Instrumental Music

The extensive instrumental music program at SSM offers courses in orchestral, wind ensemble, guitar, and group piano. Students of all skill levels are welcome, from beginning musicians to pre-conservatory level players. Private lessons, rehearsal rooms, private practice facilities, numerous performance opportunities and daily practice times give student musicians the resources to develop into serious artists. Visiting instructors and master classes are invited throughout the year to give students access to a wide range of teaching styles, methods and skills. Both individual and small group instruction guide the development of proper technique. The fundamentals of pitch, rhythm, tone, balance and blend are stressed from the start. Students perform solo, duet and ensemble works each term, and every participant is strengthened by the collaborative experience.

The components of the Shattuck St. Mary’s Instrumental Music program include:

  • Full Orchestra
  • Wind Ensemble
  • String Chamber Orchestra
  • Guitar Class
  • Piano Class
  • Private lessons on all instruments and in music composition
  • Interdisciplinary arts collaboration
  • Frequent and varied performance opportunities and venues
  • State of the art composition and recording software and equipment
  • Master Classes with professional musicians
  • Concert Attendance of local colleges and professional ensembles and productions
  • Opportunity for state wide honors ensembles and competitions
  • New private practice facilities

Upper School Chamber Orchestra:

The Shattuck St. Mary’s Chamber Orchestra is open to all intermediate – advanced string students (violin, viola, cello, and bass.) This course emphasizes the works of the great classical and contemporary composers and utilizes a wide variety of musical styles. Music theory and music history will be regular topics as new pieces are introduced and rehearsed.  As with all orchestras, a high priority will be placed on individual musicianship; especially tone production, technique, intonation, and interpretation.  Students have many opportunities throughout the course of the year to join forces with the Wind Ensemble to create a Full Symphonic Orchestra.  It is recommended that ensemble members sign up for lessons with a private instructor.

Upper School Wind Ensemble:

The Shattuck St. Mary’s Wind Ensemble is open to all wind and percussion students in 9th – 12th grade. These students will explore the rich repertoire of the American wind ensemble, from transcriptions of Renaissance music to modern compositions written with non-traditional notation, and a little bit of everything in-between. Music theory and music history will be regular topics as new pieces are introduced and rehearsed. As with all bands, a high priority will be placed on individual musicianship; especially tone production, technique, intonation, and interpretation. Students have many opportunities throughout the course of the year to join forces with the Chamber Orchestra to create a Full Symphonic Orchestra.  It is recommended that ensemble members sign up for lessons with a private instructor.