Newsletter #8 – 12/14/2019

Winter Concert Wrap Up

Congratulations to our orchestras on a spectacular Winter Concert this week! I am so proud of each of the groups and am excited to see their continued progress!

Special thanks to our amazing AHSOA parents who organized the concert cafe and our very delicious pre-concert dinner.  You all make the occasion extra special!!

If you have photos of the orchestra, please share them with me via Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.  

Semester 1 Exam

This week is exam week and everyone will take a 100 question multiple-choice test.  A hard copy of the study guide was released last Wednesday and it was also put on Google Classroom along with a Quilt that will help students study.  We will complete a final exam review on Monday in class where students can ask questions.

Semester Exam Schedule (half days)

  • Wednesday, December 18 – Period 1 & 2
  • Thursday, December 19 – Period 3 & 4
  • Friday, December 20 – Period 5 (&6)

The additional IB exam, for IB music students, will be about 30 questions covering music history, music theory, etc. 

Orchestra T-Shirts

Every orchestra student will receive the 2019-官方app彩票下载安装 Orchestra T-shirt with an instrument-personalized design. 🙂

Orchestra Hoodies

We are currently taking orchestra hoodie orders for $25 each.  The absolute final time to submit your order and payment (checks to AHSOA) is this Monday morning BEFORE 官方app彩票下载安装.  Please come see Dr. Laux! Again, if you haven’t already submitted your payment and would like a hoodie, you must come in before 官方app彩票下载安装 with your payment, as the order will be placed first thing on Monday.

Students will need to select their size (S-XXL) and their design (Treble Clef, Alto Clef, or Bass Clef).

Holiday Gift Exchange

Our orchestra holiday gift exchange is this Tuesday, December 17!  Don’t forget to go out this weekend to buy for your secret person!  Remember, gifts should be a maximum of $10.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone exchange gifts and spread some holiday cheer!

Orlando Trip Update

It is with great sadness that I must announce that we have been forced to cancel our trip to Orlando this year.  Our response was far less than anticipated and we did not make our minimum required ticket count.  If you paid a deposit, you will receive a refund check from AHSOA.  Again, I am very sorry to have to announce this and we will come up with an alternative plan for this year and will continue to seek out travel plans for the future. Thank you for your understanding.

All-State Auditions, Final Round

Don’t forget that All-State Auditions will be held on January 11, 2019!  Times have been posted in the orchestra room.  Also, please remember that we are at a new location this year! 

Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts
2580 Mt Zion Pkwy, 
Jonesboro, GA 30236

LGPE – Save the dates!!

Our Large Group Performance Evaluation (LGPE) will be held February 19-21 at AHS.  Since we are hosting we will be able to perform on our own stage and do not have to travel. We will also need student assistance with stage set up, serving as group guides, audio recording, and more.  Our AHSOA board will be figuring out concessions so that we can also raise some much-needed funds.  More details to follow, but please save the dates!

Clinicians & Demos

In January we will host Ms. Tyler Hartley, a professional harpist, who will give a harp demonstration in class and will see if any of our players may be interested in learning the harp!  Second, we will have clinics during 2nd, 3rd, and 4th period by Elizabeth Fayette, violinist with the Vega Quartet, the Quartet-in-Residence at Emory University. This clinic is sponsored by D’Addario Strings. Last, we will be hiring sectional coaches to work with each of the orchestra sections before LGPE.

Upcoming Calendar Events

  • January 8 – Harp Demos, Tyler Hartley
  • January 11 – All-State Auditions, Final Round
  • January 14 – Elizabeth Fayette presentations
  • February 19-21 – LGPE at AHS
  • March 5-7 – All-State Orchestra, Athens, GA
  • April 29 – Spring Concert, 7 PM
  • May 8 – Orchestra Banquet (details coming soon!)
  • May 12 – Senior Showcase Concert, 7 PM
  • May 20, 21, 22 – Graduation (exact date is TBA)

Newsletter #7 – 12/4/19

It is hard to believe that December is upon us and the semester will soon be drawing to a close. I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving and some time to relax and recharge. I was able to spend some time with my family and also be productive around the house and with work. I started my own podcast as a way to share the love of string teaching profession with other teachers. (There is more information at the bottom of this newsletter if you are interested.)

It is hard to believe that we only have three weeks of 官方app彩票下载安装 before winter break!  It is a busy and exciting time!

Seasons of Celebration Performance

A small group of AHSO performers will be playing at the Alpharetta Seasons of Celebration this Friday, December 6 at 7:15 PM in Downtown Alpharetta in the square. Come support them and the other Alpharetta Community Music Groups.

Winter Concert

Our Winter Concert is right around the corner!  We will be performing for you next Tuesday, December 10 starting at 7:00 PM.  The students have been working diligently to prepare for this concert and I think you will really enjoy each of the orchestras! 

If students plan to eat dinner, they must RSVP by this Friday, December 6.

Our incredible pre-concert dinner menu, made possible by the incredible hospitality team of Ms. Yoo and Ms. Day…

Dinner will be served at approximately 5:30 PM.  If students are not eating, the report time is 6:15 PM.  Symphony Winds report time is 7:45 PM

 Winter Concert Program Order

  1. Concert Orchestra
  2. Philharmonia
  3. Chamber
  4. Sinfonia
  5. Symphony (4th Period Only)
  6. Symphony Strings (Combined 4th and 5th period)
  7. Symphony Full Orchestra
  8. Finale (Combined 3rd, 4th 5th Period Full Orchestra)

Concert Grading

Students are expected to be in full uniform for the concert.  Also, every student is required to stay for the entire concert and must sign out at the end after all of the equipment has been cleaned up to receive their full grade. When everyone helps, it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to tear down.

Concert Cafe

Once again our amazing orchestra boosters will be putting on a Concert Cafe with all kinds of food and drink available for purchase before, during and after the concert.

Please use the link below to help volunteer and to donate items for Concert Cafe:


On December 11, the day after the concert, we will listen to the audio recordings and complete a self-evaluation. Each orchestra will be retaining one piece and playing it for our LGPE performance in February.

Grade Makeup/Recovery Deadline

The final day to make up any missing assignments for the first semester is this Friday, December 6th. After this day any assignments that are incomplete will result in a zero grade.  This deadline is 官方app彩票下载安装-wide. Please contact Dr. Laux if you have questions or concerns. 

Giving to the Orchestra

If you are looking for a charitable organization to donate to before the end of the year, look no further than our orchestra program! As you know, the Alpharetta High School Orchestra Association is a non-profit 501c3 organization and all donations are fully tax-deductible. You may donate by check or even with a credit card on our website (http://www./paypal). We greatly appreciate your generosity!

Semester 1 Final Exam

The final exam schedule will be as follows: 

  • December 18 – Concert and Philharmonia
  • December 19 – Sinfonia and Symphony
  • December 20 – Chamber

The exam is a 100 question multiple-choice test that contains a variety of critical information that every orchestra student should know. There will be questions about key signatures, intervals, musical terminology about tempo, dynamics, etc. and other technical information. A study guide will be provided beginning December 11. 

Holiday Gifts for Your Special String Player

Parents, are you having trouble finding good gifts for your child? Consider something orchestra related! Some ideas include new rosin, a new set of strings, a new bow, new sheet music, or even an instrument upgrade.

Your local string specialty store may have some items and you can also shop online.  If shopping online for bows and instruments, I highly recommend using a string specialty store. General items like rosin, shoulder rests, and strings may be purchased from online retailers.

Holiday Gift Exchange

Yesterday students drew names for our annual secret holiday gift exchange. This is a fun way for us to get into the holiday spirit and our sense of Orchestra community. Our gift exchange will take place on Tuesday, December 17 during class.  Students are not to spend more than $10 on the gift.

Dr. Laux’s “The Orchestra Teacher” Podcast

If you are interested in listening to my new podcast is available here:

  • Spotify:
  • Apple Podcasts:

I will be interviewing an orchestra teacher every few weeks to learn more about who they are, what they do, and to discuss various topics within the string teaching profession.