With a focus on developing artistry, musicianship, and excellence, Concert Orchestra explores challenging repertoire in a community-focused setting.
Mark Gitch, the Director of Orchestras at Wayzata High School since 2005, traces his love for orchestral music back to the Mounds View orchestra program and teachers Doug Overland and John Madura. Further encouraged through violin lessons with Mary Horozaniecki, and energized by his time in GTCYS’ Symphony Orchestra under Dr. William LaRue Jones, Mr. Gitch went on to earn degrees in music education from St. Olaf College (B.A. ‘88) and the University of St. Thomas (M.A. ‘02). Mr. Gitch began his teaching career in Owatonna, where he taught until moving to Wayzata. In addition to his career in the public schools, Mr. Gitch has conducted for the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras and the MacPhail Center for Music Suzuki Program, served as Music Director for the Owatonna Community Orchestra, guest conducted the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, and remained active as a violinist. Mr. Gitch has also served in leadership positions at the local, regional and state level, including board terms with the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) and the Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association (MNSOTA). He was the recipient of the 2004 MNSOTA Master Teacher – School Orchestra award and the 2002 Owatonna Community Arts Award. Mr. Gitch and his daughter, Maya, live in St. Louis Park.
Concert Orchestra rehearses on Mondays (September 21, 2020 through May 30, 2021) in four cohorts. Cohorts A and C rehearse 5:45-7:00pm, and Cohorts B and D rehearse 7:45-9:00pm, at Saint Paul RiverCentre, 175 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul.
Concert Orchestra performed at GTCYS’ Fall Festival at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, on Sunday, November 19, 2017. Listen to a sample of their live performance at that concert of the Overture from La Vie Parisienne from Ballet Parisien, by Jacques Offenbach (arranged by Merle J. Isaac) here. Interested in purchasing the full performance? Click here to purchase CDs and MP3s!
Concert Orchestra’s fall 2019 repertoire includes original works and orchestral arrangements, such as:
- Symphonic Tribute by Nancy Pettersen
- Symphony in G minor, First Movement by W.A. Mozart, arr. Merle J. Isaac
GTCYS commits to providing an inspiring and comprehensive musical experience to transform students musically, personally, and socially. This means engaging the best conductors and sectional coaches, carefully curating musical selections for the best educational experience, performing in high quality venues, sharing music with diverse audiences, providing clear and consistent communications, promoting a welcoming and supportive environment, and putting students first.
In return, we ask students and parents for their commitment:
- Pay annual tuition and retreat fees: $900 full-year tuition, plus $50 retreat fee. Need-based scholarships are available, see below.
- Note: tuition represents half the actual cost to participate and the remainder is subsidized by tax-deductible contributions. GTCYS does NOT ask families to participate in door-to-door fundraising activities.
- Practice GTCYS music 10 minutes daily and come prepared to rehearsals; see the Attendance Policy for details.
- Honor the attendance policy and abide by the student code of conduct; see Musician’s Handbook for details.
GTCYS serves all interested, dedicated students, regardless of financial constraints by providing $100,000 in need-based scholarships annually. Click here to learn more about scholarships »
Every student must audition annually for membership in GTCYS. Auditions include a short solo and memorized scales. Beginning in the 2020-21 season, all students interested in being considered for Concert Orchestra must also prepare specified orchestral excerpts. Previous participation does not guarantee placement.
Extra Opportunities for Concert Orchestra Students
GTCYS Ambassadors: Students gain valuable communication and advocacy skills by sharing a 5-minute presentation about their GTCYS experience with their school band or orchestra. Training provided! Click here for more information about the GTCYS Ambassadors program and to apply.
Leadership Opportunities: Develop leadership skills and build service hours for your college resume as an audition volunteer, student speaker, donor liaison, and other volunteer positions. Learn more and apply for volunteer leadership opportunities here.
For information about getting involved, contact email@example.com or call 651.602.6807.