Mission Statement—UDSD Honors Orchestra 2018


The Upper Dublin String Orchestra Program (grades 3 -12) is comprised of students of many different levels of achievement and aptitudes. The Honors Orchestra students in grades 4-8 have obtained a level above and beyond that of their own individual school orchestras, therefore, they need to experience a more challenging and rewarding orchestral curriculum in order to enrich and expand their musical growth.


The curriculum consists of varied musical styles such as: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary, Popular, Show, and Jazz. Some specific techniques that are taught are as follows: martele, spiccato, staccato, loure, ornamentation, tremolo, contemporary rhythmic and melodic idioms, use of rubato, and a wider range of dynamics and special effects. The program of musical selections changes annually according to the overall level and individual needs of the group. This year the focus is “world music”.

A letter is sent home to selected students (approximately 90) inviting them to audition for the Honors Orchestra. A list of rehearsal dates and the necessary time commitment is clearly stated--to which the students and parents sign their intent to uphold. This year, 70 students responded and returned the signed letter of intent. These particular students received a specific piece of music to prepare for an audition in one month at UDHS. A total of 65 students qualified for participation as a result of their individual auditions.

The students are given the music to practice on their own after an initial sight reading rehearsal in November. Small group rehearsals at each elementary school occur on a weekly basis to prepare this specific repertoire. Sectional rehearsals occur at the middle school during January. During the months of November, January, and February, the entire orchestra meets for several two hour evening rehearsals scheduled at UDHS.

The Honors Orchestra is an essential source of motivation and inspiration for the string players in the district. This ensemble is the most significant source for developing our students' desire to continue orchestral instruction at the high school and to compete in the PMEA district and regional orchestral events. The Honors Orchestra presents its 26th annual concert at UDHS PAC on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 @ 7PM. The concert is always well received by an enthusiastic audience. Subsequent performances include the concert tour of all of the elementary schools on May 30, 2018. The purpose of the UDES tour is three fold: (1) to provide these students with the opportunity to return to their respective elementary schools to demonstrate their accomplishments; (2) to motivate and inspire all instrumentalists to practice and achieve greater levels of expertise on their respective instruments; (3) to encourage recruitment of 2nd graders soon to sign up for studying stringed instruments in the 3rd grade. Virginia Herrmann 6/15/17