Dear Langley Orchestra Students and Parents,
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Langley High School Orchestra for the 2022-23 Season! What a difference one year of in-person instruction has made to our class culture and season plans!
For those who do not know me yet, I have been directing the orchestra program at Langley High School since 2001. Originally from the Great and Powerful nation of Canada, I came to the U.S 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 an adjunct professor 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 18th from 12-1 pm in the Orchestra Room (1104). This is the best time for students who are new to the orchestra to take measurements for the dresses and tuxedos which will be necessary for formal performances. We will also discuss orders for Spiritwear, 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), our Spring Trip, 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 Welcome Back Picnic on Sunday August 21st from 5-7 pm at McLean Central Park. This is where you will discover what our orchestra is truly about – friends, family, and food! We will also hold the ceremonial “Flickin’ Chicken” contest to see which class emerges as the champion.
Last year, I was immensely encouraged at how quickly our resilient students bounced back from the challenges of distance learning to rebuild our orchestra community and concert traditions. Now I plan to build on that momentum with an even more challenging season that puts their talents on full display. We will explore concert themes including Celtic Dreams, Winter is Coming, and Sounds of the Old West. We will also share a concert with our feeder MS as we prepare for our annual Orchestra Assessment.
The culmination of our year will be a concert in Carnegie Hall, the most celebrated performance venue in the country. This is the type of experience that will fortify any resume and create memories that can last a lifetime. We are planning a trip interest meeting for Wednesday evening, August 31st and we will need to move quickly to enroll our performers and meet our deadlines. I hope that you are as inspired as I am to raise your level of commitment to be worthy to perform on this historic stage. And even if you are not able to join us in New York, we will all benefit from training toward such an ambitious goal.
I would like to encourage everyone to bookmark this website, www.langleyorchestra.org, which is an extremely valuable tool for information such as the Orchestra calendar, announcements for upcoming events, general orchestra resources, as well as a Shutterfly link to photos from the year’s activities. Orchestra families will also be able to sign up to receive emails with our Orchestra Newsletter which will provide helpful reminders and updates. Students’ information will be hosted in Schoology but they will also find opportunities to connect through social media connections on our Instagram account which is 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 few short weeks.
Dr. McCormick (a.k.a. Doc)