At St Mary's we have a 50 strong Symphony Orchestra who are an amazing school team. They rehearse every Thursday before school.
The School Orchestra is a large school ensemble and membership is by invitation.
Rehearsals are held in the school hall every Thursday at 8am. When you arrive, you will be greeted and told where to sit. Everyone has their own set of music in a folder. Music folders stay in school but every time we get new music you will be given a copy to take home. You might want to have a special folder at home in which to keep this music. At the end of the rehearsal it is your responsibility to put your instrument in it’s case and put your chair, music and music stand away.
Working with a conductor
One of the challenges of being in an orchestra is working as a team. The person who coordinates the music is the conductor. The principle role of conductor is to set and maintain the tempo (speed) of the music and to keep all of the musicians in time with one another during a performance. The conductor will also use other gestures to remind musicians of key events happening in the music. You will need to learn to keep an eye on the conductor to ensure everybody is working together properly!
In order to get the music up to the best possible standard it is very important that you practice your orchestra music at home. An orchestra is a team, and every member must practice if we are to get a good overall sound. Therefore, you should aim to know your part well. Interestingly, the better you know your part, the more enjoyable it is to play along with others. Practicing a little and often is much better than cramming the night before the rehearsals or concerts. Try to do about 5-10 minutes, 3 times a week on your orchestra music and it will become much easier to play.
It’s helpful to take your music to your instrumental teacher and ask them to help you with the difficult parts. Also, they can look at the music. If you feel a little lost with any of the music, you might like to ask your instrumental teacher to help. They can also listen to you playing your part and check that you have learnt it correctly.
What will you get out of the orchestra?
As a member of the orchestra you are a valued member of a team which proudly represents the school at various events throughout the year. You will discover how important a part you play in creating impressive sounding orchestral music.
The orchestra provides a fun way to make use of those skills you work so hard to achieve during individual practice. In an orchestra, you get swept along with the music (the orchestra provides an excellent forum to learn to keep going no matter what!). It’s a fun process which will help to develop your confidence .
We are trying not to use so much paper as we are mindful of the planet so maybe you could download the PDF and read it from a computer or tablet. A good apple app for this is forScore and for android, try mobilesheets. If you would like a paper copy of your part, please ask Mrs Malone or one of the year 6 prefects.
Christmas Performance - see letter below