Our Orchestras

EH Green OrchestraE.H. Greene Intermediate School

E.H. Greene Intermediate School represents the entry point for students into the Sycamore Community Schools Orchestra Program.  In the spring of the fourth grade year, the E.H. Greene Orchestra Staff travel to each Sycamore elementary school and demonstrate the orchestra instruments to the fourth grade students.  After seeing and hearing the instruments, students who are interested in participating in orchestra select instruments they have an interest in playing.  The students are then evaluated on those instruments in order to determine what instrument(s) the student is most likely to be successful playing.  It is important to note that this evaluation process is not a test of past knowledge and NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE playing any instrument is necessary to participate in orchestra.  Based on that evaluation and student interest, the student is assigned to play a given instrument and orchestra class is then scheduled for them as Fifth Graders during the school day at E.H. Greene Intermediate.  Students have orchestra class three times each week.  Fifth Grade Orchestra students perform three annual concerts, Winter Concert (December), Pancake Day (March) and Spring Concert (May).  The amount of growth and improvement these students make in one brief school year is truly amazing!  Any student who is new to the Sycamore Community Schools and did not have the opportunity to be evaluated in the spring of fourth grade will have that opportunity at the start of fifth grade.   Sixth Grade is the second year for Orchestra and is a year full of growth and development!  Students have orchestra class three times per week and make great strides towards strengthening the fundamental skills learned in Fifth Grade Orchestra as well as expanding on that skill set.  Students who are new to the Sycamore Community Schools and did not have the opportunity to participate in Fifth Grade Orchestra will have the opportunity to be evaluated for an instrument and can participate in Sixth Grade Orchestra with remedial private lessons.  Sixth Grade Orchestra students have three annual performances, Winter Concert (December), Pancake Day (March) and Spring Concert (May).

Advanced Orchestra

Advanced Orchestra is an extracurricular opportunity for students in grades 5-8 who are at an advanced level to supplement and extend the experiences they are having in their Orchestra classes.  This group is open to Orchestra students in grade 5-8 through audition.   Advanced Orchestra performs six times each year, Craft Show in November, 5-12 Winter Concert in December, Pancake Day in March, E.H. Greene and Sycamore Junior High Spring Concerts in May and Sixth Grade Graduation in May.

 


Jr HighJunior High

Sycamore Junior High is an exciting place for our orchestra students!  Seventh and Eighth Grade Orchestra classes meet every day and not only do the number of class days expand from sixth grade but so do the opportunities.  Seventh and Eighth Grade Orchestra students perform as a combined Junior High Orchestra and have four annual performances, Winter Concert (December), Pancake Day (March), Spring Concert (May) and Ohio Music Education Association Large Group Adjudicated Event (May).   In addition to these concerts there are additional opportunities for students to perform.  The Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) sponsors two annual events in which the students can participate.  Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Event is one of these events and is a tremendous opportunity for all of our students regardless of their individual level of musical development!  This event takes place in April and is an opportunity for the students to perform a solo or in a small ensemble for an OMEA adjudicator and small audience (usually of friends and family).  The adjudicator is an Ohio school orchestra director or musical expert who has been trained and sanctioned by OMEA.  This “judge” listens to the student(s) and gives them written comments and a “rating”.  This can be an exciting and somewhat challenging experience for the students when they participate the first time but, once they have finished their performance, the students are always excited and proud of what they have accomplished and most students who participate as seventh graders return to do so again in eighth grade!  Another opportunity that first becomes available at Sycamore Junior High is the OMEA Junior High Honor Orchestra.  This event takes place in January for seventh and eighth grade orchestra students who are nominated by the Orchestra Director.  Seventh and Eighth Grade Orchestra students can also choose to audition to participate in the Advanced Orchestra as an extracurricular opportunity.

Advanced Orchestra

Advanced Orchestra is an extracurricular opportunity for students in grades 5-8 who are at an advanced level to supplement and extend the experiences they are having in their Orchestra classes.  This group is open to Orchestra students in grade 5-8 through audition.   Advanced Orchestra performs six times each year, Craft Show in November, 5-12 Winter Concert in December, Pancake Day in March, E.H. Greene and Sycamore Junior High Spring Concerts in May and Sixth Grade Graduation in May.

 


High SchoolHigh School

The Sycamore High School Orchestra consists of string players in grades 9-12.  This ensemble meets five days a week during second bell and extends the technique that was previously learned at the junior high.  There is an emphasis on comprehensive musicianship with a focus on music theory and music history as it relates to the music being performed.  The string orchestra performs four major concerts a year (Senior Spotlight in October, Winter Concert in December, Pancake Day in March and the Spring Concert in May).  Each year the orchestra competes in the State Orchestra Adjudicated Event and has regularly received superior rating in class “A”, the most advanced classification.  Combining with the top players of the Sycamore Winds, the advanced concert band, the Sycamore Symphony Orchestra rehearses periodically in the fall and spring and performs on the Senior Spotlight, Winter and Spring Concerts.  In the winter each year, orchestra students participate in the District 14 Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Event.  This affords opportunities for small ensemble experience as well as solo performance.  Additional solo opportunities are available for capable seniors who who would like to perform a solo with the orchestra at the annual Senior Spotlight Concert.  Small ensembles often perform at various in-school events such as the National Honor Society induction ceremony and the Senior Recognition ceremony.  These ensembles often perform outside of school at various community receptions and events.  The Sycamore High School Orchestra does an out-of-state performance tour every two years.  Previously the orchestra has performed in Chicago and Washington D.C.  The orchestra now performs at Disney World.

SEE 1

SEE 1 (Sycamore Electric Ensemble) is Cincinnati’s first high school rock orchestra!  Formed in the fall of 2003, this group consists of all electric violins, violas, cellos and bass along with the traditional “garage band” instruments of electric keyboard, guitar and drums.  SEE 1 usually performs four times a year.  Those performances are the high school variety show, the orchestra’s winter concert, the Unified for Uganda benefit concert and their feature show in February.  The concert in February features a professional sound and light show and has featured some of the top electric violinists in the country including Mark Wood from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Alex DePue (national fiddling champion and toured with Steve Vai), jazz great Christian Howes, and Joe Deninzon, lead singer and electric violinist of the progressive rock band Stratospheerius.  SEE 1 rehearses weekly throughout the school year on Wednesday afternoons from 3:00-5:30 pm.  Auditions for this group are held in late spring or at the beginning of the school year.  String players must be members of the high school orchestra in order to participate.