The Frederick Douglass High School Orchestras are under the direction of Mrs. Sarah Payne. There are currently 3 orchestra classes at FDHS that make up various string ensembles throughout the school year. These ensembles are the Concert Orchestra (General Orchestra), Symphonic Orchestra (Advanced Credit), and Chamber Orchestra (Advanced Credit). The Symphonic and Chamber Orchestra are both audition only ensembles.
All of the FDHS Orchestras have received straight distinguished ratings at the KMEA Orchestra Assessment since the school has opened in 2017. The FDHS Chamber Orchestra was selected as the featured performing ensemble for the KMEA Conference in 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the students created an innovative virtual performance for the virtual conference.
In Spring of 2021, the North Star Philharmonic was created – a combined full-orchestra of both FDHS band and orchestra students. The North Star Philharmonic was selected as the featured performer for the 2022 KMEA Conference.
The Frederick Douglass Orchestras provide multiple opportunities for the students, including mentoring programs at Edythe J Hayes Middle School and Crawford Middle School, participation in the KMEA Solo and Ensemble Festival, auditioning and participating in the KMEA All-State Orchestra, an after-school “Fiddle Club,” and a Tri-M Student Chapter.
For more information regarding the Frederick Douglass High School Orchestras, please contact the director Sarah Payne.