Lancaster Middle School Orchestras

Lancaster Middle School Orchestras

Lancaster Middle School Orchestras

Mrs. Marie Tokasz

Main Office: 686-3220 ext. 7937

Class Outline

The Lancaster Middle School Orchestra Program currently consists of two string orchestras, which rehearse every other day for a 40-minute period. Students are given a small group lesson for a 40-minute period once a week. The orchestras each perform at concerts throughout the school year. Home practice is an important part of the student’s continued success and development. Instruments and music need to be taken home regularly for practice in order for the middle school student to learn, improve, and be an active member or the orchestra.


Orchestra grades will be based on lessons (40%), concert attendance (20%), orchestra rehearsals (10-20%), achievement on quarterly performance projects checked in lessons (scales, solos, musical excerpts)(20%), music theory worksheets and quizzes (10-20%). Students may miss one lesson each quarter before losing points off their grade.

Orchestra is a performance group and therefore a student’s effort, preparedness, and practice have a great bearing on his/her grade in the course. Concerts are considered mandatory and all students are expected to attend. Every student is an important part of the orchestra and his/her absence from a concert affects the entire group’s performance. If a major conflict or emergency arises please contact Mrs. Tokasz in advance if possibleor as soon possible.A written excuse should be turned into Mrs. Tokasz from a parent in advance when possible or the day after a concert has been missed or the next day a student is in school. Students may be required to complete a written assignment to gain missed concert grade points. Students who miss a concert and do not turn in a parent’s written excuse will receive a 0 for their concert grade. Communication is the key.

Rehearsals and Lessons

Rehearsals: Day 1, 3, 5: Period11 – 7th Grade Orchestra

Day 2, 4, 6: Period 2 – 8th Grade Orchestra

Lessons: Students are scheduled for one lesson period each week based on a rotating schedule. Students should turn in a lesson excuse signed by a classroom teacher for any missed lessons. Students may miss one lesson each quarter before losing points off their grade. A make-up lesson should be available once a week for each grade. Two before school and after school make up lessons will be offered each quarter: one at the mid quarter and one at the end of the quarter. These make up lesson times will be posted in the music room and on Mrs. Tokasz’s website.


Students are expected to stay for the entire time of any concert. LMS concerts are planned to each last approximately one hour. We ask audience members to remain in their seats during a concert. If it is necessary to leave or come back into the auditorium, please do so during applause between musical selections. Concert etiquette dictates clapping as the appropriate applause at a school concert or musical. Cheering or yelling out names is not appropriate and often distracting to the performers.


Sept.15Deadline to apply for Area All-State Orchestra (must have played a NYSSMA solo last year)

Oct. 3LCSD Music Faculty Recital 7:00 pm Lancaster Middle School (optional)

Nov. 1Orchestra 8evening rehearsal with BPO guest artist at LHS(6:00-6:45 pm)

Nov. 2Orchestra 8– Guest Artist Concert at LHS (with LHS Orchestras), 7:00 pm

Nov.8Deadline to apply for 2018 Junior High ECMEA All-County Solo Festival (optional)

Nov. 29LMS Winter Concert #1, 7:00 pm, Orchestra 7

Dec. 7LMS Winter Concert #4, 7:00 pm, Orchestra 8 and Fiddle Club

TBADecember – Fiddle Club and Select Chorus Field Trip to perform at Linwood Nursing Home

Jan. 13ECMEA (All-County) Solo Auditions at Orchard Park HS (optional)(Registration due Nov. 8)

March 9Deadline to apply for NYSSMA solo festival (at Frontier HS, April 27-28) (optional)

March 9-10ECMEA (All-County) Orchestra Rehearsals and Concert (optional: see Jan.13 and Nov. 8)

March 28District Strings Concert, 7:00 pm (at LHS): Orchestra 8, Orchestra 7

April 27-28NYSSMA Festival at Frontier High School (optional)(registration deadline March 9)

April 30Lancaster Middle School Spring Concert #1, 7:00 pm, Fiddle Club

May 3Lancaster Middle School Spring Concert #3, 7:00 pm, Orchestra 8

May 4NYSSMA Majors Festival Performance (in school @LMS) Orchestra 8

May 8Lancaster Middle School Spring Concert #4, 7:00 pm, Orchestra 7

Extra Credit Opportunities

Participate in an LMS extracurricular Instrumental or Vocal Music Group: Fiddle Club, Jazz Ensemble, Hand Bell Choir, Musical Pit Orchestra, Marching Band,Select Choir.

Perform a solo at the ECMEA or NYSSMA solo festival.

If selected, rehearse and perform in a concert with the ECMEA or Area All-State Orchestras.

Attend a school concert or musical performance that student does not perform in and that is not an in school assembly. Turn in a program from the concert. This may include Lancaster and other schools.

Attend a non-school concert or musical performance somewhat related to Orchestra or string instruments. Some examples include but are not limited to: BPO (Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra) Concert, TSO (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Concert, Professional and community musicals (i.e. Sheas, Lancaster Opera House), Turn in a program and or ticket stub from the concert or musical. Please do not purchase a program just to receive extra credit.

Perform on your Orchestra Instrument at an event outside of school such as a community event or church. Turn in program or note from director or leader.