The Upper School Orchestra is an advanced performing ensemble of approximately 30-40 members that meets two times per week, during the academic day. It is an audition-only ensemble, and is open to strings, woodwinds, brass, and timpani players in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12; members typically participate each year they are at the Upper School (i.e. for four years if they joined as a 9th grader). Musical selections vary, and usually encompass works written by composers from the 18th-21st century, with particular emphasis given to the core works of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert.
The group performs at two formal concerts each year (the Winter Concert and Spring Concert) as well as more informal performances at school assemblies. Additionally, Orchestra has performed at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts as part of their Winterfest concerts. A select subset of the group plays "in the pit" in conjunction with the drama department for the annual Winter Musical; this year, the group worked on Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, with performances on Feb. 27, 28, and March 1, 2014.
Additionally, each year approximately 5-10 Orchestra students will audition for Eastern Massachusetts District Music Festival, and about half of those typically qualify for All-State. This year, Upper School Orchestra clarinetist HJ Hwang (BB&N Class of 2015) was selected as Principal Clarinet for the All-National Orchestra, and he participated in the All-National Festival in Nashville, TN in November.