Westminster School Orchestra Program
Our mission at Westminster School is to provide students with a classical education in all aspects of their studies. In line with this goal, the orchestra program at Westminster School begins in the third grade with instruction in violin, viola, and cello, with bass offered beginning in 5th grade.
Symphonette is our string training orchestra designed for beginning string students. Symphonette is available to all students in 3rd-4th grade and will meet once per week on Wednesday’s beginning at 7:15AM-8:00AM. In this orchestra, students will focus on learning to play as an ensemble, begin to learn string repertoire and focus on their own technique. Symphonette will perform in at least two concerts per year.
Concert Orchestra is offered to all students in 5th-8th grade, and will meet twice per week on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at 7:15AM-8:00AM. The Concert Orchestra is designed for varying playing abilities. Concert Orchestra provides opportunities to develop precision and performance skills on orchestral stringed instruments. Additionally, this ensemble emphasizes literature, historical contributions, theoretical studies and creative aspects of appreciation of music. The Concert Orchestra will play in at least three concerts per year, including an assessment performance.
Philharmonic is the combination of all orchestras offered at Westminster School. Philharmonic will meet on select days, and will focus on learning to play in a larger ensemble, prepare for performances, and improve musical knowledge of styles and technique. Philharmonic may utilize, when needed, wind/brass and percussion students who are taking private lessons. Philharmonic will perform in at least two concerts a year.
Students will receive a weekly 30-minute lesson in a small group setting (2-3 students) with a professional instructor. Technique lessons will meet on a rotating schedule during the school day. Students will be taught how to play notes, rhythms, bowings, and the skills unique to his/her particular instrument. Students taking private lesson instruction in violin, viola, cello and/or bass outside of school will be able to participate in the orchestras at Westminster School.
Each Fall, the orchestra students will participate in a retreat, which will be held on a Saturday in October. During this retreat, students will have the opportunity to build upon team aspects within an orchestra and work on skills with clinicians.