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.



Darby Orchestra eNewsletter, August 21, 2014

Welcome back to what promises to be a busy, exciting, fun year! I hope everyone’s summer was enjoyable and restful. It is a year of continued growth for our orchestra program, as we see the largest enrollment in the Darby Orchestra program’s history! Here is some beginning-of-year information that will be of interest and help to you as we begin the new school year.

Handbook and Return Packet: Students were given the latest edition of the Darby Orchestras Handbook, as well as a return packet with forms for parents and orchestra members to review, complete, and return. Online copies of these documents may be found here. Parents, please take a moment to review the handbook and sign and return the Contract, Website audio/video permission, and Fundraising permission forms. If your student needs to order a method book or is renting a school-owned instrument from Hilliard City Schools, please fill out the relevant forms. These packets are due Friday, August 29. 

Fees: Please follow the instructions in the Handbook for paying  school instrument rental fees (if applicable), method book fee (if applicable), and orchestra uniform rental fees. All fees are due Friday, September 12. 

Please send Uniform and Musical Instrument Rental fees directly to:

Hilliard Music Boosters

Darby Chapter

PO Box 371

Hilliard, OH 43026

You may also pay Booster fees on Charms (click on the link). Your initial login is your student ID number. Further instructions can be found in the orchestra Handbook.

Online forms: Parents,

We ask that this be completed no later than Friday, August 29. Thank you for your help!

Picnic: Plans for the annual Orchestra picnic are in full swing! More information will be given in class and via email. Stay tuned and we hope all orchestra members will join us!

Uniform fitting

All students will be fitted for a formal orchestra uniform; this year’s fitting night is Thursday, Sept. 18 from 5 to 8 PM. Students should stop by the Orchestra/Choir Room any time between 5 and 8 pm to be fitted and issued their uniform and garment bag. (Please note, attendance is expected, orchestra members.)


We are off to a great start and I anticipate a great year! Stay tuned to the Darby orchestra website http://www.darbyorchestra.org for further updates. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at john_riegel@hboe.org (email is the best way to reach me!).


Florida Trip 2015 info!

It’s time to start thinking about our next planned trip to perform at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The trip is tentatively scheduled (pending board approval) for March 20-25, 2015.

The orchestra travels with the marching band and each particpate in a musical experience at Disney. The orchestra particpates in the “You’re Instrumental” recording session clinic where they will learn about the work of studio musicians and record a short soundtrack to an animated film, while the marching band will perform in the Disney Electric Light Parade at the Magic Kingdom. Both experiences are fun and memorable for the kids!

When not performing, students will have the opportunity to explore all four Disney theme parks, enjoy Planet Hollywood and Downtown Disney, as well as have the traditional Darby breakfast at the Rainforest Cafe.

Participation in the trip is not required and additional cost is involved. Click below to download information about the trip.

Trip Info

This contains the schedule for the trip and also outlines meals and other important items.

This packet lists everything that is included in the trip as well as the cost, payment schedule, fundraising and chaperone information. Please read all of this information carefully.

Online Registration


to register for the trip.

Important Note About Individual Fundraising

Last summer, Hilliard Music Boosters determined that IRS rules no longer allow the organization to provide students with individual fundraising opportunities. That means it won’t be possible for a student to (for example) sell cookie dough through a band/orchestra fundraiser and apply that profit to lower their own trip cost.

It is possible to hold fundraisers and apply the profit to lower every student’s trip cost by an equal amount. The directors are working with the Darby Chapter to organize some fundraising projects. It will be important for all students on the trip to become involved in these projects in order for them to be successful. Students should consider that to be part of going on this type of trip.

Symphony Excerpt #6

Violin excerpt #6, at regular speed and then at 50% for careful practice.

Viola excerpt #6, at regular speed and then at 50% for careful practice.

Cello excerpt #6, at regular speed and then at 50% for careful practice.

Bass excerpt #6, at regular speed and then at 50% for careful practice.

Blizzard Bag!

Here is the Blizzard Bag assignment for orchestra:

Choose and click on one of the links to the pieces your orchestra is working on. Listen to the piece, and write a 1 to 2 paragraph critique of the performance. Be sure to include references to specific spots in the music (i.e. measure numbers, rehearsal numbers, etc.) and comment on such elements as style, ensemble, tone quality, intonation, and overall effectiveness (or lack thereof) of the performance.  Email your critique to me at John_Riegel@hboe.org within two weeks of the missed day.



Darby Orchestras eNewsletter #4, January 27, 2014

I hope all of you are staying warm and safe—winter has definitely come to Hilliard! Here are some important updates for the Darby Orchestras.

Evening Symphony Orchestra rehearsals and weather

Symphony members, several of you have asked what happens regarding our Tuesday evening clinic/rehearsal with Mr. Deliman if school is cancelled or delayed due to inclement weather. At this writing (Sunday, January 26) we are still scheduled to be “on” for our 7pm Symphony clinic on Tuesday; should there be any question, I will post here on the Darby Orchestras website, either to verify rehearsal is on or to cancel if needed (this will also post to the Darby Orchestra Facebook page). This will be the main source for information for Darby Orchestra activities, so please check back often.

Congratulations, Solo/Ensemble participants!

Last Saturday, January 18, 24 Darby Orchestra students participated in the OMEA District 15 Solo/Ensemble event at Westerville North HS. The 11 soloists and 6 ensembles all earned Superior and Excellent ratings from the adjudicators. Well done, Darby Orchestra members!

General Reminders…

Practice—all students have orchestra music and technique pieces to be working on. Violin and viola players, your instruments should go home most evenings and definitely each weekend! Cello and bass players, your orchestra music/books should also go home and you should be practicing and preparing your music as well.

Calendar—orchestra members, please remember to keep an eye on the website calendar for all upcoming events.

And, if you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Stay warm!

Darby Orchestras eNewsletter #3, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!

I write this as we enjoy an unanticipated extension to Winter Break! I hope all of you are safe and warm, and had a relaxing and restful break with family and friends. Here are items of interest and some reminders as we begin a new semester and a busy adjudication season.

Great job on Celebration Concerts!

Congratulations to everyone on a fantastic set of Celebration Concert performances in December! I am proud of all of you, not only in the way both orchestras performed, but in the way you conducted yourselves both on and off stage. I received tremendous positive feedback from our community (not just parents!), our teaching staff, and our administrators. Keep up the great work! Orchestra parents, kudos to you for your continued help and support of our orchestra program!

Solo/Ensemble Event Saturday, Jan. 18 at Westerville North H.S. (for those signed up)

This is just a reminder for those of you who are signed up to perform a solo and/or ensemble at this year’s OMEA Solo/Ensemble event. (The deadline for sign-ups was Dec. 21, as we went over several times in class.) We should receive a schedule of performance times from the event chair sometime in the next week. Hopefully you have been working on your music over break! J You will also receive more detailed information, directions, etc. once we get back to school. Those performing a solo should have an accompanist lined up to play with you; if you still need one, please email me ASAP!

Upcoming Evening Rehearsals (Symphony)

Symphony members, please check the calendar on the sidebar of the Darby Orchestra website so you are aware of the scheduled rehearsals/ clinic sessions for State (the first one is next Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 7 pm). Please remember these are graded (i.e., required) rehearsals!

General reminders…

•Be sure you have your instrument, folder with music, and class method book with you in class our first day back!

•If you haven’t already done so, be sure to like us on Facebook! You will automatically receive updates each time there is a new posting on the Darby Orchestras website.

•Whether you are preparing a solo or ensemble piece, or simply need a little “review” on scales, shifting, or other techniques we have been working on in the book, make it a habit to practice! Even a few minutes goes a long way towards improving your playing, and makes our orchestras better!