Odle Symphony Orchestra
Barney Blough, Conductor
Odle Middle School | Bellevue, Washington, USA
1st Place Middle School Orchestra
The Odle Symphony Orchestra
The Odle Symphony is open to all band and orchestra students across the seventh and eighth grades. At Odle, there are no auditions and everyone is invited to participate. Some of the students are in the Gifted program at Odle, some take regular private lessons, some are in a local youth symphony, but many of the students have experienced music only through the public school music program. Our goal is to provide an enriching ensemble experience beyond the regular school day by creating musically inspired performances founded in a genuine love of orchestral music.
The Odle Symphony Orchestra was invited to be a featured performing group at the National Association of Music Educators Northwest Conference on February 17, 2017. The conference was a gathering of music teachers from throughout the Northwest who attended workshops, performances and clinics. The Odle Symphony wass one of only a handful of groups selected by audition from schools in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. Our audition recording features the full symphony orchestra, including woodwind, brass and percussion players from the band, who also joined the orchestra for this exciting performance.
The invitation to perform at the NAFME Northwest Convention is a tribute to the students’ commitment to excellence and willingness to dedicate themselves to rehearsing outside of the regular school day. To prepare for their performance the orchestra rehearsed after school once a week starting in December. They attended a weekend retreat in January that provided coaching from professional orchestra musicians. Specialists on each instrument, including several members of the Seattle Symphony, joined the students at the retreat to work together in “sectional” rehearsals, providing the students an opportunity to learn how the pros do it. Finally, they performed at a special concert in February that showcased the orchestra at their peak right before the NAFME conference. The orchestra also performed at the Northwest Orchestra Festival in Gresham, Oregon, where they won the prize for first place.
Odle Symphony Orchestra's Winning Performances Submitted to Ictus International Music Competition in 2017
Working with young musicians is a lifelong passion for Barney Blough. In addition to teaching orchestra, he is currently the Arts Department Chair at Odle Middle School and the Middle School Orchestra lead for the Bellevue School District. Outside of school, Mr. Blough is the Director of the Sinfonia Orchestra for BYSO and an active performer with Orchestra Seattle. His conducting teachers include Pulitzer Prize winner Gunther Schuller. Mr. Blough received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Central Washington University, and he will complete his Master’s degree in Music Education at CWU this summer.
Odle Symphony Orchestra
John Van Horn