The secondary Orchestra program of Fort Bend ISD is designed to provide students the opportunity to develop their artistic skills through the medium of playing a stringed instrument, while simultaneously teaching the attributes of FBISD's Profile of the Graduate. The pursuit of excellence within a safe, nurturing environment permiates everything we do. FBISD Orchestra programs regularly win state and national recognition. In 2019, The Macario Garcia Middle School Orchestra performed at the Midwest Clinic, the world's largest Band and Orchestra conference held annually in Chicago, IL. The Sartartia Middle School Orchestra was chosen first-runner-up in Texas at the 2019 Texas Music Educators Association Middle School/Junior High String Honor Orchestra competition. Our Orchestras regularly are selected as National and Commended winners in the Mark of Excellence's National Orchestra Honors project.
Middle School Orchestra
For all middle school Orchestra courses, placement is by audition only. Students may be required to purchase or rent the appropriate instrument, as well as purchase some instructional materials. Instruments may be obtained through a rental/purchase agreement from a local music dealer. The school provides some larger instruments such as cellos, double basses, and harps for classroom use. An annual $80 fee is charged to students selected by the Orchestra Director to use school-owned instruments. It may be necessary to purchase some materials for uniformity of dress for performance purposes.
Level 1 - Beginning Orchestra
Stringed instrument instruction begins in the sixth grade in like-instrument beginner classes. Beginning string orchestra provides students with basic training in the proper care and handling of stringed instruments, as well as the fundamentals of tone production. Music fundamentals are taught to enable students to recognize and apply musical symbols and terms. Students are taught how to evaluate their own performance as a young musician by developing the Studio Habits of Mind. Attitudes of cooperation and self-discipline are stressed. Winter and/or spring concerts constitute the performance requirements of this Level 1 Orchestra course.
Level 2 - Intermediate Orchestra
Level 2 Orchestra continues the development of instrumental musicianship. Leadership, responsibility, cooperation, self-discipline, and concentration are some of the Studio Habits of Mind which are stressed in this course. Orchestra students will be involved in various performances and competitions throughout the year including Pre-UIL and UIL Concert/Sightreading Evaluations, which fulfill the performance requirements of the course.
Level 3 - Advanced Orchestra
The Level 3 Orchestra stresses instrumental musicianship through performance and competition. Students are taught artistic expression through individual and group performance, as well as the continued development of the Studio Habits of Mind. Advanced Orchestra students will be involved in numerous performances and competitions throughout the year including TMEA All-region Orchestra auditions and UIL Solo/Ensemble Contest, which fulfill some of the performance requirements for this course.
High School Orchestra
Every student is required to complete an audition with the Orchestra Director prior to enrollment for the next school year. The number of Orchestras at each high school varies, and is determined by the number of enrolled students and their placement by the Orchestra Director. In addition, the names of each performing group varies among schools. Students are required to purchase some materials and the cost may vary depending on the Orchestra program and level of study. For specific program participation/consumable materials costs for your school, please contact the Orchestra Director. An annual $80 fee is charged to students selected by the Orchestra Director to use school-owned instruments. Participation in Full Orchestra may be required.
Orchestra I & II
These Orchestra courses are designed for the student who has developed some proficiency in performance skills. Tone production, technical facility, and musicianship are taught as each relates to performance. High School Orchestras are involved in numerous performances and competitions throughout the year.
Orchestra III & IV
These Orchestra courses are designed for the advanced string player. Advanced tonal development, instrumental techniques, and musicality are taught as each relates to performance. Emphasis is placed both on individual and ensemble performance skills. Students are involved extensively in competitions and performances throughout the year including TMEA All-region Orchestra auditions, UIL Solo/Ensemble Contest, Pre-UIL and UIL Concert/Sightreading Evaluation, and various invitational competitions.