Academy String Orchestra
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 two performances a year. ASTRO is the preparatory orchestra for the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra program.
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.
ASTRO is meant to augment, rather than replace, curricular music classes. Therefore, we do expect that ASTRO members are enrolled in a school performance ensemble while they are members of the orchestra.