There are some performance goals that can only be achieved by taking the orchestra to perform in another city, state, or country. These performances are just as important a part of the orchestra experience as concerts that are given at school, and it is expected that all orchestra members will take part. These activities are also part of the grade that each student receives. If a student cannot participate due to an unavoidable conflict, an alternate assignment will be made, typically a research paper. Please understand that such an assignment is not meant to be punitive, but since the performances missed would have been a significant part of the grade, then the alternative assignment must be as well. Arrangements for alternate assignments must be made well in advance.
It should be understood that orchestra membership does involve some travel and some expense. In the spring of the 2010–2011 school year, the orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, and the cost per student was approximately $2300. In years past the orchestra has traveled to London, Paris, Quebec, Montreal and Boston. Normally, we will plan to travel every other year.
Our orchestra program has come to be regarded by adjudicators as one of the top five programs in the state of Washington. You are joining a prestigious organization that strives hard to always improve and achieve even more each year.
In order to maintain the excellent reputation that we enjoy, we would not want to travel and perform unless we could do our best, and that involves having everybody there. It is like an athletic team in the sense that the whole orchestra must rely on each musician to play their part, and that requires everyone's participation. All local performances during the year are required. By law, field trips cannot be mandatory, but obviously the success of the organization depends upon participation.