Orchestra & Jazz


Program Curriculum & Philosophy

The Prospect High School Orchestra’s curriculum is developed to engage students through a variety of ensemble experiences and to provide opportunities for students to develop as individual performers.

Orchestral Ensembles

Prospect has three orchestras that meet during the regular school day: Concert Orchestra (period 6), Chamber Orchestra (period 5), and Symphony Orchestra (period 5).

Concert Orchestra 

A string-only ensemble that works heavily on musicianship, technique, tone, and performs several concerts throughout the school year. An audition is not required for participation in Concert Orchestra. This ensemble includes all freshman and some upperclassman string players.

Symphony Orchestra 

Performs challenging full-symphony literature at an advanced level. This ensemble performs several concerts and participates in at least one festival per school year. Symphony Orchestra Wind and Percussion players are selected by audition.

Solo & Ensemble

Each spring, string players work together to prepare for the annual solo and ensemble festival/performances.

Chamber Orchestra

An advanced string ensemble that focuses primarily on challenging string literature at an advanced level. This ensemble performs several concerts and participates in at least one festival per school year. An audition is required for participation in Chamber Orchestra. String players in Chamber are also members of Symphony Orchestra. Both orchestras rehearse during 5th period. Private lessons, though not required, are strongly encouraged for the student musician wishing to participate in Chamber Orchestra.


This is a small, student-lead ensemble that plays at Prospect, District, and community events.

Jazz Ensembles

Both full-year 9th-hour classes for course credit. In order to be a member of the jazz program wind and percussion players must be a part of Prospect’s Band, and bass players must be a part of Prospect’s Orchestra. Students are selected for jazz through auditions that take place each spring and during the first week of classes in the fall. Due to the limited number of players in a jazz setting, placement within one of the ensembles after an audition is not guaranteed.

Jazz Ensemble II 

An exploratory course designed to introduce students to jazz through a focus on the following objectives:

1) Strengthen musicianship through rehearsal and performance.

2) Develop professional rehearsal and performance skills.

3) Internalize a solid sense of time displacement and rhythm.

4) Develop methods to excel through efficient and effective practice skills.

5) Improve listening skills.

6) Master musical and technical components of music.

7) Develop knowledge of jazz history and key jazz musicians.

8) Gain an appreciation of jazz through listening.

9)Gain exposure to improvisation.

Jazz Ensemble I 

An advanced course designed to focus on the objectives above at the highest level. It is recommended that all students in Jazz Ensemble I audition for placement in the District IMEA and All-State Jazz Ensembles. Details will be distributed in the fall.