string orchestra performing on Lawrence chapel stage, in front of organ

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 a performance in November and March. 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.

2018-19 Audition Date - April 21

Registration for an audition is now open. Click the link below to register for an audition.

ASTRO Auditions


  • Please note:  The Fellowship (our rehearsal location) is now designated a peanut-free facility.  You may not bring peanuts into the building for any reason.  To read their full policy, please click here.  Thank you for abiding by this rule.

  • 2017-18 Calendar - Click the button below to download and print the yearly calendar for ASTRO. This calendar was updated on 8/3/17

2017-18 Calendar

2017-18 Dress Rehearsal and Concert Dates

  • Tickets for the spring concert will be available through the Lawrence University Box Office on Monday, February 26th at 12:30 p.m. Online ticketing will be available beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Spring Dress Rehearsal
Date Friday, March 16, 2018
Time 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Location Lawrence Memorial Chapel
Spring Concert
Date Sunday, March 18, 2018
Time 1:30 p.m.
Location Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Electronics Policy

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 Attire

  • Students should wear a white shirt, elbow-length or longer with black or dark bottoms; no jeans or tennis shoes.
  • If a student wishes to wear a skirt, the skirt should be knee length or longer when seated and non-patterned.
  • Students may also wear ties.


  • Students should bring their folder and a pencil to all rehearsals.
  • All folders and music are the property of the Lawrence Academy of Music and should be returned at the end of each semester or when the student leaves the ensemble.
  • Students new to the program will receive a tote bag that becomes theirs. 
  • Additional or replacement bags can be purchased through the Academy at the cost of $8 plus tax.
  • 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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