April 2023


  • BENOLD MIDDLE SCHOOL ORCHESTRA

    2023-2024

     

    Orchestra Classes Offered

    *Symphony Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra is Benold Middle School’s top Varsity Ensemble Level 4. Students in this orchestra perform challenging and exciting musical selections! Symphony Orchestra members can play with a consistent tone, a wide dynamic range, and have accurate fingerings and bowings that make for strong intonation and articulation. These students demonstrate appropriate posture throughout their playing with quality left & right hand technique. This group competes in UIL Concert & Sight Reading at the Varsity level in the spring, with the option to also compete & audition for Region Orchestra in the fall. 

    Symphony students will:

    • Practice their instrument regularly

    • Show consistent effort & a great attitude with a teamwork mindset

    • Be committed to their individual growth & musical development

    • Take ownership & initiative in their learning through mature/responsible behavior

    *Philharmonic Orchestra: Philharmonic Orchestra is Benold Middle School’s Advanced Junior Varsity Ensemble Level 3. Students in this orchestra perform challenging music but not quite to the difficulty level that is presented in Symphony. Players here may still be working on developing their bowing and tone in order to keep it consistent & clear through all parts of their range, high notes, low notes, soft notes, loud notes. The players are more advanced than the Intermediate level in Concert Orchestra, but may need an extra year of focused skill building to get their playing up to the Symphony Orchestra (Varsity) level. This Orchestra will compete in UIL Concert & Sight Reading at the Non-Varsity level in the spring, with the option to also compete & audition for Region Orchestra in the fall.

    Philharmonic students will:

    • Practice their instrument regularly

    • Build skills through careful focus on their left/right hand technique

    • Through feedback & coaching, improve the consistency of their basic skills

    • Strive to retain what is learned & demonstrate mastery of their skills

    • Seek for greater understanding & musical development

    *Concert Orchestra: Concert Orchestra is Level 2. Offered some years as a course depending on enrollment & scheduling. Our smallest class offers more one on one coaching/lesson style where students can have more individualized learning opportunities customized to their level. This group does not compete in UIL in the spring and does not audition for Region Orchestra in the fall. Concert Orchestra has fewer people per part, which allows for faster progress for each individual when they are practicing and are prepared for class, with that there is greater potential for retaining knowledge & skills.

    Concert Orchestra students will:

    • Practice their instrument regularly

    • Focus on intonation, rhythm, bowings, dynamics

    • Be able to hold their on on a part with just one or two other players

    Prelude Orchestra: Prelude Orchestra is Benold Middle School’s Beginning Orchestra Level 1. This ensemble is for students that have never been in Orchestra before and want to learn one of the string instruments (Violin, Viola, Cello, or Bass), or learn a secondary instrument. Students don’t need to have any prior experience with any of these instruments in order to be a member of Prelude Orchestra.

     

    *Audition Required for acceptance into this orchestra

    *Concert Orchestra is our newest class in the orchestra schedule and will only be held if enrollment in the orchestra program is high enough to merit a full class.

     

    AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

    Audition dates: Tuesday April 11-13th

     

    Orchestra Level

    Scales

    Sight Reading

    Excerpts

    Writing Prompt

    1 - Prelude

    Orchestra

    No Audition Required

    Select & get sized for your instrument

    Purchase Measures of Success Book 1

    None

    3 - Concert & Philharmonic Orchestra

    D Major scale, G Major scale, 110 Beats Per Minute (quarter note)

    8 measures, includes notes on all 4 strings, and dotted rhythms.

    1 Solo of your choice, 16 measures long that shows intonation, tone,  tempo, dynamics

    Yes, due by April 11th

    4 - Varsity Symphony

    Orchestra

    D Major scale, G Major scale, C Major scale, 120 Beats Per Minute (quarter note)

    8 measures, includes notes on all 4 strings, plus accidentals, dotted rhythms, and 8th/16th notes combinations.

    2 excerpts of your choice: Each 8 measures long that show a contrasting style and the level of your playing.

    Yes, due by April 11th

     

    Part One: Scales

    Set your metronome to the appropriate tempo, then play the scale to that quarter note beat. Scales are located in the back of your method book, please ask for help if you are unable to find what you need. Start slow and work up to your goal tempo each day.

    Level 2 Concert & Philharmonic: Quarter Note = 110 BPM

    • D Major Cello/Viola two octaves, Violin/Bass one octave

    • G Major Cello/Viola one octave, Violin/Bass two octaves

    Level 3 Symphony: Quarter Note = 120 BPM

    • D Major Cello/Viola two octaves, Violin/Bass one octave

    • G Major Cello/Viola one octave, Violin/Bass two octaves

    • C Major Cello/Viola two octaves, Violin/Bass one octave

     

    Part Two: Excerpt

    You will be asked to play a portion of music from a solo, ensemble or orchestra piece that you have studied that best demonstrates your level playing. Be sure to select something that showcases your technique AND musicianship. Your excerpt should include passages with examples of bowing styles, dynamics, as well as tuneful sections that will allow you to demonstrate the maturity of your tone (i.e. Intonation and tone quality).

     

    Part Three: Sight Reading 

    After playing your scales and solo excerpts, I will ask you to sight read a short 8 bar phrase to check your reading ability. You will be asked to play an excerpt that is at the playing level of the ensemble you wish to be a part of in the next school year, please see the chart above as to what will be included in the sight reading. You will have a one minute to play & study the music before performing the sight reading, I will step out of the room while you prepare. You will only perform the sight reading one time. Your goal is to play the notes and the rhythms correct, with as many accurate bowings and dynamics as possible.

     

    Part Four: Prepared writing prompt for anyone auditioning for Concert, Philharmonic or Symphony Orchestra - DUE BY APRIL 11, 2023

     

    In 100 words minimum, please type and print, or share via Google drive a thoughtful & reflective response including any of the following criteria:

    1. Why do you want to be in an upper level Orchestra class? What level do you want to be a part of?

    2. What skills can you contribute to your section, what are your strengths that might be different from anyone else?

    3. What do you like most about playing your instrument?

    4. What do you value about being in Orchestra and the people that are in Orchestra?

    5. What makes you want to continue playing in Orchestra?

    6. What types of events, activities, concerts, duties or performances would you like to see included in Orchestra next year?

    7. Do you see yourself as a leader in orchestra, or as a member of a team in orchestra? What is are some important difference between them?

     

    Print or email share through Google Drive, email or hard copy to: danek@georgetownisd.org

     

    Orchestra placements depend on many factors: Your Audition, your writing prompt, your performance throughout the school year, classroom contribution & behavior, your reliability, responsibility & dependability, the work ethic you have shown, and the balance of the instruments in the orchestra.  Benold MS, Orchestra is for everyone and anyone that signs up, you will always have a place!

     

    Practice for your auditions in a smart and strategic way, we want you to be placed in a group where you will be contributing and be the best you can possibly be! 

     

    Any questions, please see Miss Dane.

    512-943-6988

    danek@georgetownisd.org