Manhattan Beach Middle School Orchestra

MBMS Orchestra audition timeline for incoming 6th grade students:

April 1 - 16: Sign-up to audition. Click here to sign up.

April 19: Google Classroom code for the audition emailed to parents and students

May 14: Audition videos due on Google Classroom by 11:59pm. No late videos will be accepted!

Early June: Audition results emailed to familes.

Please Note: Students do not need to audition to join Cadet Strings, the entry level strings class at MBMS.

The orchestra program at Manhattan Beach Middle School offers a strong educational curriculum designed to further your child’s technique and musicianship on the violin, viola, cello, or string bass. Participating in the orchestra program at MBMS will provide an immediate sense of identity and purpose as your child acclimates to a larger school setting with new schedules and routines. The elementary music program is just the beginning of what can be a memorable and rewarding journey, so please encourage your child to consider continuing with music at MBMS! An important consideration of note is that students at MBMS will have music class every day, translating to more extensive and rapid musical progress. Continuing with music at MBMS will also allow for a successful transition into the orchestra program at Mira Costa HS, further enhancing the possibilities for college admissions and even scholarships!

There are four levels of orchestra classes available at MBMS: Cadet Orchestra (level 1), String Orchestra (level 2), Chamber Orchestra (level 3), and String Ensemble (level 4). Most incoming sixth grade students will start in Cadet Orchestra. Students who choose to take music as an elective can potentially move through the levels and will find new challenges appropriate to their development in each.

The Cadet Orchestra (level 1) is a good fit for most sixth grade musicians. The curriculum of the Cadet Orchestra class is a continuation of the curriculum that was taught in the elementary school string program and the Elementary Honor Orchestra. The Cadet Orchestra is designed to meet the educational needs of students who took part in strings in elementary school, making the Cadet Orchestra the next natural step for student learning. All incoming sixth grade students may sign up for Cadet Orchestra, no audition is necessary.

A small percentage of students may be eligible for the higher level orchestra classes. These are usually students who have done extensive practice and/or have had private tutoring outside of the elementary school program. Students interested in joining one of the higher level orchestras are required to audition. The audition process is designed to help determine which class will best meet the needs of each student. It is important for student learning to be natural and gradual, so it is in the best interest of the student to be placed in a group that will be challenging but not frustrating.

Auditions will take place on Google Classroom this year. Click here to download the audition requirements, and click here to sign-up for an audition. Please note that students must be going into seventh or eighth grade in order to audition for String Ensemble.

Please feel free to email Denise Haslop, MBMS orchestra director, if you have any questions regarding middle school orchestra opportunities. She can be reached at

MBMS Orchestra Audition Requirements

MBMS Orchestra Audition Sign-up

MBMS Orchestra Flyer, 2021