South High Orchestra

"Evolution of the mind and heart through the wonders of music and art!"


Students are expected to be contributing members of the Orchestra. Those who come to class prepared, ready to learn, and play their best will earn full participation points for the quarter.


Performance attendance is required. Students are expected to attend, arrive on time, be dressed appropriately and be prepared with their ensemble. If other groups are performing, students will show concert etiquette by listening attentively.  

Reflection PaperS

Once each quarter students will write a reflection paper. Each quarter's paper will utilize a different prompt to facilitate the writing process. The purpose of this assignment is to help students synthesize their quarterly experiences and to provide helpful feedback for both the teacher and the program.


Playing tests will happen in class, during lunchtime sectionals, and via recorded examples.  They will consist of excerpts from music worked on in class. Students will be assessed in three of the following categories: Tone, Intonation, Rhythm, Articulation and Dynamics. Please remember that regular practice is necessary to build confidence and the ability to show ones best.

Partnership Program

Students will be paired up with one or two others in an effort to strengthen individual performance skills and to begin to create a sense of community across the ensembles.  Students will meet at least once every two weeks and then individually report on their accomplishments.  


Journals will be utilized as a log of musical skills (warmups, techniques, excerpts, and feedback) worked on in class. Students will be issued a practice journal at the beginning of the school year. It will be turned in every few weeks and will be returned promptly. Students should be practicing the amount of time personally required to perform the skills and music worked on in class well.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What if I can't make a concert?

Please turn in the Prior Commitment form found at the back of this handbook within the first two weeks of school to be excused from a performance. This is the only one you will get so please do not throw it away. If an unexpected health related emergency comes up, please let me know as soon as possible. Excused absences can be made up by recording all the music performed at the concert and submitting within one week of the missed performance. 

Unexcused absences will result in the loss of two letter grades for the Winter or Spring Concerts. Missing any other performances will result in the loss of one letter grade. Though this may seem a little harsh, I hope this grading policy helps everyone to fully understand that student participation is vital to the success of any performance.

What if I miss a playing test?  

You can record the excerpts that were tested upon and share them with me within a week of the original test.

What if I can't practice at home?

The Music Department has rooms available for practice during lunch.

What if I lose my binder?

Get a new one. Immediately. I will provide needed copies. Loss of original parts will be fined accordingly.

What if I lose my Practice Journal?

See me ASAP.  A $4 fee will be required to cover the cost of the lost journal.