Orchestra Handbook Overview

Overview of Orchestra Handbook – 

Welcome to the High School Orchestra!  The handbook for orchestra is available on line on the district website.  Go to the High School pages and then to the Music Department area. You will find the orchestra handbook on the orchestra page. 

Here are some important major points from the handbook for students and parents to know.  At the end is a signature area for students and parents to show you agree to the orchestra policies and rules.


Instruments and Uniforms

Students are responsible for bringing their instruments to class each day.  Due to the nature of the class, band and orchestra students’ grades may be docked for not bringing the instrument.  It is important to have the instrument for our rehearsals. Students with instruments in the repair shop will be excused.  The school keeps a few instruments around in case an extra is needed, but they are not always available. 

Students will be issued part of an orchestra concert uniform. The school will issue a black concert vest. Students need to purchase a concert shirt which will be measured and made available through the orchestra class.  Students are also responsible for providing black pants or skirt, and black shoes and socks.

*Note – Students who cannot afford the shirts may choose one donated from former students, or apply for help in the purchase of a new one. Also - currently we have a shortage of vests. Until we get more, students without a vest may just wear the shirt and black pants/skirt. 


Practicing and Performing

One of the best parts of being in orchestra is the chance to perform.  In order to perform well, everyone must find some practice time. This is our “homework” and it is just as important to orchestra as drills and practice are to sports or classroom academics.   A regular practice time each day is best, even if it is as short as 15 to 30 minutes.. Please see the included pages on ways to optimize practicing. 

Performances are what we prepare for.  All concerts and festival performances are required events and part of the class grade.  Students may be excused from a performance for emergencies and some other occasions (speak to Mr. Gitelman if there is a conflict).  Parents are encouraged to attend all performances. 


Orchestra Trips

During the school year the HS Orchestra takes a few trips to festivals or to see outstanding musical performances.  Such trips include the Opera in Chicago, open rehearsals of the Chicago Symphony, concerts, other instrumental performances either by soloists or small groups.  All HS Orchestra students are eligible for these trips (festivals are required) but those who have skipped out on Orchestra Camp, or who have poor attendance and/or behavior at school will not be allowed to attend.   In addition – if the practicing on behalf of the group is lagging or seemingly non-existent, trips will be cancelled. 



Orchestra Financial Aid 

For all orchestra events, uniforms, trips, instruments, lessons, camps, etc. the orchestra maintains an account through the school which we use to help anyone who needs it. PLEASE - NEVER LET MONEY BE A PROBLEM IN PARTICIPATING IN ORCHESTRA ACTIVITIES! The money is there for anyone who needs it, please don’t be afraid to ask!