SUMMER ORCHESTRA DATES:
Monday, August 8: Honors String Ensemble at First Church of Lombard 9 am - 4 pm
Friday, August 12: Orchestra Day! at East. Leaders report 9 am; everyone else 12 noon - 6 pm
About the Orchestras
The Glenbard East Orchestra program provides a wide array of opportunities for students to learn and grow. In each of our groups, we strive to provide every student with a deeply rewarding musical experience. Emphasis is placed on development of excellent playing technique, ensemble performance skills, musical expression, and knowledge of music theory and history—all while having fun in a nurturing, collaborative atmosphere. Students in all of the orchestras get a balanced musical diet, with classical masterworks from the 17th century to the present alongside folk music from around the world, jazz, and popular songs.
We believe that the study of music offers many benefits. Intense focus on any skill builds focus, discipline, and problem-solving ability. Participation in a group endeavor like orchestra helps young people think as good collaborators who work well with others. But the best reason to study music is because music is beautiful, and lifelong participation in music—whether you play or just listen—can bring a lot of happiness into your life!
Symphony Orchestra includes the strings in the Concert and Philharmonic Orchestras and selected wind and percussion players from the band program. The Symphony Orchestra plays symphonies, overtures, and other masterpieces by such composers as Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Dvorak, Rossini, and Stravinsky, as well as a variety of pop, rock, jazz, and film music.
Concert Orchestra is a string orchestra designed for the study of advanced orchestral repertoire. Members study historically important pieces for string orchestra. They also play folk, jazz, and popular pieces. A large portion of class time in Concert Orchestra is spent rehearsing the challenging string parts to the Symphony Orchestra music. Placement in Concert Orchestra is determined by an audition in spring of the previous school year, and incoming freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible to audition.
Philharmonic Orchestra is a string orchestra designed for the study of advanced orchestral repertoire. This class is a slightly more relaxed introduction to the advanced material studied in Concert Orchestra. All students in Philharmonic Orchestra participate in Symphony Orchestra. Placement in Philharmonic Orchestra is determined by an audition in spring of the previous school year, and incoming freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible to audition.
Chamber Orchestra is a string orchestra designed for most freshmen and many upperclassmen. Students in Chamber Orchestra perform pieces from a wide spectrum of genres at a high level. Emphasis is placed on cultivating musical skill and literacy in a fun, high-energy, supportive environment. Students who have completed eighth grade orchestra or the Orchestra I class are typically placed in Chamber Orchestra unless they successfully audition for Concert Orchestra. The Chamber Orchestra participates in all concerts, tours, and trips that the Concert Orchestra does.
Orchestra I is a one-year course for students who would like to learn to play the violin, viola, cello, or upright bass. This class is open to any Glenbard East student--no prior experience is required! Students in Orchestra I develop music reading skills and a solid foundation of technique on their instruments. Upon completing this course, most students continue into Chamber Orchestra. Encourage your friends to sign up for this class!
The Honors String Ensemble is a challenging, time-intensive experience designed for the most advanced musicians. Students audition the previous spring for membership in the Honors String Ensemble. Ensemble members engage in intensive study of a major piece of chamber music literature to perform at the University of Illinois Chamber Music Symposium in downstate Illinois. Additionally, students provide entertainment at a weddings, banquets, and ceremonies in and around the community. If you would like the Honors String Ensemble to perform at your event, please contact Mr. Fawkes! This year, the Honors String Ensemble will rehearse most Tuesdays from 5:00 to 6:30 pm.
The Sinfonia is an opportunity for underclassmen orchestra students not in the Honors String Ensemble to play advanced chamber music outside of class time. Auditions are in early September. Sinfonia will rehearse roughly once per week outside of school, and the rehearsal time will be determined based on the schedule availability of the selected students.
The GE Bluegrass Band is a group of string players plus guitars, mandolins, and banjos. The group will meet roughly 6 times after school in late winter and early spring to play fun folk-inspired music in a relaxed setting. Anyone is welcome to join, and no audition is required!
The Pit Orchestra meets during fall in even-numbered years to provide live accompaniment for the GE fall musical. Last year’s show was “Spamalot,” based on the hilarious movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Recent productions have included Sweeney Todd, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, and Beauty and the Beast. The group includes whatever instruments the musical calls for but usually includes strings, winds, percussion, and keyboards. Stay tuned next year for details regarding the musical and the Pit Orchestra!