Welcome to ONW Orchestra
Continuing to grow each year, the Olathe Northwest Orchestra has four major performances per year, plus KSHSAA Large Group Festival (where we received straight “I” ratings the past several years), and Solo and Ensemble Festival. The group has been selected to perform at the KMEA State conference, has traveled to Chicago and Boston for festival performances, earned top honors at the Disney Festival at EPCOT Center in Orlando, and has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. We also provide some unique concert events, including a multi-media concert with computer animation, a rock concert with electric instruments, a concert of dance music with professional ballroom dancers on stage, and an opera concert with overtures and arias performed with professional opera singers.
There are three orchestras in which students can participate: Freshman Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, and the audition group, Chamber Orchestra. Besides the curricular orchestra classes, students can participate in a myriad of musical activities, including Symphonic Orchestra, solo and ensemble festivals, pit orchestra, Select Ensemble, District and State Honor Orchestras, AP Music Theory and Appreciation class, and the Tri-M Music National Honor Society.
The orchestra program is dedicated to creating a quality musical experience for its members. Through the orchestra program, students develop an understanding of music history, theory, and technical knowledge of how to perform a stringed instrument. Orchestra also provides students the opportunity to be creative and explore, as well as teaching the discipline and teamwork skills necessary to succeed in life.
Our School, Our District
The Olathe School District is known for is dedication to each individual student, its principles in working with parents and the community, and its support of the arts. Olathe Northwest High School is proud of its thriving arts environment.
The Future of Our Program
The number of students involved in strings at the elementary and middle level is expanding rapidly, both across the district, and particularly in the Olathe Northwest area. More and more students are discovering what orchestra has to offer them, not only as a musical endeavor, but as an enhancement to their academic studies, their intellectual and creative development, and the possibilities that are created for college studies, scholarships, and professional careers in the future. As more students get involved, more occasions arise for us as an orchestra to perform for special events, create unique and memorable concert events, and to reach out to the community.
An increasing number students are taking advantage of the extra opportunities afforded with orchestra, as well. Private lessons, solo and ensemble performances, and Youth Symphony are just a few of the musical activities Olathe Northwest Orchestra students can be involved in outside of the orchestra class to enhance their musical experience.
Some of these students are going on to receive substantial scholarships and create opportunities beyond high school. In the Olathe Northwest Orchestra, you can be as involved as you want to be.
Why Study Music?
The fine arts are becoming more recognized as an essential part of a student’s education. Music specifically is gaining importance as being as beneficial as any core subject in school.
Music education encompasses a variety of skills, including performance, composition, improvisation, listening, analyzing, communication, and cultural awareness. It relates to and enhances many other subjects, including foreign language, math, reading, history, and literature. In addition to enriching a student’s grasp of other studies, music is unique in teaching higher reasoning and divergent thinking skills. Few subjects are so broad in their scope, focusing both on a student’s academic and creative energies.
Many colleges and employers are looking at the musical and artistic background of its potential students and employees. More companies are recognizing the skills that music offers which produce a more well-rounded, creative, and intelligent individual. The student who continues in music is more prepared for life after school. Arts education, and music in particular, is becoming an imperative for students looking to increase their aesthetic potential in preparation for the future. Music can offer that while enriching the lives of those who pursue it.