Ensembles — Hillsboro

Hillsboro String Ensembles

MYS offers 3 string ensembles in Hillsboro for students beginning at age 6. Students need only one year of experience on an instrument to audition and may play in as many ensembles for which they qualify at no extra cost. Following an audition, students are placed in the most advanced ensemble the conductors feel will be a good fit, where students are challenged musically but can succeed and have fun. Ensembles are listed in order of entry level to advanced. Please note that MYS owns some instruments that may be available for loan, but serious students should consider purchasing their own.

Basic music reading skills are required, and students should be familiar with keys at least up to two sharps. Musicians will work with their conductor in a combination of ensemble playing and technique workshops to improve their overall musicianship. 

MYS also has ensembles (orchestra, strings, wind ensemble, flutes, and jazz) in Portland! Click here for more information about these groups.

Hillsboro String Ensembles

Hillsboro Overture Strings

Entry Level Strings

Conductor: Eri Nogueira

This strings-only ensemble is for players who have at least one year of experience with their instruments. Prior ensemble experience is not required, but players are expected to have basic music-reading skills and to know how to play in keys up to two sharps. Musicians in Overture will work on advancing their technical and musical knowledge, and be introduced to concepts such as following a conductor, music theory and how to listen and play. Teamwork is emphasized in a supportive environment.

Specific Skills Required:

  • Level equivalent to end of Suzuki Book 1 to Book 2
  • Facility throughout first position
  • Knowledge of flats and sharps: low 1st finger, low/high 2nd, 3rd or 4th finger

Hillsboro Chamber Strings

Early/Intermediate Strings

Conductor: Kevin A. Lefohn

Students in this strings-only group will continue to refine their ensemble skills. Focus will be on developing technical and musical skills specific to playing string instruments in ensemble settings, such as unifying articulation, various bow strokes, rhythmic precision, and aspects of tone production.

Specific Skills Required:

  • Most or all of major and minor (melodic and harmonic) scales in at least two octaves.
  • Level equivalent to Suzuki Books 3 – 5
  • Good vibrato and tone production
  • Off-the-string bowing (spiccato)
  • Violins & violas: facility up to 5th position
  • Cellos: Knowledge of extensions & 5th position
  • Private Lessons Recommended

Hillsboro Camerata

High/Intermediate Strings

Conductor: Kevin A. Lefohn

Camerata is a strings-only, high-intermediate chamber orchestra that plays a wide variety of music, from baroque to contemporary. Players are expected to have strong skills in sight-reading, intonation and rhythm. Camerata performs three concerts a year plus additional outreach performances. Private lessons are required.

Specific Skills Required:

  • Level equivalent to Suzuki Books 6 – 7
  • Fully developed vibrato for all strings players, slurred & staccato bowing styles.
  • Violins & violas: facility up to 7th position
  • Cellos: Knowledge of extensions & beyond 5th position