Orchestra News

3rd Nine Weeks

Important Upcoming Events

February 5th: Pre-UIL Concert & Sight-reading (Advanced Only)
  • Required event for all Advanced orchestras
  • Look for detailed info for each orchestra below

February 6th: 5:30 - 7 PM Boys Social

  • Look for sign-up genius to be sent out soon

February 13th: 5:30 - 7PM Girls Social

  • Look for sign-up genius to be sent out soon

Week of March 2nd: UIL Concert & Sight-reading contest (Advanced Only)

  • Required event for all Advanced orchestras
  • Day and Time of contest will be assigned two weeks in advance

April 4th: Solo & Ensemble Contest

  • Event for all levels and all instruments
  • Open to all beginner students
  • Solos open for advanced students who are enrolled in private lessons
  • Ensemble open to all students who meet the registration deadline
  • More details in upcoming newsletter

Auditions for Orchestra 2020-2021

  • All students currently enrolled in orchestra will complete an end of year audition
  • Completing the base level audition will be a grade for all students
  • Completing the base level audition will also act as a placement audition for our Sinfonia or Philharmonia orchestras for the 20-21 school year.
  • Students will have the option to prepare additional audition material if they wish to attempt placement in our Chamber or Camerata orchestras for the 20-21 school year.
  • Please note that audition music will not be available until the week after spring break.
  • More information will be sent out with audition material after spring break
  • What can students do now to prepare? Practice! Students hoping to place in our higher level ensembles should be practicing regularly at home and mastering the concepts presented to them in orchestra class and private lessons now.

Welcome new students!

We have a few new students in orchestra this semester that have recently moved to the area. Welcome to you and your families! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email lalondec@friscoisd.org

Pre-UIL Schedule & Details (non-beginner event)

Pre-UIL is a required event for advanced students to prepare for UIL contest. It is our only opportunity to play on stage before contest. We will have judges at this performance to give us feedback on what we need to fix before contest in March.

Dress is formal concert black


5:20 Arrive CHS - unpack and tune (Cafeteria)

5:40 Official Warm-up (Orchestra Room)

6:15 Concert & Sight-reading (Auditorium)


6:00 Arrive CHS - unpack and tune (Cafeteria)

6:15 Official Warm-up (Orchestra Room)

6:45 Concert & Sight-reading (Auditorium)


6:20 Arrive CHS- unpack and tune (Cafeteria)

6:45 Official Warm-up (Orchestra Room)

7:20 Concert & Sight-reading (Auditorium)


7:00 Arrive CHS- unpack and tune (Cafeteria)

7:20 Official Warm-up (Orchestra Room)

7:50 Concert & Sight-reading (Auditorium)

What is UIL?

  • UIL contest is for all non-beginner performing groups
  • The full name of our upcoming contest is UIL Concert & Sight-reading
  • UIL stands for University Interscholastic League; the governing body that sets the rules and expectations for our concert and sight-reading contest.
  • All orchestras in Frisco ISD and Region 24 participate in this contest
  • We are competing for a score, not against other orchestras
  • Our goal is to achieve a 'Sweepstakes' award. This means we receive the highest rating possible on our stage performance and in our sight-reading performance
  • We prepare three pieces for the stage performance & must learn a new piece of music in 7 minutes in the sight-reading room.

Parents, we would love for you to attend our Pre-UIL concert as well as our concert on UIL contest day.

Yes, this is a contest, but it is also a concert! It is always more encouraging for our groups to play for a live, supportive audience that applauds than for an empty, silent auditorium.

Mark your calendars and plan to come support our amazing young musicians!!

Odds & Ends for Everybody

Instrument Maintenance
  • Each year, the district collects an instrument maintenance fee for all cello/bass/harp students for their use of a district owned instrument each day in class.
  • Be looking for this fee to come through on your online fees soon.
  • This fee covers routine string replacement, bridge adjustment, fingerboard adjustment, repair of general knicks and scratches, and endpin adjustments.

Cello/Bass Size Changes

  • We checked our cello/bass students for new instrument sizes in January. Please check with your student - if they have sized up on their school cello, they need to swap out their home cello for the bigger size as well.


  • Many students are running low on tuner battery strength. Please ask your student if they need a replacement battery and help them be prepared for orchestra class each day.
  • We sell tuner batteries for $1 each.

Nail Length

  • A reminder that students need short fingernails to play with proper technique.
  • Manicures are lovely and welcome, but long, fake nails interfere with a students ability to play in tune and with proper technique. Please keep this in mind when getting nails done for a special occasion

Practice Expectations

  • It's a busy time of year, and practice should be happening regularly at home - even more than in the fall!
  • Beginners endurance has increased. Beginner students should be practicing at least 3x a week for 30 minutes at a time or more
  • Students who are aiming to be in a top ensemble next school year should be putting in practice time every day.

Canvas Assignments

Your students have received this canvas assignment checklist to help them stay organized and up-to-date with orchestra homework.
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