Under the direction of both Shawn Roberts and Michael Bell, the Symphony Orchestra became a reality during the 2014-2015 school year! With the standard of providing our students with a professional symphony orchestra setting, we have gone out of our way to provide some of the most talented musicians in our area with opportunities that most middle school students don't get to experience.
The Passage Middle School Symphony Orchestra is comprised of approximately thirty strings musicians, twenty-five wind and brass musicians, and four percussion musicians, for a total of approximately sixty student musicians. Musicians must be returning students who have at least one full year of string orchestra or band experience, have mastered the basic skills of musicianship, and are willing to prioritize the Symphony Orchestra above their other activities.
During the 2014-2015 school year, this ensemble was completely extra curricular. For the 2015-2016 school year, our eighth grade students will audition for Symphony Orchestra, and this ensemble will be a full curricular and graded class that will be held during the school day.
Since its Inaugural Performance on December 4, 2014, performances have included: Fall Informal Performance, Winter Concerts, Spring Concerts, Recruitment Tours, Performance at the National Christmas Tree in December, 2014, Performances at HollyDazzle in December 2015 & 2016,, Music in the Parks Performances at Busch Gardens and Six Flags America.
As well, the Passage Middle School Symphony Orchestra has been rated as a Superior Rated Middle School Orchestra ( I ) by professional musicians and judges from the collegiate level. As directors of the Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Roberts and Mr. Bell continue to require high standards of musicianship that will hopefully prove to maintain this level of distinguishment.