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Intermezzo Strings

Grades 6-9 Strings

Intermezzo Strings is a strings only ensemble for students in grades six through nine. There is no audition to join Intermezzo Strings, only a teacher recommendation is required. Intermezzo Strings rehearses, on average, twice a month between October and their performance at the Gardner Theatre in Lancaster at the end of April.

Full season tuition: $200 (A sibling discount is available for the second sibling to register in a family)

Intermezzo Expectations
  • Reads and performs basic rhythms (whole, half, quarter, eighths) AND dotted rhythms at a proficient level.

  • Reads and performs in compound meters at an introductory-developing level.

  • Reads, discriminates between, and correctly performs low/high 2’s (violin/viola), 2nd/3rd fingers (cello) and 2nd/4th fingers (bass) at proficient level.

  • Reads and performs in first position, with good intonation, on all four strings at a proficient level.

  • Reads and performs high 3’s /low 1’s (violin/viola) and extensions (cello) at a developing-proficient level.

  • Reads and performs in higher positions (3rd for violin; 2nd, 3rd, and 4th for cello; half, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th for bass) at an introductory-developing level (developing-proficient for first violins).

Level Definitions
  • Introductory- The student has a vague understanding of the concept and will generally NOT perform the specific technique correctly when sight-reading. Additional instruction, practice, and much more exposure to the concept is required before mastery can be achieved. 


  • Developing - The student has a fair to good understanding of the concept, but when sight reading, may stumble when attempting to use the specific technique. Some guidance and practice is necessary in order to achieve mastery.​

  • Proficient - The student has a complete and thorough understanding of the concept and will generally perform the technique correctly and accurately when sight-reading. Little or no additional practice is required for mastery. 

Prelude or Intermezzo: Which is right for my student?

For NextGen’s non-auditioned ensembles, Prelude and Intermezzo, the most important factor to consider in placing a student is his/her age or grade level. Allegro’s leadership believes that a positive youth orchestra experience involves, in part, the opportunity for students to rehearse and perform with
their peers. Participation in a performance group combines social, as well as musical, components; life-long friendships can sometimes take root in this setting and these are best fostered when the players’ chronological ages (and levels of social/ emotional maturity) are similar.

For Prelude and Intermezzo, sixth grade is viewed as a transitional level, during which either group might be appropriate, depending on the student’s maturity and musical progress. In general, a young player will have a better experience if the repertoire being prepared is somewhat less challenging than what he or she may be studying with a private teacher. Allegro’s overriding vision is to produce cohesive ensembles that play with joy, emphasizing musicianship and expression, elements which can best be nurtured if the students are not struggling with technical issues. So that parents and private teachers can make an informed decision for their students, below are skill-sets for each group, which are also reflected on the teacher recommendation survey.

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