In the next month your student will be faced with exciting, yet difficult decisions about their 9th grade high school coursework. It is my hope that all of our incoming students consider being part of the award-winning Howard High School Music Programs. I believe that our program has offerings for every student from small chamber groups to the full Symphonic Orchestra. We have an energetic and active program that strives for the highest in musical performance, while more importantly, building character, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to the team.
Year after year, the Howard Music Seniors graduate and move onto some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S. Howard Orchestra, Band, Choir and Guitar members have attended universities of the highest caliber such as Brown, M.I.T, Harvard, University Maryland, Ohio State University, Wake Forest, and Duke, just to name a few. Howard Musicians have also pursued further music education at institutions such as the Berklee College of Music, The Peabody Institute, West Virginia University, and James Madison University. Over the four high school years, it is awesome to see the personal and musical growth of these fantastic students.
In the coming months the Ensemble Directors will be auditioning students to be part of the Howard Music Department. All Information regarding the auditions and the audition process can be found at the ensmble websites for each program. Please contact your program director if you have any questions.
I look forward to meeting you and working with your students!
WHO? All 8th Grade students are invited to audition for the Howard High School Orchestra Program
HOW? Schedule an audition time via email with Mr. Morris, Director of Orchestra, Tobias_Morris@hcpss.org. Choose a few possible times from the choices below and I will confirm with you via email. If you do not see a possible time, please let me know, we can make alternative arrangements.
WHERE? All in person auditions will take place at Howard High School in the Orchestra Room (F120). Auditions take about 15 minutes. You may alternately submit a video in place of an in-person audition and submit it to Mr. Morris via DropBox, Google Drive or OneDrive WHEN?
Tuesday, January 16th from 3:30 - 5:00pm
Thursday, January 18th from 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Friday, January 19th from 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Monday, January 22nd from 3:30pm - 5:00pm
WHAT DO I PLAY FOR MY AUDITION?
Scales: You will be asked to play a scale- for String Orchestra Auditions, students should be familiar with Major scales up to four sharps through four flats in two octaves.
Prepared Piece: Choose a piece of music that best demonstrates your strengths on your instrument. Private lesson material, Solo/Ensemble material, and other audition material would be a good choice. I have also provided selected excerpts below that would work for your audition. If you choose to play your current orchestra music, please make sure you choose the more challenging excerpts from the music.
Excerpt: Please prepare the following excerpt corresponding to your instrument.
For viola, cello, bass- make sure that you download and prepare the part that corresponds to your instrument. All excerpts are taken from Gustav Holst's St. Paul Suite
Violins - In the First Movement, prepare Rehearsal 4 to Rehearsal 6
Violas - In the First Movement, prepare 8 bars before Rehearsal 7 to 8 after Rehearsal 7
Celli - In the First Movement, prepare Rehearsal 7 to Rehearsal 8
Bassi - In the Last Movement, prepare pickup to rehearsal 5 to end of page
WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I WAS ACCEPTED INTO THE HHS STRING ORCHESTRA?
In some cases, you will be notified immediately if you were selected. In some cases, the audition process needs to continue until decisions can be made.
WHAT IF MY STUDENT WANTS TO AUDITION, BUT WE CANNOT MAKE IT TO HOWARD HS?
No worries, please contact me and we will schedule an appointment. You may also submit a video audition.
WHAT IF MY STUDENT WANTS TO CONTINUE WITH STRINGS, BUT NOT AUDITION FOR THE STRING ORCHESTRA?
All students can continue in orchestra without auditioning. They will be placed in the HHS String Ensemble
SPORTS VERSUS ORCHESTRA?
Many students in the Howard Orchestra Program are athletes at Howard High School. The orchestras meet during the school day, so there is very little conflcit with sports practices and games.
JROTC VERSUS ORCHESTRA AT HHS?
Many students in the Howard Orchestra Program are Cadets in the JROTC Program. Both programs can certainly be added to yur schedule.
***Remember - many students elect to take Physical Education or Health in the summer so they can participate in the music program at HHS. You do not always need to follow the filled in selections on your course selection sheet.