The Goshen Orchestra program has a long-standing tradition of excellence. The program celebrated our centennial in the 2015-2016 school year. Over the years the Goshen Orchestras have served thousands of students growing from just thirteen students in 1915 to nearly five hundred students in 2020. Currently about 10 to 15 percent of the Goshen Community Schools student population grades 5-12 are enrolled in an orchestra.
In Goshen, students generally begin their journey with the orchestra in the summer program before their fifth-grade year meeting twice a week before or after school throughout their fifth-grade year. Students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade orchestra each meet daily as a class. At the high school, we have three orchestra classes. Our Crimson Concert Orchestra is our freshmen orchestra. The Philharmonic Orchestra is our ensemble for sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are not enrolled in the Symphonic Orchestra. Our Symphonic Orchestra is our top-performing orchestra at the high school and performs as a full orchestra in the second semester of the school year. We also provide students with several extra-curricular ensembles such as our high school Camerata Chamber Orchestra, and our GJHS & GHS String Jazz Ensembles.
The Goshen High School Symphonic Full Orchestra is a 16-time Indiana State School Music Association State Finalist including the past two years the event was held. The Goshen Orchestras have received several other high honors over the years including over twenty first-place middle school orchestra awards at the Music in the Parks festival, and many High School high honors at Heritage Festivals across the country. The orchestra even received a national ranking and performed at the World’s Fair in Chicago, IL in 1933. We honor the traditions of the past as we continue to excellence for the future.
Sean Patrick joined Goshen Community Schools District joining the program in 2011 with responsibilities as the podium director for the Goshen Junior High School Seventh and Eighth Grade Orchestras and the Goshen High School Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Patrick is also responsible for assisting with the Fifth and Sixth Grade Orchestras at Goshen Intermediate School and the Goshen High School Crimson Concert and Symphonic Orchestra. Prior to his position in the Goshen Community Schools, Mr. Patrick taught for three years in the Elkhart Community Schools District.
Mr. Patrick received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Ball State University in 2008 and a Master of Education in Teacher Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2014. He believes in providing high-quality, varied, and comprehensive music education to his students by holding high expectations of music performance, encouraging a high level of enrollment in private lessons, placing all students into chamber groups, providing extra-curricular string jazz/fiddle/mariachi ensembles, and integrating music theory and history instruction into the classroom curriculum.
Mr. Patrick is an active performer on cello and double bass currently performing with small groups like the Generations Jazz Trio, French Quarter, and Vibenation, as well as larger groups such as the Tom Milo Big Band and The Elkhart County Symphony Orchestra among others. Mr. Patrick is a National Association for Music Education member and the American String Teacher’s Association. He is also an Indiana State School Music Association adjudicator assessing soloists and small groups at the annual solo & ensemble event and large ensembles at the middle and high school ISSMA organizational festivals in the Spring.
Mr. Patrick can be contacted at email@example.com or at Goshen Junior High School (574) 533-0391
Jason Pfeifer joined the Goshen Orchestra faculty in 2014 as the head high school orchestra director. He grew up in Rochester, NY, and received bachelor's degrees from Baldwin-Wallace University where he studied music education and violin performance. Mr. Pfeifer also earned a master's degree from Central Michigan University where he studied violin performance and also was a string teaching graduate assistant. Mr. Pfeifer has also taught for seven years at the Saginaw Township Community Schools (Michigan). Highlights of his years in Saginaw include performing at the American String Teachers Association’s National Orchestra Festival, State Festivals, and the Saginaw Spirit Hockey Games. Jason is the podium director for the Goshen High School Camerata Chamber Orchestra, Crimson Concert Orchestra, and the Symphonic String & Full Orchestras. Mr. Pfeifer also assists the Goshen Junior High School 7th & 8th Grade Orchestras.
Mr. Pfeifer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Goshen Junior High School (574) 533-8651
Rachel Horning graduated from Anderson University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. She taught 6th Grade Beginning Orchestra in Franklin Township, Indianapolis, during the 20-21 school year. Originally from Goshen, Ms. Horning was a part of the Goshen Orchestra program as a student from grades 5-12. She is excited to return to her hometown in a new role! Ms. Horning will be the podium director for 5th and 6th-grade orchestras and will assist with the Junior High and High School Orchestras.
Ms. Horning has also been an active performer, having been part of the viola sections of the Anderson Symphony, the Muncie Symphony, and the Marion Philharmonic Orchestras. She continues to develop her passion for music education by being a part of the American String Teachers Association and the National Association for Music Education.
Ms. Horning can be contacted at email@example.com or at Goshen Junior High School (574) 533-0391
The Goshen Orchestra Boosters is a parent organization that exists to support the students and directors of the Goshen Orchestra by raising funds, providing service, and connecting orchestra parents with opportunities for increased involvement in the program.
The Goshen Orchestra Booster Organization meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at Goshen High School in the Music Conference Room (5200). Booster meetings are open to all parents of Goshen Orchestra students.
Come and see how you can help continue making the program great!
Orchestra Booster Officers
- MS Representative:
- At Large:
The Goshen Orchestras do not charge a participation fee to be a member of the ensembles. This is not to say that there are no costs associated with running a program of this magnitude. Through a great booster organization, ticket sales at concerts, generous donors, and dedicated student participation in fundraising events, we are able to help keep instruments in playing condition, pay for bussing, contest and festival entries, help pay for field trips, and provide trip and lesson scholarships for students with special financial need.
Help support the orchestras through your regular amazon.com shopping. Go to smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com and amazon will give to a charitable organization. The first time you enter smile.amazon.com the site will ask you to select a charitable organization. Search for "Goshen Orchestra Boosters" to help support the orchestras in your online purchases.
In the future we hope to provide an outlet for digital donations on this page of the website in the near future.
We are proud to offer Goshen students the opportunity to play in orchestra without a participation fee.This is only possible through the continued generous support of this wonderful community. Please help us continue offering the opportunity to future generations of students by participating in our fundraisers, and/or donating your time and funds to fundraising activities.
The Goshen High School Orchestra program is among the best in the state with 16 state finalist appearances including the past two years the event has been held and two state runner-up performances. There are many string performance opportunities for Goshen students but the program is centered on our three concert ensembles that meet three times a week during the school day. In addition to our concert ensembles, students have the opportunity to participate in small chamber ensembles, the musical pit orchestra, our jazz string ensemble, and our Camerata Chamber Orchestra. The Goshen High School Orchestras are directed by Mr. Jason Pfeifer and Mr. Sean Patrick.
Crimson Concert Orchestra: The Crimson Concert Orchestra is for students continuing in orchestra that participated in 8th grade orchestra the previous year. The Crimson Concert Orchestra continues increases the demand of musicality while increasing the rigor of music as student move into the Goshen High School program. The Crimson Concert Orchestra meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays performing in the Fall Orchestra Coffee Concert in October, the Sounds of the Season Orchestra Concert in December, at the ISSMA HS Organizational Festival in April, and the Spring Orchestra Concert in late April. Jason Pfeifer is the podium director of the Crimson Concert Orchestra. Sean Patrick and Rachel Horning assist this ensemble.
Philharmonic Orchestra: The Philharmonic Orchestra is an auditioned ensemble for students in grades 10-12 that are not enrolled in Symphonic Orchestra. The Philharmonic Orchestra meets Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays performing in the Fall Orchestra Coffee Concert in October, the Sounds of the Season Orchestra Concert in December, at the ISSMA HS Organizational Festival in April, and the Spring Orchestra Concert in late April. Sean Patrick is the podium director of the Philharmonic Orchestra. Jason Pfeifer & Rachel Horning assist this ensemble.
Symphonic String/Full Orchestra: The Symphonic Orchestra is the top performing orchestras at Goshen High School consisting of students grades 10-12 selected from a May audition process. The Symphonic Orchestra performs as a string orchestra in the Fall and incorporates winds and percussion for the Spring semester performances. This Orchestra is known to be among the best in the state and performs professional level literature. The Symphonic Orchestra meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the school day and has a weekly Monday evening rehearsal starting in November. The Symphonic Orchestra performs in the Fall Orchestra Coffee Concert in October, the Sounds of the Season Orchestra Concert in December, the Spring Orchestra Concert in late April, the ISSMA HS Organizational State Qualification event in late April, and ideally in the ISSMA State Concert Finals event in Early May. This is also an ensemble that travels and competes in regional and national festivals. Jason Pfeifer is the podium director of the Symphonic Orchestra, Sean Patrick & Rachel Horning assist this ensemble. Tom Cox is the wind and percussion assistant to the orchestra on Monday nights.
Chamber Ensembles: In the Goshen Orchestras we affirm the importance of chamber music for our students both from an educational, and practical standpoint. Chamber music encourages independent musicianship, demands music literacy, and fosters meaningful musical and social growth in students. The Goshen High School Orchestras have the highest level of participation in the ISSMA solo & ensemble of any string program in the region. We encourage students to continue working in these ensembles beyond the ISSMA event. The orchestra program has a standing ensemble, the Crimson Quartet, which generally performs professional level literature and has participated in the Fischoff National Chamber Competition.
Musical Pit Orchestra: The musical pit orchestra provides the music for the annual Goshen High School musical performances in March. The group is formed in late December and begins to rehearse in January. The musical pit instrumentation varies by the needs of the individual show but players are from the Goshen Music department. The Musical Pit Orchestra is led by Mr. Stephen Snyder.
Red Wire Jazz Strings: The Goshen High School Red Wire Jazz String Ensemble was started in the 2013-2014 school year in an effort to offer students the opportunity to learn about jazz styles, history, improvisation, and performance. This is a volunteer ensemble that practices for an hour once a week before school (currently Wednesdays 7:30-8:45am) from August to May. The ensemble performs in the ISSMA Jazz Festival in early March as well as the GCS Jazz Cafes and other possible jazz festivals, community performances, or orchestra concerts. Sean Patrick directs this Ensemble.
Camerata Chamber Orchestra: The Camerata Chamber Orchestra is a string chamber ensembles of 15-22 students selected by director invitation. This ensemble prepares and performs the great string chamber music and can often be found performing in the community. The ensemble meets as a zero hour (before school) class, two days a week (currently Wednesdays & Fridays 7:20-8:10am). The Camerata Chamber Orchestra performs annually in the Fall Orchestra Coffee Concert in October, the Sounds of the Season Orchestra Concert in December, in the ISSMA Solo & Ensemble event in early February, the Solo & Ensemble state event in late February, and the Spring Orchestra Concert in late April. Jason Pfeifer coaches this ensemble.
The Goshen Junior High School Orchestras have a long tradition of excellence in music performance as we prepare students with the knowledge, understanding, and technical training to become great musicians. The Goshen Junior High School 7th, and 8th grade orchestras meet in a block schedule for two long periods and one short period a week.
7th Grade Orchestra: The seventh grade orchestra is for students continuing in orchestra that participated in 6th grade orchestra the previous year. 7th Grade Orchestra focuses on building competency and understanding in intonation while incorporating shifting and vibrato techniques. Students will work to play musically as a group. The seventh grade orchestra meets everyday as a class period of the school day and performs in the Fall Orchestra Concert in October, the Winter Orchestra Festival (finale) in December, at the ISSMA JME Organizational Festival in March, the Spring Orchestra Festival (finale) in May, and the Music in the Parks Festival in May. Sean Patrick is the podium director of the 7th Grade Orchestra. Rachel Horning and Jason Pfeifer assist this ensemble.
8th Grade Orchestra: The eighth grade orchestra is for students continuing in orchestra that participated in 7th grade orchestra the previous year. 8th Grade Orchestra continues to hone intonation while maturing vibrato techniques all while playing more challenging music. Additionally, we work for students to build an independent understanding of phrasing and musicianship. The eighth grade orchestra meets everyday as a class period of the school day and performs in the Fall Orchestra Concert in October, the Winter Orchestra Festival (finale) in December, at the ISSMA JME Organizational Festival in March, the Spring Orchestra Festival (finale) in May, as well as performing the elementary tour and at the Music in the Parks Festival in May. Sean Patrick is the podium director of the 7th Grade Orchestra. Jason Pfeifer and Rachel Horning assist this ensemble.
Red Thread Jazz Strings: The Red Thread Alternate Strings was started in the 2011-2012 school year and existed as a jazz strings ensemble for three years before expanding to incorporate fiddle and mariachi ensembles. The Red Thread Jazz Strings meets once a week after school for an hour (Fridays 4pm-5pm) September thru May and typically performs on the Winter Orchestra Festival (finale) in December, the ISSMA Solo & Ensemble Event in early February, The ISSMA Jazz Festival in early March, and the Spring Orchestra Festival (finale) in May. This group may also perform out in the Goshen community. The Red Thread Alternate Strings are directed by Mr. Patrick.
Chamber Ensembles: In the Goshen Orchestras we affirm the importance of chamber music for our students both from an educational, and practical standpoint. Chamber music encourages independent musicianship, demands music literacy, and fosters meaningful musical and social growth in students. All 7th and 8th grade students participate in the "Chamber Unit" which takes place from late November and extending to early February. Students choose their groupings of 3 to 20 members of any instrumentation, though they are encouraged to choose standard instrumentation such as string quartets, violin quartets, string trios, etc... Students then spend a portion of class time over the next seven weeks working on a piece of music independently and with some teacher guidance. All ensembles participate in our "mini-contest" in which an outside adjudicator comes into the school during on the Tuesday before Solo & Ensemble, listens to the groups giving them feedback and suggestions for improvement. Most ensembles choose to participate in the ISSMA Solo & Ensemble event. Students can choose to remain in these ensembles beyond the chamber unit by arranging rehearsals outside of the school day. We do have an 8th grade chamber ensemble (typically a double quartet) coached by Mr. Patrick that meets once a week after school.
Participation in the Goshen Community Schools Orchestra Program begins with the summer beginner program for incoming 5th grade students (students with significant summer conflicts may have the opportunity to start in a condensed three week after school program in August). The Fifth and Sixth Grade Orchestras are taught by Ms. Rachel Horning
5th Grade Orchestra resumes for all 5th Grade Orchestra students in early September. 5th grade students will have orchestra three times a week; all students will have orchestra combined on Wednesdays from 2:30-3:30pm. Violins will have violin only instruction on Thursdays and Fridays from 2:30-3:30pm. Violas and cellos will have instrument specific classes on Mondays and Tuesdays from 2:30-3:30pm (Students can be picked up at Goshen Intermediate School OR take the bus that travels from GIS to GJHS and then load busses to take them home with the GJHS students) The 5th Grade Orchestra performs on the December Winter Festival, and May Spring Festival concerts.
6th Grade Orchestra: The sixth grade orchestra is for students continuing in orchestra that participated in the 5th grade All City Orchestra the previous year. 6th Grade Orchestra picks up where 5th Grade Orchestra left off focusing on teaching literacy of notes on the C and E strings, more complex rhythmic patterns, building competency in tuning and the understanding of intonation, learning new and working on changes of hand positions, and beginning to develop musicianship. The sixth grade orchestra meets everyday as a class in the school day and performs in the Fall Orchestra Concert in October, the Winter Orchestra Festival (prelude) in December, at the ISSMA JME Organizational Festival in March, and the Spring Orchestra Festival (prelude) in May. Rachel Horning is the podium director of the 6th Grade Orchestra. Sean Patrick and Jason Pfeifer assist this ensemble.
The Summer Orchestra Program is a five week instructional program for all 5th Grade Beginning Students and an enrichment program for students in 6th-12th Grade students already enrolled in orchestra. Classes generally run Monday-Thursday for three weeks after the end of the school year and before the week of July 4th. Classes resume for the two weeks before the school year begins in August. The summer program culminates in a Thursday evening concert. Attendance in these classes is important however we understand absences due to family vacations, summer camps, and conflicts with the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. The 2021 Summer Program will run Monday thru Thursday from June 7-June 24 and will resume July 19 with a Summer Showcase Concert on July 29. Information and registration documents will be coming out to students starting in the last week of April.
Beginning Classes: (meets Monday thru Thursday)
9:00-9:55am: Beginning Violins & Violas (or cellos that are unable to attend the 3:00pm class)
3:00-3:55pm: Beginning Cellos
4:00-4:55pm: Beginning Violins & Violas
5:00-6:00pm: Beginning Violins & Violas
6th Grade Explorers Classes: (meets Monday thru Thursday)
10:00-10:40am: This class is designed for 6th grade students that participated in 5th Grade Orchestra but are interested in changing to a different instrument for 6th grade. This class is designed specifically for the 4-6 bass players needed for 6th grade orchestra but can also accommodate students wishing to change to other instruments in the orchestra. Students taking the explorers class will also participate in the Tuesday & Thursday 10:45am-12:00pm 6th Grade Summer Orchestra classes.
6th Grade Summer Orchestra: (meets Tuesdays & Thursdays)
10:45am-12:00pm: This class is for students enrolled in the GMS 6th Grade Orchestra that participated in 5th Grade Orchestra. This class gives students a jump start at more advanced concepts as they will learn notes on the E and C strings, gain more exposure to 8th-note patterns, and will begin to play in more advanced harmonies.
7th & 8th Grade Summer Orchestra: (meets Mondays & Wednesdays)
10:45am-12:00pm: This class is for students enrolled in 7th or 8th Grade Orchestra. Students will get more experience with shifting and vibrato as well as phrasing and musicianship. This group will perform two to four pieces of music for the Summer Orchestra concert.
Fiddle Club: (meets Mondays & Wednesdays)
12:00-12:30pm: This is an additional enrichment class for incoming 7th and 8th students who are also enrolled in the 7th & 8th Grade Summer Orchestra. In this extra half-hour class, students will learn about the heritage, style, and structure of traditional fiddle tunes.
GHS Summer Orchestra: (meets Tuesdays & Thursdays)
12:00pm-1:30pm: This class is for students enrolled in grades 9-12 for the coming school year. The summer orchestra will perform in the Summer Orchestra concert and at the Elkhart County 4H Fair.
2020: The Tradition of Excellence will continue
2020: COVID-19 Virus Pandemic forces cancellation of most music performances, trips, and ultimately the ending of in-person class meetings in March.
2019: GHS Symphonic Orchestra performs as an ISSMA State Finalist. GMS & GHS Orchestra programs earn respective ISSMA All Music Awards
2018: GHS Symphonic Strings perform in Chicago’s Millennium Park as part of Valparaiso’s Confucius Symposium.
2018: GHS Symphonic Orchestra performs as an ISSMA State Finalist. GMS & GHS Orchestra programs earn respective ISSMA All Music Awards
2018: GHS Music Performances in Boston, MA
2017: Kyle Pitcher joins GCS orchestra staff
2017: GMS & GHS Orchestra programs earn respective ISSMA All Music Awards
2017: GMS Orchestra performs at the Indiana Statehouse on behalf of IMEA
2017: GHS Jazz Strings perform as honor ensemble at the 2017 IMEA State Convention and earn Judges Award for performance in the Stewart Center at the Purdue Jazz Festival
2016: Renovations to GMS & GHS completed bringing enlarged orchestra spaces
2016: Goshen Community Schools Orchestras celebrate the conclusion of our centennial year as a program.
2016: GMS & GHS Orchestra programs earn respective ISSMA All Music Awards
2016: GHS Music Performances in New York City, NY
2016: GHS Jazz Strings earn Judges Award for performance in the North Ballroom at the Purdue Jazz Festival
2015: GMS Orchestra earns the ISSMA JME All Music Award in its founding year. GHS orchestra also earns All Music Award.
2015: GMS 8th Grade Orchestra performs as an honor ensemble at the 2015 IMEA State Convention
2014: Zachary Coudret hired as Goshen 5/6 Orchestra Director (2014-2017)
2014: Jason Pfeifer joins GCS Orchestra Staff
2014: GHS Symphonic Orchestra ISSMA State Finals
2014: Susan Ellington Retires as GHS Head High School Director after 18 years of service (1996-2014)
2014: GHS Music Performances in Atlanta, GA
2014: First year for GHS Jazz Strings
2013: GHS Symphonic Orchestra performs at Valparaiso University’s Confucius Symposium
2012: GHS Symphonic Orchestra ISSMA State Finalist
2012: Band/Orchestra/Choir Performances in NYC
2012: First Year for GMS Jazz Strings
2011: GHS Orchestra Enrollment grows to three Orchestras with the addition of the freshman ensemble, Crimson Concert Orchestra.
2011: Kate Truscello joins GCS Orchestra Staff (2011-2013)
2011: Sean Patrick joins GCS Orchestra Staff
2011: Christine Roemke leaves GCS Orchestra Staff after 10 Years of service (2001-2011)
2010: GHS Symphonic Orchestra ISSMA State Finalist
2010: Choir/Orchestra Performances in Atlanta, GA
2009: Joel Powell Joins GCS Orchestra Staff (2009-2011)
2009: GHS Symphonic Orchestra places 3rd at ISSMA State Finals
2008: GHS Symphonic Orchestra places 3rd at ISSMA State Finals
2008: Ben Yoder joins GCS Orchestra Staff (2008-2009)
2007: GHS Symphonic Orchestra places 2nd at ISSMA State Finals
2006: Goshen Middle School Orchestras grow to separate into separate 7th and 8th grade orchestras
2006: GHS Symphonic Concert Orchestra ties North Central for ISSMA State Champion (placed 2nd after tie-breaking rules)
2006: GHS Symphonic Orchestra performs as an honor ensemble at the 2006 IMEA State Convention
2005: GHS Symphonic Concert Orchestra places 3rd at ISSMA State Finals
2004: GHS Symphonic Concert Orchestra places 4th at ISSMA State Finals
2004: Choir/Orchestra Performances in NYC
2003: ISSMA Establishes State Qualifier Sites to improve consistency of scoring for groups hoping to perform at state finals.
2003: GHS Orchestras grow to call for the addition of a 2nd High School Orchestra: “Philharmonic Orchestra”
2003: Goshen High School music wing additions/renovation
2002: GHS Concert Orchestra ISSMA State Finalist
2001: Choir/Orchestra Performances in Toronto.
2001: GHS Concert Orchestra places 4th at ISSMA State Finals
2001: Christine Lipton (Roemke) joins GHS Orchestra staff as elementary director
2000: Choir/Orchestra Performances in NYC
1999: GMS 7th & 8th Grade Orchestra performs as an honor ensemble at the 1999 IMEA State Convention
1998: GHS Concert Orchestra ISSMA State Finalist
1998: Choir/Orchestra Performances in Toronto.
1996: Susan Ellington hired as Goshen Orchestra Director
1996: Brian Kirk retires as Goshen Orchestra Director after 27 years of service (1969-1996)
1996: Choir/Orchestra Trip to NYC
1993: GHS Concert Orchestra ISSMA State Finalist
1992: GHS Concert Orchestra ISSMA State Finalist
1991: Goshen Middle School Opens replacing Towncrest and Whiteman Junior High Schools.
1981: ISSMA Established as a merger of NISBOVA and ISMA
1976: Goshen College graduate and violinist, Sam Martin, joins staff as an assistant orchestra director
1970: Camerata Chamber orchestra founded
1969: Brian Kirk hired as Goshen String Teacher
1967: Goshen High School music program expands to three dedicated directors; one for each organization of the music department.
1961: James Greiner hired as Goshen orchestra and choir director
1961: Reginald Brinklow retires after 38 years of service (1923-1961)
1956: Goshen High School music program expands to two full-time directors. 1 band director, 1 choir/orchestra director.
1956: GHS Renovations bring dedicated instructional space to Music Department
1947: Marion Erwin joins as assistant orchestra director (1947-1954)
1939: Margaret Brittan Detwiler joins as string specialist (1939-1946)
1935: Alice Vawter joins staff as string specialist (1935-1939)
1935: NISBOVA (Northern Indiana School Band, Orchestra, & Vocal Association) formed
1933: GHS Orchestra places 2nd in National Competition held in Elmhurst, IL and performed at the World’s Fair in Chicago.
1931: Aline Hower joins Goshen staff as string specialist and orchestra conductor (1931-1933)
1924: Establishment of a grade school string program (40 Students), under the direction of Marshall Howenstein.
1923: Reginald Brinklow hired as Goshen Music Teacher
1923: Dinkeloo retires Goshen Music Teacher after 12 years of service
1915: Goshen Establishes a high school orchestra led by Goshen Music Teacher, Gerald Dinkeloo