Washington-Liberty Chamber Orchestra        David Lunt, Director                                                Syllabus 2019-2020

Class Description The Chamber Orchestra is comprised of students who have demonstrated an advanced level of skill on their instrument.  The group strives to perform the highest quality works, many written by master composers of the orchestra genre.  Students are expected to maintain and continue to improve their level of technique and musicianship, and learn their parts independently to a high standard.  Participation in the Chamber Orchestra each year will be determined by the director and will be based on an audition as well as each student’s demonstrated playing level, commitment, and preparedness throughout the year.

Class Objective Students will further develop their musical skills, understanding, and expression through practice, performance, music theory, music history, and listening examples.  Music from a variety of time periods will be used from Renaissance to contemporary.

Required Book: Habits of a Successful String Musician (for your instrument)Please have in class by Wednesday, September 11th

Supplies Each student will have their own rosin, cleaning cloth, pencil (on your stand at all times), music, book, and music folder and bring them to class each day.  Students will also have notebook paper for written assignments.

Lockers Lockers are available to store violins and violas on the days you have orchestra.  Locks must be W-L issue and are $7.  Instruments will be taken home each day for individual practice.

School Instruments APS has instruments available for rent to students who do not already have an instrument.  APS instruments will not be rented to students who have their own instrument.  Cello and bass players may use school instruments while at school.

Restroom Students should use the restroom before or after class.  Use of the restroom during class should be for emergencies only.  This includes during breaks.  Students must sign out on the sheet by the door.

Fingernails Fingernails must be kept cut short (below the fingertip) to achieve correct hand position on a string instrument.

Electronic Devices Electronic devices (including earbuds/headphones) are not to be used or visible in class.  Put them away before you enter the orchestra room.  Any devices seen or heard will be confiscated and returned to the student at the end of class.  The only exceptions to this rule will be tuning by the concertmaster, and use as a metronome during sectional/small group work.

Beverages, other than water, as well as food or gum are not permitted in the orchestra room during rehearsal.

Attendance Policy The school late policy will be enforced.  Late to class unexcused three times or more will result in a detention; five times will result in a referral.

Missed/Late Work When a student misses class, it is their responsibility to find out what work they missed and take the appropriate steps to complete and turn it in within a week.  Late written work beyond a week will be accepted for 50% credit.

Homework Regular at home practice is expected and essential to student success in the ensemble.  Practice in excess of 200 minutes a week is suggested.  Each practice session should include the use of a metronome, practice of scales, arpeggios & exercises, and focus on the skills, musical concepts and sections of music covered in class so that the quality of performance attained in class is retained by the student and the next rehearsal can build on what has already been covered.

Units of Study

I          Sept-October Skill development and introduction of Winter Concert Music

II         November-December 10 Further development of skills with primary focus on performance readiness of Winter Concert music

III       December 12-March 20 Further development of skills; introduction and preparation of District Orchestra Assessment music

IV        March 24 – May 19 Further development of skills; introduction and preparation of Spring Concert music


“Student grades reflect student achievement not student behavior.”

10% Rehearsal Participation      -Students may earn 5 points per day for: Having their music, books and folder; Having their instrument and all accessories (bow, rosin, cloth); Having a pencil; Participating actively and attentively in all aspects of rehearsal; Being ready to begin rehearsal on time; Holding their instrument with flawless bow hold and left hand position; Playing with appropriate posture 

50% Performance Quizzes and Tests  Students will have several performance quizzes and/or tests each quarter.  These will be either in class or submitted through Canvas.  In-class quizzes/tests may be re-tested outside of class time within 2 school days.  Unannounced quizzes may occur in the month leading up to performances.

20% Written Assignments/Quizzes Students will periodically have written assignments to complete during class, as well as quizzes on rhythms, music theory, and musical terms.  Late written work beyond a week will be accepted for 50% credit.

20% Concert Participation The performances listed in bold on the syllabus occur outside the school day and are required and graded as part of the class. Students will only be excused from a performance in the cases of illness, family travel (please notify Mr. Lunt at least one month before the concert) or emergency, and an alternate assignment will be given.

FINAL EXAM 20% of year grade for the course  Students with an “A” average for the year are exempt

Grading Scale:  90-100=A  87-89=B+  80-86=B  77-79=C+  70-76=C  67-69=D+  60-66=D  0-59=E  Grades resulting in a .5 or higher will be rounded up.

WASHINGTON-LEE HONOR PRINCIPLE PREAMBLE As mature individuals in the Washington-Lee High School community, worthy and capable of maintaining a bond based on honor, we declare our intent to learn, work, and conduct ourselves at all times in accordance to the expectations set forth by the principles of our Generals’ Pride: • valuing education • following the rules • maintaining self-control • working to the best of our abilities • respecting the properties of others • being courteous to others • respecting the diversity of all cultures, creeds, or sects • being responsible for our actions • preparing for our future I agree that: • I expect the highest level of social responsibility from myself, my peers and other members of this community. • I believe our community is capable of maintaining an environment based on honor. • I accept the responsibility of governing my own behavior through practices and procedures based on mutual trust and respect. To this end, as a student at Washington-Lee High School: • I will not lie, cheat, or steal nor will I tolerate such behavior from any other member of the Washington-Lee community. • I will not disrespect, slander, injure or embarrass any member of the Washington-Lee community. • I understand that there are disciplinary consequences for the below-listed infractions of the Honor Code. HONOR PLEDGEWashington-Lee students are expected to honor this principle. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action. At the discretion of individual teachers, students may be asked to sign an honor pledge for certain assignments. By signing the pledge, students will acknowledge they understand the Honor Policy and have not violated it.  


Washington-Liberty High School Orchestra Concert AttireFlat, formal all black from neck (or close to it) to ankle; Black dress shoes  Skirts/dresses must be to the ankle; No tights, leggings, jeans, denim, etc.!


Important dates for this year                 

December 10     Winter Concert   7pm                         

March 18      Pyramid Concert   7pm                 

March 20     VBODA District Orchestra Assessment at Chantilly HS             

May 19               Spring Concert   7pm  


All students are strongly encouraged to participate in or audition for the following: Individual study with a private teacher, Senior Regional Orchestra: Auditions Sept. 23rd / Event Nov. 7-9,  VBODA District Orchestra: Auditions Nov. 12th / Event January 10-11, VBODA District Solo & Ensemble Festival April 17th   Contact Mr. Lunt with questions or for more information –