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The 2018 registration is now open. Pre-registration rates are as follows:
$125 Early Bird Professional Rate
Through Oct. 1st
$155 Pre-conference Professional Rate
Through Dec. 13th
$90 Early Bird First Time Attendee Professional Rate
Through Oct. 1st 
$125 First Time Attendee Professional Rate
Through Dec. 13th 

College Student Rate
Through Dec. 13th

NOTE:  Anyone registered as a spouse or exhibitor will be ineligible to receive a professional development certificate/credit hours for the events attended during the conference.  

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Hill Country Middle School Symphony Orchestra

  • About Hill Country Middle School Full Orchestra: Hill Country Middle School is part of the Eanes Independent School District, located in the scenic Hill Country of Austin, Texas. Instrumental instruction begins in the 6th grade when students select band, orchestra or choir as their music elective, and is continued through the 12th grade. Both the band and orchestra programs consist of three beginning classes of like instruments and two auditioned ensembles who perform concerts in a variety of settings including on EISD campuses and throughout the community. The Hill Country Middle School Full Orchestra is comprised of students from the top level Sinfonia Orchestra, along with selected members of the top level Symphonic Band. A vast majority of our students elect to study an instrument for the first time in 6th grade and continue to be part of an EISD performing ensemble throughout middle school and high school. Students from both programs participate in various competitions throughout the year, including Region Orchestra, Region Band, Solo and Ensemble Contest, UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest and participate in a competitive music festival showcase in the spring. The Hill Country Middle School Full Orchestra program has, since its inception in 2011, consistently earned UIL Division I ratings and Sweepstakes awards for superior performances. Both the HCMS String Orchestra program and the HCMS Band program are consistent UIL Sweepstakes recipients with both Varsity and Non Varsity ensembles. In addition to consecutive years of successful performance at UIL contest, the HCMS Full Orchestra has also been named Overall Outstanding Full Orchestra at the Alamo Showcase of Music from 2014 through 2017. The Hill Country Middle School Full Orchestra was most recently recognized as the 2017 Texas Music Educators Association Middle School Full Honor Orchestra.
  • 12/20/2017 01:15 PM - 02:00 PM
  • Hill Country Middle School Symphony Orchestra
  • Rachel Horvitz
  • Rachel Horvitz received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001. While at UT she studied under distinguished cello professor Phyllis Young and regularly performed with the UT Cello Choir and the UT Symphony along with instructing various ensembles in the UT String Project. Currently Ms. Horvitz is in her tenth year as the Hill Country Middle School Orchestra Director in Eanes ISD, located in Austin, Texas. During her tenure at HCMS, her ensembles have consistently received UIL Sweepstakes awards and in addition, the Sinfonia Orchestra has been recognized as Outstanding in Class, both as a string and full orchestra ensemble at the Director’s Choice Alamo Showcase. Under her leadership at HCMS, student membership in string orchestra at the campus level greatly increased along with the creation in 2011 of the highly successful Full Orchestra program. In 2017, the Hill Country Middle School Full Orchestra was named the Texas Music Educators Association Full Honor Orchestra and prepared a featured performance at the TMEA Clinic and Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Previous to teaching in EISD, Ms. Horvitz taught for seven years at Lamar Middle School in Austin ISD, achieving Superior ratings at UIL and Sweepstakes. From 2008 to 2013 she served as a conductor for Austin Youth Orchestra, leading first the Intermezzo Orchestra and later the Camerata Orchestra. Now in her seventeenth year of teaching middle school orchestra in the Austin public schools, she has also previously served as teaching faculty for the Longhorn Music Camp and Austin Chamber Music Center and serves as a clinician and adjudicator in Central Texas. In 2013 she earned a Masters in Secondary Education from Texas State University as part of the Partnership for Teacher Excellence Program sponsored by the Eanes Education Foundation. Ms. Horvitz has dedicated much of her free time to performing in local orchestras and chamber groups including Temple and Georgetown Symphony and Musical Discovery Chamber Players. Her professional memberships include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Orchestra Directors Association and Texas Music Adjudicators Association.