Ensembles — Hillsboro

MYS Hillsboro String Ensembles

MYS offers 15 ensembles for students ages 6 – 18. 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. 

Hillsboro Overture Strings

Entry Level Strings

Conductor: Erica Boland

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 3
  • 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

Musicians will be reading music in the keys up to three sharps. They should play with a nice tone, accurate intonation and have good rhythm skills. Musicians should be able to respond to changes in dynamics, tempo and meter. Rhythms will include triplets, 16th notes, and dotted rhythms. 

Specific Skills Required:

  • Level equivalent to Suzuki Books 3 – 6
  • Developing vibrato for all string players; slurred & staccato bowing styles
  • Violins & violas: facility in third position
  • Cellos: Knowledge of extensions & 4th position
  • Private lessons recommended