Goshen Junior High School Orchestras

The Goshen Junior High School Orchestras have a long tradition of excellence in music performance as we prepare students with the knowledge, understanding, and technical training to become great musicians.  The Goshen Junior High School 7th, and 8th grade orchestras meet in a block schedule for two long periods and one short period a week.


 

7th Grade Orchestra:  The seventh grade orchestra is for students continuing in orchestra that participated in 6th grade orchestra the previous year.  7th Grade Orchestra focuses on building competency and understanding in intonation while incorporating shifting and vibrato techniques.  Students will work to play musically as a group.  The seventh grade orchestra meets everyday as a class period of the school day and performs in the Fall Orchestra Concert in October, the Winter Orchestra Festival (finale) in December, at the ISSMA JME Organizational Festival in March, the Spring Orchestra Festival (finale) in May, and the Music in the Parks Festival in May.  Sean Patrick is the podium director of the 7th Grade Orchestra.  Rachel Horning and Jason Pfeifer assist this ensemble.


 

8th Grade Orchestra:  The eighth grade orchestra is for students continuing in orchestra that participated in 7th grade orchestra the previous year.  8th Grade Orchestra continues to hone intonation while maturing vibrato techniques all while playing more challenging music.  Additionally, we work for students to build an independent understanding of phrasing and musicianship.  The eighth grade orchestra meets everyday as a class period of the school day and performs in the Fall Orchestra Concert in October, the Winter Orchestra Festival (finale) in December, at the ISSMA JME Organizational Festival in March, the Spring Orchestra Festival (finale) in May, as well as performing the elementary tour and at the Music in the Parks Festival in May.  Sean Patrick is the podium director of the 7th Grade Orchestra.  Jason Pfeifer and Rachel Horning assist this ensemble.


 

Red Thread Jazz Strings:  The Red Thread Alternate Strings was started in the 2011-2012 school year and existed as a jazz strings ensemble for three years before expanding to incorporate fiddle and mariachi ensembles.  The Red Thread Jazz Strings meets once a week after school for an hour (Fridays 4pm-5pm) September thru May and typically performs on the Winter Orchestra Festival (finale) in December, the ISSMA Solo & Ensemble Event in early February, The ISSMA Jazz Festival in early March, and the Spring Orchestra Festival (finale) in May.  This group may also perform out in the Goshen community.  The Red Thread Alternate Strings are directed by Mr. Patrick.


 

Chamber Ensembles:  In the Goshen Orchestras we affirm the importance of chamber music for our students both from an educational, and practical standpoint.  Chamber music encourages independent musicianship, demands music literacy, and fosters meaningful musical and social growth in students.  All 7th and 8th grade students participate in the “Chamber Unit” which takes place from late November and extending to early February.  Students choose their groupings of 3 to 20 members of any instrumentation, though they are encouraged to choose standard instrumentation such as string quartets, violin quartets, string trios, etc…  Students then spend a portion of class time over the next seven weeks working on a piece of music independently and with some teacher guidance.  All ensembles participate in our “mini-contest” in which an outside adjudicator comes into the school during on the Tuesday before Solo & Ensemble, listens to the groups giving them feedback and suggestions for improvement.  Most ensembles choose to participate in the ISSMA Solo & Ensemble event.  Students can choose to remain in these ensembles beyond the chamber unit by arranging rehearsals outside of the school day.  We do have an 8th grade chamber ensemble (typically a double quartet) coached by Mr. Patrick that meets once a week after school.