9/23 - Rehearsals for MSGTO and MSGTS begin tomorrow! Please plan to arrive early so that we may begin rehearsals promptly.

Tuition for the 2018-2019 school year will be $275. Checks should be made out to “HCPSS” and must include the following information on the front of the check:

  • Phone number

  • Student name

  • Student ID#

  • Student school

Please submit your payment by Monday, October 1st.



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.

Middle School GT Sinfonia/orchestra

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

Rehearsal Days

  • The Howard County Middle School GT Orchestra will rehearse on MONDAYS, 4 - 6 pm at River Hill HS, 12101 Route 108,
    Clarksville, 21029

  • The Howard County Middle School Sinfonia will rehearse on MONDAYS, 4 - 6 pm at Long Reach High School, 6101 Old Dobbin Lane, Columbia 21045

Orchestra Policies

Rehearsals begin promptly at 4pm; therefore you must ARRIVE NO LATER THAN ten minutes before IN ORDER TO BE IN YOUR SEAT READY FOR A DOWN BEAT!

Rehearsals end promptly at 6pm and all parents must pick up their children EXACTLY on time.

Howard County Middle School GT Orchestra


Information and Expectations

1. Attendance at all rehearsals and concerts is mandatory

2. Missing more than one rehearsal per concert for any reason will be cause for review and may result in dismissal from the orchestra.

3. If you must miss a rehearsal due to one of the reasons mentioned below, you must communicate via email that you will be absent and the reason why you will be absent.

a. Absence due to pre-approved activities must be communicated via email two weeks in advance of the absence.

b. Absence due to illness or emergency should be communicated via email before rehearsal begins.

4. All students must arrive by 3:50 so that we may begin rehearsal promptly at 4.

- A student who arrives at 4 pm is late. All students need to be in their chairs and ready to tune at exactly at 4 pm.  Students who are late once will be given a verbal warning, a second offence will warrant a call home and a request to the parents to arrange for the transportation to be a timely. Chronic lateness is cause for dismissal.

5.  Rehearsals end promptly at 6pm and all parents must pick up their children EXACTLY on time.

6.  All students must bring a pencil to every rehearsal and take notes on their music.

7.  All students must bring their own music to every rehearsal. Do not rely on your stand partner!

8.  All students must prepare their music at home. Rehearsals are not for note learning.

9.  Concert dress is black pants or skirt, black shoes and socks, white shirt, and black neck ties for boys.

10. Behavior problems are cause for immediate dismissal.

11. Electronic devices are not allowed to use in rehearsal.

12. Our website address is Please bookmark this address and check it weekly for rehearsal updates, emergency cancellations and lots of other information.

13. Emergency cancellations: Rehearsals or concert will be cancelled if schools are close or dismiss early for inclement weather or other emergency. If school does not dismiss early but we are experiencing ice or snow, etc. please check the website for updates.


Florence update: Auditions will be held as scheduled!

Auditions dates for the 2018-2019 season will be held at Centennial High School on the following dates:

  • Friday, September 14th

  • Saturday, September 15th

  • Monday, September 17th

Audition signups are now closed.


All scales must be TWO octaves - the lower two octaves. Please do not play three octave scales.

  • Violin 2 octave major scales and arpeggios slurring two eighth notes with quarter note = 80. G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F. Scales must be performed from memory. While many students are fluent on three octave scales we will NOT be hearing three octaves scales for reasons of consistency. In addition, Hrimaly scale patterns entirely in first position will not be allowed.

  • Viola 2 octave major scales and arpeggios slurring two eighth notes with quarter note = 80. C, D, Eb, Bb, F, G. Scales must be performed from memory.

  • Cello 2 octave major scales and arpeggios slurring two eighth notes with quarter note = 80. C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb. Scales must be performed from memory.

  • Bass 2 octave major scales and arpeggios slurring two eighth notes with quarter note = 80. F and G. One octave scales in the same format, C, Bb and Eb. Scales must be performed from memory.






Solo piece

All instruments must play a solo piece which is demonstrative of their ability. Minimum level for consideration is the equivalent of a Vivaldi Concerto.

Sight reading

All students will be asked to sight read.


Past Seasons

Here is a list of the pieces that we have performed over the last few years.  Click on images to hear recordings.

Concert Recording: May 5, 2018

Concert Recording: May 5, 2018

2017 - 2018 - MSGTO

  • Britton: Simple Symphony, mvt. 1 & 2
  • Faure: Elegie for Cello - Jennifer Park, Cello
  • Schubert: Symphony #8, mvt. 1
  • Gershwin/Whitney: An American in Paris Suite

2017-2018 - MSGTS

  • Shostakovich: Spanish Dance
  • Weiner: Divertimento No. 1, Op. 20
  • Haydn: Concerto for Cello & Orchestra in C major
  • Nielson: Little Suite for Strings, Op. 1
  • Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture
  • Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake
  • Gershwin: Cuban Overture
  • Mozart: Overture to the Marriage of Figaro
  • Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet
  • Shostakovich: Symphony #5, 1st and 4th mvts.
  • Dvorak: Carnival Overture
  • Copland: Clarinet Concerto (Madelyn Armes, Clarinet)
  • Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis
Concert Recording: October 2, 2016  Kennedy Center

Concert Recording: October 2, 2016

Kennedy Center

Concert Recording: December 4, 2016

Concert Recording: December 4, 2016

Kennedy Center2.png
Concert Recording: May 21, 2017

Concert Recording: May 21, 2017

2015 - 2016

  • Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite
  • Borodin: Symphony #2
  • Borodin: Polovetsian Dances
  • Beethoven: Symphony #5, 3rd and 4th mvts.
  • Wagner: Die Meistersinger Overture
  • Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnole
  • Prokofiev: Symphony #7
  • Saint-Saens: Bacchanale from Samson and Delila
  • Grieg: Piano Concerto

2014 - 2015

  • De Meij: Lord of the Rings, Gandalf
  • Brahms: Symphony #1, 4th mvt.
  • Smetana: The Bartered Bride, Overture
  • Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture
  • Beethoven: Fidelio Overture
  • Mahler: Symphony #2, 1st mvt.
  • Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, 1st mvt
  • Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture
  • Sibelius: Symphony #2, 3rd and 4th mvt.
  • Stanley Leonard: Circus for percussion ensemble
  • Bach/Stokowski: Toccata and Fugue in d minor
  • Bruch: Violin Concerto #1, 1st mvt.
  • Dukas: The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • Beethoven: Symphony #6, Mvts. 4 and 5


Allen Leung, GT Co-Director

Portrait Leung.jpg

Mr. Leung studied at Kansas University and received a bachelor’s degree in music education in 2002. In 2008, Mr. Leung received his master’s degree in music education from University of Maryland. Mr. Leung plays the violin and the piano. He studied violin with Ben Sayevich at the University of Kansas. His piano teachers and professors include Berta Eisberg, Richard Angelleti, and Alice Downs. In addition to directing his school orchestras, Mr. Leung is a director for the Howard County Gifted and Talented Middle School Chamber Orchestra. He has held this position since 2004. Mr. Leung has guest conducted, adjudicated, and directed throughout the state of Maryland. Under his direction, Mr. Leung’s ensembles have performed at state and national events with high accolades, including at MMEA conferences in Baltimore, Maryland and the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. In his personal life, Mr. Leung enjoys spending time with his wife Marie and two children Peter and Anna. He also enjoys mountain biking, running, and hanging out with his 20-pound cat, Kronos.

Chris Fyhr, GT Sinfonia Co-Director


Chris Fyhr currently serves as the Director of Orchestras and Music Technology at Long Reach High School in Columbia, Maryland. He holds an Undergraduate Degree in Violin Performance from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and a Masters Degree in Music Education from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. His violin teachers include Brennan Sweet, Matthew Reichert, Richard Clark, Joey Corpus, and James Gaskill. He has studied violin pedagogy with Rebecca Henry and Ronda Cole.

Mr. Fyhr is an active freelance violinist in the Baltimore/Washington area, where he performs regularly with area orchestras including Alexandria Symphony, Washington Concert Opera, Sidney's Orchestra, Washington Sinfonietta, and Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Fyhr frequently serves as a judge for Orchestra Adjudications and Solo & Ensemble Festivals throughout the state of Maryland, and has previously served as Guest Conductor for All County Orchestras in neighboring counties.

In addition to his classical background, Mr. Fyhr has also completed formal training in music production, sound design, and DJing through Berklee College of Music in Boston and Dubspot in New York City and is actively involved in the local music production and DJing communities. Mr. Fyhr also enjoys writing and recording metal and progressive rock, and has been involved with several regional progressive rock acts as both a guitarist and a violinist. In his spare time, Mr. Fyhr enjoys relaxing with his wife Alexandra, daughter Zoe, and their two miniature poodles. 

Bonnie Zeitler, GT Sinfonia Co-Director


Mrs. Bonnie Zeitler is a string specialist in the Howard County Public School System and is currently directing a program of over 230 string students at Manor Woods Elementary School. She has taught in multiple middle and elementary schools in Howard County since moving to Maryland in 2003, but has been at MWES since 2006.  She is delighted to be back working with the Howard County Middle School Gifted and Talented Sinfonia after co-directing it at its inception.  
Mrs. Zeitler is a sought after guest-conductor, as well as a judge for Orchestral Adjudications and Solo & Ensemble Festivals in many counties and the state level. Mrs. Zeitler has served as representative for Howard County’s Music Leadership Team and a guest lecturer for professional development sessions teaching other music educators.  Mrs. Zeitler has maintained a private violin and viola studio for over 25 years and is a sectional coach for one of the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras.  She conducts orchestras at multiple music camps each summer including the Marriotts Ridge High School Music Camp.

Mrs. Zeitler began playing the violin at age 4.  She studied in San Francisco, New Orleans, San Diego and here in the Baltimore area and was the concertmaster of multiple university orchestras.  Her music education programs featured special focus on both chamber music and cross-cultural language and development.  She lives in Carroll County, Maryland with her husband and two sons, who are also musicians.


Contact Us

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



hCPSS Music Office

5451 Beaverkill Road
Columbia, MD, 21044