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  • Are private lessons available?
    Private lessons are highly encouraged for all Hersey orchestra members. Several string teachers are available to teach private lessons during the school day at Hersey. You can learn more about these lessons at If you are have additional questions, please contact Mr. Kuzmanoff directly at
  • What co-curricular opportunities are available?
    The following opportunities are open to students involved in the JHHS orchestra program. ● IMEA District 7 and All State Festivals: Interested students will audition for the District IX Orchestra. Students who place highly in the District IX Orchestra may be selected to participate in the All State Festival. The All State Festival takes place in Peoria during the Illinois Music Educators Convention in January. ● Fall Musical Pit Orchestra: Every Spring, JHHS puts on a musical that provides instrumental students an opportunity to perform in a large scale stage production. Depending on the number of students interested in participating, there may be an audition to be a part of this ensemble. Past productions have included Evita, Little Women, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, Mary Poppins, Legally Blonde and Chicago. ● District 214 Honors Orchestra: Each spring, orchestra and band students have the opportunity to audition to be a part of the District 214 Honors Orchestra. This ensemble is made up of dedicated, high achieving instrumentalist from all of District 214. This ensemble rehearses throughout the year and focus on advanced full orchestra literature.
  • How can I stay informed about the orchestra?
    The orchestra director uses Remind, a text and emailing service, in addition to Schoology emails to send out information. Please contact for the Remind code.
  • Does the orchestra travel?
    Yes, the orchestra does occasionally travel out of state and sometimes out of country. Past trips have included: Carnegie Hall St. Louis Nashville New Orleans
  • Where can I find the JHHS Orchestra Handbook?
    The handbook is available here.
  • What is the casual orchestra uniform?
    For concerts where the dress is casual, students will wear a brown long sleeve orchestra shirt and jeans. The t-shirt must be purchased through the orchestra.
  • What is the formal orchestra uniform?
    The formal orchestra uniform consists of concert black for all students.
  • Can I alter the orchestra provided parts of my uniform?
    Pants and Dresses can be hemmed, but the material can not be cut.
  • How do I care for my uniform?
    It is the students responsibility to maintain the uniform throughout the school year. At the end of the year, students are required to return the uniform dry cleaned and with all the issued components, including the garment bag with the dry cleaning tag receipt attached.
  • Where do I store my instrument during the day?
    Students are assigned a lock and locker in the Orchestra Room at the beginning of the school year.
  • What string accessories are available at school?
    Need Answer
  • What is HOYA?
    HOYA (Hersey Orchestra Youth Association) is the parent booster club for the John Hersey orchestra program. All parents and guardians of students enrolled in orchestra are voting members of this not-for-profit organization. We hold board meetings and 2 general meetings each year. HOYA assists the orchestra program for various student activities. Please contact us if you have more questions.
  • How does HOYA raise funds?
    The annual Pizza-cato concert in the Spring is our major fund raiser. HOYA organizes the sale of pizza, drinks and baked goods at this event. Other fundraisers include Speech Tournament concession stands and other miscellaneous fundraisers as determined by the HOYA Board and Orchestra Director. Parents can also make donation to HOYA through our sponsorship program.
  • Who is the HOYA board?
    The HOYA board consists of: Tim Downing, President - Paul Litardo, Vice President - Dawn Toll, Treasurer - Shelly Blendermann, Secretary -
  • How do I become a HOYA sponsor?
    HOYA sponsor's provide a donation that will fund orchestra trips and scholarships. There are two levels of sponsorship that receive different levels of benefits: The Friend Level receives free admission for two people to Hersey Orchestra’s concerts with a donation of $20-$99. The Patron Level receives free admission for your family to Hersey Orchestra’s concerts with a donation of $100 and above. All sponsors will be recognized in all concert programs during the school year. Please consider becoming an orchestra sponsor. All you have to do is return the sponsor sheet with your donation to Mr. Kuzmanoff. Click here to download the sponsor sheet. Please contact us if you have any questions.
  • What is a student account?
    HOYA maintains student accounts to pay for fees such as field trips, trips, orchestra supplies, lessons, and summer music camps. Students may accrue funds via fundraising or by directly depositing. Student credits will not be used to cover expenses incurred by HOYA. If you have questions about your account please contact the director Mr. Kuzmanoff at Any unused credits remaining at the end of the student's participation in orchestra will be transferred to the HOYA general fund. Credits may be transferred to accounts of younger sibling(s) that participate in orchestra, or that will start at Hersey for the next school year.
  • How do students raise funds for their student accounts?
    Students have the opportunity to raise funds for their student accounts throughout the year. In the fall students sell cookie dough. In addition students can receive monetary compensation for their student account or National Honors Society service hours for working a shift at a Speech Tournament concession stand.
  • Where can I check the funds in my student account?
    Student balances are updated periodically over the school year and after events that raise funds for student accounts. At this time you can contact the director Mr. Kuzmanoff to check on the status of your student account.
  • How do I use the funds in my student account?
    Funds raised via HOYA may be utilized for expenses related to music beyond trips. Approved expenses include private lessons, summer music camps, instrument repairs such as a bow repairs, and music accessories including but not limited to rosin, strings, shoulder rest, tuner, or metronome. Please provide paperwork such as an invoice or receipt when possible. Click here to download the account withdrawl form.
  • How can I sign up to help at events?
    You can email any of the HOYA board members if you are interested in helping with an event. Often a Signup Genius link with a list of needs will be emailed out to families as well as posted on the front page of this website. We are always in need of help! Please reach out to the HOYA Secretary.
  • What is the Pizza-cato Festival?
    The Pizza-cato Festival is a music festival put on at Hersey along with the feeder Orchestra’s from River Trails Elementary School, McArthur Elementary School and the students who participate in Music for Youth (a District 25 string instruction program). The students perform in a cabaret style environment with pizza, drinks and desserts available for purchase. The concessions sold at the Pizza-cato Festival are the primary fundraiser for HOYA and family support and attendance is appreciated.
  • What is the Orchestra Banquet?
    Needs Answer
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