Groups and Orchestras
Groups and Orchestras Overview

Group performance classes meet weekly to work on technical skill development, repertoire review, and musical style in a motivational setting. The orchestra program at the Preucil School is an essential companion to the weekly lesson, expanding the technical, reading, and musical skills developed in the lesson.

One fee covers both string class and orchestra participation. Special fees are assessed to the performing groups Espressivo Strings, Ensemble con Brio, Cello Choir, and Jr. Cello Choir. Placement into any groups must go through the private teacher.

Group class

Group performance classes meet weekly to work on technical skill development, repertoire review, and musical style in a motivational setting. Students are placed in a class according to ability level at the beginning of the school year, and remain in this class throughout the year.

On occasional Fridays, all group classes of a single instrument are combined for a "play-in." "Play-ins" give students at various levels of advancement the experience of playing together in a large group. They also serve as rehearsals for outreach performances and our annual concert in Hancher Auditorium.

Group classes give the student the opportunity to work with various teachers at the School since the teacher of the group class may not be the child's regular lesson teacher. Parent attendance is not required at group classes, but is recommended. Parents can utilize many ideas from the teacher of these sessions in home practice. It is also helpful to observe the child's participation, behavior, and preparedness. Even though the children are having fun and the teacher occasionally asks for applause, this is a lesson, so observers (including siblings) are asked to sit quietly.

Book One violin and cello classes meet on Thursday afternoons. All other elementary and intermediate classes (and orchestras) meet on Friday afternoons. Advanced string classes and orchestras meet Monday afternoons. One fee covers both string class and orchestra participation.

Orchestras

The orchestra program at the Preucil School is an essential companion to the weekly lesson, expanding the technical, reading, and musical skills developed in the lesson. It is designed to motivate and meet the needs of school-age children, divided into age and ability appropriate groups. The training gained from continuous participation in the orchestra program culminates in membership in the Preucil School String Orchestra.

Discovery Strings: For begining readers in grades 1-3. This non-performing group is the earliest reading group for violins, violas and cellos. Unison playing, basic applied theory, sight singing, study of composers and the orchestra are all parts of the curriculum.

Opus I: For grades 2-5. This performing group practices the fundamentals introduced in Discovery Strings and begins simple part playing.

Opus II: For grades 5-7. Fluency in reading of early positions, basic rhythms and keys, independent part playing, ensemble skills and performance practices are stressed.

alt text Concert Orchestra: For grades 8-9. Goals are to continue developing orchestral skills, with technical fluency and speed in the first three positions, in multiple flat and sharp keys, complex rhythms and careful dynamics.

The Preucil School String Orchestra (PSSO) This group, numbering 75 students aged 13 through 18, is the most advanced of five training orchestras at the School. It has performed extensively in the Midwestern United States and been featured at international teacher conferences and on Public Television. In 1991, on a tour of Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Austria, the orchestra won the first prize for String Orchestra at the Vienna International Festival for Music and Youth. On succeeding concert tours, the orchestra has traveled to England in 1994, Germany in 1997, Italy in 2001, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria in 2005, returned to Austria in 2009, and visited China in 2013.

Students join an orchestra or move to the next level at the recommendation of their teacher when specific skill requirements are met. The orchestra experience provided by the Preucil School is an integral part of our comprehensive training, and all students are urged to take part from the time note reading is introduced, through the most advanced level. Most students also participate in their Junior and Senior High School orchestras for further musical experience and fellowship.