Why join Orchestra?


1) No experience required!  We have two 6th grade orchestra classes and accept students that have no experience as well as students that took strings in elementary school.  Second year students will be challenged while new students will be brought up to standard during first semester.

2) You can change instruments.  If you took strings previously and would like to switch to violin, viola, cello, or bass for 6th grade, you are allowed to change instruments at the beginning of the year.  Many students enjoy the new adventure of switching instruments.

3) You can get instruments directly through the school.  CE Williams has many instruments in a variety of sizes that you can rent directly from the school.  This can either serve as your primary instrument that you take home regularly, or a school instrument that stays at school so you don’t have to constantly transport instruments.

4) Middle School Orchestra is VERY DIFFERENT from elementary strings programs.  If you did strings at your elementary school, know that the experience here at CE Williams is fundamentally different.  Classes are held daily and you are not pulled out of other activities/instruction.  We progress through music and skills rapidly, learn challenging and fun music, and have many opportunities.  

5) Joining orchestra is like joining a sports team, and becoming part of a family.  Like a team, we each have our own role and responsibilities to the ensemble.  While your academic classes may change from year to year, joining the orchestra allows you to develop friendships that last throughout middle school.   A majority of students that join in 6th grade go on to participate through 8th grade, and many elect to continue in CCSD High School Orchestra programs.  

6) We have multiple concerts and competitions each year, with a variety of musical styles.  The orchestra performs school concerts quarterly, and performs out in our community.  Because we meet daily, we learn a lot of music in a variety of styles such as classical, jazz, rock, folk, pop, and world music. Students can elect to participate in area competitions annually to represent themselves and their school orchestra.  Participants receive feedback from professional judges, ratings, and awards if they score high marks.

7) We go on field trips annually.  Field trips range from seeing area orchestras perform live, to performing in local and state festivals and competitions.  7th & 8th grade students are eligible to participate in our annual trip to regional orchestra clinics and competitions throughout the southeast including destinations like Carowinds, Orlando, and Nashville.

8) We prepare students to successfully audition for high school orchestra programs. Many High School Orchestras require an audition and recommendation from their middle school director.  We have had many students go on to successfully audition and participate in School of the Arts HS, James Island Charter HS, and West Ashley HS.