Academy String Orchestra (ASTRO)

The Academy String Orchestra (ASTRO) is for students in grades 5-8 who demonstrate proficiency on their stringed instrument and are interested in preparing and performing orchestral music. Emphases include the development of reading and beginning ensemble skills. ASTRO is the first step in the Fox Valley Youth Orchestra's curriculum; orchestras for more advanced students are available through the Fox Valley Symphony. 

ASTRO's schedule includes weekly rehearsals (two 10-week semesters) and two performances a year. Auditions are held each spring for the following academic year.  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.

Membership in Academy instrumental ensembles is meant to augment, not replace, school bands or orchestras.  Therefore, we expect all Academy ensemble members to be enrolled in a curricular performance ensemble when one is available.


  • To prepare for Oct. 13 rehearsal
    • Dance Diabolique: measures 38 to the end
    • Sonata Vivant: measures 35 to the end
    • Coventry Carol: missle section, measures 15 to 29
    • Cindy: general review
  • To prepare for Oct. 6 rehearsal
    • Please focus on Dance Diabolique, Coventry Carol and Hunting Song (attention to half-position for 2nd violins and violas)
    • Review Sonata Vivant (attention to counting from measures 35 to 64)



Each member will be assigned a music bag and folder containing music. Bags and all music are the property of Lawrence Academy of Music and are to be returned in good condition at the end of the season or when the student leaves the ensemble. Lost or damaged music will be billed to the owner of the folder.
Cell phones, ipods, electronic readers, and other electronic devices are strictly prohibited during ensemble rehearsals and back stage during concerts.   If a family emergency takes place during a rehearsal or concert, please contact the ensemble manager.

Concert Dress

White shirt, elbow-length sleeves or longer (no t-shirts). Turtleneck, mock turtleneck, or collared shirts are acceptable. Black or dark slacks (no jeans) or skirt, knee length or longer when seated. Ties are not required, but suggested.

Violinists, please have an extra E string in your case. Cellists/bassists, please have a rock stop. 

The institution will comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and DPI's Nondiscrimination Provision for all students.

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