Dear Langley Orchestra students and parents,
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Langley High School Orchestra for the 2021-22 Season!
For those who do not know me yet, I have been directing the orchestra program at Langley High School for the past 20 years. Originally from the Great and Powerful nation of Canada, I came to the USA to complete my doctoral degree at Indiana University before moving with my wife to Northern Virginia. In addition to my FCPS teaching, I am also a member of the music faculty at Patrick Henry College and a core member of the Washington Bach Consort, the area’s premiere baroque orchestra and chorus.
I would like to invite you all to our Orchestra Orientation on Thursday August 19th from 12-1pm in the Orchestra Room (1104). This is the best time for students who are new to the orchestra (including our rising sophomores who missed this last year) to take measurements for the dresses and tuxedos which will be necessary for formal performances. We will also assist with orders for Spirit Wear, including the required t-shirt & polo and other optional items of apparel to display our orchestra pride. We will present information about our Orchestra program (materials and expectations) and also explain how parents can get involved with sponsorship and filling roles in the Langley Orchestra Society.
I would also like to invite all orchestra Saxons (including family members and even graduates) to the Orchestra Kick-Off Potluck Picnic on Sunday August 22nd at the McLean Central Park from 5:30-7:30pm. This is where you will discover what our orchestra is truly about – friends, family, and food! Please sign up to share a dish and I look forward to seeing many of you there. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0545afac22a64-langley
Last year was unlike any other in the history of our program. The pandemic brought enormous challenges to the performing arts, preventing rehearsals & concerts, and transforming the classroom experience to individual distance learning. However, our program adapted and produced a series of student-produced synchronous recordings for virtual broadcast that I will always cherish. When restrictions loosened in the spring, we were also the only FCPS orchestra to present a live concert. For one memorable evening at Wolf Trap, The Sounds of Hope reminded us of the enormous unifying power of ensemble music, live performances and school communities.
After all this time in isolation, I believe that the connections we make through orchestral music will be more important than ever this year. I look forward to re-launching many cherished traditions in our classroom and on our stage. We will explore concert themes including “Heroes”, the music of Russia, and Sounds of the Old West. We will join with our feeder schools in a pyramid concert and a new Side-by-Side format where HS, MS, & ES students will perform together. I will await further guidance from the school division for travel, but in the meantime will search for an exciting local venue for a special concert and for some team-building opportunities to fortify our orchestra family.
I encourage everyone to bookmark this website, which is an extremely valuable tool for information such as the orchestra calendar, class syllabus, and announcements for upcoming events. Orchestra families should begin receiving emails with our Orchestra Newsletter which will provide helpful reminders and updates (first edition of this year should reach emailboxes early the week of August 16th). Students will also find opportunities for social media connections on our Facebook site, Instagram account, and Discord App which are updated and monitored by our capable Tri-M Music Honors Society officers.
I wish you all the best in your summer activities and look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.
Dr. McCormick (a.k.a. Doc)