Congratulations to Odle Middle School’s Symphony Orchestra that was selected to perform at the regional National Association of Music Educators (NAFME) Northwest Conference on Feb. 18, 2017. 

The conference, hosted in Bellevue this year, will be a gathering of music teachers from throughout the Northwest, who will be attending workshops, performances and clinics.

The Odle Symphony Orchestra is one of only a handful of groups selected by audition from schools in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. Their audition recording featured the full symphony orchestra, including woodwind, brass and percussion players from the band, who will also participate in the performance.

“The invitation to perform at the NAFME Northwest Convention is a tribute to the students’ commitment to excellence and willingness to dedicate themselves to rehearsing outside of the regular school day,” said Odle Middle School Orchestra Arts Department Chair Barney Blough.

To prepare for the performance the orchestra will rehearse after school once a week starting in December. They will attend a weekend retreat in January that will provide coaching from professional orchestra musicians. Specialists on each instrument, including several members of the Seattle Symphony, will join the students at the retreat to work together in sectional rehearsals, providing the students an opportunity to learn how the pros do it. Finally, they will perform at a special concert in February that will showcase the orchestra at their peak right before the NAFME conference.

“We are absolutely thrilled as we begin preparations for this performance, and are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of the Bellevue School District,” said Blough.

Symphony Orchestra is open to all students at Odle, and all are encouraged to participate.  All students are given the opportunity to experience the teamwork, focus and discipline of playing in a full symphony orchestra as an extension of their regular classroom experience.

Learn more about the NAFME conference.