Howard County Gifted and Talented Orchestra Program

The Howard County Gifted and Talented Orchestra Program was created to enhance the orchestral experience of our students. Each orchestra is designed to meet the needs of the student who exceeds the orchestra curriculum at their grade level. In order to be aligned with the purpose of the Gifted and Talented Program the orchestras have been named GT Sinfonia and GT Orchestra.

The Sinfonia performs music one to two grade levels above the curricular standard and the GT Orchestra performs music three or more levels above the curricular standard.


Elementary and Middle GT Sinfonia

The Sinfonia student will demonstrate:

  • A high level of technique on their instrument
  • A high level of musical understanding
  • A high level of music reading skill
  • A maturity level that will allow for successful learning in a fast paced environment
  • Readiness for a rigorous orchestral experience

The Orchestra student will demonstrate:

  • The highest level of technique on their instrument
  • The highest level of musical understanding
  • The highest level of music reading skill
  • Orchestral experience
  • Potential for success in a mature and challenging orchestral setting

Audition Results for Elementary GT Orchestra
Attention Parents: Please check your e-mail for important information from the directors. If your child has been accepted into GT Orchestra, please fill out this Student Information Google Form prior to the first rehearsal!!
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1f1Za5l-I0PLZ2klUjPbb9AwJum1kg-YfioXIvyEb2Gs/edit

Elementary GT Orchestra Audition Results

Violin 1

Violin 2
 

Viola
 

Cello

Bass
 

Audition Results for Elementary GT Sinfonia
Attention Parents: Please check your e-mail for important information from the directors. If your child has been accepted into GT Sinfonia, please fill out this Student Information Google Form prior to the first rehearsal!!
https://goo.gl/forms/b3XFg8huwuLzgO8g1

Elementary GT Sinfonia Audition Results

1st Violin

2nd Violin

Viola

Cello

Bass

 
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Sarah Castrillon, Co-Director of the Elementary GT Orchestra

Sarah Pohl Castrillon has taught at Talbott Springs Elementary School and Oakland Mills Middle School since 2007. During those years, her middle school orchestras have consistently received superior ratings at county and state festivals.

Mrs. Castrillon was born and raised in Arlington, VA to a very musical family and went on to earn a Bachelor's of Music Education degree from the University of Maryland, College Park studying violin with Dr. James Stern. After graduation in 2005, Mrs. Castrillon went back to the University of Maryland to receive a Master's degree in Viola Performance studying with the principal violist of the National Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Foster. 

During her years at the University of Maryland she participated in the National Orchestral Institute, Joven Orquesta de Galicia in La Coruna, Spain and the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, Texas.  She was also a member of the Chamber Music Connections string quartet providing music outreach programs to elementary students in the Prince George's County Public Schools.  She currently plays with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra in Virginia and has performed with such artists as Peter Serkin, Roberto Diaz, Jaime Laredo, Zuill Bailey, Clay Aiken and members of the Guarneri String Quartet.

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Valerie Lawrence, Co-Director of the Elementary GT Orchestra

Mrs. Lawrence has been an Orchestra Director in Howard County since 1988. She has worked at schools all over the county. For the past 24 years she has been the Director of Orchestras at Elkridge Landing Middle School and has also taught at Elkridge Elementary School. She loves teaching middle school orchestra and enjoys working with all her students. In addition to orchestra, Mrs. Lawrence teaches general music classes. Mrs. Lawrence's middle school orchestras have been recognized time and time again for outstanding performances at festivals.

The violin is her primary instrument but she also plays piano, accompanying students at the County and State Solo and Ensemble Festivals. Mrs. Lawrence is a former member of the Maryland Symphony under the direction of Barry Tuckwell and has also performed for the Pittsburgh and Baltimore Opera. She is a freelance violinist and performs all over the Baltimore and Washington area. Mrs. Lawrence performs at Hood College each year in Handel's "Messiah" as well as various operas and concerts.

She studied with Dr. Donald Portnoy and Stephen Hyde at West Virginia University performing in both the West Virginia Symphony and Symphonette. Mrs. Lawrence then continued her education at Duquesne University. Once she moved to Baltimore, she continued her studies with Herbert Greenberg, former Concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony.

Mrs. Lawrence comes from a musical family- her brothers are working musicians in Pittsburgh and her husband Tom is one of the most sought-after guitarists in Baltimore and Washington. They perform together at various events around town. She performs occasionally with her brothers and was featured on their family CD entitled “RML” Jazz. She resides in Columbia with her husband Tom and cat Tiger.

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Elizabeth Reinhardt, Co-Director of the Elementary GT Sinfonia

Elizabeth Reinhardt has been the orchestra director at Hammond High School since 2009, where she conducts the Chamber Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra.  She also runs the rapidly growing chamber music club that fosters independent student musicians and promotes public performances throughout the community.  Before becoming full-time at Hammond, Mrs. Reinhardt also taught at Patuxent Valley Middle School for 8 years.  While at PVMS, her group was invited to perform for the Maryland Music Educators Association conference, where students performed a concert for teachers from all over the state.

As a clinician and judge, Mrs. Reinhardt has judged Solo and Ensemble Festivals, Orchestra Festivals, and All-State Junior and Senior Orchestras. She has guest conducted the UMBC Symphony Orchestra and worked with honor orchestras in Maryland.  In addition, Mrs. Reinhardt has served on the HCPSS Music Leadership Team, where she helped plan and facilitate professional development for other Howard County orchestra teachers. 

Mrs. Reinhardt received her Bachelors Degree from University of Maryland Baltimore County, where she was the winner of the concerto competition multiple times.  She received her Masters Degree in Music Education from Peabody Conservatory.  Mrs. Reinhardt maintains a private cello studio in Sykesville, MD, where she resides with her husband, Tim, who is also an orchestra teacher in Howard County, and her dog Stella, who is an aspiring singer.

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Elizabeth Pak, Co-Director of the Elementary GT Sinfonia

Elizabeth Pak has been the orchestra director at Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School and Glenwood Middle School since 2015. Since then, Mrs. Pak’s middle school orchestras have received superior ratings at county and state festivals. Mrs. Pak has also adjudicated at the Howard County ES Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Mrs. Pak began her musical studies at the age of five. She attended the Manhattan School of Music Pre-college Program where she studied under the renowned violinist, Grigory Kalinovsky. Mrs. Pak has won numerous competitions such as the Associated Music Teacher’s League Competition in 2002 and the 5th New York Music Competition sponsored by the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and The Korea Daily, where she performed in Carnegie Weill Recital Hall. Mrs. Pak had her first orchestral debut in 2006 with the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra playing Mozart’s Concerto No. 5 under Maestro Nam Yun Kim. She performed at the ceremony honoring the appointment of Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor. Mrs. Pak was also one of the winners of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and performed in Alice Tully Hall.

Mrs. Pak studied under the great pedagogue, Victor Danchenko, for both her Master’s and Bachelor’s degree. She graduated with her Master’s degree in Violin Pedagogy and Performance at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in May 2014. She has also completed her Pre K-12 Teaching Certification Program at the Peabody Conservatory under Dr. Laura Parker. She was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance in May 2012. Mrs. Pak currently resides in Eldersburg, MD with her husband, two dogs, and their sweet baby girl, Everly.

 

Auditions

Audition nominations may only be made by the school orchestra director. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.

Audition Dates

  • September 24, 25, and 26: Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday

    • 4 PM-8 PM

Audition Location: Wilde Lake Middle School (10481 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia)

Download the registration form, fill it out, and bring it to your audition.

Performance Requirements

1. Scales

  • Violin - Two octave G and D Major, One octave C Major.

  • Viola/Cello - Two octave C, D and G Major.

  • Bass - One octave G, C and D Major.

Scales must be performed in quarter notes at QUARTER NOTE = 96.

2. Prepared Piece: All instruments must play a solo piece which is demonstrative of their ability. Minimum level for consideration is the equivalent of a grade two piece from the end of Book I Suzuki.

3. Audition Excerpts (will be available on September 3, 2019)

  • Violin

  • Viola

  • Cello

  • Bass

4. Sight reading: Your child will be given music at the audition to perform without prior practice.

Fall GT Orchestra Schedule – Oakland Mills High School, 9410 Kilimanjaro Road, Columbia, MD 21045

  • Thursday, October 4, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, October 11, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, October 18, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, October 25, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm  
  • Thursday, November 1, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, November 8, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, November 15, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, November 22, No Rehearsal
  • Thursday, November 29, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 1, 10:00 am – 11:00 am (Dress Rehearsal) at Marriotts Ridge High School
  • Saturday, December 1, 7:00 pm CONCERT at Marriotts Ridge High School

Spring GT Orchestra Schedule

  • Thursday, January 31, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, February 7, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, February 21, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, February 28, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 7, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 14, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 21, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 28, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, April 4, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, April 11, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, April 25, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, May 2, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Saturday, May 4, 10:00 am – 11:00 am (Dress Rehearsal) at River Hill High School
  • Saturday, May 4, 7:00 pm CONCERT at River Hill High School

Fall GT Sinfonia Schedule – All Rehearsals are at Hammond High School, 8800 Guilford Rd. Columbia, MD 21046 (unless otherwise specified)

  • Thursday, October 4, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, October 11, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, October 18, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, October 25, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm  
  • Thursday, November 1, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, November 8, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, November 15, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, November 22, No Rehearsal
  • Thursday, November 29, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 1, 1:00 pm (Dress Rehearsal) at Marriotts Ridge High School
  • Saturday, December 1, 3:00 pm CONCERT at Marriotts Ridge High School

Spring GT Sinfonia Schedule

  • Thursday, January 31, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, February 7, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm @ Hammond Middle School- 8110 Aladdin Dr. Laurel, MD 20723
  • Thursday, February 14, No Rehearsal
  • Thursday, February 21, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, February 28, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 7, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm @ Hammond Middle School- 8110 Aladdin Dr. Laurel, MD 20723
  • Thursday, March 14, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 21, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 28, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, April 4, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, April 11, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, April 18, No Rehearsal
  • Thursday, April 25, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, May 2, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Saturday, May 4, 1:00 pm (Dress Rehearsal) at River Hill High School
  • Saturday, May 4, 3:00 pm CONCERT at River Hill High School

Since participation in this orchestra is a special honor, those students accepted should follow the expectations listed below.

  1. Attendance is mandatory. Absences will only be excused for illness, death in the family or court appearance. This is the Howard County policy for excused absences. Each student must be present for the entire rehearsal time. If students arrive late or leave early, the entire group suffers. The purpose of full rehearsals is to develop a particular sound through balance and blend. If a student is absent from a rehearsal, he/she must bring a note from a parent explaining the absence. If a student is 15 minutes late for rehearsal, he/she will be marked “tardy.” Two tardies in a semester will result in one unexcused absence. A student’s membership will be reviewed after two unexcused absences or excessive tardiness.
  2. Preparing the music is mandatory. Students are expected to practice at home in preparation for rehearsals.
  3. Cooperation among students is a must in any performing group. Students who do not cooperate (fighting, name calling, etc.) will be dismissed from the orchestra.
  4. Parents will be asked to help set up chairs before and take down chairs after rehearsals.
  5. Each student will be given a packet of music and a folder at the first rehearsal. Students must bring a pencil to mark things on their music. Make certain that the student’s name is on the instrument case. Cellos must have rock stops.
  6. Dress for performance is as follows:
 

Boys

White Dress Shirt

Black Pants

Dress Shoes

Dress for Performance

 

Girls

White Blouse

Long Black Skirt or Pants

Dress Shoes

The directors reserve the right to dismiss any student for not following the expectations listed.

Contact Us

Please contact us if you have any questions about the orchestra.

 

You should be able to find the answers to most of your questions on this site, but if you need to contact us, click the email links below.

Elementary GT

Elementary GT Sinfonia

 

hCPSS Music Office

5451 Beaverkill Road
Columbia, MD, 21044