Beyond the Music:
Creating a Culture of Excellence
in Your High School
Orchestra Program

June 7–August 1, 2021

The secondary orchestra director holds responsibilities well beyond the preparation and execution of an ensemble performance. The majority of the work to be a caretaker of a successful orchestra program is rarely seen, and is often unacknowledged. Maintaining the integrity of a strong program, while simultaneously pushing toward musical progress, is a career-long struggle. 

The focus of this course will be to add to your tool box on all aspects of the job, including but not limited to, establishing a value system within your program, facilitating parent organizations, student leadership committees, fundraisers, implementing organizational strategies for your orchestra space, and seeking collaboration opportunities, all while building skills necessary for the future orchestra musician. During this course, participants will participate in a weekly synchronous group discussion that will be accompanied by an asynchronous activity to prepare for the following discussion. The course will culminate with a larger project designed to put into use the tools explored during the course.

Instructor: Jonathan Glawe

Jonathan Glawe is the director of orchestras at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, MI. Currently in his 13th year at Pioneer High School, Glawe has spent a great amount of time working to encourage a high level of musical excellence, while also aiming to push the program to new goals, both in the classroom and in the community. The Pioneer Orchestra motto, developed under Glawe’s tenure is “Musicianship, Citizenship and Friendship,” which drives the Pioneer Orchestra program in everything they do. In his time at Pioneer, he has successfully taken his ensembles to perform in New York City in 2009, Austria and Germany in 2011, San Francisco in 2013, Italy in 2015, New Orleans in 2017, and London, UK, in 2019. In addition, Glawe has worked to bring the Pioneer orchestras into the community, having held side by side events with orchestras across the country, performing at the Michigan Music Conference, Midwest Clinic and the National Orchestra Festival. Glawe is the director and founder of the yearly Pioneer orchestra camp that takes place each August on the campus of the beautiful Interlochen Center for the Arts. Recently, Glawe’s work in the virtual teaching setting, and his willingness to dedicate his time to others with creating virtual ensemble opportunities has been invaluable to many teachers across the U.S. and abroad.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288