change - Please check back frequently
    Bolded events are mandatory
    Saturday, September 28 - Junior and Senior Regional String Auditions, Colgan HS, Manassas
    Tuesday, October 30 - BWHS and Eagle Ridge Fall Concert, 7 p.m. @ Briar Woods
    Friday and Saturday, November 8 and 9 - Regional Orchestra Festival, (Site TBD)
    December 17 - Winter Concert, Orchestra and Guitars 7 p.m. 
    Saturday, January 25 - All-County Orchestra Auditions, Trailside MS
    Saturday, February 22 - All VA auditions, JMU 
    Friday March 20 or Saturday March 21 - District Orchestra Assessment (artist class only), Tuscaroro HS
    Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30 - All-County Orchestra, Woodgrove HS
    Thursday April 23 - Saturday, April 25 - All VA at Richmond
    Tuesday, May  , Spring Orchestra, Briar Woods orchestra concert 7:00 p.m.

    Orchestra Class Syllabus



    There are three classes of orchestra, Artist, Advanced and Intermediate.  All are performance-based classes and the primary focus of each is the mastery of technique as well as performance of concert literature.

    Intermediate orchestra will concentrate on development of technique as well as performances. All Intermediate students will be required to obtain the method book, “Essential Technique for Strings 2000” for your particular instrument which may be obtained online or from a local music store.


    Artist Orchestra students are expected to complete one of the following:  Audition for Regional Orchestra, audition for All-County Orchestra, form a chamber ensemble, participate in a Youth Orchestra, take private lessons.



                Each orchestra student must provide the following:

                            -    A properly sized instrument and bow in good working order.

                            -    A black 3-ring binder (at least 1") with clear sheet protectors for music.

                            -    A shoulder rest for violins and violists

                            -    Rock stop for cellists

                            -    Rosin


    Please note - Personal instruments that are left in room 803 are not secured and are left at your own risk. 



    Performances – Orchestra is a performance-based class, and certain performances are mandatory (see above schedule of events).  Any student who knows he or she cannot attend a mandatory performance MUST submit a request from their parent no less than two weeks prior to the event, and will be given a project to complete as a substitution.   Allowances are made for extreme emergencies (illness, family emergency).  Should a last minute conflict arise, the student or parent must send an email to Ms Nelson prior to the call time. Students missing a performance for any reason must submit an audio recording (cell phone is fine) of the orchestra music prior to the end of the quarter.



    All students are expected to individually have their music prepared prior to each concert, and the performance assessments will reflect this.  Any student having difficulty with their part must see Ms. Nelson before or after school for extra help.



    Junior/Senior Regional Orchestras – Any students interested in auditioning for these orchestras will find all necessary information regarding registration, auditions and the event on the website, www.nvcro.org.  Please note:  Freshmen may audition for either the Junior or Senior Orchestra, but not both.

    School Instrument use –Due to difficulties in transporting cellos and basses back and forth from home, every effort has been made to provide school cellos and basses for class use.  Students who wish to do so may rent a school instrument for the year (depending on availability of instruments).  Students will be assessed a fee per year ($50.00) which will used toward basic instrument maintenance.  Students are welcome to transport their personal instruments to school for rehearsals if they do not wish to rent.

    There are no school violas or violins available for use.

    Strings –Replacement strings are available for emergency situations.  Students are expected to pay for all strings on personal instruments. 

    Music – Each orchestra member will receive copies of the music we are currently using.   All music copies are to be kept in black 3-ring binders.  Original copies of music will only be used for performances.

    Uniforms –   Each student in the Advanced and Artist classes will be issued a formal school concert uniform (tuxedos for boys (including cummerbund and bow tie), black dresses for girls) for use during the year.  (Alterations may be made as long as they are not permanent).  Boys must provide their own white tuxedo shirts, black socks and black dress shoes.  Girls must provide their own black hose and black dress shoes.  Students who are not taking the orchestra class again must return the uniform following the final concert, dry cleaned and in good condition.

    Intermediate orchestra students will need to provide their own concert attire.  Girls - black bottoms (dress slacks, below the knee skirt, or dress) and white or black blouse. 

    Please - no sneakers, jeans or t shirts for formal concerts (okay for Fall concert). 


    Chair challenges -  Friendly competition for chairs is encouraged!  Students who wish to challenge to move up their seats within the section will be given a week to prepare a pre-determined orchestral excerpt.  New this year - students may only challenge up or down one chair at a time.


    Ms. Nelson has final decision in all seating.

    Senior Solos:  

    At the spring concert graduating seniors are encouraged (but not required) to perform a solo of their choosing.  Students wishing to perform a solo must submit the score to Ms Nelson for approval at least 2 months prior to the concert.  


    Grading -  all grades in Phoenix will fall under one of the following categories:

    1) Individual or sectional performance assessments (approximately 50% of the quarterly grade)

    2) Concert attendance/participation (20% of quarterly grade)

    3) Rehearsal techniques/skills (30% of quarterly grade)


    Each 9 week quarter will consist of one required, graded performance (see above calendar) and periodic assessments on mastery of the music as well as skills necessary for success as a member of the orchestra.  May include written music theory assessments as well.


    The culmination of class time/rehearsals is the concert performance.  The success of any performing group relies on the individuals within the group.