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The Fairfax High School Orchestra Department is comprised of five orchestral ensembles.
- Chamber Orchestra - This is the premier orchestral ensemble at Fairfax. This ensemble performs VBODA grade 6 literature. This ensemble is both a String Orchestra and a Full Symphonic Orchestra. All techniques from Concert Orchestra are addressed and further developed in this ensemble. This is a rigorous class with a high expectation for home practicing.
- Concert Orchestra - This class is an advanced ensemble performing VBODA grade 5-6 literature. Students can expect to have outside-of-class expectations beyond the regular concert schedule. Students in this ensemble have mastered basic techniques. All techniques from Intermediate Orchestra are addressed and further developed here. Daily home practice is expected.
- Intermediate Orchestra - This class, while an intermediate level class is more advanced than the String Ensemble. VBODA grade 4 music is our repertoire. Advanced techniques, including exploration of upper register pitches, advanced bowing styles and musicality along with tone production are addressed here. Daily home practice is expected.
- String Ensemble - This class performs music at the VBODA grade 3-4 level. Students continue to reinforce good posture habits and focus on tone production. Daily home practice is expected.
- Beginning Orchestra - Students develop skills as individual musicians and as members of a musical group. Guidance will be given by the instructor in the selection of an instrument. Course content includes beginning level technical and ensemble skills necessary for performance. Some performance opportunities are provided. Students must meet both the school day and outside of the school day participation requirements to receive credit for the course.