Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a required uniform?
In short, yes there are required uniforms for orchestra performers. The requirements are:
Men: a standard tuxedo is
issued to you by the school. You have to provide a white dress
shirt, black cummerbund and black bow tie. These items can be
purchased at JC Penney, President Tuxedo as well as at the Mens Wearhouse (SW corner of Rochester Rd and Big Beaver Rd.)
Some parents have found tuxedo shirts at Michaels Arts & Crafts stores.
Women: a dress is issued to
you by the school.
Black socks/hosiery are required for all.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions
Sometimes those of us that have had students in the orchestras before forget that a lot of what we talk about are things new parents have never heard before. Hopefully this will help answer your common questions.
What is Orchestra Camp?
Answer: Each fall the orchestras travel off-site to a camp for the weekend. At camp they receive extensive teaching (10 + hours) both from the Director and from an orchestra staff member. The purpose of camp is two-fold. One: the orchestras eat, live and play together. Friendships are formed and the group builds camaraderie that is imperative to performing well together. Two: the student spends a significant time with their orchestra and sectional teacher. They work on improving individual and section skills and prepare for chair testing. Time is also spent preparing for the first school concert Orchtoberfest. On Sunday, both orchestras perform for the parents/families that have come to pick them up. Families can hear for themselves what the students have been working on thus far and can meet with the Director and sectional teachers as well as other families at the picnic that follows.
What is Orchtoberfest?
Answer: This is the first official school performance of the orchestras. This event takes place in late October. Unlike the usual orchestra concert, this is part music, part acting, and all fun. Most orchestral music performed by the Athens Orchestras is extremely difficult. This performance is the only exception to that. The theme, script and music selection is the work of the students. How can you help? Come and enjoy the show! The students want to show off their creativity.
What is "The Trip"?
Answer: The orchestras take a trip each year. Usually, the trip includes a competition with other orchestras though in recent years the orchestra was chosen to represent the State of Michigan in Washington DC for a National Festival
and in 2011 was selected to perform at the National Youth
Festival in Carnegie Hall. Parents are always asked to chaperone and are basically taken on a first come-first served basis. However, the amount of parents depends on how many students are going as well as how many males/females there are attending. For obvious reasons, the Director needs to have a few experienced chaperones in addition to new ones. If you volunteer to go but there just isnt room this time, the trip committee saves your name for the next time. You are always welcome to book your own trip and attend the competition to cheer the orchestras on. The students LOVE an audience.
What are Fundraisers?
Answer: Participating in any group these days gets expensive! Instruments, private lessons etc. all add up and then theres this orchestra parent group thats asking for your time and money. Why? Fundraising is the only way we can provide the best experience for all the members of the orchestras. In addition to decreasing the cost of the biggest expense of the year, the trip, fundraising pays for the music that is being composed for our orchestras, staff and chaperones at orchestra camp, scholarships for lessons, camps and college, and to support those students that can not afford to pay part of a fee for orchestra camp or the trip. How can you help? Encourage your student to participate in the fundraisers.