Wildcat Orchestra

Weekly Update #1

Happy Friday Orchestra Families!

In honor of our first FULL week, I hope everyone wore red and black to celebrate Springman Spirt Day!


Our rehearsal schedule for next week is as follows:

Monday - NO SCHOOL!

Tuesday - 6th grade morning rehearsal

Wednesday - 8th grade morning rehearsal

Thursday - 6th grade morning rehearsal

Friday - 7th grade morning rehearsal


Aside from morning rehearsals next week, we start pull out lessons. You will find the lesson schedules attached to this e-mail by grade. Lessons rotate each week by a half an hour so students shouldn't be missing the same class each week.


  • 6th grade lessons will be on TUESDAY
  • 7th grade lessons will be split - all 7th grade violins will be on MONDAY, all 7th grade violas, cellos, and bass will be on THURSDAY
  • 8th grade lessons will be on THURSDAY


What should my student bring to their lessons? They need their instrument, music, pencil, and iPad. We will be using Schoology in our lessons so it is imperative that they have their iPads each time.


Polo orders are due NEXT TUESDAY! Please have your student turn in their form and $12 to me ASAP. If they are unsure as to what size to order, they can try on the different sizes in my office and then circle the appropriate one on their form before they turn it in.

Illinois Music Educator's Association (IMEA) Honor Orchestra

IMEA Honor Orchestra is an AUDITIONED group. If your students want to audition, they need to prepare three full pieces to be performed in front of a judge. If they make the orchestra, they will have one full day of rehearsal which culminates in a final concert. Be forewarned that these auditions are high stakes- this is a to notch group of middle schoolers. Less than half of students who audition make the group - BUT the audition process is is quite phenomenal in itself so if your students plans to do this in the future, it wouldn't be a bad idea to see what it is like as a 6th grader.


What is so cool about this group?

You get to meet other orchestra students from all of the other middle schools throughout the Chicagoland! You also get to be directed by a famous guest conductor. Last year the director of orchestras from the University of Illinois directed. This year, Randal Swiggum, who directs the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, will be our guest conductor.


How does the audition process work?

The orchestra auditions are held in hour and a half shifts. Thought that shift, the student will receive a 30 minute sectional followed by an hour large ensemble rehearsal with the guest conductor. At some point during that hour rehearsal your student will be pulled out to play their audition. It is extremely important that your student comes to the audition ready to go. The sectional and large ensemble rehearsal will not be enough practice time for a successful audition.


The music attached will have four songs. The students only need to learn three of the songs. They do not need to practice O Magnum Mysterium for the audition. It is an extra piece for the students who make the ensemble to work on with the guest conductor and play at the final concert.


If your student wants to audition, I have attached the permission slip and music to this e-mail. They must return the permission slip and $8 fee to me by September 11th.

Music Moment of the Week

Artists are constantly stretching the typical orchestra setting to play string instruments in new ways. I plan to send different videos each week for us to listen, watch, and enjoy. Our first musical moment of the week is Lindsey Stirling playing "Master of Tides". It was a spontaneous performance - I wonder if any of ours students can play like that while dancing!
Master of Tides - Lindsey Stirling