Orchestra Newsletter – 10-16-2017

Fall Concert Wrap-Up

Students — What great performances at “Fall Back to Mozart” Concert! I was so impressed with your progress in such a short time.  Let’s keep it going and it will be amazing to see where we are in April!

Thank you to the leadership team for your assistance with set-up and tear down. Also, special thanks to the AHSOA parents who set up and ran the concert cafe.  It always looks so nice!

Read the review of our concert.

Program Book – Advertisement Campaign

Our program book advertisement campaign is technically over, however Dr. Laux can still accept your advertisements!!

Parents, please consider taking out a personal ad for your special string player!!

We are also selling business advertisements!  If you own a business (or know someone who does), please consider purchasing a spot in our program book.  Business card, quarter page, half page, and full pages sizes are available.

Download the AHSO Program Book Advertisement Order Form 2017-2018

KSU Orchestra Invitational

The Philharmonia, Sinfonia, and Symphony Strings will be performing at the KSU Orchestra Invitational on Friday, November 3 at Kennesaw State University’s incredible Bailey Performance Center.  Students will be excused from classes on that day.

Permission forms for the event went out today and should be returned by this Friday, October 20. Download them below…

2017 KSU Orchestra Invitational Permission Forms

Tentative Itinerary – Friday, November 3

9:00 AM – Leave AHS for Kennesaw State University
10:15 AM – Philharmonia warm-up
11:00 AM – Philharmonia performance
11:45 AM – Sinfonia warm up
12:30 Sinfonia performance
1:15 PM Lunch at KSU dining facility, The Commons
2:45 Symphony warm-up
3:30 Symphony performance
4:30 PM Leave KSU for AHS
5:45 PM Arrive back at AHS

PARENTS!  If you are interested in chaperoning for this event, please sign up using this Sign-Up Genius form. We need 10 chaperones (parent representatives from Philharmonia, Sinfonia, and Symphony).

Note:  Concert Orchestra will not attend the KSU Invitational.

AHSO Spirit wear!

New this year, Alpharetta Orchestra is offering spirit wear for students, friends and family! Please see the link below to our spirit wear website for easy online ordering and paying. The web store closes on October 29 so get your orders in before then! All items will be delivered in bulk to school about 2-3 weeks after the webstore closes, and will be distributed to students. An added bonus is that a portion of the proceeds comes back to the Orchestra!
Please contact our Spirit Wear Coordinators, Dianne Holmquist ( or Resa Kinsey ( if you have any questions.

All-State Orchestra Auditions – First Round

The first round of All-State Orchestra Auditions was last Saturday. Congratulations to the 24 AHS students who moved on to the second round!

Student Recognition

Special thanks to Vivia, Eileen, Kaci, and Adam for performing at Creekview Elementary’s Reflections event last week.  They were early risers and performed for a large number of elementary students and parents.  We appreciate your efforts!!

Fulton County Honor Orchestra

Event Information:

Audition Information & Excerpts:

Audition Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Audition Site: Centennial High School

Event Dates: Monday, November 14 (evening) and Tuesday, November 15 (all day)

AHSO 2017-2018 T-Shirt

Congratulations to Andrew M. for winning the annual t-shirt design contest.  Each student will receive a shirt with their SPF payment. The order for shirts will be placed soon.

Winter Concert 

Save the date! The AHS Orchestras will hold their Winter Concert on Tuesday, December 12 at 6:30 PM. This concert will include the 8th grade orchestras from Webb Bridge MS and Hopewell MS along with the debut of the 2017-2018 AHS Symphony Orchestra! The concert will conclude with Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Festival.

(Please note the start time of 6:30 PM to better accommodate the middle school students.)

Orchestra Newsletter 09-17-2017

Home Practice

All students should be practicing regularly at home. Orchestra students’ daily homework includes learning all notes, rests, and rhythms for all music in the folder. Students should come to class with their music prepared. To maximize efficiency, students should practice on areas of their music that are the most difficult and should not simply play through the part. Careful, slow practice is the best. You should not sound “good” while practicing!!

Daily rehearsals in class are focused on building and refining the ensemble sound, not learning notes. A rehearsal should include work on ensemble articulation, precision, blend, balance, dynamics, phrasing, and more.

Please do your part by practicing and coming to class prepared!!

Folder & Pencil Check

Students – we will have a folder check in class tomorrow (Monday, September 18). Please be sure you have your music folders, complete with every piece and your name written on each piece. You should also have all fingering/bowing changes marked on your music.

“Fall Back To Mozart” Concert

Our first concert is entitled “Fall Back to Mozart” and each orchestra will be featuring one piece by legendary Classical composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Fall Concert is coming up quickly, especially because we lost three rehearsal days last week due to the storm. Students, please see the note above on practicing!!

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, September 28 at 7:00 PM. As always, the concerts are free and open to the public, so invite your friends and families!

Students should plan on arriving at about 6:00 PM dressed in full uniform.  This concert should last about an hour.

Concert Photos & Video

If you are able to video record or take photos at the concert, I would greatly appreciate it.  Please let Dr. Laux know if you are able to help! There’s always so much going on and I love having quality shots to share on the website and would like to fill up our YouTube channel with more concert video.

Concert Expectations

  • Students must be in proper concert attire.  Failure to do so will result in a lowered concert grade (15% of your semester grade)
  • Students must stay for the entire concert, regardless of when they perform.
  • Students should be on their best behavior as both a performer and audience member.
  • There should be no talking during the performances
  • All electronic devices should be switched OFF during the concert and should not be brought on stage.
  • Students are expected to help with tear down and final clean up.

Concert Cafe

At each concert, the AHSOA will have snacks, yummy treats and flowers for sale during our concert. Please sign up to donate or bring for the concert cafe.


Dresses were distributed last week. Please note that most dresses will need to be hemmed by a seamstress.

Tuxedos will be delivered and distributed this Monday or Tuesday. Please ensure that your tuxedo fits properly.

Tanner Photography Family Portrait Fundraiser

Tanner Portrait Studio teams up with the Alpharetta High Schools Orchestra Association for a family portrait event! Don’t blink! Time flies and, sooner than you think, your student will be moving on to college! Now’s the time to take a great family portrait!

For a $25.00 DONATION TO AHSOA, the deal includes the sitting fee & an 11”X14” family portrait print, Courtesy of Tanner Family Portraits ($165.00 Value)

Photos will be taken at the beautiful Mill Creek Pond located at 30000 Mill Creek Ave in Alpharetta on Sunday, October 15 from 9:30am – 2:00pm. Don’t Wait! Sign up for a spot now as availability is limited!


Note: The offer is limited to one per family – Per School Season. In the event of inclement weather the photo sessions will be moved indoors to Tanner Studio 3050 Royal Blvd South, Suite 105 Alpharetta. For your convenience, additional prints will be available to order or purchase at your viewing appointment.

Direct Questions To: Sheila Glenn0McVay at

Orchestra/String Events at KSU

North Georgia Honor Orchestra:
Application/online audition deadline is October 1

KSU School of Music Young Artists Competition:

KSU String Day:

Domino’s Slice the Price of Pizza Card Fundraiser

Domino’s cards will be distributed in class tomorrow, Monday, September 17.  Please ensure that the cards get delivered promptly and thank them for supporting the orchestra!

SPF (Student Participation Fee) Overdue

The Student Participation Fee of $120 is now overdue. These fees are very important for clubs, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities to be able to function at their highest .Please contact Dr. Laux if you need to make payment arrangements.

Final Reminders!

Just a quick note to remind you about a few things that are due tomorrow, August 31, 2017.

Domino’s Slice the Price of Pizza Card Fundraiser

Please bring your completed order form, prepaid orders and put in an envelope and drop to the collection box.  We accept cash and checks payable to AHSOA.

The flyer and information can be downloaded here. (PDF)


Please send in your Student Participation Fee of $120.  Checks should be made payable to AHSOA.  Please contact Dr. Laux if you need to make payment arrangements.

Dress Payments

Dresses are in and will be distributed tomorrow to those who have paid.  The cost is $65 payable to AHSOA.

All-State Audition Fee

Please submit your audition fee of $25 payable to AHSOA.  Put in an envelope and drop in the lock box.  Be sure you have completed the online form so Dr. Laux knows you will be auditioning.


Tuxedo payments go directly to Tuxedo Warehouse.  The easiest way is to call them and pay over the phone at 470-259-8552. The cost is $117.17 including tax.




Dr. Laux

Orchestra Newsletter – 08-23-2017

There is a lot of important information below!

Potluck Dinner Thank You’s

Special thanks to the AHSOA Board and the student leadership team for all of their work organizing, setting up, and cleaning up for our Annual Potluck Dinner. There were approximately 250 RSVPs which was the most we have had!  It was nice speaking with you and getting to know some of you as well.

“Bach to School” Social Wrap-Up

Our first annual “Bach to School” social during the first week of school was a success!  The students had a great time getting to know each other and free pizza and dessert isn’t a bad thing either!

Special thanks to Jason Juang and Kieren Holmquist for taking photos of the event.  You can see the photos here.


All students must wear the proper uniform.

  • Girls: Orchestra dress, black socks or hose, black dress shoes.
  • Boys: Black Tuxedo, white shirt, black bow tie and cummerbund, black socks, black dress shoes.

Boys Uniform

If you are new to the program, you were measured by Tuxedo Wearhouse and need to register  for your tuxedo on their website. The cost is $117.17 and the uniform will be delivered to school.

If you are a returning student and your tuxedo is too small, the company offers a very generous trade-in credit to help offset the cost of a new tuxedo.  Please see the attached flyer for details.

Please be sure to try on your tuxedo to make sure it fits NOW so you have plenty of time to prepare for the concert in case it is too small.

Girls Uniform

The girls dresses are ordered from Southeastern Apparel by the AHSOA.  We have ordered a size run from 0-20 and girls will be able to try on their dresses to ensure a perfect fit.  Dresses usually need to be hemmed for appropriate length.  Be sure to take your shoes when visiting a tailor and plan ahead so you are not in a pinch for the first concert.

The cost of the dress is $65 and should be paid ASAP or by August 31.  Checks should be made payable to AHSOA.

Student Participation Fee (SPF)

Each family is expected to pay the student participation fee of $120.  As was explained at the potluck dinner, the SPF allows the orchestra to function and we could not provide the experiences we do without everyone contributing their fair share. The AHSOA would like the SPF paid by September 1. Please let Dr. Laux know if need to make special payment arrangements or if you have any questions or concerns.

Payments can be brought in to school and should be labeled in one of the provided envelopes and placed into the drop box in the back of the orchestra room.

Domino’s Pizza Card Fundraiser

Our Domino’s BOGO pizza card fundraiser is in full swing.  Our goal is 12 cards sold per student.  The cards sell for $10 and includes unlimited use of BOGO pizzas (any kind, any amount) until the end of June 2018.  After one use, the card has paid for itself!

We are taking orders (pre-paid) and the money (cash or checks to AHSOA) is due on Thursday, August 31!

The flyer and information can be downloaded here. (PDF)

GMEA All-State Orchestra Auditions

Students wishing to audition for the All-State Orchestras should use this online form to let Dr. Laux they want to audition. The completed online form, along with $25 audition fee, payable to AHSOA, should be turned in by August 31.

First Playing Assessment

At this time, all students should have played their first playing assessment for Dr. Laux.  All classes performed scales for the first assessment.

Anchor Time – “Jam Session”

Anchor Time is an enrichment period offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The Orchestra will be offering a “Jam Session” anchor time that students can use for solo practice or collaboration in small groups.  Students will sign up this week and will start in early September.

Beethoven Chamber Orchestra

Today we welcomed Thomas Ludwig, conductor of the Beethoven Chamber Orchestra today in 4th period to talk about his enesemble.  He wanted to share a video of one of this students playing with the orchestra. Here is the link for Beethoven Chamber Orchestra of Sophia Ho playing the Paganini Violin Concerto.

In the next newsletter….

  •  Trip to Ecuador – Interest Survey
  •  Program Book
  • Orchestra Spirit Wear

Potluck Dinner Reminder

Dear Parents and Students,

Don’t forget about our annual Orchestra Potluck Dinner this Wednesday, August 16 at 6:30 PM in the AHS Cafeteria!

For each orchestra student attending, we ask that at least one parent/guardian attend, if possible, but families are welcome! It will be a grand night of food, so bring your appetites!

The food assignments will be determined by the student’s primary instrument and are as follows:

  • Violin & Cello – Favorite Main Dish
  • Viola –  Salad/Vegetables/Fruits
  • String Bass & Harp –  Desserts

Items of Note:

  • Please include an ingredients side card beside the dish for those who have allergies. We have many students with food related allergies to things such as nuts, eggs, milk, etc…
  • Please bring a serving utensil for your dish!
  • Please bring your checkbook to pay for uniforms, student performance fees, etc.

We will take an informal RSVP from students in class so that we may get an approximate count of who will attend.  Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year!

Welcome to the AHS Orchestra! I am looking forward to an exciting year and am very excited to be starting my “sophomore year” as director.  I will send newsletters every few weeks. Here are a few important things to know for the beginning of the year…

“Bach to School” Orchestra Social

The first orchestra social of the year will be this Friday, August 11 from 6-9 in the AHS Orchestra room and auditorium. The AHSOA will provide pizza, drinks, and ice cream.  The AHS Orchestra Student Leadership team will provide activites and games so that students can better get to know each other.  Each new students will be assigned a big brother or sister (upperclassmen) to aid with the transition to the new building.  It will be a lot of fun.

Students were asked yesterday to RSVP, and we would live every student to do so by today, Wednesday, August 9 at NOON.

Please use this RSVP link.

AHS Orchestra Potluck Dinner and Informational Meeting

The annual Orchestra Potluck Dinner and Meeting will be Wednesday, August 16th at 6:30 PM in the AHS Cafeteria. This event is a fun, social gathering for students and parents that will help bring together our orchestra community. In addition, the dinner will serve as a membership meeting for the Alpharetta High School Orchestra Association. The AHSOA board members will present some important information for the upcoming year. Items of discussion will be the orchestra budget, fundraisers, supplies, uniforms, volunteering, and more. For each orchestra student attending, we ask that at least one parent/guardian attend, if possible, but families are welcome! It will be a grand night of food, so bring your appetites!

The food assignments will be determined by the student’s primary instrument and are as follows:

  • Violin & Cello – Favorite Main Dish
  • Viola –  Salad/Vegetables/Fruits
  • String Bass & Harp – Appetizers or Desserts

Items of Note:

  • Please include an ingredients side card beside the dish for those who have allergies. We have many students with food related allergies to things such as nuts, eggs, milk, etc…
  • Please bring a serving utensil for your dish!
  • Please bring your checkbook to pay for uniforms, student performance fees, etc.

Student Participation Fees

The Orchestra Student Participation Fee (SPF) is $120 for the 2017-2018 school year. This payment is due at the Potluck Dinner on August 16th, 2017, so please bring checkbooks to the potluck.

The Alpharetta High School Orchestra Association (AHSOA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose main purpose is to provide services and financial support to the AHS Orchestra program.

The Student Participation Fee (SPF) is the primary source of funds for the AHSOA. Without the participation fee, our program could not be as robust as it is. Fulton County provides only $1,500 annually for our orchestra program –  about $10 per student, which is significantly less than the cost to provide the high quality program that AHS is known for. Sheet music alone will likely cost $3,000 this year!

The SPF for 2017/18 remains the same as the last two years, at $120 per student. Items covered by the SPF include:

  • sectional coaches and guest clinicians
  • sheet music
  • registration and transportation for LGPE and KSU Invitational
  • awards at our annual banquet
  • dinner at the Bach to School social
  • pre-concert dinners for the Winter and Spring Concerts
  • movie nights including snacks and drinks
  • student music books
  • student t-shirts
  • equipment repairs and maintenance
  • needed capital improvements, including technology items
  • instrument lockers

Expenses not covered by the SPF:

  • required uniforms (tuxedo for gentlemen and concert dress for ladies)
  • optional travel trips
  • audition, travel and participation fees for All State, GMEA Solo and Ensemble, Fulton County Honor Orchestra etc.
  • end-of-year banquet

Families experiencing difficulty in meeting orchestra financial obligations should contact Dr. Laux or one of the AHSOA Board. Cases will be treated with strict confidence.

Orchestra Calendar

The calendar for the year has been set and can be found on our website at

Please be sure to subscribe to the calendar (Google) or simply mark all of the days on your own calendar.

Our first concert is Thursday, September 28, so save the date!

This is going to be a fantastic year and I look forward to making music with each of you. Please contact me any time if you have questions or concerns. Go Raiders!

Dr. Laux

Graduation – Important Security Announcement 

Students and parents:

Please note the following announcement from Verizon Wireless Amphitheater regarding heightened security measures, effective immediately.

In light of what happened in Manchester, Live Nation, the owners of Verizon Amphitheater have instituted new security measures worldwide:

· No one will be allowed to enter the premises with any backpacks or bags of any kind for any reason.

· Women may not have a purse larger than 5 x 7 and their purse will be searched.

· Cameras are allowed but not camera bags.

· If you feel you need a necessary item, place it in a clear Gallon size plastic bag or smaller.

· You will be asked to go back to your vehicle with your items if you do not adhere to these stipulations.

Thank you,

Dr. Laux 

Graduation Seating Chart and Assignments

The graduation seating chart has been digitized this year.

Graduation Seating Chart 2017 (pdf)

Here is the graduation seating assignments.  Please find your name, then write down your seat card number on your folder!  

Seat card # Last Initial First Name Instrument
153 A. Sophia Violin 2
151 A. Zayne Violin 1
43 A. Preethi Violin 2
109 A. Walid Viola
112 B. Michelle Cello
1 B. Ryan Violin 1
57 B. Sara Violin 1
213 B. Daniel Bass
88 B. Bavhiat Violin 2
4 B. Grayson Violin 2
212 B. Joy Bass
145 B. Palin Viola
77 C. Kamille Viola
91 C. Shaday Violin 2
207 C. Meredith Bass
2 C. Michelle Violin 1
9 C. Richard Violin 1
3 C. Jenny Violin 2
25 C. Elisa Violin 2
33 C. Joshua Viola
155 C. Kayla Violin 2
20 D. Sidesh Cello
110 D. Ahsley Viola
55 D. Aidan Cello
34 E. Laura Viola
40 E. Kari Violin 1
107 F. Ammad Viola
208 F. Rese Bass
122 F. Angelica Violin 2
115 F. Tessa Violin 1
79 G. Amogh Viola
62 G. Deena Violin 2
120 G. Mattison Violin 2
182 G. Ryan Cello
60 G. Timothy Violin 1
41 G. Arjun Violin 2
22 H. Nik Violin 1
87 H. Natasha Violin 2
37 H. Jenny Violin 1
18 H. Kieren Viola
150 H. Elijah Violin 1
59 H. Nicole Violin 1
205 J. Louis Bass
183 J. Sophia Cello
14 J. Natahly Violin 2
116 J. Priya Violin 1
82 J. Jason Cello
38 J. Emily Violin 1
36 K. Pranav Cello
117 K. Younjae Violin 2
143 K. Junho Injured
44 K. Hannah Violin 2
6 K. Alan Viola
23 K. Ben Violin 1
181 K. Nathaniel Cello
85 K. Rashmi Violin 1
108 K. Joseph Viola
13 K. Mihir Violin 2
146 L. Faith Cello
147 L. Matthew Cello
21 L. Eileen Violin 1
152 L. Emily Violin 2
83 L. Viva Violin 1
81 M. Lindsay Cello
89 M. Ethan Violin 2
180 M. Jackie Cello
209 M. Alan Bass
10 M. Catherine Violin 1
114 M. Smarth Violin 1
7 M. Andrew Cello
78 N. Kianna Viola
211 N. Dylan Bass
35 O. Abigail Cello
111 O. Denise Cello
154 P. Kendall Violin 2
24 P. Varshita Violin 1
149 P. Roman Violin 1
210 P. Kaliq Bass
56 P. Sayana Cello
121 P. Pareesa Violin 2
144 P. Maxx Viola
113 P. Sarang Violin 1
64 R. Dhanya Violin 2
118 R. Manya Violin 2
42 R. Skye Violin 2
12 S. Anabella Violin 2
61 S. Natasha Violin 2
26 S. Ishita Violin 2
63 S. Tanya Violin 2
27 S. Amarna Violin 2
119 S. Nivetha Violin 2
54 S. Emma Viola
17 S. Annalea Viola
156 T. Chit Violin 2
123 U. Catherine Violin 2
39 V. Ida Violin 1
86 V. Tara Violin 1
8 W. Adam Cello
148 W. Derek Violin 1
90 W. Michaela Violin 2
19 W. Charleise Cello
53 W. Timothy Viola
206 W. Abayomi Bass
5 X. Kaci Viola
11 Y. Arman Violin 2
58 Z. Jessica Violin 1
80 Z. Nathan Viola
84 Z. Anna Violin 1

Summer opportunities for music study

Below are links for some summer music study…

Day Camps:

Overnight Camps: 


Camp organizers: If you have a camp you would like added to this list, please contact me.