Monthly Archives: May 2018

Orchestra Placements (2018-2019)

Dear Students,

Below, you will find a link to find your orchestra placement for next school year.  Students are listed by student ID number in a randomized order that does not reflect your placement within your ensemble.

The nature of auditions is that some people are happy with their placements, but others feel some disappointment.  Please understand that Mrs. Gross and I spent a great deal of time working through the audition results to guarantee that everyone is in the group that will allow them to succeed, but also to become better musicians.  Most importantly, please don’t let the results define you as a musician or as a person.  In the end, none of this matters that much.  But the work that you will do (or not do) means everything about who you will become as a person.

If you’re disappointed, please consider a few points:

1. The level of competition at West is high.  Really high.  The upside of this is that all of our orchestras really play beyond their apparent level.   For example, the third orchestra at West is playing at a level much higher than the top orchestra at most schools in Texas.  Regardless of the group you’re in, it is going to be good.

2. It is totally normal to be in a “lower” group at West than you were in at Shepton or Jasper.  Juniors, remember that you were auditioning against seniors with more experience and against talented players from the other high school.  Believe me, though, that the level of music we will be playing in the groups will not in any way be a step back from what you are accustomed to.

Later in the summer, counselors will let us know if there are conflicts in your schedule. Mrs. Gross and I will work those out for you – if there’s something we need to discuss with you in that regard, we will send you an email or call.

Please also note that we are going to 6 performing groups for next year.  If you would have qualified for honors credit in the 5 orchestra setup, you still qualify in the 6 orchestra version.  In short, we split the old Camerata and Philharmonia in to three orchestras (Kamer, Camerata, Philharmonia).

I’m so excited for our orchestra next year!  This will be the largest Plano West Orchestra in history.  Let’s make it a great year!


Alumni Performance


Are you a Plano West Orchestra alumni?  Then join us on our last concert of the year for a developing orchestra tradition.  We are going to end the May 23 concert with a special senior performance (Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera).  Mid-performance, orchestra alumni will join the seniors to finish out the piece.  Help transition the seniors to “alumni-hood” if you’re available!

The concert will be on May 23 at 6:30pm.  The senior performance will be the last piece on the program, so it will happen at some point after 8:30pm.  You will need to be in the orchestra room as Chamber Orchestra is performing their final piece (Disney Medley) – a student will come and bring you to where you need to be.  Attire is casual…. if you have an old orchestra t-shirt, wear that!

We began this tradition two years ago, and we’ve worked out most of the kinks.  The biggest difference this year from the past is that alumni will setup on the auditorium floor down in front of the stage.

If you want to participate, print out the music at the link above.  (All piano and percussion parts will be covered by PWSH students.  Do not print these parts)  You will need to provide your own instruments.  If you’re a cello or bass player, we MIGHT have a limited number of instruments to lend.  Please email PWSH Orchestra Director Ryan Ross at [email protected] to inquire on a possible instrument-borrow.  Violins – you can choose if you play Violin 1 or 2.

As marked in the music, the piece will begin with only seniors playing on stage.  At measure 31, we will repeat back to 14, and on the repeat alumni will join.  From there, the entire group will play to the end.

No need to RSVP this year.  Our email database only goes back to 2011 or so.  Please help spread the word to our alumni going all the way back to 2001!