The orchestra program at the middle school begins in the sixth grade with instruction in violin, viola, cello, and bass. The sixth grade students are grouped into classes of students playing similar instruments. These classes meet daily and focus on establishing and developing basic musical and performance skills. The classes combine on two or more occasions during the year to present concerts for the parents and public.
In the seventh and eighth grades, students are provided their first opportunity to be a member of the string orchestra. These orchestras perform from three to five concerts each year, including performances for the University Interscholastic League (UIL) concert and sightreading events. Students may elect to participate in the MISD solo-ensemble contest, or the TMEA all-region orchestra, to further develop their individual musicianship. Rehearsal time outside the school day is usually limited.
The high school orchestras challenge the student with more varied and difficult literature. In addition to the UIL events in which the middle schools compete, the high school orchestras often combine with members of the band program to form a full symphony orchestra, which rehearses after school each week. In addition to the local performance opportunities, the high school orchestras take an in-state, overnight trip every year.
The high school orchestra program is only two years old and since the beginning all three high school programs have received Sweepstakes ratings at UIL Concert and Sightreading contest. All three high school programs offer their students the highest quality experience possible.