The violin is the is the highest sounding instrument in the string family. It is also the biggest section in the symphony orchestra totaling of about 32-40 members in a standard professional symphony. Whether you want to “fiddle” around or play some virtuosic Sarasate pieces, the violin is a wonderful versatile instrument that is sure to be enjoyed.
Notable Violinists: Itzhak Perlman, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Ray Chen, Lindsey Sterling, TwoSet Violin
Often mistaken as a violin because of its uncanny resemblance to it, the viola is the second-highest sounding instrument in the orchestra family. It is slightly bigger than its violin cousin ranging from 13 inches to upwards of 15 inches in size. If you prefer playing on an instrument that plays a lower pitch and has a deeper tone, then the viola is perfect for you.
Notable Violists: Pinchas Zukerman, Carl Stamitz, ThatViolaKid
A bigger instrument, has a rich, velvety sound, and you get to play on it while comfortably sitting down? Then the cello is the instrument for you. The cello is the 2nd lowest sounding instrument in the string family and has a definitive sound that is sure to leave a lasting impression to its listeners.
Notable Cellists: Pablo Casals, Yo-Yo Ma, Jacqueline Du Pré, Mstitslav Rostropovich, 2Cellos
Jazzy, funky, and powerful, this instrument serves as the foundation of the string orchestra. The reason why the double bass has the word “double” in it is because it plays the same low notes of the cello, only it plays the pitches an octave lower. Because of its sheer size and low frequency, a single or a pair of bassists can envelop an entire 30-piece orchestra in its sound. Its size may be daunting to some but do not worry, the double bass comes in different sizes and is sure to fit anyone who wants to play it.
Notable Double Bassists: Ron Carter, Jane Little, Jeff Bradetich, Gary Karr
How to Join Orchestra?
Joining orchestra is EASY! Just follow these steps:
If you have no prior experience in playing orchestra instruments (Beginners)
- Check ORCHESTRA on your 6th grade course selection sheet and you’ll be automatically enrolled. You can be in Orchestra and still be in any other elective.
- You and your child attend the “Try the Instruments Night” the Spring in the Arbor Creek Middle School Orchestra room (appointments required). We will help you decide which instrument would be the best fit for your child to play in orchestra. They will be sized at that time and rental agreements will be available from string instrument dealers Dallas Strings and Music and Arts if you wish to reserve your instrument that night for the Fall.
If you already play an orchestra instrument and are joining us from another middle school (Intermediate/Advanced)
- Please contact Mr. Hipolito to schedule an appointment for an audition. Audition materials will include scales, sight reading, and any music that you have previously learned that will showcase your current level of proficiency.
Here are the necessary supplies that you will need for Orchestra
- Instrument and bow
- Essential Elements Book 1 (Beginners Only)
- Shoulder Rest (Violin/Viola only)
- Rock Stop (Cello/Bass only)
- Cleaning Cloth
- Music Stand
- Tuner (TonalEnergy App or Korg portable tuner)