Students in grade 9 are eligible to participate in the 9th grade string orchestra, which rehearses 3rd period every day except Wednesday. Students in grades 10-12 are eligible to participate in the Ames High School Orchestra, which rehearses 5th period every day except Wednesday. String players are in orchestra every day. Wind and percussion players join orchestra once or twice a week after marching band season is over.
9th grade students who play both a band and a string instrument may participate in both ensembles if they can fit band into 1st period and orchestra into 3 rd period. 10th – 12th grade students who play both a band and string instrument may participate in both ensembles by playing in band one semester and orchestra the other semester or band first semester for marching with second semester being in orchestra 5th period and band 7th period.
The orchestra prepares and presents four major concert programs each year and performs additional pieces at various functions throughout the year.
All string students also have small group lessons once a week, which are often organized to form small ensembles during the Orchestra Fall Festival and the Spring Solo/Ensemble Contest seasons.
Select student volunteers perform at numerous community events throughout the year, usually as a string quartet. Student string quartets are self-directed; Mrs. Polashek mentors and coaches the quartets.
In rotation with the band and choir, every third year the orchestra tours. Recent orchestra tours have been to the St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN area, and have included a clinic at St. Olaf College, performances at the Veteran’s Hospital, the Lyngblomsten Nursing Home, Southdale Shopping Center, Hope Presbyterian Church and the Hennepin County Government Building. Educational sightseeing opportunities have included the following: Landmark Center, James J. Hill House, Como Park Zoo, MN Science Museum and the US Air Force Reserve Station. Performances attended include: Chanhassen Dinner Theater, MN Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and most recently the MN Opera in the Ordway Theater.
Mary Kay Polashek
High School Phone: 515-817-0600, Ext. 2275