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Old Yesterday, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Vienna
260 posts, read 786,519 times
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Hi, we might be moving to PA for work (in the NW of Philly). It's close to the mainline towns. Could someone please help me find high schools with strong orchestras? our daughter plays the violin and would be in an advanced orchestra. She's also taking AP courses and is currently interested in a career in engineering or science. Thank you!

Last edited by arabellava; Yesterday at 10:21 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 10:51 AM
 
37 posts, read 32,343 times
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All of the mainline schools (lower merion, radnor, T-e) will have good orchestras, strong students, and strong science programs.

If she is a very strong musician she should also look into the Philadelphia youth orchestra programs and the Delaware county youth orchestra.

If asked to prognosticate, I don’t think orchestras will be happening next school year due to Covid, but there’s always hope for the 21-22 season.
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Old Yesterday, 02:47 PM
 
261 posts, read 150,229 times
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My wife is a public school music teacher, so I have some unique insight here.

As the previous poster mentioned, the Main Line school districts are generally uniformly excellent. You won't need to worry about getting a subpar experience at either one.

That said, certain districts do prioritize music more than others. In my wife's experiences, Lower Merion, Tredyffrin, Upper Merion, Wallingford-Swarthmore, and Unionville-Chadds Ford have the best high school music programs in that general area. (The first two are tried and true Main Line towns; Upper Merion is a bit north, near King of Prussia; Swarthmore is another affluent area that's a little farther south; Chadds Ford, also affluent, is the farthest from the Main Line, but depending on your commuting needs may not be out of the question.)

As for next year, we'll see. There will certainly be changes and maybe some cuts, but as of right now everyone is trying to keep as many programs up and operational as possible.
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Old Yesterday, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Vienna
260 posts, read 786,519 times
Reputation: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireshaker View Post
My wife is a public school music teacher, so I have some unique insight here.

As the previous poster mentioned, the Main Line school districts are generally uniformly excellent. You won't need to worry about getting a subpar experience at either one.

That said, certain districts do prioritize music more than others. In my wife's experiences, Lower Merion, Tredyffrin, Upper Merion, Wallingford-Swarthmore, and Unionville-Chadds Ford have the best high school music programs in that general area. (The first two are tried and true Main Line towns; Upper Merion is a bit north, near King of Prussia; Swarthmore is another affluent area that's a little farther south; Chadds Ford, also affluent, is the farthest from the Main Line, but depending on your commuting needs may not be out of the question.)

As for next year, we'll see. There will certainly be changes and maybe some cuts, but as of right now everyone is trying to keep as many programs up and operational as possible.
Thank you- that's good to hear that there are several. Over here, the HS has 4 orchestras (by audition for all except the beginner one). I wasn't used to seeing a mention of only 2 orchestra levels. Could you also share which schools did well during the pandemic shutdown (or appear to have solid plans for next year)? It helps provide insight into which ones could do well next year.
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Old Today, 09:25 AM
 
261 posts, read 150,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabellava View Post
Could you also share which schools did well during the pandemic shutdown (or appear to have solid plans for next year)? It helps provide insight into which ones could do well next year.
Each district will have their own unique plans in place, so I couldn't really say which of them would be "best."
There are some common ideas being discussed, however, such as a combination of rotating schedules + distance learning. For example, one idea would be to socially distance all elementary children out throughout all district classrooms, and keep middle / high school students remote. Or another option being looked at is to do rotating or half-day schedules to keep spaces from overcrowding; in this plan, students would be in school half a day (or only on certain days) and the rest of the time they would learn at home.

The exact details, of course, are TBD, and will vary by district. You might have some luck contacting your preferred districts directly and asking them, but right now I don't think any of them have settled on anything.
Even my wife still doesn't know exactly what her job will look like in the fall.
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