Our orchestra is a place for students of all abilities who want to play violin, viola, cello or bass. We play classical music, movie music, folk tunes, multicultural music, blues, jazz, rock, and more. If you love the sound of strings and want to play a variety of music, join our orchestra!
Printable .pdf files:
- 2020-2021 Orchestra Handbook form/permission slip – required for all students, due 9/11/20
- 2020-2021 Orchestra Shirt order form (optional fundraiser – due 9/11/20)
- District Instrument Rental Application & Information– due 9/11/20 (available to families who qualify on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis)
2020-2021 ORCHESTRA SUPPLIES
Most materials are available at our local music retailers (Leithold Music ~ Old Towne Strings ~ SSE Music). Each store features easy online or telephone ordering and free delivery to school if your family is not able to get to the store. Please make sure that you have the following supplies and remember to bring needed materials when necessary:
♫ Instrument, bow, case, & rosin: store rental, own, or school rental (limited school instruments available to families who qualify, application available).
♫ Instrument support: shoulder rest/contoured sponge (violin/viola), or end pin rest/rock stop (cello/bass).
♫ Textbook: Measures of Success for Strings, Book 1 (6th Grade) OR Measures of Success for Strings, Book 2 (7/8th Grade) *Other books from the Measures of Success, Suzuki, or Essential Elements series will be required as students advance.
♫ Concert attire: white collared shirt/white blouse with modest neckline, black pants, black shoes & socks.
♫ Other: pencils for your own use & one box of tissue to share in our classroom.
2020-2021 ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCES & IMPORTANT DATES
Performances make up about 30% of your grade in orchestra. In the event a student cannot attend a performance, please see an orchestra teacher to arrange an alternative assignment to avoid a significant drop in your orchestra grade. Here are our performances for this year (mark your family calendars!):
♫ Friday, September 11 2020 – All Orchestra forms & fees due
♫ Wednesday, November 18, 2020 – 8th Grade Orchestra Large Group Festival (during the school day)
♫ Tuesday, December 15, 2020 – Orchestra Concert at Central, 7:00 pm (All grades check-in 6:30 pm)
♫ Wednesday, December 16, 2020 – 8th Grade visit to Central Orchestra (during the school day)
♫ Saturday, January TBA, 2021 – LAMFA 7/8th Grade Honors Orchestra Festival (select students only)
♫ Friday, January TBA, 2021 – 8th Grade Orchestra Tour to ES (during the school day)
♫ Thursday, February TBA, 2021 – 6th Grade Orchestra Festival at Logan MS (during the school day)
♫ Saturday, February TBA, 2021 – 7/8th Grade Solo & Ensemble Festival, Location TBA (select students only)
♫ Tuesday, March 9, 2021 – All City String Fest at La Crosse Center, 7:00 pm (All grades check-in at 6:00 pm)
♫ Tuesday, May 11, 2021 – Orchestra Concert at Central, 7:00 pm (All grades check-in at 6:30 pm)
♫ Friday, May 21, 2021 – All school district rental instruments & borrowed equipment due back to orchestra room
ORCHESTRA LESSONS AND HOME PRACTICE
Lessons make up about 40% of your grade in orchestra. Lessons are scheduled during the school day, for 20 minutes per cycle. Every effort is made to schedule student lessons at a convenient time. If a student misses a lesson, he/she should see an orchestra teacher as soon as possible to schedule a make-up. 5-7 lessons are required for each quarter.
Your lesson teacher will give a new assignment for you to prepare (practice) and write it down on your lesson sheet. Bring your instrument home for practice about every other day, as a portion of each lesson grade is based on your skill improvement (practicing leads to improvement)! 20 minutes of home practice 3 times per week is our goal, although slightly more or less practice may be needed for students to prepare their assignment well.
Rehearsal points make up 30% of your grade in orchestra. We will meet for orchestra rehearsal two to three days out of the six day cycle, as listed on your school schedule.
2020 SUMMER ORCHESTRA LESSONS
Summer string lessons will run for six weeks, beginning the week of July 1, 2020 through August 14, 2020. These individual lessons meet once per week for 20 minutes and are available for students of any level on violin, viola, cello or bass.
Summer lesson registration will be available online from May 8, 2020 through May 15,2020. Students’ summer lesson teachers will contact families to confirm details, lesson times and information in late May-early June. A .pdf version of the complete summer lesson 2020 registration information and the instrument rental application are available here:
TEACHER CONTACT INFORMATION
Ms. Jessica McDonald ~ firstname.lastname@example.org ~ 608-789-7670 (Longfellow/LDI)
- Measures of Success Book Series – recordings and videos
- General practice tips from the instrument basics series
- Free online music dictionary
- How to slow down YouTube videos for play along practice at home
- Instrument set up & posture:
- Caring for your instrument
- Parts of your instrument violin
- Violin/Viola posture (& why do I need a shoulder rest?)
- Violin/Viola – how to put on a shoulder rest
- Cello endpins-how tall or short?
- Cello posture
- Bass endpin height and posture
- Bow preparation – how to rosin & tighten/loosen
- How to hold the bow Violin/viola – Cello/French Bass – German Bass
Instrument & Supply Purchasing Help:
- Instruments – Rent or buy?
- Thinking of upgrading your strings? Types of strings explained
- What is the difference between dark and light rosin? More on types of rosin
- ***Please remember to support our awesome local music stores as much as possible! Their friendly staff and repair technicians are also a great resource for helping you to choose the best instrument and accessories for middle school musicians.***
Local Music Stores:
- Leithold Music ~ 608-784-7555 ~ 116 4th Street S.
- Old Towne Strings ~ 608-782-1222 ~ 1218 Caledonia Street
- SSE Music ~ 608-781-2850 ~ 2609 George Street N.
School District Related Links:
- Longfellow/LDI River City Strings Fiddle Club
- School District Volunteer/Chaperone Application
- Central High School – Orchestra
- Logan High School – Orchestra
Local Orchestras & Performance Opportunities:
- WSMA – District & State Solo & Ensemble Festivals
- WSMA – Middle Level State Honors Orchestra Project
- LYSO – La Crosse Youth Symphony Orchestras (Italiano & Philharmonic)
- UW-La Crosse – Music Department Events
- Viterbo University – Chamber Music Series
- LSO – La Crosse Symphony Orchestra
Cool ‘Just for Fun’ Videos to Explore:
- How to Practice Effectively
- How playing an instrument benefits your brain
- How it’s Made: Violins Bows Steel Strings Gut Strings
- Orchestra vs. ghost peppers
Awesome Artists to Check Out: