The Dodgen Middle School Orchestra program has 380 students enrolled in grades 6-8. Members of the orchestra audition and participate in GMEA sponsored events at the district and state level including Solo and Ensemble Festival, Honor Orchestra and All-State Orchestra. Many students also participate in additional orchestra ensembles.
The Sixth Grade Orchestra students participate in "Jamboree", a combined schools concert held each spring, and the Seventh and Eigth Grade Orchestras consistently earn SUPERIOR ratings at the annual G.M.E.A. Large Group Performance Evaluation each spring semester. Each grade level orchestra presents between three to six concerts per year. The Eighth Grade Orchestra participates annually in the Walt Disney World's "Magic Music Days" Workshops.
In addition to each grade level orchestra, students have the opportunity to join additional ensembles. The Dodgen Orchestra Program has a Chamber Orchestra, Viola Choir, Cello Choir, Bass Ensemble and Violin Wire Choir Group. These groups meet weekly before school and perform at events for the school and community. Past Performances includes appearancesat the Governor's Mansion and the State Capital. Advanced students participate in the area youth orchestras such as the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra.
The Dodgen 8th Grade Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra was selected to perform at the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference in 2007, 2011 and 2015. The Dodgen Chamber Orchestra performed a stand-alone concert at the G.M.E.A. In-Service Conference in January 2018. These performance invitations are the highest musical honor than any music group(band, orchestra or chorus) can receive from the state. The Dodgen Orchestra is the only music ensemble at Dodgen to receive these honors. In March 2017, the Chamber Orchestra competed at the National School Orchestra Festival in Pittsburg, PA. The Dodgen Chamber Orchestra won First Place in the Middle School Division at this National Event. The Dodgen Chamber Orchestra is the only middle school orchestra from Georgia invited to compete.
The Dodgen Orchestras are under the direction of Ashley Culley and Heather Lofdahl.
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