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  • Writer's pictureRaine Allen

Welcome Back! 1st Orchestra Newsletter

Hello, Orchestra Students & Families!


My name is Mrs. Raine Allen, and I am the orchestra director here at Dr. Phillips High School. This is the first of many newsletters from me that you will receive keeping you informed of what is happening in the orchestra program, important events that are coming up, and reminders for both students and parents! I hope that you find these letters home helpful, informative, and insightful into your child's time here in our program.

I want to take this opportunity to THANK YOU, the parents, for continuing to support your child's arts education for another year. Whether your child has aspirations of pursuing music as a career one day, or simply loves the positive experience of being in a community-based music ensemble, be well rest assured that the benefits of their participation in orchestra class 50 minutes each day extend FAR beyond our classroom. These are just a few scientifically supported, evidence-based facts we know about students who participate in the arts as compared to their peers who do not:

  1. Students With Access To Arts Education Are 5x Less Likely To Drop Out Of School.

  2. 4x More Likely To Be Recognized For Academic Achievement

  3. 3x More Likely To Pursue A Bachelor's Degree

  4. 30% More Likely To Pursue A Professional Career

  5. Low-Income Students With Access To Arts Education Are 2x As Likely To Graduate From College Than Their Peers With No Arts Education

  6. 72% Of Business Leaders Say That Creativity Is The #1 Skill That They Seek When Hiring

  7. When Arts Education Is Administered Equitably The Gap Between Low-Income And High-Income Students Begins To Close

  8. Students With Access To Arts Education Score Higher On The SAT

  9. 3x More Likely To Be Elected To Class Office

  10. Students With Access To Art Education Score Higher On Literacy, Writing, and English Proficiency Skills

  11. Art Education Makes Students Less Likely To Run Into Disciplinary Infractions

So once again, THANK YOU for being a part of such an incredibly powerful force for good in our community by allowing your students to participate in our orchestra program :) ANNOUNCEMENTS & UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Orchestra Website: Please visit our website at to learn about our program and read general information for parents and students!

  • Orchestra Program Calendar of Events (digital): Please add the events listed in our class calendar at the following link: it is a Google Calendar and can be merged directly into several digital calendars for your convenience!

  • 1st 9 Weeks events:

    • Monday, August 28th- Online Donation Fundraiser Begins!

    • Tuesday, August 29th, 7:00pm- VPA Evening Recital & Parent Meeting (VPA Magnet students only)

    • Monday, September 4th- NO SCHOOL, Labor Day

    • Friday, September 8th, 2:30pm-6:30pm- Welcome Jamboree Celebration in the orchestra room!

    • Wednesday, September 13th, 1:30pm-2:30pm- VPA Recital (VPA Magnet students only)

    • Saturday, September 23rd, Freedom High School- All-State Auditions (All-State students only)

    • Monday, September 25th-Thursday, September 28th (by appointment after school)- All-County auditions

    • Friday, September 29th- OPO Dress Rehearsal Field Trip

    • Wednesday, October 11th, 7pm- Fall Orchestra Concert (required for all orchestra students)

  • Remaining Concert Dates for 23-24 School Year:

    • Tuesday, December 5th, 7pm

    • Thursday, February 22nd, 7pm

    • Music Performance Assessment (one of these dates): Thursday, February 29th-Saturday, March 2nd

    • Friday, April 26th, 7pm

  • Need help preparing for All-State?

  • VPA Magnet Recitals & Polos:

    • If you are a FRESHMAN Magnet student, or you lost your VPA Polo, please purchase your required VPA Polo here: SchoolPay Link for VPA Polos ($15)

    • Magnet Students are required to wear their VPA Polos all day on recital days in order to receive full recital credit. This year, being in uniform and attending recitals will be a grade for VPA Magnet students. Being tardy or out of uniform will result in a lower grade. Missing the recital without first submitting an "Excused Absence Application" form will result in a F for that recital grade.

    • Here are the VPA Recital Dates for this year (also available digitally at Calendar):

      • Tuesday, August 29th- 7:00pm (polos are not required- nice attire is accepted)

      • Wednesday, September 13th- 1:30pm

      • Wednesday, November 8th- 1:30pm

      • Wednesday, January 17th- 1:30pm

      • Wednesday, February 7th- 1:30pm

      • Wednesday, March 13th- 1:30pm

      • Monday, May 6th- 2:30pm (Seniors only, dress rehearsal)

      • Tuesday, May 7th- 7:00pm


    • Last year, we were notified that our own Premiere Orchestra (3rd period) had been accepted to the prestigious American String Teachers Associations National Orchestra Festival, taking place in Louisville, Kentucky this year. This is an honor extended by invitation only to orchestras deemed of the highest caliber and discipline. I am so incredibly proud of the hard work of our students to be accepted into such an incredibly important program, and I know we will represent our school, our county, and our state with the highest degree of performance on the national stage.

      • I know that parents of Premiere students are concerned about the price. Rest assured, a reputable travel company has been secured (Group Travel Planners) after receiving multiple bids, so that the lowest price per student is guaranteed while maintaining the safety and quality standards required by OCPS. More information, including the price per student (based on 4 students to a room), what is included in the price per student, and a draft itinerary, will be sent in a separate email.

      • I encourage ALL members of our orchestra to rally around our Premiere Orchestra and support them in any amount you can during our Donation Fundraiser- this is an incredible opportunity for our students, our program, and our school!

As always, please call, email, or message with any questions or concerns! Sincerely, Mrs. Raine Allen

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