Fremont has three orchestra classes. Each class performs in several concerts each school year, and there are many benefits to taking a music class.
Each of Fremont’s three orchestra classes increases in difficulty and skill level required.
The first orchestra, symphonic, is a non-audition, entry-level class. According to our wonderful orchestra teacher, Mrs. Taylor, any students are welcome to join this class, even if they’ve never played an instrument before. This class didn’t originally cater to beginners, but Mrs. Taylor mentioned that she has talked to many students who didn’t start learning to play a stringed instrument in Jr. High School, but would like to start learning at the high school level. For this reason, as long as students are willing to put in the work and the hours that it takes to learn an instrument, beginner students are welcome to join the symphonic class.
Camerata is the next level class, and is an audition class. Camerata is more difficult than symphonic, and it performs more times in the year. Because this class requires an audition, it is a smaller orchestra than symphonic.
The highest level audition group is chamber orchestra. This class is the most difficult orchestra class and requires the most skill to join and succeed throughout the year. Mrs. Taylor estimates that most students play for 4-5 years before joining chamber orchestra. Chamber has more performances than either of the other classes, and plays more difficult pieces as well.
Additionally, there are opportunities to play live with the plays from some of Fremont’s theater performances. Fremont has a live pit orchestra for the fall musical. To play in the pit requires an audition, and learning many, many pages of music.
When asked about the benefits of taking a music class, Mrs. Taylor talked about how playing an instrument engages both sides of the brain. Basically, playing an instrument increases your cognitive ability in a way that nothing else can. Not only that, Mrs. Taylor also mentioned how beneficial a music class can be during COVID times. She explained that during COVID, classes had to social distance, and there was little to no social interaction in school. In music classes though, it’s difficult to maintain social distance, and social interaction is required to create a good orchestra. For these reasons, taking an orchestra class especially during the pandemic is a great idea with many benefits.