Conducted by Keith Holliday, CIM's Preparatory Orchestra offers ensemble training for intermediate string players ages 8-18. Donna Jelen, conductor of CIM’s String Sinfonia Orchestra and celebrated director of orchestras in Shaker Heights City Schools, will conduct the Preparatory Orchestra beginning in fall 2019.

The repertoire of Preparatory Orchestra presents exciting technical and musical challenges for the advancing string player. Students should be comfortable sight reading and performing music in major and minor keys up to four sharps or flats and should be adept with beat subdivisions and combinations. At the end of each semester, the orchestra performs with other Preparatory division orchestras.

Students will learn to:

  • Further develop essential orchestral skills
  • Incorporate a wide variety of bowing and rhythmic patterns
  • Explore a full palette of musical expression


Learn more about the audition process by emailing Our most recent auditions, which were held on August 3, required the following:

  • Scales: The student must be prepared to play one 3 octave scale, as well as the conductor’s choice of any two octave major scale from 3 sharps to 3 flats and their parallel minor.
  • Solo Piece: Select and prepare a piece that demonstrates a range of techniques (i.e. shifting, spiccato, martele, vibrato). The piece should be performance-ready and agreed upon with the private teacher.
  • Sight Reading: A short selection of sight reading (with shifting) will be provided to each student during the audition.

You can download the Audition Requirements sheet for a full list of orchestra requirements.

Information for Members

Seating Auditions for Current Members

If you are a current or new member of Preparatory Orchestra, seating auditions will take place on Saturday, August 24, 2019

Music for the seating audition is emailed to families in advance. You may contact the Preparatory office for additional copies. Full schedules for the year will be available at the seating audition and the first rehearsal.

Tardiness Policy

Tardiness Policy

Please understand that latecomers are a disruption to the rehearsal. If a student arrives after a rehearsal has begun, he or she will be tuned outside of the rehearsal area and seated in the back of the section for the duration of the rehearsal. Excessive tardiness and/or absences may result in a permanent change of seating.