Concert String Orchestra (CSO) and String Orchestra Ensemble (SOE) are HYS’s intermediate and advanced level string orchestras. Members of CSO and SOE have an average of two years playing experience and are selected by auditions which take place in mid-August. They rehearse every Saturday at the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii Spalding Clubhouse from September to April, averaging approximately 65 hours of rehearsals each season, and perform two concerts. These students focus on refining their musical skills, interacting with a conductor, improving their form and listening to others around them to adjust their playing. Most of these students have established a strong interest in music, making it one of their priorities. The objective of these orchestras is to lay a solid foundation for students, which will stay with them as they advance their playing skills in full orchestras.
Beginning String Ensemble (BSE) and Intermediate String Ensemble (ISE) are HYS’s beginning string classes. BSE is for students with no prior playing experience while ISE is for students with at least one year of experience playing a string instrument. No auditions are necessary to join these two programs, but students must be at least eight years of age by August 1 of the year they join. Students rehearse every Saturday at the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii Spalding Clubhouse from September to April, averaging 35 hours of rehearsals each season, and perform two concerts. Students begin with little or no music experience and complete the season with the ability to read music, tune their instruments, properly bow, follow a conductor and play several beginning-level pieces as part of an ensemble. The work at this level is extraordinary as students with no music background are able to read and play music well enough to perform at least five musical pieces for their first concert of the season, which is scheduled only twelve weeks after the first class.