Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra Festival Strings

An Educational Outreach Program

History of Festival Strings

Festival Strings is an educational outreach program sponsored by the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, and includes more than 100 young musicians from over 30 towns in northern New Jersey. The group comes together for five intense rehearsals and a wonderful concert in Ridgewood each winter.

Membership in the orchestra is open to all string players in grades six through nine upon the recommendation of their school or private study music teachers; all students are accepted without audition. Although most students who participate are members of their school orchestra, the activity also serves many students from communities without school string programs. Abilities on their instruments must include a command of first position, with extensions and accidentals, and facility in the higher positions for more advanced sections of the orchestra. High school alumni of the program often return to serve as rehearsal assistants to help with tuning and placement adjudication.

The group was originally organized by Dr. Sandra Dackow under the auspices of the New Jersey units of the National School Orchestra Association and the American String Teachers Association. Todd Van Beveren has conducted the Festival Strings Orchestra since 2009.

Festival Strings 2017

Please Note Revised Dates
Rehearsal DateRehearsal Time
Rehearsals at Ridgewood United Methodist Church
Tuesday, January 31, 20174:30-8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 7, 20174:30-8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 14, 20174:30-8:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 16, 20174:30-8:00 p.m.
Dress rehearsal at Benjamin Franklin Middle School, Ridgewood
Saturday, February 18, 20171:30-3:30 p.m.
Concert at Benjamin Franklin Middle School
Saturday, February 18, 20174 p.m.

The Festival Strings 2017 concert will be Saturday afternoon, February 18, 2017 at the Ben Franklin Middle School Auditorium. Rehearsals start on Tuesday, January 31, 2017. The rehearsals dates, application deadline, and other details are included in the application which is available below. Former Festival Strings members who are now in grades 10 - 12 and would like to participate as a rehearal assistant should fill out and submit the Rehearsal Assistant application.

To apply, fill out the Student Application Form.

To apply as a Rehearsal Assistant, fill out the Rehearsal Assistant Application Form.

Questions: email [email protected]