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  • What Orchestras make up the Highlander Strings?
    The Highlander Strings Orchestra is divided into 3 classes during the school day. These are not specific to grade level but specific to music ability. Auditions are held in the spring each year for students. Placement in each class is to provide balanced groups and best educational and playing experience. Sinfonietta Philharmonic Chamber
  • What competitions will my student take part in?
    TMEA Region 20 Auditions: Take place in the fall each year. Students may audition for All Region spots. If selected they will return, usually during the first week in December, to practice and then perform alongside musicians from around the Region 20 area in a final concert. UIL Concert & Sight Reading Competition: The entire orchestra will practice and compete in this annual competition. This is mandatory for all students. UIL Solo & Ensemble: Solo and Ensemble events in band, choir and orchestra are scheduled in all UIL Music Regions. Students earning a Division One Rating at the region competition are eligible to advance to the UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contest traditionally hosted in Austin on Memorial Day Weekend. We highly encourage your students to participate but this is optional. At this time HPHS will not be sending students to Austin due to timing constraints.
  • Spring Trip
    Our annual spring trip typically happens in April. In state one year (Corpus Christi is one example location) and out of state the next (Chicago, New York or Orlando are examples). We will need volunteers for this so please contact a Booster Club Member to see how you can help.
  • How can I help?
    We need YOU! To make this organization run smoothly, we need all our families to help in some way. Either by talent, time or donations. We encourage you to sign up and nothing is too small. Contact a current Booster Club member or check out the Parent Page for specific ways to get involved today.
  • When do we register and when are fees due?
    Fees are paid by all students at the beginning of the year to help offset expenses during the school year. Detailed fee information is provided is provided at the beginning of the school year.
  • What do fees pay for?
    Clinicians, competition fees, bus transportation to and from events, snacks, meals, office supplies, instrument repairs, after concert socials, student social events and so much more.
  • What additional fees may be required?
    INSTRUMENT RENTALS: Students may also rent instruments for class use and or home use at additional cost. TUXEDOS: Students have the option to rent a school tuxedo for the year or you may use your own if you own one. Tuxedo shirts are purchased on your own to make sure the fit is perfect for your student. DRESSES: Dresses may be purchased at any time. The Booster Club will help with ordering from our preferred vendor as we would like all the dresses to be similar. HOODIES AND POLOS: Hoodies, Tshirts and Polos will be available for purchase. Every student is asked to have a polo shirt to wear during casual school events as needed. Going forward these will be for purchase at the beginning of the school year. Thank you to the Booster Club for generously purchasing the 2022-23 Polos and Tshirts!
  • Banquet Tickets for the Spring Concert
    At the beginning of the year, you are encouraged to purchase your banquet tickets for the May celebration. There will be another opportunity to purchase tickets prior to the event. The Banquet is our year-end celebration and concert in May. The concert portion is held in the Palmer Auditorium followed by a celebration in the cafeteria with dinner and awards. This is also the time we celebrate our Seniors with a fun slideshow, senior gifts and announce the officers for the following year. We encourage all families to attend as well as friends and family.
  • In class clinicians, private tutors or outside lessons?
    PROFESSIONAL IN-CLASS CLINICIANS: The Booster Club pays for professional clinicians to come into the classroom and work with our students in small groups based on instrument choice. This allows the teacher more one on one time with students and offers more individualized lessons for all. PERSONALIZED INSTRUCTION: Students are encouraged to have one on one instruction. Individual lessons are not paid by the school or the Booster club. One option for this instruction is to pay an additional fee to have one on one lessons one day a week during their class period. Once we have a list of who wishes to have private tutoring the director will arrange it. If you wish to participate in private lessons during class the student/parent will be responsible for paying these clinicians directly. Whether a private lesson happens at school or after school either option is mandatory but highly encouraged.
  • Why should my child take private lessons in addition to their participation in Orchestra?
    Private Instruction is a chance for the student to work individually with a musician who specializes in playing their particular instrument. The goal of these lessons varies from student to student. In one case, a teacher and student might set goals that resemble tutoring, or helping a student who is struggling to catch up with the work the rest of the class is working on. In most cases the teacher and student are spending time studying more advanced technique and/or more challenging music. They choose etudes or studies that focus on expanding a student’s technical skills. They select solo literature that focuses on challenging the student and displaying their advancements learned via the etudes and studies. The private lesson differs from the classroom in that the classroom focuses on the ensemble or “team” parts of playing. Working together, the students are mixing different elements of rhythm and pitch together skillfully and accurately to produce something greater than the individual parts.
  • Does my student need to upgrade their instrument upon entering high school?
    When a student moves to the high school level, it is often a perfect time to upgrade their equipment. “Step-up” instruments allow a wider range of tonal characteristics than an instrument made for younger beginner/intermediate students. When you spend less time making the instrument do what you want it to do, you get to focus on an entirely different set of issues that go along with playing a string instrument.
  • How often should I change my strings?
    Once every 12-15 months for light class/school performances. For heavier use, once per year is a safe bet.
  • How often should you have your bow rehaired?
    Once per year, no matter what!
  • Can I be in orchestra all four years of high school?
    Absolutely! Orchestra is a 4 year course! Planning early to make this a simple possibility is the key. Of the few kids that do not stay in orchestra all four years of high school, the vast majority end up dropping due to a required course that was not taken earlier. There are many summer programs that can make this less likely to occur. Speak to your counselor starting now as you formulate your graduation plan.
  • Can I get honors credit for orchestra?
    Yes! Seniors who have been a part of the program all four years of high school are eligible for a .5 grade point boost when enrolled in the honors orchestra section.
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