The Upper School Orchestra is a rich ensemble that delves into the myriad of orchestral repertoire—from the Baroque to the Contemporary, from Scarlatti to Shostakovich. We draw from five centuries of music, and seek to explore the many facets of works and the technique necessary for those pieces.
The act of working and performing with a large ensemble allows emotion and character to be channeled and magnified by the group, and allows the audience to be part of that creation. Being a part of the Upper School Orchestra creates a bond among musicians who understand and flourish with the development of their musical craft.
As students move from Middle School to Upper School, or join for the first time in the upper grades, their work within the Orchestra cultivates their individual instrumental technique. Many students within the ensemble also participate in PYO, PYAO, Philadelphia Symphonia, or District and Regional Orchestras; other students are newer to their instruments and flourish sitting side by side with more experienced musicians.
The Orchestra rehearses three times a week, and performs at many daytime assemblies, night concerts, the GFS Orchestral Concert in the spring (which features orchestras from all three divisions—Lower, Middle, and Upper) and events outside of GFS.