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Old 03-01-2009, 11:04 PM
 
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I am being transferred to a job on the East Side (border of Bellevue and Redmond). It really is a blow to my son (14) since we just moved a year ago and we promised him that we would not move while he was in high school. But in this economy, I do not think I can turn down the transfer. Having said that, we are looking for the best high school for him in the area. I think we have it narrowed down to Interlake, Redmond, or Woodinville. I would be interested in opinions about any of these or other Eastside high schools. More importantly, he is very into orchestra. While he will never make it a career, he has been first chair cello throughout middle school and freshman year of high school, and I think it will be one of the major ways he will integrate into a new school. Which of the three high schools above have the best orchestra program? Other than Bellevue, are there any youth symphonies in the area? Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
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I don't know about local orchestras, but I do have cold water for you. :-( High school kids aren't known for their maturity. I'd look into whether they are particularly competitive or petty in the orchestra program. If there's an established pecking order and your son comes in and upsets it, it could go quite badly for him. He might be the best cello player there, but the people that USED to be the best cello players, and THEIR friends, might not be exactly welcoming. And could very quickly start an anti-your-kid campaign that could take years to get over.

I hope it doesn't go over that way, but it is something to keep in mind. Kids are cruel. It might be something worth discussing ahead of time with the conductors -- if they know how competitive or open the kids are. Hopefully he'd be in an orchestra where the other kids are happy for the addition of a talented person that makes them all look better, but I'm betting they're not all that way!

Good luck in the move, in any case, and I hope you find the right school and setting for your family!
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:43 PM
 
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We were going to post exactly the same question! We are looking for info about HS orchestra program in the greater Seattle area? Because of IB, we are considering either Interlake HS or Skyline HS, but are quite flexible. Do you know any other public high school with a strong orchestra program? Our 9th grader has been in honors orchestra in both middle and high schools, and refuses to move with us (unfortunately, she has no choice but come with us next year). Can anyone help us?
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boisepice View Post
We were going to post exactly the same question! We are looking for info about HS orchestra program in the greater Seattle area? Because of IB, we are considering either Interlake HS or Skyline HS, but are quite flexible. Do you know any other public high school with a strong orchestra program? Our 9th grader has been in honors orchestra in both middle and high schools, and refuses to move with us (unfortunately, she has no choice but come with us next year). Can anyone help us?
In addition, Issaquah High School itself has a good orchestral program from what I've been told by friends. They also have a fairly new performing arts center.

It also has access to the district-wide Evergreen Philharmonic program.

I've also heard that Mercer Island High School and Bellevue High School have good orchestras.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:07 PM
 
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In Seattle, Garfield High has a nationally renowned orchestra program.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:44 AM
 
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Woodinville's music program is pretty bad. My daughter did Marching Band in 9th grade last year when we lived in another state and LOVED it. I kept hearing about how great Woodinville's music program is....well it's not. She absolutely hates band. She says the band director is awful, the music they play is way too easy, and it's embarassing.

Woodinville has many great attributes as a school system, their music program does not appear to be one of them :-/
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:29 PM
 
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Thank you everyone for responding to our post so quickly! We also found several Youtube videos and will have our daughter "check" them. We are interested in Issaquah's Evergreen Philharmonic but she is wondering how selective they are. It is quite challenging to get info on schools and we wonder how other folks are doing. We were surprised to find absolutely nothing about the fabulous orchestra program of our daughter's present high school through city-data and great schools etc.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:14 AM
 
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Music programs in Bellevue SD aren't bad. Newport HS has one of the better orchestra programs on the Eastside. As tobester mentioned, Garfield HS's band and orchestra programs are some of the best in the country.

If your kid wants to join a youth symphony, I would also suggest SYSO (Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra)-- they have multiple orchestras depending on skill level.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:54 PM
 
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Issaquah graduate myself, Evergreen Philarmonic, which is actually the entire Issaquah school district (Skyline, Issaquah, Liberty), is quite renowned and excellent, especially for a public school system, as well with the new facilities built last year or so. It's not awfully competitive, as long as you've been playing for several years. Cello historically is not very competitive, but I have friends who struggled to get in until their senior year. Nevertheless it's a great opportunity, and if you are working near Bellevue or Redmond, Issaquah or Skyline are both close.

Bellevue school district has a good music program I believe, but is much more expensive to live in. I've also heard good things about Mercer Island, but again it's an expensive area.

I don't know much about the Northshore area, and I've never heard anything about their orchestras from any of my friends.

SYSO is definitely a good option too!
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