The AMMS Orchestras are nationally recognized string ensembles under the direction of Tim Anderson. Located in Johns Creek, Georgia the orchestras have performed at state and national conferences, most recently winning third place in the American String Teachers Association National Orchestra Festival. There is one orchestra per grade level with 6th grade being considered a beginning or entry level group. In 7th grade we build on the skills started in 6th and greatly expand our repertoire of musical skill and knowledge. The AMMS 8th grade orchestra is the pinnacle of the AMMS orchestral experience with many students performing at state, national, and even international events.
Tim Anderson has been the director of orchestras at Autrey Mill Middle School for 17 years. He is active with both ASTA and GMEA as a clinician and has taken groups to perform at state and national conferences. He has been selected as teacher of the year and most recently was presented with the Georgia chapter of the American String Teachers Association educator of the year award.
Obviously the start of the 2020-21 school year is providing some significant challenges. We are choosing to think of them as fantastic opportunities and are marching forward with some quirks to our usual routines. All classes are being taught remotely which means any kind of large group performance will not be possible. We will continue to focus on proper string performance technique but will shift our performance focus to small ensembles. All students will still have the opportunity to interact and perform virtually in small groups and we look forward to seeing and hearing what they've got to share very soon!
All AMMS Orchestra students will need an instrument for use at home during URL. There are a few available from the school but we strongly encourage rental from a local retailer if possible. Please follow the links below to find local shops, information about sizing, and a form that can be filled out if a school instrument is your only option.
While we do not recommend or endorse any specific retailer, there are many fine music shops in the Johns Creek area. Please check the list linked below, call around a bit, and ask Mr. Anderson if you have any additional questions.
Getting the correct size instrument is crucial to success on a string instrument. The correct size will be directly related to the length of the arm and the height of the student. If in doubt, always round DOWN to the next smaller size. Mr. Anderson will discuss this in detail with 6th graders but if you want a rough idea of you instrument size, check here.
The school has a limited number of instruments available on a first come, first served basis for those who are unable to find an instrument from another source. Please follow the link below and fill in the survey and Mr. Anderson will be in touch as soon as possible with information about pickup.
Tuning can be very challenging, particularly for students with small hands or when using pegs that are poorly fit. In general please avoid using pegs until you have been taught how to do so. Fine tuners are almost always safe and most AMMS orchestra students will eventually have an app called "Tunable" on their iPad. Until they are comfortable using it we have a few other options for getting instruments in tune. Check back soon for a "Driveway Tuning" schedule that is being managed by the JCHS orchestra. There is also a good introduction and overview linked below.
Normally there would be a folder full of the various paperwork that we use in class here. Things like staff paper, Artist of the Day, the handbook, instrument use, All-State registration information, etc.
Since most of these materials are unnecessary this folder is currently empty. Check back for updates!