Concert Orchestra: A large, string orchestra comprised of students who play violin, viola, cello, or bass. All incoming freshmen begin in this group, and no audition is required, but students should have experience playing in an orchestra. Students have the opportunity to audition for Philharmonic and upon entry must concurrently enroll in both Concert Orchestra and Philharmonic. Emphasis is placed on the development of intermediate and advanced playing technique required for mature literature, as well as sight-reading practice. This group performs a wide array of string orchestra literature, ranging from Baroque to contemporary. Concert Orchestra participates in the SKMEA large group contest, performs at the Winter and Spring Concerts, and combines with the other orchestras for the Quadrant Concert in February and the Leavenworth tour in May.
Symphonic Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra is open to all string players in grades 10-12 who have successfully completed one year of Concert Orchestra. No audition is required for this ensemble. Seating placements and section leader designations will occur throughout the year. Musicianship is further developed through challenging and diverse literature study and the refinement of string technique. The Symphony Orchestra regularly combines with the Philharmonic Orchestra and selected members of the Wind Symphony to perform major works from the Symphonic repertoire. This ensemble participates in SKMEA large group contest, and a variety of regional festivals. They perform in the Fall, Winter and Spring concerts and combine with the other orchestras for the Quadrant Concert and the Leavenworth tour. Selected members are chosen to augment the Philharmonic Orchestra as needed in the Masterworks Concert.
Philharmonic Orchestra: An audition only string orchestra comprised of students who play violin, viola, cello, or bass. This is a highly selective and motivated group of string players. Philharmonic Orchestra performs a rigorous array of string orchestra literature ranging from Baroque to contemporary. Philharmonic Orchestra regularly combines with members of the band and choir to perform major works from the Symphonic repertoire. The Philharmonic Orchestra participates in the SKMEA large group contest, Solo and Ensemble contest, and a variety of other regional festivals. The group performs regularly throughout the year at school concerts and community events. In the spring, this group collaborates with members from the band and choir to present the Masterworks Concert, which features up to five students performing concerto movements or arias with full orchestra, and a major work for choir and orchestra. Auditions for the Philharmonic Orchestra are held in February, and in late August for remaining openings. Auditions to perform a featured solo at the Masterworks Concert are open to all advanced music students and occur in late January.