Each of Third Street's four orchestras provides students with an opportunity to interact with each other and advance their music instruction as part of an ensemble. Ensemble playing is an essential part of a well-rounded music education and is recommended for all students, regardless of their skill level, experience or age. Orchestras perform at an annual spring recital, the school-wide Holiday Concert in December, and at small concerts throughout the school year.
New students or students with prior playing experience will have the opportunity to audition for the Strings Department Chairperson for placement. Basic repertoire levels for each orchestra are listed below, but these requirements are flexible based on the skill and experience of each individual student.
Third Street's Overture Orchestra is an introductory, note-reading orchestra for beginner string students. Offered as an entry point into orchestral playing, this ensemble ensures the school's youngest students are offered the opportunity to participate in ensemble playing early in their music studies.
Repertoire Level: Suzuki Book 1 (all instruments)
Beginner-intermediate students are eligible to perform as part of Third Street's Con Spirito Orchestra. The orchestra practices for one hour each Saturday morning, focusing primarily on skill level-appropriate arrangements of such composers as David Bruce, George Frideric Handel and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Violin students who have completed both sections of Note-Reading may matriculate directly to Con Spirito.
Repertoire Level: Suzuki Book 3 (violin, viola, cello), Suzuki Book 2 (bass)
Intermediate-advanced students are eligible to perform as part of Third Street's Sinfonia Orchestra. This more advanced orchestra practices for 90 minutes each Saturday, and features both arrangements and skill level-appropriate original works from such composers as Howard Shore, Johann Stamitz and Edvard Grieg. Some sight-reading will be required.
Repertoire Level: Suzuki Book 4 (violin, viola, cello), Suzuki Book 3 (bass)
Third Street's most advanced orchestra, Philharmonia, is a challenging and rewarding ensemble for the school's highest-performing students of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. Philharmonia practices for 2.5 hours on Saturdays during the school year, and recent works have included Handel's Messiah, Holst's Brook Green Suite, as well as compositions by Wagner, Mendelssohn and more. Sight-reading is a must for both audition and performance with Philharmonia.
Repertoire Level: Suzuki Book 6 (violin, cello), Suzuki Book 5 (viola), Suzuki Book 4 (bass)