Has your child ever wanted to
learn to play the violin or learn to play the cello?  

Come to Sherwood and be part of a

Check out this extraordinary Youth Orchestra called VPA Strings! We are based in Sherwood but serve all of southwest Portland.  This is a wonderful way to take violin lessons in a group setting or your child could also learn to play the viola, cello or bass.  You choose!  You will be amazed at the quality of instruction and positive motivation your youth will get when learning music with their friends. Beginning orchestra, intermediate orchestra and advanced orchestra groups are available. 

Registration is open.  

Sign up for your Orchestra Lessons NOW!

History of the Program

The Voices for the Performing Arts foundation (VPA) began offering an after school strings youth orchestra program in the fall of 2011 to fulfill a musical need in the greater Sherwood community.  While based in Sherwood, this orchestra program has served elementary through high school aged youth in many other surrounding communities including Wilsonville, Tualatin, Newberg, Tigard, King City.   Our violin, viola, cello and bass lessons are given by an amazingly gifted director for beginning, intermediate and advanced levels in a group setting.

To view some photos of past concerts CLICK HERE

What to Expect

AUDITIONS:  No auditions are required. The VPA Strings Orchestra Program is for 4th-12th grade students (appx). Beginning Strings Orchestra is a 60 minute class for students with little to no experience (0-2 years). Intermediate Strings is a 60 minute class for students with 2-4 years experience. Advanced Orchestra is a 75 minute class for students with 3 years plus experience. If you have questions regarding which Orchestra class to register for, choose the one you think is the best fit for now and we can make adjustments as necessary during the first few weeks.

MUSIC:  Music is included with tuition, however, rental or purchase of instrument and sturdy, solid, black music stand is required and can be obtained through many local music stores or online. Please note that students will be learning a variety of music including secular & non-secular arrangements.

ATTIRE:  Black polo shirts cost $15 and have a VPA Strings logo on it. They are to be worn during all performances. They are a required, non-refundable purchase that can be reused each year if properly maintained and if it still fits. Students are asked to supply black pants/skirt, black shoes and black socks for performances.

TUITION:  Tuition must be paid in full by the first class with a grace period of one week (paid in full by the second class). All tangible items will be withheld until fee is paid in full. This includes music, scripts, wardrobe, etc. Tuition is non-refundable. If tuition is not paid or if there is any outstanding balance within VPA accounts, student will not be able to attend rehearsals or perform in any VPA events (choir, strings, theater, etc.) until the matter is resolved.  Tuition covers approximately 34 weeks of group orchestra lessons during the regular school year and tuition may me slightly modified dependent upon enrollment numbers.  Financial aid assistance is available HERE.  The yearly cost is $380 for Beginning, $380 for Intermediate, and $430 for Advanced.

VOLUNTEERING:  Volunteerism not only helps keep the cost of our programs low but creates the sense of family and ownership we cherish within the VPA. All families are required to volunteer EIGHT hours in the strings program per year. Families may opt out of these volunteer hours by paying an additional fee of $80 per student per year. It will be the responsibility of each family to log in their hours in the VPA volunteer tracking system as instructed.

REHEARSALS:  Our Strings Orchestra program is designed to be the length of each school year—September through end of May or early June. Lessons are given in an orchestra setting on Wednesdays at the Marjorie Stewart Senior & Community Center located at 21907 Southwest Sherwood Boulevard, Sherwood, OR 97140. Rehearsal schedule is subject to change depending upon meeting minimum enrollment requirements. No rehearsals will be held on November 23, December 21, 28, & March 29.

Students are expected to arrive on time and attend all orchestra rehearsals with no more than TWO absences per term (September-December and January-May). Excessive absences for any reason may be cause for dismissal from the orchestra or result in the student being unable to perform. Please notify the director by email or text BEFORE being absent.

Beginning Strings Orchestra: Wednesday 3:45 — 4:45 PM
Intermediate Strings Orchestra: Wednesday 4:50 — 5:50 PM
Advanced Strings Orchestra: Wednesday 4:50 — 6:05 PM

PERFORMANCES:  There are approximately three to five concerts scheduled, depending upon which orchestra class you are in.  However, ALL the orchestras will perform three times together. Events are subject to change:

October 26  5:00pm – Sherwood Public Library (Intermediate & Advanced Orchestras-open rehearsal style)
December 10  11:00am – Sherwood Center for the Arts (All Orchestras)
March 17  7:00 pm – Sherwood High School Performing Arts Center (All Orchestras)
May 13  TBA – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Foyer Balcony Portland, OR (Intermediate & Advanced Orchestras)
May 31  7:00pm – Sherwood High School Performing Arts Center (All Orchestras)


Anna Mersereau [strings @ vpafoundation.org]