• Join the Orchestra

    Join us for our instrument trial day March 27th 5-7:30pm at Forbes Middle School to choose your instrument!


    In GISD, students have the privilege to participate in the Fine Arts, including Orchestra. Participating in Orchestra is an extremely rewarding experience that positively influences students' education, social/emotional development, and cultural knowledge. Students about to enter their 6th grade year in GISD can choose to be in Orchestra! This page keeps prospective students updated on how to join orchestra and answers questions about the program. 

    10 Tips for NEW Orchestra students:

    RENT an instrument from a reputable string shop. See the Files and Forms page for recommended rental shops. If you are interested in purchasing an instrument, contact your child's director or private instructor BEFORE you begin this process. NEVER purchase a stringed instrument online unless approved by your director/private instructor. Make sure you know what is included in the rental and if there is an incentive program with your rental.
    2. GET SIZED! 
    Stringed instruments are unique in that they come in a variety of sizes to fit each student perfectly. Having an appropriately sized instrument is the most important aspect of the student's initial success. String teachers tend to have their own philosophy on instrument sizing so check with your director if you do not know what size instrument your child needs for class.
    Every rental should come with some basic accessories including the instrument, bow and a case. You might need to purchase other accessories that are not included in the rental...
    • Violin/Viola: Rosin, Shoulder Rest or Sponge, Cleaning Cloth, Tuner
    • Cello/Bass: Rosin, Rock Stop, Cleaning Cloth, Tuner

    In their first year at Forbes, all beginning orchestra students must have the following...

    Shoulder Rest (violin/viola) or Rock Stop (cello/bass) 
    Extra set of strings (NO RED LABEL STRINGS ALLOWED!!! They are cheap for a reason) 
    Nail Clippers (nails must be kept short and trimmed)
    Music Stand (for home use)
    Metronome/Tuner with Clip (Korg TM-50)  
    1" Black Binder 
    Box of Pencils
    Notebook Paper
    Sheet Protectors (optional)
    Method Books are included in the activity fee and will be handed out during the first 2 weeks of school by the director.


    Students must trim their fingernails frequently and keep their hands clean when handling their instrument. Long nails make it impossible to place fingers on the strings correctly. It also causes the strings to wear away quickly which means having to replace strings often. Dirt on the hands makes the instrument sticky and contributes to creating a poor sound.

    5. CLOTHING!

    Beginning Orchestra students will receive an orchestra t-shirt. Students will wear these shirts at almost every performance throughout the year. Cost of the t-shirt is included in the yearly activity fee (see the orchestra handbook for more information). Replacing outgrown t-shirts or lost t-shirts will be an additional cost.

    6. TRIPS!

    Beginning Orchestra students go on a few trips throughout their first year. Trips include City Lights Theater and Schlitterbahn!

    7. CONCERTS!

    Students will perform in the Fall, Winter, and Spring Orchestra Concerts which are all in Georgetown ISD. Dates will be on the website/CHARMS calendar. Students will also perform in the annual Solo & Ensemble contest in GISD during January.

    8. CHARMS!

    You will receive instructions on how to sign up to use CHARMS to stay in the loop about Orchestra. CHARMS is a web-based program the Fine Arts teachers use to deliver information, communicate, ask for volunteers, and much more. https://www.charmsoffice.com/charms/login.asp


    Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestra students must participate in sectionals, which are rehearsals scheduled outside of the school day. These rehearsals allow us to either practice our music with ALL orchestral instruments or to practice our music in small groups. Sectionals are graded classes that are part of the orchestra curriculum. Beginning Orchestra students will have fewer sectionals than more advanced orchestra students.

    10. VOLUNTEER!

    Our Orchestras in GISD will always need extra help! Please sign up to be a volunteer in GISD and consider volunteering at our events! Your help makes our program run smoothly.  http://www.georgetownisd.org/Page/149
    Tips for proper instrument care can be found HERE!