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Saratoga Orchestra's Music Education Programs

Talent Development Program

 Professional Mentorships for highly qualified Whidbey Island students selected by audition process. Students are paired side by side with Saratoga Orchestra professional musician to gain experience in a professional orchestral setting. Students from all three Whidbey Island school districts participate in this unique program. 

Collaborative Concerts with local students and community groups

  • Friday Night at the Movies Pops Concert – SWHS Jazz Band, March 2013

  • Carmina Burana – 150+ OHHS and SWHS band and choir students, March 2015

  • Viva Vivaldi – with Oak Harbor High School Harbor Singers, March 2016

  • All About the Dance – with Whidbey Island Dance Theatre, March 2017

  • American Classics and Jazz with Whidbey Jazz Orchestra and High School All-Star Jazz Ensemble, March 2018

  • Fauré REQUIEM with Whidbey Community Chorus and OHHS Choirs, April 2018

  • Crowning Achievements with the Oak Harbor Choirs, January 2020

Instrument Petting Zoo

Target: All ages - For kids and kids at heart!

Our popular outreach program during family friendly concerts. IPZ participants have the opportunity to get up-close and personal with the instruments of the orchestra. Usually paired with our free Peter and the Wolf holiday concerts, this event serves 200-300 Whidbey Island residents annually with three concerts in Langley, Coupeville and Oak Harbor. 

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Master Classes

Select music students given opportunity to perform and engage free of charge with professional soloists.
Past artists have included:

  • Demarre McGill, Flute (Seattle & Dallas Symphony Orchestras)

  • Jennifer Nelson, Clarinet (UW Music Faculty,Seattle Opera & Pacific NW Ballet)

  • Lavena Johanson, Cello (Baltimore freelance musician)

  • June Satton, Trombone (Los Angeles freelance musician)

  • Steve Ross, voice (NYC Cabaret legend) 


Link Up

Interactive year-long program curriculum offered free from Weill Music Institute of Carnegie Hall. Administered by a local orchestra, teaching artists and classroom teachers targeting students grade 3-5.
Culminating concert with over 1000 students participating. 

2017 - The Orchestra Rocks
2018 - The Orchestra Sings
2019 - The Orchestra Sings
2020 - The Orchestra Rocks

Over 2500 Whidbey Island students have participated with 2017! 

Pacific Northwest
Conducting Institute

Pacific Northwest Conducting Institute
Founded in 2017, PNWCI has welcomed to Whidbey Island over 100 orchestral conductors from over 25 countries around the globe for a week-long workshop with Whidbey's Saratoga Orchestra. Under the leadership of renowned conducting pedagogue, Diane Wittry, and Saratoga Orchestra's music director, Anna Edwards, this event has quickly become one of the most popular summer conducting workshops in the country. 

Percussion on the Rock

Percussion on the Rock (POTR)  was developed in the summer of 2021 under the leadership of Erica Montgomery and Brandon Nelson, percussionists with Whidbey's Saratoga Orchestra. Dr. Kathleen Kastner, Professor of Percussion at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music was welcomed as guest faculty, presenting interesting and entertaining discussions on the history of percussion ensembles as well as conducting the participants in a challenging program of percussion ensemble music including composers Alan Hovhaness, Carlos Chavez, Johanna Beyer and John Cage. The public participated in a Community Drum Circle in Langley for a fun-filled and energetic afternoon of drumming. 

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