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Instrumental Music - Strings - Grades 4 to 12
High School Rock Orchestra
 
Elementary Strings
Mrs. Allison Craig

Students in grades 4, 5 and 6 who are interested in learning to play a string instrument are invited to participate in the Elementary Instrumental Music Program. Beginning in Grade 4, North Hills School District offers intermediate grade-level students the opportunity to learn to perform on one of the following instruments - violin, viola, cello and double bass. Large school-owned instruments such as the Cello and Double Bass are available to interested students.

One music teacher is employed to instruct Grades 4, 5 and 6 students in small-group settings twice per six-day rotation throughout the school year at all four elementary buildings. At the conclusion of the students’ Grade 6 year, they are then able to continue performing on their selected instruments by participating in the middle school orchestra.


Middle School Strings
Mr. Len Lavelle & Mr. Chris Ballentine

Middle School Orchestra - Orchestra is an elective musical ensemble that is open to all string players in grades 7 and 8. Students will study various exercises to build technique and musicianship. Performance material will include excerpts from the classical and modern repertoire. The orches­tra will engage in a variety of concerts throughout the school year. Students will be recommended to the orchestra by their elementary string instructor.  

Additional Middle School Opportunities

Students in the middle school school strings program have the opportunity to participate in several performing activities both within and outside of North Hills School District.

  • PMEA (PA Music Educators Association) District Orchestra festival
  • Northern Area Honors Ensemble
  • Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • Three Rivers Young People's Orchestra
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Ambassador program

High School Strings
Mr. Len Lavelle & Mr. Chris Ballentine

High School Orchestra - Orchestra is open to all string players and provides many opportunities to study and perform all styles of authentic string orchestra and orchestral literature. Orchestra offers the opportunity to explore chamber music and solo repertoire. Orchestra performs school and community concerts throughout the year. Members participate in numerous Pennsylvania Music Educators Association sponsored festivals; many varied enrichment programs and classes in collaboration with local colleges and universities. Woodwind, brass and percussion players’ participation in this course is based upon audition or invitation of the director. Evening rehearsals and performances are a requirement of this course. 

Additional High School Opportunities

Rock Orchestra - This unique ensemble brings together string players with rhythm instruments typically found in the jazz band.  Strings are played on electric instruments as opposed to the traditional acoustic versions, and repertoire covers a wide range of rock and contemporary styles.  The Rock Orchestra was recognized as invited performers at the Pennsylvania School Board Association convention in Hershey, PA in October 2014.

In addition to playing in the high school orchestra, string players at NHHS have the opportunity to perform at festivals and with ensembles both in and out of the district. A few such ensembles include:

  • PMEA Honors, District, Regional and All-State Orchestras
  • MENC National Orchestra
  • WVU Honors Orchestra
  • Strings North Festival
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Ambassadors program
  • Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • Three Rivers Young People's Orchestra
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Side-by-Side Concert
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North Hills School District
135 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
Phone: 412-318-1000 Fax: 412-318-1084
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