2017 Orlando Information!

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us at our Florida trip meeting on May 10. Based on the response at that meeting and online, I am optimistic we will have a very successful trip with our Band and Orchestra students!

Attached here are several items from that meeting for your information. If you were unable to join us, the details can be found in the links below. There are five documents:

Parents and students are asked to read these items carefully, particularly the meeting summary and the payment and registration information. Students who are certain they intend to go on the trip are encouraged to complete the registration process as soon as possible. Parents, if you have an interest in joining us as a chaperone, please email Mr. Riegel or Mr. Kozman as soon as possible to notify us of your interest.

As always, feel free to contact Mr. Riegel if you have any questions!

Darby Orchestra eNews, May 4, 2016

Time has flown by! It seems as though just a short while ago we were in the middle of holiday concerts and contest preparation, and here it is almost the end of another hugely successful year! I can’t begin to tell all of you how proud I am of our orchestra members here at Darby and all that you have accomplished. What follows is some important information for the end of this school year and also a “sneak preview” regarding Spring Break 2017. Please read on!

Spring Concert:

The Darby Orchestras will give their final performance of the season on Tuesday, May 24 in the Darby Performing Arts Center. This will be a “joint” performance with the Heritage Middle School Orchestras. The middle school portion of the concert will begin at 7:00pm; the high school portion will start at approximately 7:30, with Concert Orchestra taking the stage first, followed by Symphony Orchestra and concluding with Chamber Orchestra. More details will be given to the students in class regarding report times and other schedule details. The May 16 date that was also reserved on the calendar will not be used; the high school will perform on the 24th as mentioned above.

Orlando Tour with Band and Orchestra, March 2017:  

2017 will mark another travel year for the Darby Band and Orchestra programs as we make plans to travel to Orlando, Florida during Spring Break 2017. Orchestra members, please take a moment to fill out the online survey in the email sent to your school email account to give us an idea of your intentions to travel with the orchestra and band. Parents and students, there will be an informational meeting regarding the trip during the spring Marching Band meeting next Tuesday, May 10. The Marching Band portion of the meeting will begin at 7:00pm, and the Florida trip portion will start at approximately 8:00pm. Details regarding registration for the trip (both students and parent chaperones), itinerary and estimated cost per student or chaperone, and timelines and procedures for payment will be covered at this meeting. If you are unable to make it to the meeting, please let me know and I will forward information to you. We are very excited at the possibility of another great tour in Orlando and hope you can join us!

Thank you so much for your continued support of our Darby Orchestras. I look forward to seeing you at our performances and end of year activities! Students, please remember to fill out the survey!

Darby Orchestra eNews, December 2, 2015: Celebration Concert Updated information

Hello Darby Orchestra members and families,

Here is a quick update on plans for the upcoming Celebration Concerts; this is a copy of the eBlast that was sent out from Darby High School Tuesday, Nov. 24, with a few additional details. Read on…

In the eBlast dated November 6, it was announced that the Darby Celebration Concert would be held this year in downtown Columbus, at the Capitol Theatre at the Riffe Center. Since that time, a number of logistical concerns have come to our attention that significantly complicate staging the event as intended at the new site. It has therefore become the better option to return the concert to its original site, the Darby Performing Arts Center (PAC), but with several changes from past years to attempt to address the space, crowding, and safety issues that led to the search for an alternate venue in the first place.

The performance nights will still occur as previously announced, on Monday Dec. 14 and Tuesday Dec. 15, but at the Darby High School PAC. Also, these will be two different concerts, each with its own roster of performing groups.

The Monday Dec. 14 concert will feature performances by:
Concert Choir
Jazz Ensemble
Concert and Symphonic Bands
Concert Orchestra
Symphony Orchestra

Concert and Symphony Orchestras will have a dress rehearsal on Monday 12/14 beginning 7th period. Orchestra students should be prepared to stay as long as needed to complete this rehearsal. More details on dress rehearsal will be given to orchestra members in class.

The Tuesday concert will feature performances by:
Symphonic Choir
Women’s Chorale
Big Band
Wind Ensemble
Chamber Orchestra

Chamber Orchestra will have a dress rehearsal on Monday 12/14 beginning 7th period. Orchestra students should be prepared to stay as long as needed to complete this rehearsal. More details on dress rehearsal will be given to orchestra members in class.

We hope this arrangement will afford each group a chance to shine, while lessening the overall number of students at each event. This will also lessen the overall time commitment for students by reducing most students’ performance schedule to one night instead of two. Start time will be 7:00pm for both concerts. Each concert will be free and open to the public.

We regret any inconvenience the changes of venue may have caused, and appreciate your flexibility and support as we continue to work to make each performance experience the best it can be, for your children and for our community. We look forward to sharing our upcoming performances with you!

Welcome back! Important beginning-of-year info for 2015-16

Greetings and welcome back! I am excited to see you all again and am looking forward to getting back to making music with you! Please visit this page often as there will be several updates coming as we begin another great year in the Darby Orchestra program.

•No instruments needed Tuesday 8/25 (first day of school). I’ll announce in each class when to bring them in (Wednesday or Thursday).

•Here is the link to the online Parent/Student Information form. Please follow the link and complete the form by next Friday, Sept. 4:

•The latest edition of the Darby Orchestra Handbook and Contract/Return Packet will be distributed in class, and can also be found here. Please review the handbook, and complete and return the contract packet by Friday, Sept. 4.

•For those interested in auditioning for Region Orchestra, information has arrived! Here is the link. Read it through carefully. There are some changes.


Stay tuned to this page– more to come! See you soon!

2015 Florida Trip Updated Information

Florida orchestra members and chaperones, it was great to see many of you at our trip meeting last Monday evening. If you were unable to join us, here is a link to the information that was distributed and gone over at the meeting:

Florida trip information

Orchestra trip members should print out the emergency medical form, drug distribution form, and the parent pickup form on the last page of the Trip Expectations packet ( as applicable, if not riding home with the band and orchestra), and return these to Mr. Riegel no later than Monday, March 9.

One note about the info link above– the rehearsals listed on that webpage refer to marching band parade rehearsals, and do not apply to the orchestra. Orchestra trip members will receive final instructions close to the departure date regarding packing of instruments, etc. in preparation for departure to Florida.

A reminder that all trip accounts must be paid in full by now (the official deadline was Jan. 15). If you are having any difficulties with the Charms website or have other questions or concerns about trip payments, please contact me. In the meantime, stay warm!

Darby Orchestra eNewsletter, February 19, 2015

I hope everyone is staying warm and safe today (think of all the extra practice time you have today, orchestra members!!). Here are a few updates on goings-on in the Darby Orchestra world:

Florida Trip Meeting: We will hold a parent meeting on Monday, February 23rd at 7pm in the Darby band and orchestra room regarding the trip. Will will discuss the itinerary, behavior expectations, what to bring, meals, chaperones, and medical information. We will also explain how to pick up your child in Florida at the end of the trip if they are not returning with us on the bus. We look forward to you joining us that evening!

Symphony performance at OMEA State Orchestra: Darby Symphony will travel to Reynoldsburg HS (Livingston Ave. Campus) on Saturday, Feb. 28 to perform and be evaluated at the OMEA State Orchestra Adjudicated Event. Our performance time has been set for 3:55 pm, meaning we will depart from Darby approximately 2 pm and return to school about 5:45. Students will receive a detailed itinerary, including exact departure and arrival times on that day to and from school, in class. The event is open to the public, so please feel free to come hear the group and support them! If you do attend, please bear in mind that due to the nature of this event, recording devices of any kind (still or video photography, audio recordings, etc.) are strictly prohibited at the event as per OMEA rules. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding!

Concert Orchestra performance at Hilliard Orchestra Festival (formerly known as COSI): As mentioned in the previous eNewsletter, Darby Concert Orchestra will perform at the Hilliard Orchestra Festival, an adjudicated festival held at Memorial Middle School on Saturday, March 14. I will update everyone as we get closer to the performance day  regarding exact report times and performance schedule.

As we are helping host this festival ourselves, we are in need of volunteers to help with conducting this event. Parents, if you are able to help out,

and fill out the requested information. Thank you for your support!

That’s all for now…. be careful in this brutal weather, and  think spring!!

Darby Orchestra eNewsletter, February 9, 2015

Greetings! Here are some updates for the Darby Orchestra family as we complete another busy and successful Adjudicated Events season.

Congratulations, Solo Ensemble Participants!

 Both Darby orchestras were well represented at the OMEA District XV Solo/Ensemble Event held at Reynoldsburg High School Summit Campus on Saturday, Jan. 24. 28 orchestra members performed in various combinations that comprised 13 solos and 8 ensembles; all Darby Orchestra events earned Superior or Excellent ratings. This number included 12 freshman members who competed at the high school level for the first time. Great job, orchestra members!

Darby Symphony to perform at OMEA State Orchestra Event February 28

 Symphony members will perform at the OMEA State Orchestra Adjudicated Event scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 28,at Reynoldsburg High School (Livingston Ave. Campus). The Symphony will once again perform in Class A, the highest classification based on the difficulty level of the required selections performed on our program. The ensemble will perform a program of three selections for a panel of three judges, and then sight-read an additional piece for a fourth judge. Each judge will assign a rating to our performance, and the total will determine our overall rating. While the exact performance and travel schedule is yet to be finalized, the information I have at this time indicates we will perform sometime Saturday afternoon, at the Reynoldsburg site. Symphony members will receive a detailed itinerary and event schedule in class as soon as it is available. Please remember to keep this day open until we receive our exact warmup and performance times. The event is open to the public, so you are welcome to attend our performance! Please bear in mind that since this is an adjudicated event, the making of recordings of any kind, including audio, video, photography, cell phone, etc. are strictly prohibited in all warmup and performance areas; violations of this rule are grounds for possible disqualification under OMEA regulations. We hope you can join us!

Darby Concert Orchestra to perform at Hilliard Orchestra Festival (also known as COSI) on Saturday, March 14

Our Concert Orchestra will perform at the Hilliard Orchestra Festival (formerly known as COSI) adjudicated event, to be held Saturday, March 14 at Memorial Middle School right here in Hilliard. The group will perform three selections for a panel of judges, then participate in a clinic conducted by a fourth judge. Our overall rating will be determined by the total of the ratings assigned by the three stage judges. More details on the schedule and report times will follow as we get closer to the event. Concert Orchestra members are reminded that this is a required event for Concert Orchestra; they should keep the day fully open until we receive our exact schedule from the event organizers.

Orlando, here we come!

With another central Ohio winter in full swing, it’s hard to believe the Darby Band and Orchestra trip to Orlando, Florida is just over a month away! More details will follow in an eNewsletter sent to Florida trip families. Stay tuned!


That’s all for now—stay warm!

John Riegel
Director of Orchestras
Hilliard Darby H.S.