Michelle Davis, Director
office phone: 816-736-5310 ext. 2826


Dear Liberty High School Orchestra parents and students,

Welcome to another exciting year of High School Orchestra!  I am looking forward to a wonderful year of music-making. The following information will help you and your student understand the procedures and policies used in the orchestra program at Liberty High School. Please read the information carefully and electronically sign (at the bottom of this document) with your signature, your student's signature and your primary email address. We look forward to seeing you at our performances this year!


Michelle Davis, LHS Orchestra Director

The ultimate goal of the LHS Orchestra Program is to maintain a tradition of excellence and quality musical performance. The success of our program centers around the pursuit of excellence, pride, commitment to learning, and the willingness to work
hard to achieve a common goal. As a member of the LHS Orchestra, you will make long-lasting friendships and develop a sense of camaraderie that is unique to our musical organization. While we do not expect every student to become a virtuoso musician, we do expect every student to establish both short and long-range goals for improvement on his/her instrument. We expect mature, responsible attitudes and actions and a mutual respect between directors and students.


*In orchestra students will be assisted in achieving advanced performance techniques and a more mature understanding of music. Students will develop and utilize group problem solving skills and cooperative learning strategies in a group performance-based atmosphere. Students will develop greater independence, leadership skills, and personal initiative through group rehearsal and regular personal practice.


*We create opportunities for all to pursue their potential and positively influence society.

*We are committed to continuous improvement.

*We believe: Community defines our culture, Learning is our passion, Empowerment inspires our growth, Accountability guides our actions, and Respectful relationships form our foundation.


All students will be in Room 815 with instruments and music when the bell sounds. Students must be in their appropriate seats and ready to tune one minute after the bell with instrument, music, and pencil. Students missing any of this equipment will not earn the maximum number of points possible. The concertmaster will begin the tuning process at two minutes after the bell. Students not present at this time will be considered tardy for the class period. Tardy students will not earn the maximum number of points possible for the rehearsal. The Liberty High School tardy policy will be enforced.

Students will be given appropriate time to pack and store instruments. All students must report back to Room 815 after replacing instruments. Class will be dismissed when all students are back in the room and the bell rings.

Folders will be provided by the school and stored in the folder rack designated for Orchestra in the rehearsal room - not in a locker. It is the responsibility of the students to make sure that each folder is available for each rehearsal. Students must pay for lost or damaged folders/music.

Chair Placement Auditions:

Each student will be required to participate in chair placement auditions. Short musical excerpts (to be prepared ahead of time) and a short sight-reading example will be required. Each student must come to the audition prepared.



Students are required to have their instruments approved by the teacher during the first week of school. Students must have the following items accessible in their cases:

Violin, Viola, Cello, or Bass – no cracks or open seams

Bow– adequate hair in good condition

Rosin – in good condition

Shoulder rest – Kun, Wolf, or equivalent approved by teacherRock Stop– slip proof

Sharpened pencil with eraserInstrument case in good condition

Cleaning Cloth

Strings in good condition (not raveling or false)


Orchestra students will be assisted on their achievement of advanced performance techniques and a more mature understanding of music. Students will develop and utilize group problem solving skills and cooperative learning strategies in a group performance-based atmosphere. Students will develop greater musical independence, leadership skills, and personal initiative through group rehearsal and regular personal practice.

Students will receive weekly rehearsal skills points per grading period. They will receive all points if they are:

  •       *Seated and prepared for rehearsal at the beginning of class
  •       *Attention focused during rehearsal
  •       *Always striving for personal best
  •       *Shows preparation for the day’s assignment

     *Concert and Orchestra Festival Performances (100 pts per performance)
      *Playing tests, Written Quizzes, Written Assignments (points will vary)

All of our orchestra students are required  to participate in our scheduled concerts. Much of our class time is devoted to preparing for these performances, as they are an extension of our classroom work. Each and every one of our orchestra students is an important member of the orchestra team.  If any student is missing, our orchestra sounds different, and it affects the way all the other students perform. Please make every effort to see that your student understands the importance of his or her participation.  If your student has an unavoidable conflict, please write a note at least two weeks (earlier if you know) before the concert explaining the circumstances.  If your student is ill or there is a family emergency the day of the performance, leave a message on my voice mail, email me, or have your child bring a note when he or she returns to school.  If it is an excused absence, I will then give him/her an alternative assignment. This will involve performing the previously prepared literature (their individual part) for the class (public performance) and receive a critique from the director(s) OR turning in a video recording of them performing the previously prepared literature (their individual part) and receiving a critique from the director(s). Since students receive performance schedules before the school year begins, they are responsible for arranging their schedules accordingly. THE DIRECTOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE WHAT CONSTITUTES AN EXCUSED ABSENCE FROM A PERFORMANCE. THE ALTERNATIVE ASSIGNMENT AS LISTED ABOVE IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE UP AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE FROM A PERFORMANCE. Concerts count as test grades so it is important that the alternative assignment be completed for that grade.


All Orchestras  will be assigned a school orchestra uniform to be worn at all concerts EXCEPT the October Concert, which will be in costumes.  Men must have solid black dress socks, a white shirt (can purchase from LHS), and women will need solid black hosiery if wearing open-toe shoes.  

It is the responsibility of the student to GET THE UNIFORM ALTERED and to keep the uniform clean throughout the school year. Each uniform must be professionally cleaned at the completion of the school year and turned in with the receipt for cleaning costs attached to the uniform by a date set by Mrs. Davis. Students who lose uniforms will be responsible for the replacement cost of a new uniform (approximately $90 for women and $200 for men).

Students must be in proper uniform in order to earn maximum concert points.




Any student who will be playing a cello or a bass  at school IS REQUIRED to pay a 150.00 non-refundable annual rental fee.  The cost covers ANY and ALL maintenance issues, repairs, damages, bow rehairs, or anything else that may occur while in a student's possession.  Because just ONE string can cost up to $50.00-$ 60.00, we feel the fee is more than fair and  necessary to keep our instruments in high quality performance condition.  Please click on the  to the orchestra website button to print a rental form.  Fees are due October 1, 2016


The overall mission of the LHS Orchestra Boosters is to enhance the musical education and experience for all of our Orchestra students. Sponsorship is voluntary, but your generous support will ensure that all of these activities can continue for 2016-2017. Boosters money and time goes towards many events such as:  

*Providing expert Clinicians for the classroom.

* Helping run solo and ensemble festivals

* Volunteering for All-District and All-State orchestra auditions and pre-workshops

*Subsidizing Private lessons for willing students

*Supporting  music competitions.

*supporting the Field trip to the Kansas City Symphony. *

*Providing new/unique Equipment for the classroom.

*Organizing special events such as the orchestra banquet

All students and parents are automatically a Boosters member by association.

Helping pay for cello and bass rental for Orchestra trips


LOCKERS: Students have all been assigned a locker and have been issued a school owned lock. Students are responsible for the cost of the lock replacement ($15) if it is lost. The best way to prevent loss is to lock it when it's not in use!! If you do not lock your lock/locker, there is a greater chance that something could be damaged or stolen. Students that leave lockers open/unlocked after class is over will be warned once to keep it locked and then lose the privilege of using the school orchestra locker.


All-District & All-State Bands and Orchestras:Students have the opportunity to prepare for and participate in auditions for the Kansas City Metro No. 3 All-District Concert Bands, Jazz Bands, and Full Symphonic Orchestras. Auditions will be held on Saturday, November 5 at Liberty High School. The audition music packets include soloistic exercises and etudes, as well as scales that must be prepared to the very best of one’s ability level. Packets may be obtained from Mrs. Davis, and are on the orchestra website. All NON REFUNDABLE audition fees must be paid by the student prior to the auditions.

Taking this audition is an agreement to participate in ALL rehearsals and performances without any exception. Students not meeting this obligation of participation will be immediately removed from the district ensemble and will not be permitted to audition for a district ensemble the following year (this is the KC Metro District’s policy). Over 1000 students audition annually for the All-District ensembles. Please follow through with your responsibility to that ensemble, or you will have prevented another student (somewhere else in the Kansas City area) from having the opportunity to be a willing participant.

Scheduling conflicts in school-sponsored student activities:

The following will be used as a guide for deciding which activity a student will participate in if two activities are scheduled at the same time.

These are listed in the order they will take place:

1. The two sponsors will meet to see if they can mutually agree on what activity the student will participate.

2. If the sponsors cannot agree, we will use the following criteria as the decision tool:

a. Level of importance the student is to the activity:

An example would be—Are they a part of a large group with many other students doing the same thing or are they the only one doing a particular function in this activity?


1. State participation

2. District participation

3. Conference participation

4. Building participation (activity participation for grade)

5. Non-conference participation (athletics)

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