GGP Youth Orchestra Harmony

Learning to play in orchestras and ensembles—Music Teams—provides a great atmosphere of mutual inspiration, camaraderie, and accomplishment. Building a strong music community means our students do not feel alone in their studies; they experience a sense of belonging and collaborative learning.

Teamwork = Collaboration
By participating and performing in a GGP orchestra or chamber ensemble, students learn that their part is critical to the group’s success. Every person plays a key role in the success of the performance, and they must work together to make that success happen. Collaboration and teamwork are similarly vital skills to successes in school, admittance to colleges and universities and accomplishments later in life. By establishing these commitments to collaborative responsibilities and interactions, students gain a greater understanding of accountability and cooperating toward the fulfillment of common goals.

Teamwork = Performance Success
Our students have several opportunities to perform together throughout the year from concerts to recitals to gigs in the community. Performing as part of our Music Teams helps students overcome stage fright and anxiety to become poised young adults ready to take on the demands of higher education and beyond.

Teamwork = Improved Technique
GGP encourages private lessons with an instructor of their choice. We reinforce and enhance what is learned in private lessons with ensemble playing complementing this partnership in music education and performance. Playing in teams inspires students to improve their musicianship.

Reinforces Technique: General technique is taught in one-on-one lessons. Playing in orchestras and chamber ensembles helps students better understand the reason for having learned the technique.

Increases Motivation: Learning in a group is enjoyable and motivates students, who see and listen to their peers play a variety of instruments giving them a better understanding of their own instrument, furthering technique and musicianship and the desire to play like others or better.

Give your student the power of teamwork through GGP. We will inspire your child to achieve excellence playing in a team and help them to learn additional skills crucial for achieving success in life, from making friends and building relationships to gaining university scholarships, developing community leadership and achieving career success.


GGP offers a robust music education program including full orchestral training, sectional rehearsals, chamber music, theory classes, multiple concert and recital performances, an annual Cazadero Music Camp Retreat, and the opportunity to participate in our Gig and Volunteer Programs.


GGP offers orchestral training and experience combining full orchestra rehearsals with smaller sectional rehearsals coached by GGP Faculty. Music rehearsed is primarily from the classical orchestra repertoire, with three individual concert performances, typically held in November, February and May.

GGP’s Four Levels of Orchestra:
• CADET ORCHESTRA – Beginner Level. No experience or audition required.

• JUNIOR ORCHESTRA – Intermediate Level 1. Some previous experience; music reading and basic theory desirable.

• SENIOR ORCHESTRA – Intermediate Level 2. Ensemble and sight-reading experience are a must. Ability to play major and minor scales up to 4 sharps and 4 flats.

• CAMERATA – Advanced Level. GGP’s top performing group; plays the most challenging music. Membership is limited to the finest players and most dedicated musicians.

Leadership positions are available to cultivate skills and build recognition. Our Intermediate and Advanced orchestras have two positions each for Conductor Assistants (CA’s) per semester. All students eligible to apply.

Qualified soloists perform with orchestra accompaniment—a rare opportunity for middle school and high school age musicians.


GGP is proud to integrate chamber music into its program to expose our students to the vast and rewarding chamber music repertoire and give them the experience and benefit of playing in a smaller ensemble.

GGP hosts three-four chamber music recitals each season and provides other opportunities for the groups to perform.


Theory Class and instruction is required for all students. Our program includes theory instruction from beginner through high-intermediate levels, using a comprehensive book series with written exercises. GGP offers Theory Classes as follows:

• CADETS work with their instructor on Tuesday Afternoons from 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at SOTA

• BEGINNING & INTERMEDIATE THEORY (most students) class takes place weekly on Saturday, 2:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 1350 Waller Street, (between Masonic and Ashbury in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood).

• SUPPLEMENTAL THEORY: For those students who find it difficult or impossible to attend the Saturday class or who would like to have additional theory instruction and guidance, we provide instruction on Tuesday afternoons from 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at SOTA before Orchestra rehearsals and sectionals begin. Tuesday theory sessions should be considered a supplement and not a substitute to Saturday classes unless Saturday attendance is impossible. In any case, students will need to do most of their work at home.

• OPTIONAL ADVANCED THEORY: For students interested in additional theory instruction beyond Intermediate, Mr. Alden Jenks of our GGP Faculty will teach this class on Saturdays following the Intermediate class from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. subject to demand and enrollment. This class is not covered by GGP tuition and subject to additional fees. Please contact Mr. Jenks directly for acceptance and for the fee amount. (


All students are strongly encouraged to attend the Cazadero Music Retreat, held on the Saturday and Sunday of Columbus Day – Indigenous Peoples Day weekend in October at Cazadero Music Camp. This activity kicks off the season, both musically and socially. Parents and siblings are also encouraged to attend. The retreat is free for all enrolled students; an additional fee applies for parents and siblings.


GGP provides our students additional performance and professional playing experience opportunities, and our student performers even earn a small stipend ($5-$40 per event) through our “Gig” program. GGP provides student groups that play regularly for The Inn at the Presidio, The Carlton Hotel, the Guardsmen Christmas Tree Lot Family Day, San Francisco Art and Film Event for Teenagers, plus several opportunities per year at the Marines Memorial Club and Hotel holiday buffets, among other venues and special events.

To participate in this really fun, enriching aspect of GGP, students must be proficient playing our “Gig Books,” attend enough practices to demonstrate proficiency, and have approval from faculty. Gig book practice will take place regularly on Saturdays at Mrs. Murray’s house, 3058 Market St., and is open to all Junior, Senior and Camerata-level students.


At GGP,  we believe in the power of music and the ability to heal the hearts, minds and souls of both the young, and the old. This is why we have partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California to arrange gigs and performances at no cost at various homes and venues serving the impaired each season. This gives both our kids and the adults an opportunity to interact and they can see first-hand the impact that music can have on others.

Instrument rental and financial aid are available.