About the Orchestra
The three orchestras that meet during the regular school day at BGHS are Concert Orchestra (period 4), Symphony Orchestra (period 5), and Chamber Orchestra (period 6). One is NOT "better" than the others but rather each orchestra has specific goals and opportunities for all students involved.
Concert Orchestra is a string orchestra that works heavily on technique, tone, theory, and musicianship with performing mostly as an individual group. This orchestra is the orchestra that all freshmen enter upon arrival in high school in addition to several upper classmen. Concert Orchestra meets during Period 4, with Lunch or Advisory Period 5. The Concert Orchestra will occasionally meet during Period 5 to rehearse with Symphony Orchestra (schedule is posted each week). Beginning each January members of the Concert Band may audition to take part in Concert Orchestra as part of the Full Concert Orchestra for the Winter and Spring Concerts.
Symphony Orchestra is meant for students who want to excel in orchestra, perform difficult music, are willing to put in the time it takes to practice this music, and be a leader. This orchestra is mostly juniors and seniors, but is open to all grade levels by audition only. Symphony Orchestra performs mostly full orchestral works but also the occasional higher level string work. Symphony Orchestra meets during Period 5. Symphony Orchestra Winds & Percussion audition at the beginning of the year and are enrolled in "Period 9 Symphony Orchestra Winds & Percussion" class. The Winds & Percussion attend Period 5 Symphony Orchestra as arranged between the Orchestra and Band Directors, and also meet before or after school for sectionals.
Chamber Orchestra is a small ensemble made up of 16-20 players by audition only. Chamber Orchestra will focus on the highest level of music, primarily being string literature. Chamber Orchestra members will also play with Symphony Orchestra for the larger works, but focus on small chamber pieces as well. Chamber Orchestra meets during Period 6. The Chamber Orchestra will occasionally meet during Period 5 to rehearse with Symphony Orchestra (schedule is posted each week). Each member in Chamber Orchestra is also assigned to a small ensemble – string quartet or quintet – and is responsible for rehearsing with this ensemble inside and outside of school. Each ensemble must complete three playing "gigs" throughout the year, and at least one of these "gigs" must be for BGHS. Some gigs will be announced in class and offered to students, others will need to be organized by students on their own.
Small Ensembles for Concert and Symphony Orchestras are put together for the solo/ensemble festival in March. Chamber Orchestra will continue to work in their assigned small ensemble for this festival. During the preparation for Solo/Ensemble all students are assigned to a small ensemble by the orchestra director. Students who want to be a part of a small ensemble on a regular basis are encouraged to do so.