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Honors orchestra raises expectations

By Jesse Hotvedt
Published: October 2009

New String Orchestra conductor Adam Grossman reestablished the Honors Orchestra curriculum after discovering orchestra students were receiving honors credit without completing honors projects.

Under previous instruction, orchestra students enrolled in the Honors Orchestra course were obligated to attend all classes and concerts, the same requirements for Curriculum I students, to receive honors credit.

In a “Performance Calendar, Student Attendance Policy, and Responsibilities handout, Grossman gave his orchestra students at the beginning of the year, he made sure the honors criteria would be upheld.

Orchestra students who wish to receive honors credit must complete a 10 hour project in addition to the Curriculum I requirements, according to the handout.

Students who fail to complete the project will automatically be assigned a Curriculum I grade.

Chamber ensemble performances, mentoring, solo performances, and general projects are examples of tasks necessary for honors credit.

“It makes sense that he is changing the policy, senior and violinist Kate Margulis said.

“It’s a little frustrating though because it’s another thing that I have to do.

Band and chorus students currently follow the same requirements to receive honors credit.

Senior and flutist Christie Lee did not mind that orchestra students received honors credit without a project, but believes the restoration of the honors curriculum will allow students to show how much they care about the program.

Junior and oboist Melanie Rucinski, however, was “a little bothered when, in her freshman year, her friend told her that orchestra students received honors credit for Curriculum I work.

Junior and chorus member Michele Goldstein had no idea of the orchestra’s previous policies and believes an honors program will benefit the community.

“Just as chorus kids share their instruments outside of class to help out the community, orchestra students should share their gifts and work for their honors credit, she said.

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