Ascension Academy has one of the top Orchestra programs in the Region. With esteemed Director Eleonora Lopez at its helm since 2000, our Orchestra program has won State Champion or Runner-Up recognition every year at the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) State Instrumental Contest. In addition, the Ascension Academy String Ensemble competed at the Winter Park Music Festival in Colorado in the spring of 2009, and was awarded trophies for Superior Performance, Best Performance by an Instrumental Group, and Grand Champions for Best Overall Performance at the festival.
Mrs. Lopez teaches all levels of Ascension’s Orchestra program. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Connecticut and Master of Music degree in Cello Performance from the Yale School of Music. She has taught in the Suzuki program at Amarillo College, and has performed with Chamber Music Amarillo and the Amarillo Symphony. Mrs. Lopez is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, has taught at Interlochen Arts Camp, and has been selected to the Who's Who Among America's Teachers.
Beginning in the Fall of 2010 there will be three levels of orchestral instruction: Orchestra I for beginners, Orchestra II for intermediates, and Orchestra III for those most advanced.
The solo literature covered in the class encompasses Suzuki Book 1 through mid-Suzuki Book 2. The orchestra pieces are also easy level. Basic music reading skills, listening, and playing skills are taught in group lessons and daily one-on-one teaching. It is appropriate for students that have played one year or not at all.
This orchestra is comprised of students that can play about mid-Suzuki Book 2 through mid-Suzuki Book 3. Intermediate reading skills and advancing playing skills are taught through group and individual lessons. Orchestra literature includes pieces at level 2-3 of the Texas Prescribed Music List (PML) for string orchestra.
This orchestra is for advanced players as the music performed is at level 4 and 5 of the orchestra PML. Students should be able to perform 2 and 3 octave scales up through E major and Ab major. Sight reading skills are stressed, playing skills are refined, and musicality is emphasized. Currently, the 2nd violin and viola players are in Suzuki books 3-4, the 1st violin players are in Suzuki Book 6 and higher, and most of the cello section is in Suzuki Book 6 and higher. All students in this orchestra should be able to perform a Class 1 or 2 Solo from the PML. Students also perform in quartets and trios for the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools State Competition in April.