Frequently Asked Questions

When do I audition for the next years orchestra?

Auditions :
Auditions for next year's orchestra placement for high school string students will take place in early to mid February. The only high school string students who must audition in March are those wishing to be considered for Chamber and/or Symphony orchestra.

Auditions for next year's orchestra placement for Junior High string students will take place in early to mid February. All incoming freshman should register for Freshman Orchestra. Adjustment for your orchestra placement will be made after your audition.

Audition Requirements:
Solo , one selection of your choice that best demonstrates your skill level to date.
2. Scales
, to be considered for Basic Placement play any scale you are comfortable with performing, to be considered for Intermediate Placement play 2 octave C,G,D,A,E,F,Bb,Eb,Ab Major and their relative minor scale counterpart, to be considered for Advanced Placement play 3 octave(bass 2) C,G,D,A,E,F,Bb,Eb,Ab, Major and their relative minor scale counterpart (all scales to be performed ascending and descending: quarter note = 120). 3. Sight-reading , music will be placed on a music stand that you have not seen before, you will have a short time to review this music before giving your best performance possible, it is rare that an individual who is sight-reading plays the music perfectly! The most important component of sight-reading is accurate rhythm.

How does orchestra work for incoming Freshman?

Please note, all freshman should register for Freshman Orchestra and adjustments will be made for placement after the auditions in March!As a freshman orchestra member you will fall into one of three categories:

  1. You will be in the Freshman Orchestra, or
  2. You will be in the Freshman Chamber Players and the Freshman Orchestra, or
  3. You will be in Symphony Orchestra at the Winnetka Campus

All orchestras are curricular and meet as regular classes during the school day. Students in Symphony Orchestra will travel to the Winnetka Campus and meet during period 6. During their return and in the time before their next class, they can opt to eat lunch (it should be noted that this procedure for the past five years has worked out very well for freshman involved). Students who are in the Freshman Chamber Players will rehearse and perform more advanced repertoire in addition to performing with the members of the Freshman Orchestra. The Freshman Orchestra and the Freshman Chamber Players will meet during the same period, period 2, and will work with one or both of the New Trier Orchestra Program teachers. Mr. Rosheger will work with both freshman ensembles. All concerts, except for one, on which the freshman orchestras perform, will include one or more of the orchestras from the Winnetka Campus. Concert performances will utilize facilities at both the Northfield and Winnetka Campuses.

What do I wear for Concert Performances?

Female Guidelines:
What to wear:

  • Black top (provided by the music department)
  • Black skirt or black pants
  • Black hose or black knee-highs
  • Black dress shoes:

Fully closed or closed-toe sling-backs
Heel: maximum 2 inches high
How to wear it:

  • Skirt and/or pants must be worn at waist, not rolled. Tips: Hem must fall below the ankle, touching at top of shoe. Also, wear concert shoes when your skirt is being measured for hemming! Maximum hem width should be 2 inches.
  • The sleeves of the top may be hemmed, if necessary
  • Thin, black camisole may be worn.
  • We strongly recommend you wear black lingerie.

How to care for it:

  • Wash in machine on delicate cycle with liquid soap (powder will leave residue).
  • Lay flat to dry. NO DRYER! If you prefer to take it to have it dry cleaned, make sure you ask for "Hand Washing."
  • To store (when not wearing):

Hang pants or skirt on plastic skirt hanger with rubber tips (metal will snag fabric). To keep your concert wear looking its best, we recommend using a padded fabric hanger to store it. Proper care of your concert wear will enhance its resale value.

Male Guidelines:

What to wear (provided by the music department) :

  • Black tuxedo jacket or black tails (provided by the music department)
  • Black tuxedo pants (provided by the music department)
  • White dress shirt or white tuxedo shirt
  • Bow tie in color appropriate to your group (provided by the music department)
  • Black socks
  • Black dress shoes

How to wear it:

  • Pants should be hemmed to break of shoe. Professional alteration may be necessary.
  • Maximum hem width should be two inches.
  • Pants should be worn at waist.

How to Care for it:

  • Dry clean only at your discretion during the year.

How to Return it:

  • Return concert wear at a time that will be designated in May. If you fail to do so you will be charged a replacement cost for items not returned and/or your yearbook may be withheld until the concert wear is returned.
  • Do NOT dry clean before returning.

How should I practice?

Young musicians need support and encouragement to maintain an effective practice schedule. We have found that most students need to practice an average of 30 minutes per day to achieve the greatest benefit from their time. Below are a few helpful hints to make that home practice time a productive and rewarding experience.

  1. For all musicians, practice time should be a period of concentration, devoted to the idea of working out rather than playing through musical material.
  2. The practice area should be private and quiet, without distractions of television, stereo or other people. It should have good lighting, a music stand for proper instrument position, and a firm straight back chair for correct posture and breathing.
  3. The practice session is most beneficial when the student reserves a certain time of the day to work.
  4. Usually a practice session at the end of the day, when the student is mentally and physically fatigued, is fruitless.
  5. For some, shorter practice sessions (15 or 20 minutes) during the day are preferable to a single, longer practice session. Example: One session after school or before dinner and another session later in the evening as a break from other studies.
  6. When beginning a practice session, have a well-organized idea of how to use the time that is available. Select from the following:
    • Warm-up materials
    • Scales
    • Exercises
    • Private lesson material
    • Orchestra/Band repertoire
    • Sight-reading material
  7. It is important to practice slowly and to avoid continued unsuccessful repetitions of a problem passage (this means narrowing the focus to what is creating the problem).

What should all instrumentalists carry with them?

Items that all instrumentalists should carry with them:

  • metronome/tuner and pencil

String players:

  • extra set of strings, rosin and cleaning rag

Wind players:

  • proper cleaning cloth/swab
  • slide or valve oil as necessary
  • reed players should maintain several good quality reeds