Mrs. Virginia Herrmann, sponsor

Mission Statement
The UDHS Sophisticated Strings actively promote the appreciation of a variety of styles of music via string orchestra literature and performance within the Upper Dublin School District and community.
The group is comprised of musical enthusiasts from the UDHS String Orchestra. The repertoire spans a multitude of genres and styles, and evolves accordingly with the venues and interests of the group. Performances usually span 30 minutes to two hours.

Attendance Policies
  • Members must attend at least 5 performances beyond the mandatory performances. The mandatory performances are the Select Ensembles concert, MIOSM concert, and SOFA event.
  • When a member signs up for a performance and then later realizes that they cannot attend, the member must inform Mrs. Hermann accordingly, by phone or e-mail or in person, at least three hours in advance.
  • Members must attend at least three rehearsals every month. Rehearsals are after school, usually on Mondays and/or Thursdays from 2:30 to 3:45pm.
  • In order to receive credit for attending a rehearsal, members must attend for at least 35 minutes of the rehearsal. This also applies to when a member has another club meeting which occurs simultaneously as a rehearsal meeting. In order to receive credit for attending the rehearsal, the member must attend the second half of the rehearsal, from approximately 3:10pm to the end of the rehearsal at 3:45pm.
  • For members who are also members of a sport team, these particular members are excused from the rehearsal attendance policy only for the duration of the season for that sport.
  • Each member is required to provide a snack for the group for at least one rehearsal during the year—as indicated on the sign-up sheet.
  • All other incidences not stated in this policy can and will be settled by Mrs. Herrmann, club director and sponsor, and the officers.

Throughout the course of the school year, the Sophisticated Strings are specially requested to perform at certain UDSD and local community events, for which the group receives a donation of $100 to $200 per performance accordingly with the length, locale, and nature of the performance.
The group also hosts an annual String Orchestra Festival Adjudication in March. A portion of the registration fees paid by the groups who participate at this event are designated as fundraising fees paid to the Sophisticated Strings, as well as food sales at this event.
In years past, the Sophisticated Strings have had after school Bake Sales around holiday times to also raise funds for the group.
All monies earned via fundraising go toward the purchase of the performance shirts and the transportation needs of the group to performances outside of the community—as well as the purchase of specially requested music for specific performances.

Community Involvement
The Sophisticated Strings perform at approximately 25 different venues throughout the year. The following list represents the venues at which the group has performed on the most part annually during the past several years.
UD Community Day
UDHS Back to School Night
Dedication Ceremony of the UDHS PAC and Gala Concert
UD Crafts Festival at SRMS
Benefit Dinner for the Kulp Family
Benefit “Wine in Winter” for Kidney Disease Research
Assisting with the UDSD Honors Orchestra Auditions
UDSD celebration of American Education Week
Environmental Ecology Club Spaghetti Dinner at UDHS
UDHS Hall of Fame Induction Celebration Dinner
UDHS at Barnes & Noble Night
UDSD Dinner for Middle States Evaluators and Administration
Holiday Performances at Hope Lodge
Holiday Performances at FW Estates & Gwynedd Estates
Holiday Performances at The Sunrise Community and Dresher Estates
Performances at the WEL UM community
Meadowbrook Farm for PHS Holiday Open House
Retirement Dinner for Dr. Seyou at Joseph Ambler Inn
Valentine’s Day Tea Performance at Dresher Estates
Performances at the Fort Washington Businessmen Association Gatherings
Performances at the Clifton House Victorian Tea for the Historical Society of FW
Selected UDHS Ensembles Concerts
Annual Music in Our Schools Concerts at UDHS
Hosting the Annual String Orchestra Festival Adjudication @ UDHS PAC
Performance at Jarrettown United Methodist Church
Performance at Huntingdon Valley United Methodist Church
PTO Pasta Dinners at Thomas Fitzwater and Jarrettown Elementary Schools
Select performances at the PMEA Annual Conference in Hershey, PA
UDSD Allied Arts Festival
Eastern Vocational School Appreciation Dinner
International Family Fair at UDHS
Evening of Music & Poetry at UD Twp. Library
Senior Academic Awards Evening
UDHS Staff Retirement Dinner
Private events in the UD Area

The Sophisticated Strings have a governing body of officers consisting of co-presidents, vice president, corresponding secretary, recording secretary, treasurer, and a three member executive committee. Communication of rehearsals, events, and performances is via email, postings by Mrs. Herrmann on https://udhsorchestras.wikispaces.com/Sophisticated+Strings+Calendar , her wikispace page for sophisticated strings, a calendar of events posted on the bulletin board outside of the orchestra room, UDHS daily bulletin and morning announcements, as well as Facebook alerts posted by the officers to the membership. This year, sophisticated strings officer James Tralie created a site specific to the sophisticated strings at the following address: http://www.udsophisticatedstrings.com/index.html

Meetings/rehearsals occur regularly after school on Mondays and Thursdays approximately three to four times each month—and with greater frequency prior to special performances. Rehearsals commence during the first week of school, and continue all year long until the week prior to final examinations. Periodically, the group has met during the summertime—as we did this year for a special performance for a Sunday morning service at Mrs. Herrmann’s church, the Huntingdon Valley United Methodist Church. In addition to performances, the Sophisticated Strings assist with the UDSD Honors Orchestra auditions for grades 4 to 8, as well as assist with hosting the Montgomery County Honors String Orchestra, PMEA District 11 String Fest, and the annual String Orchestra Festival Adjudication in March.

Special Interest
In 2007, the UDHS Sophisticated Strings were selected to perform at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Annual Conference in Hershey, PA. This performance at the Annual PMEA Award Luncheon featured the group’s usual venue of “music for fine dining” as well as a concert performance for the distinguished group of educators and administrators in attendance. In 2010, a string quartet from the Sophisticated Strings was selected to present two performances at the annual PMEA Conference held in Pittsburgh, PA. Most recently, the combined UDHS Sophisticated Strings and the UDHS String Orchestra have been selected to present a special performance of 45 minutes of selected works for string orchestra at the PMEA Annual Conference to be held in Hershey, PA on Friday March 28, 2014 @ 8:30am at the Hershey Lodge.