About Stringfest

It was great. There were even cellos and basses there!
— 5th Grader

The annual NH Stringfest is our longest running program, which began with one orchestra in 1986. This one day event for elementary and middle school students has grown to four orchestras, and about 200 students participate each year. Orchestra I is for novice players with 0-2 years of lessons and no ensemble experience. Level II orchestra is for students with 1-2 years of lessons and some ensemble experience. Level III is for slightly more experienced players and Level IV is for more advanced players.

Skills Levels

Orchestra One (Beginner)

  • Rote ensembles, rounds, unison playing

  • Rhythms: half, quarter, eighth notes

  • Keys: D major, G major

  • Finger Patterns:

Violin/Viola: 0 1 23
Cello: 0 1 3 4
Bass: 0 1 4 (1/2 & 1st positions)

Orchestra Two (Intermediate I)

  • Grade 1 level music

  • Unison playing and 2-5 part mostly homophonic orchestral arrangements

  • Rhythms: whole, dotted half, half, quarter and eighth notes
    slurs: 2-4 quarter notes, up to 4 eighths

  • Keys: G, D, C major

  • Meter: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4

  • Finger Patterns:

    Violin/Viola: 0 1 23 0 12 3
    Cello: 0 1 3 4 0 12 4
    Bass: 0 1 4 0 1 2 (1/2 & 1st positions)

Orchestra Three (Intermediate II)

  • Grade 1-2 level music 2-5 part homophonic and polyphonic orchestra arrangements

  • Rhythms: whole, dotted half, half, quarter, dotted quarter, eighth notes
    slurs: up to one measure in length, 5-8 eight notes

  • Keys: G, D, C, A major; a, b, e minor

  • Meter: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8

  • Finger Patterns:

    Violin/viola 0 1 23 4 0 12 3 4 0 1 2 34
    Cello 0 1 3 4 1 12 4 forward and back extensions
    Bass 0 1 4 0 1 2 4 (1/2, 1st and 2nd positions)

Orchestra Four (Advanced) Grade 2-3 level music

  • Rhythms: whole, dotted half, half, quarter, dotted quarter, eighth, sixteen, eight note triplet
    Slurs: 4-6 counts quarter or eighth

  • Keys: G, D, C, A, F, Bb major; a, b, d, e, g minor

  • Meter: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, mixed meters

  • Finger Patterns:

    Violin/ viola 0 1 23 4 0 12 3 4 0 1 2 34 0 1b 23 4b no open strings (some 3rd position)
    Cello 0 1 3 4 0 1 2 4 extensions (2nd and 4th positions)
    Bass 0 1 4 0 1 2 4 (1/2, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th postions)