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Hill-Murray offers Orchestra for all students in grades 6-12. The department is staffed by specialists and professional educators giving students the attention and instruction needed to be successful musicians. Through collaborative music-making, students develop the skills, knowledge, discipline, and dispositions necessary to thrive in both music and other endeavors. In addition to rehearsals with the orchestra, students are coached in small groups via sectionals and an after-school private lesson program provides further individualized instruction and advancement of string techniques. The Hill-Murray Orchestra performs at school concerts and community events throughout the year.


Student Leadership Opportunities

There are multiple opportunities for student leadership in the orchestra program. Some leadership positions are chosen by the directors and others are elected by the orchestra students. Some of our leadership opportunities include: President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Orchestra Banquet Chair.


Orchestra Course Offerings For Credit


Grades 6-12

One Semester or Full Year (recommended) 

1 Credit each semester- 2 credits total

This performing ensemble will learn music of varying difficulty that will be arranged as dictated by student needs. Musical concepts will be discussed and many different styles of music will be performed. No audition is required. All string students are accepted.  Orchestra will perform several concerts throughout the year alone or in conjunction with other H-M music ensembles. Students will be asked to perform for additional school functions as the year progresses.  Attendance at all performances is a requirement of the course. 

AP Music Theory

Advanced Placement, Grades 11 and 12

1 Semester, 1 Credit
Elective 11-12

Prerequisite: Ability to read and understand music at an intermediate level

This course is designed to develop a student's ability to recognize, understand and describe the materials and processes of music. The course will instill mastery of musical terminology, including hearing and notating pitches, intervals, scales, keys and chords. We will also focus on music organization and rhythmic patterns. Building on this foundation, the course will progress to include more sophisticated and creative tasks, such as melodic and harmonic dictation, composition of a bass line for a given melody, implying appropriate harmony, realization of a figured bass, realization of a Roman numeral progression, analysis of repertoire including: melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, form and sight-singing. Students will be offered the opportunity to take the Advanced Placement Examination in Music Theory, offered in May.


Cocurricular Music Opportunities

Hill-Murray School offers a number of cocurricular music opportunities. 

Jazz Band (Grades 6-12, practices are before school on Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30am)
Pep Band (Grades 9-12, orchestra students are welcome to participate)

Orchestra Student Board (Elected by peers, grades 6-12, students must be in an instrumental ensemble, cocurricular or class.)

Flute Choir (Grades 6-12, practices are before and/or after school. All abilities are welcome.)

Rock Band (new trial this year. Grades 9-12, practices are after school.  We will perform pop and rock tunes at various events throughout the year)
Music Ministry (Selected by Campus Ministry Department. Students lead and perform music for school Masses.)
Pit Orchestra for Theatre (Dependent on show and instrumentation demands, selected by theatre department)

Pioneer Performers (Grades 9-12, an audition is required. Rehearsals are scheduled after school as performances near. Pioneer Performers is a small vocal ensemble of selected Hill-Murray singers who perform at community events)


Varsity Letters/Awards

All students in grades 6-12 can earn a varsity letter through Orchestra.  Students need to earn a total of 40 points from at least three different categories (a variety of performance and non-performance categories). Varsity letters along with other awards, plaques, and special recognition are presented at the end of the year banquet for all grades 6-12. Families and friends are invited to join us in the meal and celebration.


Pioneer Pathways Performing Arts Academy

Hill-Murray offers an after-school private lesson program for both students and adults of all ages. One does not have to be a Hill-Murray student to register for private instruction.  Read more about Pioneer Pathways Performing Arts Academy.


Contact the Orchestra Director:

Preston Weber

Office: 651.748.2415


© 2011 Hill-Murray School  |  2625 Larpenteur Avenue E.  |  Maplewood,  MN 55109   |  T: 651-777-1376
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