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Charleston County School of the Arts Symphony String Orchestra

  • The Charleston County School of the Arts High School orchestra program has a total of 90 string students that are divided into two performing ensembles. The School of the Arts Symphony has roughly 60 string students, plus woodwinds, brass and percussion students from the band program led by Ken Turner. Chamber Orchestra is a younger string ensemble of around 30 students. Both ensembles rehearse for 90 minutes on the B days of their A/B block schedule; on A days, all string students take a string technique class. Seniors are also encouraged to take a half credit recital class called Senior Thesis. All of the high school performing ensembles, technique classes and the Senior Thesis courses are taught by the high school director, Dr. Christopher Selby. The School of the Arts High School Orchestra program averages six evening performances and several overnight trips each year including recent trips to New York City and Washington D.C. Dr. Selby’s students have performed Side by Side concerts with members of the Charleston Symphony, and every year, he conducts the School of the Arts High School Symphony and Vocal students in an annual holiday concert to sold-out crowds at the Charleston Gaillard Center. His orchestras have performed twice at the National Adjudicators Invitational and at the 2014 and 2016 ASTA National Orchestra Festivals. In 2016, they won the top prize of Grand Champion at the NOF in Tampa, FL. Our small but mighty string program would not be able to achieve all that it does with one director without the help of our incredibly supportive parents. The High School Orchestra Boosters raise the funding needed to provide our students with world class educational experiences, including periodic coaching by members of the Charleston Symphony. They also provide food, transportation, concert attire, music, and many hands to help do the work that a high caliber program requires. Thank you, parents!
  • 12/18/2019 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
  • Charleston County School of the Arts Symphony String Orchestra
  • Christopher R. Selby
  • Dr. Christopher Selby is the Director of High School Orchestras at the Charleston County School of the Arts in Charleston, South Carolina. Since 2012, the program has grown steadily in size and strength under his direction, and in 2016, he led the school’s Symphony Orchestra to win the top award of Grand Champion in the competitive public school division at the ASTA National Orchestra Festival in Tampa, FL. Dr. Selby is the author of Habits of a Successful Orchestra Director, and co-author of the Habits of a Successful String Musician series, a collection of string method books for middle and upper level orchestras published by GIA. In the winter 2019, he will be releasing two levels of new theory books for string students entitled Music Theory for the Successful String Musician. In addition to teaching and writing, Dr. Selby guest conducts at Regional and All-State Orchestras, and he regularly presents string education workshops to teachers around the country. He was a headliner for 2018 Texas Orchestra Directors Association (TODA) Summer Conference and the 2016 NAfME National Conference in Dallas. Dr. Selby has also presented sessions at two Midwest Clinics, five American String Teacher Association (ASTA) National Conferences, and numerous state conferences across America. At the School of the Arts, Dr. Selby teaches six 90-minute blocks, including an 82-student full symphony orchestra, a smaller chamber string orchestra, three string technique orchestra classes and a senior recital class. He is the only director for the high school orchestra program which averages six evening performances and several overnight trips each year. Dr. Selby has served two terms as President of the Orchestra Division of SCMEA and was the Executive Board President of the South Carolina Music Educators Association (SCMEA) from 2011-2013. Dr. Selby has written articles for NAfME and in ASTA’s American String Teacher, and most recently is a contributing author to GIA Publications’ latest volume of the popular Teaching Music Through Performance in Orchestra series. Dr. Selby earned his music education degree from the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut, and a Masters and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees in Orchestral Conducting from the University of South Carolina. Before taking his current job at the Charleston School of the Arts in 2012, Dr. Selby taught orchestra in traditional elementary, middle and high schools for eighteen years. He was the Orchestra Coordinator in Richland School District Two from 2001 to 2012, where he taught high school and supervised the district’s orchestra curriculum and instruction.