Extracurricular Activities

In addition to performing as part of a school-based ensemble, instrumental music students are encouraged to seek other formats in which to perform. Several of those opportunities are described below.



Solo and Ensemble Festivals

MCPS hosts annual festivals that allow student to perform a solo piece or to gather a small ensemble and perform a selection before a professional judge. The soloists and ensembles are judged in the same way that a school group is adjudicated: ratings are given using a numbering system from I to V; a “I” represents a superior rating, “II” represents an excellent rating and so forth. Students who receive superior ratings are then eligible to participate in the State MBDA or MODA solo or ensemble festival. Students interested in participating in the MCPS solo or ensemble festivals are encouraged to select their music from the approved Maryland State list found on the Maryland Music Educators website under the “Music List” tab. If performing “for comments only” at the County level, students are not required to select their music from this list. If, however, students aspire to continue to the State festivals, music from this list is required. Below is information regarding this year’s MCPS solo and ensemble festivals and the related registration forms: Parent Letter (to be provided when available) Solo Registration Form (to be provided when available) Ensemble Registration Form (to be provided when available) The Registration forms are to be given to the music department at the given due date (see Calendar page for festival and entry due dates). Return to top of page

All-County and All-State Ensembles

Each year Walt Whitman High School has many students audition for county and state ensembles, with tremendous success. We encourage all music students to consider auditioning for one or more ensembles. The audition process for county and state ensembles is not complicated. Here are a few tips: Audition materials for county, state and local community ensembles will be made available the first week of school. Materials for state and county are the same so it is a one-time preparation. Those materials are also available on the Maryland Music Educators Association website, linked here. Prepare! Don’t procrastinate. Find out the dates for this year’s auditions. County jazz auditions are usually in September, while junior and senior county and state auditions are generally in November. These auditions are very competitive and cramming your preparation at the very end will reduce your chances of success dramatically. Set up a practice calendar and pace yourself. Periodically record your efforts and critique your progress. Practice in front of a mirror and in front of friends and family. Seek help! Your private teacher is your best resource! If you are looking for help in finding a teacher, please talk to Ms. Alvey, or Ms. Borsum as soon as possible. Dress professionally. Remember that you have only one chance to make a first impression. However, some of the auditions are behind screens. It makes sense to find out ahead of time so you know what to expect. Act professionally. Remember to act professionally, with an air of confidence, not arrogance. Take your time and think before you play. GOOD LUCK TO ALL! Return to top of page

Pit Orchestra

Students in the Symphonic Band and Symphonic Orchestra are eligible to play in the Pit Orchestra for Whitman’s fall musicals. Anyone who is interested in participating should speak to Ms. Alvey. Past musicals that Whitman’s outstanding musicians have accompanied include:

  • 2012: Anything Goes
  • 2011: Gypsy
  • 2010: Sideshow
  • 2009: Into the Woods
  • 2008: Damn Yankees
  • 2007: Aida
  • 2006: Funny Girl
  • 2005: West Side Story
  • 2004: Les Miserables
  • 2003: Fiddler on the Roof
  • 2002: 42nd Street

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