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  • Writer's pictureRaine Allen

Orchestra Newsletter 8/29

Hello, orchestra students & families!


***If you have not heard already, Orange County Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday, August 30th, due to anticipated impacts from Hurricane Idalia, and all OCPS activities are expected to be completed by 8pm tonight. Make sure you are prepared for the storm by referencing the official Disaster Supply Kit Checklist from

As a result of the storm, our first VPA Recital for this evening has been cancelled and will be rescheduled to a later date. Everyone, please remain safe in the storm!

One of the most important tasks of my job is the financial stewardship of this orchestra program. I was relieved that, during COVID and the years immediately following, I was able to not only purchase enough instruments and materials so that students did not have to share instruments (a major concern during the pandemic), but that students and their families were afforded a smaller Fair Share fee of $60. Unfortunately, even with fundraising, our program and its needs have outgrown the financial support that this amount will give us- just this year alone, we have experienced a 14% growth rate!

Here is an example of the costs of running our program each year:

  • Costs of music for the October concert for four ensembles- $600

  • Cost of transportation per field trip (usually 2 to 3 small field trips per year)- $1200 per bus

  • Cost of music for the December concert for four ensembles- $600

  • Cost of music & extra judge scores for Pre-MPA concert & Music Performance Assessment- $700

  • Cost of District Music Performance Assessment- $1650

  • Cost of transportation to District Music Performance Assessment- $4800

  • Cost of music for the Spring concert for four ensembles- $600

  • Costs of music & transportation to graduation (orchestra is performing this year)- $1300

  • TOTAL base costs of running our program for this year- $12,350.00

This is why the Fair Share amount of $100 per student in orchestra is so crucial to covering our operating costs each year. But I am also keenly aware that not everyone has an extra $100- that is why, this year, we are doing a Donation Campaign through InstaRaise- all the money that your child fundraises by simply entering the emails of friends, relatives, and other loved ones who would like to show their support of our program can be contributed to their Fair Share amount. Many students raise more than $100 and owe no Fair Share at all!


It is really easy to join our Dr. Phillips High School Orchestra fundraiser - it only takes a minute!

To join our InstaRaise fundraiser go to and register using our campaign ID: 11094.

As you register, you will be guided through a few prompts and you'll be asked to enter the name, email and phone number of potential supporters. These supporters will receive an email about our fundraiser and will have the opportunity to make a donation (or shop online) to support our group. You can watch this video for step-by-step instructions on how to register online and enter your contacts.

Students who have registered and entered 15-20 supporters will be recognized in class with a special prize. For maximum success - add 20+ contacts with an email address and cell phone number in the student dashboard. For more ideas on who a supporter is, watch this video:

Sharing from your own device / phone:

If it's easier, you can copy and share our fundraising page with adults who might support this campaign. Here's the URL that you can share with supporters who might be willing to help:​


  • NEW, IMPROVED APPAREL VOTING! Thank you to everyone who voted for their favorite design! If you haven't voted yet, there's still time- voting closes Friday. If you HAVE voted, check out the NEW design, added by one of our officers! Change your vote if you would like to:

  • ALL-COUNTY AUDITIONS- All-County audition music has been released. Students who are interested in auditioning can access the excerpts and sign up for an audition time here:

  • VPA POLO SHIRTS- If you are new to the VPA Magnet this year, make sure to order your VPA Polo here: by clicking on the "VPA Polo Payment" button.

  • BROOKDALE RECITAL SERIES- We are extremely fortunate to have a wonderful relationship with Brookdale Assisted Living Facility just right down the road from our school. Once per month, students from all orchestras are invited to perform for the residents of Brookdale, and in return receive 4 hours of community service- 1 for the performance, and 3 for the preparation. If you are interested in applying to perform, please fill out the application here:

  • LABOR DAY- There will be no school on Monday, September 4th in observance of Labor Day. Enjoy the three-day weekend!

  • WELCOME JAMBOREE- Our annual welcome tradition returns! Students, join us in the orchestra room on Friday, September 8th, from 2:30pm-6:30pm for pizza, sweets, drinks, games, prizes, movies, and fun activities designed to help you get to know your fellow orchestra members, and get to know your friends even better! This is all planned FOR YOU by our leadership team, so please join us for fun, food, and fellowship!

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