The Tier 1 orchestra is a chamber orchestra of professional level musicians. We recognize that these musicians, who engage daily with their instrument professionally, have little time and need for many rehearsals.
The Tier 2 orchestra is a full orchestra of advanced student and amateur musicians. This is the orchestra that most frequently accompanies the Chorale in large Wilberg-style arrangements. It rehearses 4-6 times in preparation for a concert.
The Tier 3 orchestra is a training orchestra, consisting of musicians who have achieved a high-school level of playing and are interested in playing more. This orchestra will rehearse weekly for certain periods of the year and is not expected to perform in Chorale concerts, though may sometimes be featured in a concert. At this time the Tier 3 orchestra is a string orchestra, but may be expanded to include winds if opportunity arises.
When you audition to play with the MSO, we will rank you in the tiered system and let you know of the opportunities in the coming year for that orchestra. Placement depends upon technique, intonation, and artistry (see table below). If at any time you feel ready to move to a higher tier, you are welcome to speak with the directors and audition again.
In this three-tiered system, musicians in upper tiers are welcome to play in lower tiered orchestras. They are often invited to coach other players and lead sectionals. Sometimes Tier 1 players are needed to round out the Tier 2 orchestra, but due to their professional commitments cannot attend all rehearsals. Occasionally musicians may be invited to join a higher tiered orchestra for a specific piece or program at the discretion of the directors.