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Washburn Orchestra Program

The Washburn Orchestra program is one of the strong anchors of the Music Department. Hosting 2 Orchestras;

Chamber Orchestra, an auditoned group fo 9-12 graders playing at a very high level, is our lead orchestra. many students take private lessons and play with the local youth symphonies, as well as partciiaptein our Pit orchestras for our musicals. This group participates in our region ensemble contest, and tours out-of-state every other year. Spring of 2018 tour to Chicago. 

Our Concert Orchestra is mostly made up of 9th graders. This is a strong group of student musicians, is learning about what it takes to be a musician in high school. Many students also take private lessons and play in the local youth symphonies as well.  


Dear Current or Future WHS Orchestra Student:

We are SO EXCITED you have decided to join or continue as a member of the WHS Orchestras! We are really looking forward to having you in class next year and continuing to get to know you during your high school journey in orchestra.

We had a great year solidifying the high standard of musical excellence we’ve all come to except from our wonderful program. The WHS Orchestras have truly embraced a family atmosphere with some of the kindest and most generous students on our campus. Already so many activities are under works for 2019-2020 – we hope it will be the best yet!

Please find the attached audition music for the WHS Orchestras. The audition DOES NOT keep you from being in orchestra -- it just helps us know which orchestra you should be placed and where you will be the most comfortable. We have two orchestras next year: Concert Orchestra ( Intermediate ) and Chamber, the varsity ensemble.
Important Note: If you choose not to audition you will be automatically placed in Concert and will not have the opportunity to audition into another orchestra until the following school year as WHS Orchestra does not re-audition at semester.

Our hope is that you will be in orchestra with us all four years you are in high school. This is a very exciting and unique opportunity we all have to continue to establish what it means to be a WHS Orchestra member. We are counting on you to help make this next year even better than the last.
Welcome to the 2019-2020 WHS Orchestra Family! J

Musically yours,

Tim Martin




The audition will be evaluated on a scale of five points with five points being the highest and one point being the lowest in the following areas:

·       pitch and intonation

·       rhythmic precision

·       tone quality

·       technique

·       bow control

·       reading / interpreting notation

·       posture / playing position


You will be asked to play one (1) or two (2) scales depending on your audition level. Scales will be played with a METRONOME set to quarter note = 80 bpm with the bowings given. Fingerings are subjective so you may decide which fingering method to use on your own. You do NOT need to use the fingerings given for the scales.


The goal of this evaluation is to hear what you do best. Please prepare as much as you can for the audition, as this will be a major part of what is used to get you in the correct orchestra class. The etude/excerpt should be performed to the best of your ability. Metronome markings are listed on the etude/excerpt and should be followed. It is STRONGLY recommended that you listen to audio recordings (YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, etc.) of these etudes and/or excerpts as you prepare for your audition.


A short sight-reading excerpt will be given to you at your audition. No prior preparation is needed for this.

Your current orchestra director(s) will provide VERY important information about you. They will score you on things like dependability, dedication, your ability to pass classes, your practice habits, your attitude, etc. This step in the process is just as important as your audition. Thus, your placement in orchestra next year is NOT BASED SOLELY ON YOUR PLAYING AUDITION! You are auditioning ALL OF THE TIME!

Please do not stress about the music – you will have plenty of time to prepare it.
Good skill to all and we look forward to hearing you soon! J