The McKay High School Orchestra Program is under the direction of Alex Figueroa and has over 150 members in 5 different groups performing standard orchestral repertoire as well as music from movies, shows, and other genres. The Orchestra Program has recently had several top 5 finishes at the OSAA state Orchestra competition.
This class comprises students who play string, wind, brass, or percussion instruments. Instruction focuses on development of advanced level symphony technique and preparation of music in a variety of genres and styles for public concerts, festivals, and competitions.
Students are required to attend all (before-school) rehearsals and to participate in all public appearances. [Teacher approval required for enrollment. This class meets as a zero hour.]
Upper-level playing technique is developed through the study of both string and symphonic orchestral literature, stressing musicianship, orchestral bowing styles, and ensemble playing.
The Chamber Ensemble participates in at least five evening concerts a year as well as festivals, competitions and community performances. Weekly sectionals and occasional rehearsals are an integral part of this class and are required.
Chamber Ensemble students are also required to enroll in the (before school) Advanced Symphony Orchestra. Private lessons are highly recommended, as is participation in Solo & Ensemble Festival and applications for All-City, All-State, and All-Northwest Honor Orchestras. [Audition required for enrollment.]
Symphony Strings is designed to prepare students for participation in the Advanced Symphony Orchestra and eventual membership in the Chamber Ensemble. Topics of study include advanced listening skills, continued development of right and left hand performance skills, and the preparation of Grade 3 & 4 high school orchestra literature. Extra rehearsals and sectionals may be scheduled outside of the school day and are required as assigned.
The Symphony Strings will present at least five evening concerts during the school year, including the Salem-Keizer High School Orchestra Festival (attendance is required). Home practice is expected and private lessons are encouraged, as is enrollment in the before-school Advanced Symphony Orchestra. [Audition required for enrollment.]
String Ensemble emphasizes intermediate-level string playing techniques, including shifting, vibrato, and advanced bow control. The course also includes ear training, sight-reading, major and minor scales and arpeggios, and knowledge of music symbols.
The String Ensemble will present at least five evening concerts during the school year, including the Salem-Keizer High School Intermediate Orchestra Festival (attendance is required). Also required is participation in a solo or ensemble competition. Home practice is expected and private lessons are encouraged. [Teacher approval required for enrollment.]
Concert Orchestra is a standard entry level 9th grade performance group. It is designed to prepare freshmen for the rigors and expectations of high school orchestra.
All 9 graders are required to attend this class unless they participated fully in Salem Youth Symphony or All-City Honor Orchestra. It emphasizes the same ideals as String Ensemble without the pressure of participating in contest festivals or solo competition.