8th Grade Orchestra

I am thrilled to teach the 8th Grade Orchestra this year!  We are going to have fun & make fantastic music!

All-State Orchestra Auditions

All-State Orchestra Auditions take place on October 21-23 (auditions typically take place at Mattawan HS).  Auditions are voluntary, however, highly recommended!  Students will need to prepare scales (from memory), an etude & sight-read!  The scales and etude will be passed out to any student who chooses to audition.

There is a $15 audition fee (made payable to Portage Public School).  This is due before on or before October 3.

More information will be sent home soon!


The 8th Grade Orchestra Students will wear the following at all concerts (concert black):

  1. Black Dress Shirt/Top
  2. Black Dress Pants or Black Skirt
  3. Black Socks or Leggings
  4. Black Dress Shoes

Be an Orchestra Olympian!

Be an Orchestra Olympian!  Orchestra Olympians are students who excel on our playing assessments throughout the school year.  All of our students can become Orchestra Olympians with practice, hard work and dedication!  Here's how it works:

  • All students will submit a playing performance, two-three times during each quarter, through Flipgrid!
  • In order to earn Orchestra Olympian points, the assignment must be turned in on time (the students typically have 7 days to turn it in).
  • Students who score an 85% or higher on a playing assessment earn either a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal.
    • Gold Medal (95-100%) = 3 pts
    • Silver (90-94%) = 2 pts
    • Bronze (85-89%) = 1 pt
  • Students earn medals by performing a playing assessment with a beautiful tone (sound), as well as correct notes, rhythms, dynamics & articulations. 
  • 8th Grade Students who average 1.75 or more points per assignment at the end of each quarter will be given a party during XTS. 
    • 1st Quarter - Cider and Donut Party
    • 2nd Quarter - Movie and Popcorn Party
    • 3rd Quarter - Ice Cream Party
    • 4th Quarter - Pizza Party
  • The Quarter Band Olympians will will have a special asterisk next to their name in the concert programs.
  • At the end of the school year, any 8th grade student that averaged 1.75 points per assignment will earn an after school party and becomes an ORCHESTRA OLYMPIAN!
  • All ORCHESTRA OLYMPIANS will earn a special Olympic–style medal at the final concert of the year
  • Students who turn in late assignments do not earn points toward becoming an ORCHESTRA Olympian

Required Performances

All of our performances are required!  Excellent attendance is key to having terrific performances.  Our concerts will take place on:
              Oct. 8 String Clinic - Portage North Middle School,                                                         915a-2:30p

Dec. 14 WMS 8th Grade Holiday Concert

                 Northern High School Auditorium-7:00p

Dec. 23 WMS 8th Grade Holiday Assembly

            WMS Gym - 1:55-2:40p

Mar 2 Pre-Festival Concert

            Northern High School Auditorium-7:00 p

      Mar 9, 10, 11         MSBOA Orchestra Festival 

Site - TBA

June 5 Spring Concert

            Northern High School Auditorium- 7:00p

String Clinic

The 2022 String Clinic takes place on Saturday, October 8, at Portage North Middle School!

Our students will rehearse from 9:30-1:45 with a guest conductor.  The final performance begins at 2:00p.  

This performance is REQUIRED!

We will prepare two pieces for the event, beginning in September.  We will perform both pieces at the String Clinic as part of the final concert.

LUNCH:  Students can bring their own lunch or have lunch provided.  The cost for lunch is $4.

Instrument Lockers

Students will select a instrument locker (located in the band room) the first week of school.  Your child can keep their string instrument & supplies in the  locker any time the instrument is not being used.  

The lockers can be secured with a master-lock.  Please have your child bring one from home.  This will keep your investment safe!  

Awards & Recognition

  1. The Instrumentalist Magazine Musicianship & Merit award—given in recognition of outstanding musicianship and distinguished musical contributions.
  2. Director’s Award-given to the outstanding eighth grade musician who exhibits dedication and motivation to the field of music and who possesses strong musicianship.
  3. MSBOA Scholar-Instrumentalist Award-given to an eighth grade student who possesses strong musicianship and excels academically at WMS.
    4. Orchestra Olympian Medals-Given to those students who consistently perform at a high level on playing assignments.