Golden Gate Philharmonic offers a robust music education program which includes orchestral experience with sectional training, concert performances, music theory classes, a Fall Retreat at Cazadero Music Camp, and an optional chamber music program.   

Orchestra Program

GGP offers orchestral training and experience combining full orchestra rehearsals with smaller sectional (by instrument) rehearsals coached by GGP Faculty. Students learn and prepare music primarily from the classical string orchestra repertoire that culminate in performances of three individual concert programs, typically in November, February and May. 

GGP has traditionally consisted of four levels of orchestral experience:

  • CADET ORCHESTRA – Minimal experience, teacher recommendation. No audition required.
  • JUNIOR ORCHESTRA – Some previous experience; music reading and basic theory desirable.
  • SENIOR ORCHESTRA – Ensemble and sight-reading experience are a must. Major and minor scales up to 4 sharps and 4 flats. Theory to the level of the GGP Theory Book, or its equivalent is required.
  • CAMERATA – GGP’s top performing group; plays the most challenging music. Membership is limited to the finest players and most dedicated musicians.  

In order to ensure the best and most engaging music education experience for each student, GGP is pleased to have the opportunity and flexibility of offering placement in the SINFONIA ORCHESTRA between the Senior and Camerata levels. Following and determined by annual auditions, the Sinfonia option will be offered provided that there are a sufficient number of students at that level to make the Sinfonia a meaningful orchestral and musical experience without sacrifice to the Senior or Camerata Orchestra experience.

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

Theory Program

Theory Class, or its equivalent, is mandatory for all students and completion of the requirements is mandatory for promotion to Camerata level.  GGP provides a comprehensive theory book with written exercises which must be completed.  Ms. Murray offers Theory Classes on at her home on Saturdays & Sundays at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at no additional cost.  

Cazadero Music Camp Retreat

All students are strongly encouraged to attend the Fall Orchestra Retreat, held during the second 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. 

Optional Chamber Music Program

GGP is proud to offer an optional Chamber Music 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 group. 

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

Instrument rental and financial aid is available.