Learn all about the Casteel Orchestras and what each group has to offer!
About the Orchestras
During the 2015-2016 school year Casteel High School had two orchestras. Each orchestra was designed to help students develop as players and musicians. Now at Casteel High, we are fortunate to have an extraordinary system that currently has three amazing orchestras… and each exceeding the expectations for their grade, whether it is high school or junior high.
Most Chandler Unified School District students started playing in 5th grade; knowing nothing about the instrument or how to read music. As students’ progress through the 6th grade, the orchestra standards increase. If students practice and participate fully (including adequate home practice) the student continues through a trajectory which leads to the highest standards associated with the 12th grade. Not all students have the desire to closely follow this trajectory of learning. Some prefer to take it slower and that is okay! For this reason, there are multiple orchestras.
Cadet Orchestra: This is the entry level orchestra for most 7th and 8th graders. This orchestra focuses on ensemble playing for intermediate students. Most literature is graded between levels 1-3. Additionally emphasis is given to proper technique, rhythm and beginning music theory. This is also the orchestra in which students begin to learn to tune their own instruments using fine tuners.
All 7th and 8th grade students register for this course. If a student desires to audition for a higher orchestra, auditions will be held at the beginning of the school year. A minimum of 30 minutes of daily practice is a requirement for the Chamber Orchestra. This group will participate in concerts and may participate in music festivals.
Concert Orchestra: This is the entry level orchestra for most high school students. This orchestra focuses on ensemble playing for exceptional students. Most literature is graded between levels 2-4.
All high school students register for this course. If a student desires to audition for a higher orchestra, auditions will be held at the beginning of the school year. A minimum of 45 minutes of daily practice is a requirement for the Concert Orchestra. This group will participate in concerts and, participate in music festivals, and quartets, though not as much as Chamber Orchestra
Chamber Orchestra: This orchestra is the most advance orchestra focusing on music graded between 3 and 6. In sports terms, this is the varsity group. Students continue learning music theory, tuning and technique. Much time is spent on learning more advanced literature. This group participates in ABODA (Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association) festivals and other competitions or festivals. Minimum practice of 45 minutes a day is required for this ensemble. Students must be a member of this group as a prerequisite to apply for a Letter in Orchestra.
I like to be merry, but rest assured that I can be as serious as anyone.
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