Wait a second … I thought all orchestras had strings in them, so why is it called “string orchestra”? Well, let me tell you! A string orchestra is comprised of only strings (violin, viola, cello, bass). Piano and percussion can also be a part of a string orchestra. String orchestras are typically smaller in size as well, while full orchestras are much larger. Full orchestras not only include the string sections, but also include woodwind, brass, and percussion/piano. Just like any other musical ensemble, pieces are written strictly for string orchestras.
Now that we know what a string orchestra is compared to a full orchestra, I’d like to take some time to talk about what our string orchestra is about at CLHS.
The CLHS string orchestra has class every Tuesday and Thursday morning before school from 7:00-7:50. Students in the group receive a half credit per semester and the class can also counted toward Academic Honors Fine Arts credit.
On Tuesday mornings, string players from the Lutheran grade schools are welcome to play along with the high school group. This is a great way for those grade school students to get prepared for the harder repertoire that occurs with the high school group. The string orchestra plays a wide variety of music that includes but not limited to classical, contemporary, jazz, Latin, pop, and film score.
The string orchestra has a handful of concerts throughout the school year. We have two concerts in the first semester and four in the second semester.
Two of those concerts are combined with the elementary string program. One of those concerts is held in the fall, and the other is in the spring. It’s an awesome experience for all the grade school students to see what is in front of them as their journey continues in the string program!
The string orchestra is also a part of the Christmas at the Embassy concert (at 4:00 p.m. Dec. 10) with all other music ensembles from the high school. Just over the past couple years the string orchestra has started participating in the ISSMA Jazz Festival, which one of the locations for the Jazz Festival is held at Concordia. Since the start of participating in the ISSMA Jazz Festival, the high school string orchestra has received all Gold ratings. We hope to keep receiving those Gold ratings! The group also participates in the Fine Arts festival later in the school year. The CLHS string orchestra closes out the school year with their final concert at IPFW with the rest of the CLHS Instrumental Department in May.
Needless to say, the CLHS string orchestra is always busy working toward something throughout the school year. It would be great to see you at one of our concerts during the school year!
CLHS Director of Strings