6017 Strategies for the Middle School Orchestra Director

6017 Strategies for the Middle School Orchestra Director

This course will provide ideas on how to improve an orchestral program by giving helpful tools for year-round recruitment and concert ideas, retention and examples of why students stay in programs, year-round techniques to provide younger musicians an opportunity to feel success while keeping older students interested, how to form an alternative styles group within an orchestra program to assist with building interest in the program, ideas for teaching orchestra students on how to improvise, and a wide range of age-appropriate literature that will challenge  middle school students, and pedagogical techniques that provide a positive environment for success.  Veteran junior high director, Clifford Hunt, will guide the class through steps to improve the middle school orchestral program and review techniques that other veterans might have forgotten.

Instructor: Clifford Hunt


Clifford Hunt has directed the Hufford Junior High Orchestras in the urban and culturally diverse town of Joliet since 2001. Since Mr. Hunt began teaching within the Joliet School District, the Hufford Orchestra has increased enrollment within the program by 400%, and has had over sixty plus students within his orchestras every year since 2006. Under his direction the orchestras have been awarded multiple 1st division ratings at yearly IGSMA organization contests.  He also directs the Hufford Honors Orchestra (H2O) an alternative styles group that focuses on jazz, rock and blues.  In addition to teaching the Hufford Orchestras he has co-directed the award winning Joliet All City Orchestra since 2002.

While teaching in Joliet, Clifford Hunt has been awarded the school district Star Teacher Award three years in a row.  He also conducted the community Joliet Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2013.  Professionally, Clifford is a member of the Illinois Grade School Music Association, the Illinois Music Educators Association and the American String Teachers Association and has been an adjudicator and clinician all over the Chicagoland area.  

Mr. Hunt’s education includes a Bachelor of Music Education from Illinois State University and Masters of Music Education from Vandercook College of Music.

In his free time, he is a bass player in the Chicagoland Area playing music of many genres including jazz, funk, classical, rock and even metal and enjoys teaching privately to lower string students. 





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Course Information

6017 Strategies for the Middles School Orchestra Director
1 graduate credits
Dates: April 8-9
Location: VanderCook College of Music 
3125 S. Federal St. Chicago IL 60616
Room: Q120
Tuition: $330 due in full with registration

VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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