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Youth Orchestra

Snoqualmie Strings is a youth orchestra program for school-aged kids playing violin, viola, cello or bass.  Directed & led by local professional musicians, Snoqualmie Strings gives beginning and advancing players a place to play with peers, expanding their repertoire in a variety of genres for local events and venues. 

Youth Orchestra meets weekly, on Fridays 2:30-4:00.  We tackle music from a variety of genres.  Examples include Brahms' "Hungarian Dance," an orchestra arrangement of the folk tune "Cindy," and the theme to the movie "James Bond."  We directly teach orchestra skills, such as tracking the music, counting measures, following tempo changes, and even some note reading and music theory. 

Children as young as five years old can successfully participate, as well as the most advanced teenage players.  In order to qualify for youth orchestra, students are generally nearing the end of Suzuki Book 1, are able to read and recognize most notes on the staff, and have a strong tone.  Private lessons are essential to the musical growth of any string player, but playing in an ensemble offers several benefits:

1. Students interact with their peers. They may stick with their instrument longer than they would if they only play by themselves.

2. Students enjoy a wider variety of music than they experience playing solos.

3. Students develop their musicianship. They learn to follow a conductor, stay together with other players, and feel a consistent beat throughout their playing.

4. Students have more performance opportunities

We seek community venues to perform, such as the North Bend Block party, where we have performed each summer since June 2009. 


How We're Unique

Snoqualmie Strings is a unique ensemble that works to meet the needs of a variety of levels.  During the first 30 minutes of each rehearsal, students are grouped by level to focus on appropriate music for that level. Coaches or advanced students work with each group. For the remaining 60 minutes, time may be spent with the entire ensemble together, or split into Chamber and Youth.   The advanced players gain from this experience by learning valuable teaching skills.  Younger players get to interact with role models close to their own ages and learn to envision what they can one day achieve. 

The songs we choose for the whole ensemble generally have a variety of skill levels embedded in the music so that each player, regardless of skill level, can feel interested and successful.  Having a single ensemble gives younger players a chance to feel a part of some truly great music.

Unlike most orchestras that learn music for one concert and never play it again, Snoqualmie Strings seeks to build a repertoire so that when opportunities arise to perform in the community, we are ready with music to suit the occasion. 


Cost & How to Join

Snoqualmie Strings seeks to offer an orchestra experience at a very reasonable price.  We are currently charging $250 for the entire year.  Concerts are free.   Rehearsals are weekly, Friday afternoons from 2:30-4:00.   Prospective participants may contact Sheila Bateman for a placement audition.