Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the HS Orchestra Program
How often do high school orchestra classes meet? Orchestra classes meet every day for 40 minutes. Students rehearse as a large ensemble every day. During this time, we learn our concert music AND the music we need to know for Strolling Strings.
Are there instruments to use at NAI? There are school cellos and basses for student use. Students bring their own violins and violas. Because they need to be there everyday, some students buy a second instrument to keep at school.
Do the students still have to fill out practice cards? No. Of course, we want kids to practice!
What are students graded on? We grade students on the playing tests we hear throughout the year, class activities, and participation in performances.
What is the Strolling Strings?The Golden Strolling Strings is a co-curricular activity tied to the high school orchestra program. Everyone in high school orchestra participates in the Strolling Strings. Students memorize several songs so they can “stroll” while they play at conventions, banquets, retirement homes, etc.
My child is involved in soccer/dance/cheerleading, etc. Will he/she have time to participate in the Strolling Strings? Yes! Almost ALL of our orchestra students are involved in other activities. Strolling is not a huge time commitment. Students divide into 4 different strolling groups and these groups take turns going to the events, so students go to 1 out of every 4 events. Also, ninth graders don’t start strolling until December. On average, strolling adds about 2-3 extra events a year for each student.
What if my child is assigned to an event and he/she has a scheduling conflict? Students “trade” events all the time. If your child’s scheduled event doesn’t work with your schedule, we will help him/her to switch to one that does!
What is the orchestra trip about? The orchestra usually travels every spring. We take a trip to participate in an adjudication and take advantage of performance and workshop opportunities outside the classroom. Students miss 2-3 days of school for the trip. The cost for the trip varies from year to year and there are many fundraising opportunities to help lower the cost. Sound good? GREAT! Trips are a TON of fun. Doesn’t sound good? No worries. The trip is NOT REQUIRED for any orchestra student.
When will the students go to Disney World? We travel to Disney every four years; our next trip there will be in 2020. Traveling to Disney World offers some really unique opportunities such as working in a Disney studio to learn what it’s like to record a movie soundtrack—and then recording part of a Disney soundtrack and seeing it with the movie. All of our trips offer unique opportunities, so we encourage kids to go on as many as they can!
I have more questions! Mrs. Lavelle and Mrs. Donato are the orchestra directors at NAI and we would be happy to answer more questions. Mrs. Lavelle teaches the NAI and NASH chamber orchestras, the NASH string orchestra, and splits the NAI string orchestra with Mrs. Donato, who is also the orchestra director at lngomar Middle School. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com.