2014-2015 Concert Schedule:

Thursday, November 20th, 7:30pm: WMS Orchestras, grades 5-8, WMS Auditorium
Thursday, January 22nd, 7:30pm: Orchestra Pops Concert, grades 7-12, WSHS Auditorium
Thursday, May 14th, 7:00pm: WAPS Orchestra Festival, grades 4-12, WMS Auditorium
WMS Orchestras

Music Sites For Students
String playing video clips, links to mp3s of songs we're working on, practice tips, online metronome and tuner, music facts and history, scales and exercises to download, randomness.
Music Camps
Helping Your Child
Instrument Info.
Shop Links
Private Lessons
Dist. 861 Orchestras
Winona Fiddlers
Area Youth Symphonies, Orchestras, and Music Festivals
Each of these local symphony orchestras offer concerts for students and families. Concert descriptions and schedules can be found on these web sites.

The La Crosse Symphony performs a free outdoor Pops concert each summer at the Onalaska Omni Center, followed by fireworks.

As part of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, the Minnesota Orchestra performs a free outdoor Pops concert at Lake Winona.

(check links for summer dates or concerts throughout the year)

MN Middle Level Orchestra Festival

In recent years, the WMS 6th, 7th, and 8th grade orchestra students have traveled to the MN Middle Level Orchestra Festival as their annual orchestra trip.

Through participation in this festival, students get to hear other middle level orchestras from around the state, perform, and receive feedback from two orchestra judges in regards to their over-all performance in the areas of rhythm, musical expression, intonation, bowing, ensemble, and tone. Each orchestra works with an orchestra clinician for 30 minutes. The 6th grade orchestra performs for “comments only,” while the combined 7th and 8th grade orchestras performs for comments and ratings from each judge. Any orchestra that receives two “Superior with Distinction” ratings from each judge (usually about 7 orchestras total) is invited to perform at Orchestra Hall, downtown Minneapolis, at a later date. If this happens, parents would be notified as soon as Ms. Carlson knows. We typically receive two “Superior” ratings but have also received “Superior with Distinction” from one judge, so it’s hard to predict...allows us to discuss the objective and subjective factors involved in criticism. The educational benefit of working on the details of performance, while beginning to think more critically about the elements of performance, is what it’s really about. Getting feedback and tips from others in the orchestra world, those who can help us see our strengths as an ensemble, as well as share their ideas for working with areas of difficulty, is invaluable. Along with ideas for growth, the students gain greater insight into their strengths as a musical ensemble.

Contact/Teacher Bio

Lori Carlson
WMS Orchestras

Teacher Bio and Philosophy Bits

Ms. Carlson started playing violin and piano in 3rd grade. In 4th grade she was able to join her school orchestra. Learning how to play the violin helped her discover a love of learning and an appreciation for challenging herself. Throughout elementary school, her interests in biology and geology helped her discover her love of reading. She's a strong proponent of a broad and exploratory curriculum that allows all children to discover their interests and strengths, thereby helping them connect to what they are learning. In this way, not only can children discover enthusiasm for learning and the willingness to take risks and challenge themselves, but they will be able to apply their developing skills to any future fields of interest.

Ms. Carlson graduated from Concordia College with a Bachelor of Music degree in music education and received her Master of Education degree from Saint Mary's University.

Aside from teaching in the Winona Area Public Schools, Ms. Carlson plays viola with the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra and gives private lessons as her schedule allows. She has also taught string methods courses at Winona State University and Saint Mary's University. She has served as an orchestra director and viola coach with the La Crosse Area Youth Symphony Orchestras. She has also been an orchestra director at the MNSOTA Fall String Camp, a statewide camp for middle level orchestra students.

In 2005 Ms. Carlson was nominated and selected to attend the Claire McCoy Leadership Retreat, a workshop for young music educators in Minnesota. The following year she was asked to join a statewide music education task force as one of two orchestra representatives. She is a member of MMEA (Minnesota Music Educators Association) and MNSOTA (Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association), along with their national parent organizations. She has volunteered with both organizations through helping at workshops, working as a representative at the MN State Fair, and volunteering time as a member of the MMEA state task force on mentorship. She has also served on various committees within the Winona Area Public Schools district, either as a music or middle school representative. She was selected as the Winona Area Public Schools Teacher of the Year for 2012-2013.

Ms. Carlson enjoys each day at WMS and her time with the orchestra students. She is interested in helping them grow as musicians and as young people. Music is a great avenue for learning how to accept challenge, take healthy risks, and develop supportive peer relationships. Every culture best reflects and preserves its values through the arts. While we can appreciate what each culture has to share, we may also find what humanity has in common through the arts and humanities. Aside from these functions, making music is a common human activity across all cultures because it is simply good food for the soul and because of its power to bring people together, all of which make it especially fitting for the developing child.

"Music education is a unique and major source of one of the most important kinds of knowledge human beings can attain: self-knowledge."

"The aims of music education, and the primary goals of every music teaching-learning situation, are to enable students to achieve self-growth, self-knowledge, and musical enjoyment by educating their musicianship in balanced relation to musical challenges within selected musical practices. It follows from this that musicianship is also a unique and major source of self-esteem."

<"Music Matters" (p. 129) by David J. Elliot.
Oxford University Press, 1995.