copyright Marble Jones  In Loving memory of Jenda


WWVA Orchestra Syllabus 2013-2014
Empowering Students for Christ!
Contact for Mr. Gish: 509-240-5704 (cell) or
updated 8/26/13

Membership by audition & interview 

Our WWVA orchestra program fits well in our school’s emphasis on mission and service: Performances are viewed as mission service with the focus on sharing Gods’ love, joy, and peace through music. God has made it obvious that he wants our lives surrounded in beauty through (nature, literature, and art). Ministry in music is part of teaming up with God to share his desire for beautiful things in our world. 

Orchestra:  We will be rehearing 4 days a week generally. The schedule is carefully planned to avoid conflicts, but there may be a rare occasion which will require a student  to miss another outside social event. Please understand and be gracious. The whole group counts on every musician every time. Check the performance schedule often to avoid conflicts! 

Audition expectations: a short demonstration of playing skills (a piece and a 2-8va scale) 

Interview expectations: Show desire to embrace the mission of the orchestra and requirements below that build a successful orchestra. 

Expectations for joyful music making: Some basic rules to avoid random chaos and stealing our joy:

1. Every member is expected to play for the whole school year. 
2. Each student should value the opportunity to serve Christ through music.
3. Each member being eager to put forth their best effort (rehearsals and performance).
4. Each person must place the highest  priority on all rehearsal and performance times, (right after breathing)!
5. Outside practice likely will be needed especially if not taking lessons (1 hour per week).
6. Members need to have a strong desire to grow their playing skills and technique.
7. Correct playing habits expected at all times (body, instrument, and bow).
8. In case of emergency or illess call and let me and let me know what is happening!


The orchestra members learn a wide variety of sacred and secular music preparing them to serve their community in a variety of ways.  The orchestra rehearses to perform standard orchestra literature and arrangements at a high level. A typical performance year includes several Sabbath church services, vesper concerts, WWVA events, Music Department concerts, and community outreach performances for schools, service clubs, other church denominations, and our veterans. Small groups will be formed to meet some of these performance venues. Continued private lessons are strongly encouraged.  Also recommended; attendance at other significant orchestra performances whenever possible.   

Grading: Each one is expected to strive for an A (who wants to hear an orchestra striving for B?). Grading is as follows: Attendance 15%, Assignments 5%, Participation and effort 40%, Performances 40%.

Daily Attendance: Be on time and ready to rehearse, absent after 10 min.
Participation and effort: Active engagement in the learning and refinement process. Some of these points are possible even if a student is late after 10 min.
Assignments: Occasionally I will need something looked up, or communication returned, record of attending a concert, maybe record of a music related community service you were involved in.
Performance: The dress rehearsal and performance points carry double weight. Missing one of these will likely drop your grade by one letter at least. Make every possible effort to never miss!

We do not expect unsafe driving, attendance if you are seriously ill, or have a serious emergency.


Extra credit: For extenuating circumstances extra credit can be arranged (be it practice or service performances). This can be arranged only with consultation with the director.

Cell Phones: use with permission during rehearsal. No cell phones in performances ever! If caught by anyone (member of the audience, or TV crew) expect a full letter grade drop.

1          Review Syllabus and Schedule then insert the dates into your family calendar.
2          Begin to put together concert attire: Please no jewelry
            Girls modest black (pants or skirts that are below knees, 
dark black tights, tops that are modest with sleeves at least
to the elbow. Guys: Tux & bow tie (preferably hand tied). Black shoes and socks.
3          Review our orchestra philosophy (somedirector expectations clarified below).  

Orchestra is like a team: We work hard together helping the group and each person be their best separately and collectively. We draw on our strengths while recognizing and working on our weaknesses. We work during school hours and outside school hours with practices and performances. We count on each other to bring and give their best in all we do!

Orchestra is a class: We learn to notice and appreciate small details in sound. Learn problem solving techniques as we master our music. We will learn a wide variety of music from current pieces to old master pieces. Through practice students will continually refine personal playing habits to more and more successful ways of playing (improve your tone, improve your intonation, and build technique to increase your facility on your instrument).




300 SW Academy Way, College Place, WA 99324 | 509-525-1050 | 509-525-1056 (Fax)