Why should I sign up for TJ Orchestra?

Orchestra class provides balance in your day, relieves stress, builds skills, provides lifelong friendships, and fulfills the fine arts requirement, all while exposing you to some of the greatest music ever written!  FYI, colleges are more impressed by dedication to one activity rather than dabbling in several.  You should also know the music students are the happiest students at TJ!  😊

How many orchestras are there at TJ?

Two levels.  Philharmonia plays grade 4/5 music, and Symphonic plays grade 6/6+ music.  Both groups are comprised of 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.  Students may remain in Philharmonia all four years or may audition for Symphonic at any time.  There is a place for everyone and everyone is successful!

Does the orchestra rehearse after school or on weekends?

No, we get our work done during the class period and several 8th periods as concerts approach.

Can I join orchestra as a 10th, 11th, or 12th grader if I didn’t join as a freshman?

Yes! You’re welcome to join us anytime, but it’s best to start as a freshman so you don’t miss anything!

How many concerts per year?

Four – Fall, Winter, Assessment, and Spring.  Symphonic Orchestra also plays for the Viennese Ball and Graduation.

Is there a practice requirement and do you collect practice logs?

We do not use practice logs and there is no set practice requirement.  We get most of the work done in class, however students who need more practice should put in additional time at home.  Ms. Bailey is always available to help you during lunch, JLC, or 8th period.

How often are playing tests?

There are no actual playing tests.  Students are assessed through observation in class rather than with tests.  Regarding seating, Philharmonia has seating “opportunities” four times per year.  We call them “opportunities” rather than “tests” because they are not graded and are an “opportunity” to win a higher chair if that’s important to you.  These are done one-on-one with Ms. Bailey and students know exactly what to play in advance.  Symphonic seating is rotational.

Is Orchestra offered as a semester class?

No.  We can’t have ever-changing membership or our progress and product will suffer.

Do cellists and bassists need to bring their own instruments to school?

No.  We have school cellos and basses that can be used each day.  Most students choose to bring their own instruments from home for concerts.

What kinds of activities does the orchestra do?

Other than giving spectacular concerts, some of the other orchestra activities include hosting the annual Viennese Ball, Fall Pumpkin Pie Sale, and a spring trip every year.  Past destinations have included Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta, NYC, Myrtle Beach, Boston, and Nashville.

How can I fit orchestra into my schedule?

There are many creative ways to fit orchestra into your schedule.  Please talk to Ms. Bailey!  She will connect you with one of the numerous older students who have found ways to be in orchestra all four years!

Questions about anything?

Contact Ms. Bailey!  She can answer all your questions and help you solve any issues you may have.  akbailey@fcps.edu