• Philosophy

    At Blue Mountain Middle School we seek to develop each child’s musical potential to the fullest through a variety of musical experiences and teaching techniques. We recognize that we are not necessarily producing professional musicians, but rather students who can confidently pick up a piece of music and read and play it in a group or for their own enjoyment. We also endeavor to provide our students with the tools needed to succeed in the high school orchestra.


    The Blue Mountain orchestra program consists of a combined 7th and 8th grade orchestra, a 6th grade orchestra, and an after-school contemporary string orchestra.  Most students in the orchestra rehearse on a daily basis, and students who wish to take Chorus can also fit that into their schedule by having orchestra every other day. 

    Students are given an individual orchestra folder which they can share with their stand partner. In the months prior to each concert students will be assessed on their concert music as well as technique building excersises. These assessments are an important part of each child’s grade. 

    Every student in the orchestra program receives one small-group lesson every six school days. These lessons are scheduled on a pull-out basis, with students coming out of different classes each week. No student will miss the same class for a lesson more than once every four or five weeks.  Students are able to make up any work they miss during supplement. In lessons we help students develop the technique needed to play their instrument well. Each student receives his/her own method book so he/she can practice the assigned lesson at home.  Click on the link below for the current lesson schedule.

    Home Practice

    Orchestra students are expected to practice at least 20 minutes a day, 4 days per week.  Please provide a quiet location where your child can practice.  A folding music stand is also a good investment, and you can purchase one at any music store for about $20.

    What should your child practice?  Each week your child will have an assigned page in the method book, scales and concert music to learn.  Assessments will occur throughout the year on method book exercises, scales and orchestra music.
    Instrument Loan

    Instruments are available for loan from the school district for a fee of $112. Students who play large instruments (cello and string bass) will be issued an instrument for home practice and a separate instrument for use at school at no extra charge.  Checks should be made payable to "Treasurer-Hendrick Hudson School District" and should be delivered to Mr. Preece in the orchestra room.  Please click below for a copy of the Instrument Loan form.

    Concert Calendar

    All orchestra students are required to perform at their assigned concerts.  In the middle school concerts are treated as final exams, and students who fail to attend a concert will receive a failing grade for that concert.  This will directly impact upon a student’s marking period grade.  Only under circumstances of serious illness or family emergency will students be excused from a concert, and a parent note must be presented in order for the excuse to be granted.

    The dates of this year’s concerts are as posted as they are available.

    All concerts begin at 7:30, with students arriving at school no later than 7:10 to set up.

    Concert Dress Code

    All musicians must wear a white dress shirt and black slacks.  Girls may choose to wear a black skirt that measures knee-length or longer.  Every musician must also wear black shoes.  This dress code will be in effect for both in-school assemblies and evening performances.

    Concert Attendance Policy

    All music students are required to perform at their assigned concerts as a part of the music curriculum.  Concerts are treated as final exams, and students who fail to attend a concert may have their grade negatively impacted. In the event of an absence, the student may receive an alternate assignment