• West Essex Orchestras
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    Middle School Orchestras

    ORCHESTRA 7 AND8 - Elective (Grades 7 and 8)



    Orchestra is a course designed to meet the musical needs and interests of all string players.  Fun and challenging music is central to this course, covering a wide range of styles and time periods.  Performance opportunities include school assemblies and winter and spring festivals, along with occasional community events. Students are expected to attend all scheduled activities and performances, along with their weekly small group lesson.


    High School Orchestras 




    Credits 5                                                                          

    Prerequisite: None


    Orchestra is a course designed to meet the musical needs and interests of all string players in grades 9 through 12.  Emphasis is placed on the continuation of the development of the students’ musical skills from their experience in the Middle School Strings Program. Students will gain knowledge of music literature and performance techniques from a variety of time periods and styles.  New students who possess a strong work ethic are always welcome to join orchestra during their high school years.  In addition to performing at school assemblies and winter and spring festivals, the orchestra also performs at various other community functions. Students are expected to attend all weekly lessons, scheduled activities, dress rehearsals and performances.


    There are three components of the Orchestra Program for all CPA and Honors Students:

    Instrumental Group Lessons
    -- All orchestra students receive small group lesson instruction once a week. The lessons develop necessary skills that allow each student to benefit from the ensemble experience. Bowing, tone, reading, technique, articulation and musicianship are studied.


    *All Orchestra Students will be recommended by their director for one of the two below Orchestral Ensembles, which meet during two separate periods on the school day. 

    String Orchestra
    is the first tier in the two-tier orchestra system.  Compositions of different styles and periods are performed along with the appropriate application of positions, scales, rhythmic studies, etudes, solo and chamber works.  The string orchestra is expanded into a full symphonic orchestra through the addition of selected wind, brass and percussion performers from the Band/Wind Ensemble.


    Chamber Strings - Students who are recommended for this ensemble are able to rehearse and perform at a high level of musical proficiency.  The most renowned pieces in the chamber music genre will be studied, rehearsed and performed.  Students in Chamber Strings are challenged with performance literature of advanced difficulty.


    Students taking orchestra at the honors level will have additional responsibilities beyond the CPA level orchestra class. These responsibilities include a combination of journal writing, guided reading, musical experiences outside of school, participation in after school music ensembles, preparation for Region Orchestra and All-State Orchestra, and preparation of level-appropriate solo repertoire. Students electing to take orchestra at the honors level must successfully complete an honors audition to be held in the spring of the prior school year.