Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What if I cannot attend the parent meeting? Can my son/daughter still participate in the band/orchestra program?
    Yes. Please read through the information on this website, sign up for a fitting (see the “fitting’ link to the left), and contact Caitlin Bartholic (caitlin_bartholic@hboe.org) if you have any questions
  • I have older children who have gone through the program. Do I still need to attend the parent meeting?
    As the registration process for each school is always changing, we encourage all parents to attend the meeting if possible.
  • We already have an instrument at home. Do we need to attend the parent meeting and/or sign up for a “fitting”?
    We strongly encourage all parents to attend the meeting if possible to get all of the information about the Hilliard Orchestra Program. We also encourage you to sign up for a “fitting”. You can use this time to make sure that your instrument is in good working condition and will be a good “fit” for your child. Fittings are also a great chance to get to know the Hilliard Orchestra Directors and ask any questions you might have.
  • Can my child participate in both band AND orchestra?
    Learning an instrument takes a lot of time and commitment. We recommend choosing ONE instrument. Band and Orchestra are both full year electives. You are welcome to schedule fittings for both band & orchestra to help make your decision!
  • My child has previous experience on his/her instrument. Will he/she be bored in orchestra?
    We have a handful of students each year who have been taking private lessons on their instrument prior to joining the 6th grade orchestra. During the registration process you will be able to let us know if this is the case, and we will be in contact near the start of the school year to let you know how we plan to accommodate these students. We strive to appropriately challenge every student!
  • My child has ZERO musical experience. Will they fall behind in Orchestra?
    Most of our students have only the experience of being in elementary music classes. We start at the very beginning with note reading, instrument position, etc. Students are not required to have any prior music knowledge to participate.
  • My child has a physical disability. Will they be able to participate?
    Please contact caitlin_bartholic@hboe.org if you have any specific concerns. We do our best to accommodate all students, regardless of disability or need. Any student who is interested should definitely consider joining!
  • How do I get an instrument? Is it expensive?
    When you attend the Parent Meeting and Fitting Sessions we will give you information on how to rent an instrument. We do not recommend buying an instrument. Our local rental programs make it easy to “rent to own” an instrument. Please attend the Parent Meeting and Fitting Session for more information!
  • What is the difference between band and orchestra?
    The instruments – orchestra includes violin, viola, cello, and bass. Band and orchestra classes are structured very similarly and about the same number of concerts, etc. The biggest difference is that in high school there is a marching band, but no marching orchestra.
  • If my child plays cello or bass, do they have to bring it back and forth to school every day?
    We have a supply of school owned cellos and basses that are kept at the school for student use. Your home rental instrument can remain at home except for our concert nights. You will be able to fill out this paperwork at school orientation in the fall.