Newsletter (August 2016)

Mr. Broach reading (not really reading, but posing).

Mr. Broach reading (not really reading, but posing).

Here we go… The school year has begun and we’re going to have a great time in orchestra! I am excited about the opportunity to experience a wide variety of music with the students through the many activities we have planned. Orchestra at Middle School North is a unique experience in which its members should be proud to participate.

Students are given the opportunity for personal growth and enrichment through the study of orchestral music literature, string performance, and music history. The curriculum will emphasize practice of proper performance technique, study of music literature & history, and the exploration of musical expression through performance, composition, and improvisation. Students explore technology in music through computers, tablets, amplification, effects processing, and recording.

This year in orchestra will be a busy one! Both ensembles have many performances, contest, and will build lasting relationships with friends. Students will also participate in many other performances and contests during the year.

Additional Performance Opportunities

Prima Musica Ensemble (2015-16)

Prima Musica Ensemble (2015-16)

In addition to the Chamber & Intermezzo Orchestras, students have the opportunity to audition for the following ensembles. If you are interested in auditioning, let me know immediately!

While not affiliated with LZMSN, I strongly encourage all orchestra students to take private lessons with a private teacher. Also, students may choose to participate in an additional outside of school orchestra. Some great youth orchestras include:

iPads, Google Drive, and Other Technologies

We continually make strides in technology and (as one who loves technology) students in orchestra will put it to use! All students here at MSN have their own iPad to use for the school year. With that in mind all orchestra students will be reading their orchestra music and much more from their iPads! My hope is to be completely paperless classroom.

Student's music using annotation app on iPad.

Student’s music using annotation app on iPad.

Students using iPads or other devices are welcome to, on a daily basis, follow along with the daily rehearsals posted on Canvas. That being said, I give students an open invitation to use their iPads. Where most teachers give occasional permission for students to use their iPads, I give open permission to use these devices with the occasional (if not rare) moments that students need to put them away.

There will be much more things technology related in the coming weeks, months – well actually, constantly, as technology progresses.

  • The majority of daily learning will take place within Canvas (Google Drive and Canvas too).
  • Bookmark to stay in the loop on all things orchestra.
  • Find us on Facebook at Lake Zurich MS North Orchestra.

Sectional Schedule

The following sectional schedule is posted electronically in Canvas for easy access. Sectionals will begin on Thursday, September 1.


To prepare for the year we need to take care of a few things. Fortunately, your child has the amazing opportunity to perform in orchestra but, unfortunately, it costs money. Below is a general outline of what expenses you may expect for the coming year. If you would like to pay a sum which includes many of these items at the beginning of the year to get things started, I will be happy to keep track of your ‘student’s account’ and let you know if other items come up that are not covered. Checks can be written to “CUSD 95”.

7th & 8th Grade Costs

  • Required: Method Book ($10)
  • Optional: Solo & Ensemble Contest ($7 per event), Banquet ($25), ILMEA ($8)

6th Grade Costs

  • Required: Orchestra Polo ($25), Music Theory Book ($7)
  • Optional: Banquet ($25), Solo & Ensemble Contest ($5 per event), ILMEA ($8), University of Illinois Orchestra Consortium Performance Field Trip ($8)

These costs may be offset by participating in the annual Cookie Dough Fundraiser in October and the Nut & Candy Fundraiser in early spring.

Would you like to provide a donation to assist other students? If so, please send me an email at

Upcoming Dates

Please mark on your calendar.

  • Tuesday, September 13 – Orchestra Parent Night @ 6:30 PM
    • Please note this updated date. There will be no Orchestra Parent nights on 9/7 and 9/14.
  • Thursday, September 20 – Prima Musica Auditions @ After School
  • Thursday, September 29 – ILMEA Orchestra Auditions @ 4:00 PM
  • Thursday, October 20 – Halloween Orchestra Concert @ 7:00 PM

Parent Volunteers Needed

We can always use parent volunteers for various events. If it weren’t for the assistance that many parents provide, orchestra would not be what it is today! Some volunteer opportunities that will be available this year are:

  • Fundraisers
  • Performance Treats and Decorations
  • ILMEA Auditions
  • Other Field Trips
  • Awards Banquet
  • …and more.

…and in Other News

Mr. Broach and his wife (Liz) are expecting a baby girl any day now! We are due October 1 and who knows if she’ll come early or late. To welcome the new baby into this mad, mad world, I will be taking some time off to spend the first handful of weeks with the family.

So, in orchestra, for the weeks leading up to the birth, we will be working on preparing for the first concert of the year (October 20). Students will make and carry out a plan to run an awesome concert with the long-term substitute. I plan to be at the concert (obviously) to help facilitate but they (and the quality sub) are going to be stepping up to the plate to take the reigns!

If you have any questions, please contact me at or (847) 719-3668. Email tends to be quicker.

I’m looking forward to working with everyone in the Orchestra Family to make this a great year!

Riley W. Broach