Course Syllabus

Dr. Sergey Khanukaev, Conductor


Wellesley High School

Sinfonia & Honors Chamber Orchestra

The mission of the Wellesley High School Orchestral program is to provide exemplary musical experiences that enable players and audience members to be engaged, actively and reflectively, using high quality examples of orchestral literature from a wide range of genres and time periods.

Course Objectives

In Wellesley High School Orchestral ensembles, …

  • students will perform string orchestra music of various styles, genres, and periods that represent traditional as well as contemporary performance practices.
  • students will further develop musicianship through playing a stringed instrument.
  • students will develop aesthetic sensitivity, musical knowledge, and independent ensemble performance skills.
  • students will develop an understanding of and appreciation for the process of musical experience.
  • students will develop higher level thinking required for complex reasoning, critical thinking, musical problem solving and listening skills.
  • students will create a framework in which the creative expressiveness of each individual can be developed and encouraged through the collaborative process of string orchestra rehearsals and performance opportunities.
  • students will promote and develop positive interactions such as teamwork, cooperation, leadership, acceptance of differences, discipline, and creativity.
  • students will enhance thinking in other subjects while maintaining the integrity of music as its own subject.




Learning Outcomes

  • To perform independently and in groups, a variety of string orchestra repertoire.
  • To perform with appropriate musicality, musical knowledge, and ensemble performance skills.
  • To demonstrate and utilize correct rehearsal skills.

Student Behavior

  1. Respect yourself, others, the teachers, instruments and all equipment. Disrespectful and unprofessional behavior will not be tolerated.
  2. Respect the rehearsal process and do not interrupt or disrupt the rehearsal.
  3. Actively and positively participate with the ensemble.
  4. Be prepared at the beginning of rehearsals and performances with your instrument out and tuned, and always bring your instrument, music folder, and pencil.
  5. Cell phones must be turned off and out of sight during rehearsals and performances.
  6. There will be no food or beverages during rehearsals, while playing instruments, or during performances.



The overall grading structure will be as follows:

  1. Rehearsals 40%
  2. Assignments/Playing tests 15%
  3. Performances 45%
  1. Rehearsals 40%

    * Be present.  Be punctual.  Be prepared.  Be positive.  Be persistent.  Be perceptive.*

     Rehearsal grades will reflect:

  • the student’s promptness and attendance in class and other orchestra rehearsals,
  • the student’s preparedness, which is a direct reflection of individual practice outside of class time,
  • the student’s engagement and participation during rehearsals,
  • and, the student’s contribution to the ensemble.
  1. Performances - 45%

See the 2021-2022 WHS Orchestra Performances and Events schedule on page 7.

The following Performance areas will be assessed at concerts, performances and festivals:


  • the student is present and performs in the concert, performance, or festival.
  • the student arrives promptly at the designated time and designated place.
  • the student has brought everything he/she needs for the performance (i.e. music, instrument and bow, etc.).
  • the student has prepared his/her music for the performance.
  • the student is wearing concert attire that is neat, clean, and pressed (see page 4).
  • the student exhibits excellent behavior and professionalism on the stage, as well as while functioning as an ensemble member on or off campus, before and after the performance.
  • the student demonstrates pride in the ensemble’s performance.
  • the student contributes significantly to the overall ensemble performance.

Unexcused absences from performances will result in a significant drop in grade.

In cases of excused absences, such as illness, the student may be given an alternate assignment.


  1. Assignments/Playing tests - 15%
    • Some work on aspects of music history and music theory may be assigned, and is necessary to meet the course objectives.


  • Orchestra students are unable to progress and meet the course objectives without a regular practice routine outside of class/ensemble rehearsal. This means that orchestra students often have more "homework" (practicing their instruments at home) than other students. However, it is very rewarding work!  Instrumental skills are partially physical and demand precise repetition for progress to occur.


  • Personal Reflections: Students might be asked to write personal reflections after each major concert. The purpose for this is for the student to self-evaluate his or her own performance and goals for improvement. Students may address any aspect of the performance, such as What went well about the performance? What would you like to see improve in the ensemble?  Students will discuss their reflections in detail, during class following the performance.


Grades: Assignments, continued


  • Review an Orchestra Performance: One time per semester, attend a professional or community orchestral performance, such as the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, or a college performance (i.e. BU or NEC Orchestra).  Write a 1-2 pages’ concert review and staple the program to the review. Photocopies or print outs of the program will not be accepted. A student may not be a performer in the performance he/she attends and reviews. 


Performance Reviews are due no later than noon on Friday, December 16th, 2022 and noon on Thursday, May 11th, 2023.

Playing Tests Periodic playing tests may be given to assess students individually and in quartets on items we are working on in the ensemble, such as

  • Sight-reading
  • Scales
  • Etudes and exercises
  • Excerpts from their repertoire


Performance Attire


Uniform performance attire is necessary for a professional presentation and is part of the performance grade.

For ensembles to be ready for November performances, all concert attire must be ordered from by September 28, 2022. Delivery can take up to 4 weeks and we need to allow time for alterations and any size exchanges.

Questions? Contact Allison Madden in the Performing Arts Office at 781-446-6210 x 5720 OR for measuring assistance, size determination or any ordering help contact Stage Accents customer service representatives at 800-631-1611. Attire requirements are also available on the WPS Performing Arts site.


What Parents Need to Know and Do:

Online ordering and some ensemble style modifications. If your child has attire from the previous year(s) please note that no modification is required and students may wear anything that they already have.

Wellesley POPS and WPS’s have worked together to streamline the process for parents to order attire through Financial assistance is available through WPS and all requests for aid are confidential. Please contact your child’s performing arts teacher or the Performing Arts office.



Auditions and Festivals

Students will have the opportunity to participate in things such as auditioning for District and All State.  Students wishing to make it into All State, must receive high performance ratings in sight-reading, scales, on etudes and repertoire.  Students in grades 9-12 may audition for Senior District.  9th graders who do not make it into Senior District may audition for Junior District.  Highest ranking students from Senior District are awarded the opportunity to audition for Massachusetts Music Educators Association All State Orchestra.

Audition and festival dates are found in the 2022-2023 WHS Orchestra Performances and Events section of this document.  Information will be distributed in class and parents and students may find more information on District and State here: 

Wellesley High School Orchestra will also be participating in the MICCA festival in the spring.  

Transportation costs and entry fees are very expensive.  A coach bus will be contracted for our off campus festivals and the costs of transportation and fees will be shared amongst participating students.

More information will be provided at a later date.





Students will need to purchase or rent and maintain their own instrument, bow, rosin, and instrument case to be utilized for WHS Orchestra.  Some of the reputable string instrument vendors in the area include

Johnson String Instrument
1029 Chestnut Street
Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464
617-964-0954 | 800-359-9351

Carriage House Violins
1039 Chestnut Street
Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464

Rutman’s Violins

265 Massachusetts Ave

Boston, MA 02115



Private Lessons

Students are encouraged to take private lessons through Wellesley Public School’s Instrumental and Vocal Extension Program (IVEP). There are a number of highly qualified private lesson violin, viola, cello, and bass teachers with whom orchestra students may study. This is especially important for students wanting to make it into a District Orchestra, All State Orchestra, as well as for other special opportunities, college or other ensemble auditions, or for students desiring to improve their skills. Students taking private string instruments lessons must also be enrolled in the orchestra.

Students may also form chamber ensembles and may elect to register for chamber music coaching.

Registration and payment for lessons and chamber ensemble will take place online at


Cost of IVEP lessons and Chamber Music is as follows:


Private Lessons:


Registration Fee: $25.00 per semester should be added to each semester price

30 Minute Weekly Private Lessons         $450.00 per fifteen-week semester

45 Minute Weekly Private Lessons         $675.00 per fifteen-week semester

60 Minute Weekly Private Lessons                     $900.00 per fifteen-week semester






2022-2023 WHS Orchestra Performances and Events

Events in bold are required and applicable to the student’s performance grade.

Any additions, changes, or deletions to the schedule may occur and will be communicated as soon as any new information becomes available.


November-December, 2022

Nov 19



Nov 16

7:00 AM



7:00 PM

MMEA Eastern District Senior Festival Auditions


WHS Orchestras Winter Concert




KLB Auditorium*

Grades 9-12


5:30 Call

Dec 23

9:50 AM

WHS Band, Choir, Orchestra in-school Holiday concert

KLB Auditorium*

Perform for WHS students






January, 2023

Jan 6-7

Time TBA

Eastern District Senior Festival & Concert


Students who qualified at the November auditions.


Jan 21



MMEA All-State Auditions


Shrewsbury HS

For top qualifiers from Eastern District Auditions only.

Jan 26


7:00 PM

Wellesley Orchestras Step-Up Concert

KLB Auditorium*

For Grades 8-12 Orchestras. Call 6:00 p.m.

Jan 28

Time TBA

MMEA Eastern District Junior Auditions

Needham HS

For Grades 7, 8, & 9; Does not lead to All State Membership

March 2023





March 2-4


MMEA All State Festival and conference


Symphony Hall, Boston


For students who advanced at All State Auditions


March 10-11

April 2023


Eastern District Junior Festival


Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School


For students who qualified at Eastern District Jr Auditions

March-31-April 2


MICCA Festival



May 2023






May 17

7:00 PM

Spring Orchestra Concert

KLB Auditorium*

Call 5:30 p.m.


*The Katherine L. Babson, Jr. Auditorium at Wellesley High School