Washington High School has two orchestras: string orchestra and symphony orchestra.
Orchestra currently meets every other day for 90 minutes. In previous years, orchestra has met daily for 45 to 50 minutes. Symphony orchestra currently meets every other day during 1st period and 2nd period, and string orchestra meets 5th period.
The Washington High School string orchestra is the prep string ensemble consisting primarily of ninth grade students. Students from the string orchestra are frequently participants in the Iowa junior honors orchestra, the metropolitan festival, Kennedy honors orchestra, all-city music contest, and state solo and ensemble.
Students in the string orchestra frequently participate in all-state, Iowa junior honors orchestra, NEISTA, the metropolitan festival, the Kennedy honor orchestra festival, city contest, and state solo and ensemble contest.
The Washington High School symphony orchestra is the premiere string performing ensemble consisting of students grades 10 through 12. Students in the symphony orchestra give 10 performances per school year. The symphony orchestra will also combine with the band for full symphony in the spring.
Students from the symphony orchestra are frequent participants of the all-state music festival, NEISTA, ISTA, the metropolitan festival, the all-city music contest, and state solo and ensemble Festival. The symphony ensemble performs as both a symphony-string ensemble and combines with wind and percussion players to create a full symphony.
Orchestra students are also frequently found performing in Washington’s musicals and other events. These events sometimes change on a year-to-year basis, but have included a chamber orchestra, alternative strings, assemblies, trips, with the jazz band, and with the madrigals vocal ensemble.
Orchestra frequently asked questions
Why should I continue playing in orchestra?
That’s a great question! You should keep playing because it’s fun! It also looks incredible on job applications and college applications, and many colleges will give scholarships for you to play your instrument in their ensembles (even if you’re not a music major!).
I heard that you go on trips in high school. Is that true?
Yes! The Washington orchestras most recently took a week-long trip to Orlando, Florida. Previous destinations have included Carnegie Hall, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Ireland. Currently, due to COVID-19, there is not a trip planned, but trips will be planned in the future. There has even been a yearly ski trip!
Do orchestra and the choirs or show choirs have class at the same time? Can I do both?
They do not happen at the same time. You can do both!
What about orchestra and either marching band/concert band/wind symphony or color guard?
Yes, you can!
I’m worried about doing orchestra and sports. Is this possible?
What about orchestra and advanced classes/languages?
What if I try high school orchestra and I don’t like it?
It’s awesome! Give it a try first!