The Dodgen Middle School Orchestra program has 375 students enrolled in grades 6-8. Members of the orchestra audition and participate in GMEA sponsored events at the district and state level including Solo and Ensemble Festival, Honor Orchestra and All-State Orchestra. Dodgen Orchestra has had the most number of students selected for All-State Orchestra and Honor Orchestra from Cobb County for the past ten years. Many students also participate in additional orchestra ensembles.
The 6th Grade Orchestra students participate in "Jamboree", a combined schools concert held each spring, and the 7th and 8th Grade Orchestras consistently earn SUPERIOR ratings at the annual G.M.E.A. Large Group Performance Evaluation each spring semester. Each grade level orchestra presents between three to five concerts per year. The 8th Grade Orchestra participates annually in the Walt Disney World's "Magic Music Days" Workshops.
In addition to each grade level orchestra, students have the opportunity to join additional ensembles. The Dodgen Orchestra Program has a Chamber Orchestra, Viola Choir, Cello Choir, Bass Ensemble and Wire Choir(Electric Instrument Improvisation Group). These groups meet weekly before school and perform at events for the school and community. Past Performances includes appearances at the Governor's Mansion, the State Capital, the Georgia Aquarium and Town Center Mall. Advanced students participate in the area youth orchestras such as the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.
The Dodgen 8th Grade Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra were selected to perform at the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference in 2007, 2011 and 2015. The Dodgen Chamber Orchestra performed a stand-alone concert at the G.M.E.A. In-Service Conference in January 2018. These performance invitations are the highest musical honor than any music group(band, orchestra or chorus) can receive from the state of Georgia. The Dodgen Orchestra is the only music ensemble at Dodgen to receive these honors. In March 2017, the Chamber Orchestra competed at the National School Orchestra Festival in Pittsburg, PA. The Dodgen Chamber Orchestra won First Place in the Middle School Division at this National Event. The Dodgen Chamber Orchestra competed at the 2020 A.S.T.A. National Orchestra Festival in March 2020 receiving "Excellent" ratings. The Dodgen Chamber Orchestra performed at the United Nations in New York City in February 2019. The Dodgen Chamber Orchestra has been selected to perform at the 2024 G.M.E.A. In-Service Conference in January 2024.
The Dodgen Orchestras are under the direction of Ashley Culley and Evelyn Champion.
For more information about the Dodgen Orchestras, please contact Ashley Culley at email@example.com.