The Academy String Orchestra (ASTRO) is for students in grades 5-8 who wish to begin to perform orchestral music. Emphases include the development of reading and ensemble skills. ASTRO's schedule includes weekly rehearsals (two 10-week semesters) and a performance in November and March. ASTRO is the preparatory orchestra for the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra program; administrators and teacher-conductors in each organization work together to ensure the highest quality opportunities for students in the Fox Valley region.
As a general rule, students spend a minimum of two years in ASTRO before moving to the Fox Valley Symphony's Philharmonia Orchestra. This is particularly true for students whose schools teach strings in small group lesson formats rather than in full orchestral settings, and for students in grades 5 or 6.
Students registered for Academy ensembles are also expected to participate in a curricular (during the school day, for credit) performing musical ensemble when available; ASTRO should not substitute for curricular music programs.
Auditions and Registration
ASTRO auditions are held each spring for the following academic year. Current ASTRO students do not need to audition again to participate in ASTRO for the upcoming year. Audition requests for the 2019-20 season are closed. Please fill out our interest form to receive audition information next spring.