The Parkhill Junior High School Orchestras consist of three ensembles: Concert, Intermediate and Advanced. Students are auditioned into each ensemble based on their technical and musical skills, assets and deficits in an effort to ensure each child’s musical needs are being met at the appropriate level of challenge and instruction.
Beginning Orchestra is conducted at the 6th grade level on an elementary campus, however students who wish to begin learning a stringed instrument in 7th or 8th grade may join the Concert orchestra ensemble where we spend the majority of the time focusing on fundamentals of string performance. The Intermediate ensemble, typical level for a 2nd year string student, focuses on musical development and new technique, the reinforcement of fundamental practices, and concert literature preparation. The Advanced ensemble is intended for 3rd year (or more) students, or those who have demonstrated rapid progress and understanding for a 2nd year player. This class focuses on the development of musicality through challenging concert repertoire, with the intent to prepare students for the rigors of high school orchestra.
Each ensemble participates fully in our concert series throughout the school year. The Advanced orchestra is often asked to perform at local school or community events. The Advanced and Intermediate ensembles take part in the annual Eisemann Orchestra Festival and the annual UIL Concert and Sight Reading competition. Students in every ensemble are given the opportunity to perform a solo and/or ensemble at the Richardson Chamber Music Festival in the spring. Opportunities for students to work with master teachers in the form of private lessons are made available throughout the school year and summer, and students are all encouraged to take lessons as well as attend summer string camps. The goal of the Parkhill Orchestra program is provide quality music instruction on a stringed instrument to all interested students, regardless of mental or physical disability.