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About our Orchestra Program

The Dr. Phillips High School Orchestra Program is a comprehensive instrumental music program of over 150 students in grades 9-12. Current course offerings include Beginning Orchestra, Sinfonia, Philharmonia, Chamber, & Premiere orchestras, as well as AP Music Theory. Students in the orchestra program will also have the opportunity to volunteer for and earn community service hours for performing within and around the community at various arts events, such as our monthly Brookdale Assisted Living Facility Recitals, performing for WKMG's annual "Sounds of the Season" program, which is televised each year on Christmas Day, performing with the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign at the holidays, Southwest Middle School's annual Fine Arts Festival, and more.

​As the Visual and Performing Arts Magnet school of Orange County Public Schools, many of our members go on to have successful careers in music related fields. In addition to orchestra classes, students selected for the magnet program can take Music History, Music Theory, Keyboard, and Electronic Music courses. Participation in the magnet program is not required to participate in orchestra, as all are welcome! 

Rich in Tradition, Pride, and Excellence, the Dr. Phillips High School Orchestra Program was established in 1990. Our orchestras have consistently performed at District Concert Music Performance Assessment events with high scores & Superior ratings.  In 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024, multiple ensembles from our program earned a "Superior" rating at District Concert Music Performance Assessment.  In 2016, 2017, 2019, 2023, and 2024, the Dr. Phillips High School Orchestra Program was awarded the Dr. Michael Lee Allen Award, given to orchestra programs that earn a "Superior" rating for all participating ensembles at District Concert Music Performance Assessment.  In addition, our top ensembles traditionally go on to perform at State Concert Music Performance Assessment while earning high marks and high praise from the adjudicators and clinicians alike, most of whom are world-class conductors, performers, and college educators.  In 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2023, and 2024 our top ensemble Premiere Orchestra earned a "Superior" rating at State Concert Music Performance Assessment.  In 2018, and then again in 2024, our top ensemble Premiere Orchestra was awarded the "Orchestra in the Wings" Award by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra for outstanding musical ability and community impact.  In 2019, the Dr. Phillips High School Orchestra Program was selected by Universal Studios to help pilot their "STARS Performance Program" before debuting it for programs around the world.  In 2023, the orchestra program was invited by the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center to participate in a select masterclass with touring members of the Royal Phiharmonic on their American performance tour.  In addition, in 2023 the Premiere Orchestra was invited by audition to participate in the 2024 National Orchestra Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, where they earned the unanimous top rating of "Outstanding" from the adjudicator panel.  On this same performance, Premiere Orchestra gave the world premiere performance of "Above and Beyond", an original composition commissioned by the Dr. Phillips High School Orchestra Program from world-renowned composer Kathryn Griesinger Parrish.


Dr. Phillips Orchestra students routinely audition into OCPS All-County orchestras, Florida All-State orchestras, and receive Superior or Superior with Distinction ratings at both District and State Solo & Ensemble Music Performance Assessment.  Our seniors consistently place in the top of their graduating classes, often earning "super scholar" status by the time they graduate, and several of our school's past salutatorians, valedictorians, and National Merit Scholars have been orchestra members as well.  Our alums have been accepted into some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the WORLD, including (but certainly not limited to): Wellesley College, King's College (London, UK), Duke University, Emerson College, Harvard University, Emory College, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Middlebury College, the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, Georgia Tech University, the US Space Force Academy, and the US Naval Academy, in addition to the top state & private schools here at home, like Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Central Florida, University of North Florida, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, University of South Florida, Jacksonville University, and Stetson University.

​The Dr. Phillips Orchestra Program has something for everyone, and has a tradition of not only musical excellence, but strengthening our community through the arts. 

About the Visual and Performing Arts Magnet Program:

(Apply here at this website)
Students not zoned for Dr. Phillips High School can audition for the Visual and Performing Arts Magnet Program and attend Dr. Phillips High School even though they are not zoned for Dr. Phillips, as long as the student resides in Orange County. Dr. Phillips High School is the ideal location for Orange County’s Visual and Performing Arts Magnet. Amidst numerous performance companies, the VPA Magnet enjoys opportunities not afforded to most high schools. Local corporations – including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida, and Hard Rock Live – have provided support and performance opportunities. The Magnet traditionally hosts an Artists-in-Residence week in the fall, bringing nationally known artists to the school to work and perform directly with students. Additionally, each strand offers special opportunities that enhance students’ education and experience. For information on auditioning for the magnet program, email Nicole Nasrallah, VPA Magnet Coordinator, at 

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