DHS creates new orchestra class for upcoming school year


On Dec. 12, the school announced that there would be a new orchestra class available next year at DHS. 

Currently, the band is mainly composed of wind and percussion instruments, with little space for string instruments. The lack of instrument representation led to the school’s decision to make a new class. 

“There has been a grass roots orchestra program that has been growing in the community for many years,” IB Coordinator Cheryl Nahmias said. She believes this program had a major influence on the creation of the orchestra class.

Nahmias explained that the class has a budget to hire a new teacher, and asked for student input about potential interest in the class from the High School and Middle School. Band teachers from the High School and Renfroe came together to create a job description.

Central office is still finalizing the curriculum and there has been no confirmation of teachers yet, according to Nahmias. 

Many students have shown that they would like to participate in the new class due to the lack of strings positions in the current band. Freshman harpist, Violet Waterhouse, is a student who has expressed interest in the new class. She is currently the only harpist in the band and believes the new class is needed in the school. 

“The band doesn’t have cellos or violins, which kinda sucks for people who play that,” said Waterhouse. She also stated that there are a lot of students who play string instruments but, because there was no program in the school, they couldn’t participate.

The class will be available to all students who are interested, regardless of  orchestral experience. According to Nahmias, students who are in the band currently are not required to take the orchestra class, but they will have the choice to. She added that kids could potentially do both.

However, if a student wants to participate in the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra they must take the class. Communications Director at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Elizabeth Daniell, stated that “students are not allowed to opt out of their school program and also participate in ASYO.”