Situated on the wooded shores of Lake Houston in the northeastern suburbs of Houston, Texas, Atascocita High School is part of one of the fastest growing communities in the United States. Established in 2006, the school has grown to a student population of over 3,000 students in grades 9-12.
Contributed to by the teaching and talents from Atascocita and Timberwood Middle Schools, the high school orchestra program has grown from 70 members during its inaugural year in 2006 to a current enrollment of over 200 in six orchestra ensembles; from four students placed in the Texas Music Educators Association Region XIX Orchestra to 46; and from one student participating in the Texas State Solo & Ensemble Contest to 30. From its tentative beginnings, the AHS Orchestra has developed into one of the top orchestra programs in the state of Texas and the United States, with performances at the 2012 Midwest Clinic: An International Band and Orchestra Conference and the 2014 American String Teachers Association’s National Orchestra Festival, the latter of which resulted in their selection as the Grand Champion of the public school division.
The orchestras from Atascocita High School are consistent "Sweepstakes" winners at the University Interscholastic League Concert & Sight Reading Contest and have also earned top honors at competitions in Dallas, New Orleans, and Washington D.C. In March 2014, the AHS Chamber Strings was selected as the Grand Champion of the public school division at the National Orchestra Festival. Students also participate and compete in the Texas Music Educators Association Region XIX Orchestra, the Houston Youth Symphony, the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest, and the Texas All-State Orchestra.
Through the generous support of the Atascocita Orchestra Boosters Club, students have had the opportunity to work with faculty from Stephen F. Austin State University, the University of Houston, Sam Houston State University, Louisiana State University, The Ohio State University, and the University of Memphis in addition to professional musicians MarcOlivia, Barrage, and Mercury-The Orchestra Redefined.
The finale of each school year is comprised of the AHS Orchestra's "Performance for a Cause," featuring rock, motion picture, and musical selections coordinated with a professional light-show. The orchestra senior class selects a non-profit organization to donate ticket sales towards; past donations have been presented to the Ronald McDonald House, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, 1,000 Wells Project, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Child Advocates, Inc., Love 146, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
The goals of the Atascocita High School Orchestra are:
To develop an understanding and appreciation for one of the greatest artistic achievements of man - music
To train students in music to a point where they may continue music making beyond their high school career
To develop students into responsible and successful members of society,
able to produce well individually and as a member of a group
To exhibit the essential qualities of integrity, determination, ambition, dependability, loyalty and self-discipline