Please support the band, choir and visual arts classes by tuning into their virtual concert on October 29th.


The video will be released for viewing at 7pm on October 29th and will be viewable any time thereafter.


Thank you for your support!



Band Members and Parents,
     I would like to follow up on Monday's email regarding our plans to move ahead with the 2020 marching band season. The July 20 date that was given to me was TENTATIVE and due to unforeseen circumstances we have not been approved to resume activities next week.
     Please do complete the informational survey so we can continue to make plans to proceed with the outdoor season once we are permitted to do so. I apologize for any confusion that might have come as a result of my previous email. 
     Additionally, we will be putting a hold on all summer session video lessons until further notice. As soon as I have more information about what comes next for us, I will be sure to let you know.
Stay safe,
Mr. Doss

Orange County Band Members, Parents, and Staff,

I hope this message finds you well...seriously. That’s typically one of those cliches we casually throw up there at the top of an email just to get the pleasantries out of the way before we get to business, but I genuinely hope you and your families are well. I have found an abundance of opportunity to contemplate and reflect over the last few months, as I am sure you have found the same. I’ve found that my thoughts are consistently occupied with our student musicians, our fantastic band parents, and our talented and dedicated instructional staff. I wonder how you’re doing and how you’ve decided to occupy your time. I wonder if you’re well; physically and emotionally. I also have spent a great deal of time and energy trying to put the pieces together for a logical and practical return to live rehearsals, trying to lay the groundwork for the start of the 2020 OCHS marching band season.

Currently, I have more questions than answers, but I wanted to be in touch with what information I do have so that we can all start making plans to move ahead together. While nothing has been absolutely confirmed yet, it is starting to look like we will be permitted to assemble in small groups starting as early as next week. Our rehearsals will be held in accordance with all safety protocols and guidelines set forth by Orange County Public Schools, the State of Virginia, and the Virginia High School League. The following precautions and protocols can be expected when our students return to OCHS for marching band rehearsal:

● Six feet of spacing will be maintained at all times ● All rehearsals will take place outdoors ● Occupancy will be limited to 10 students per rehearsal ● Students will not be permitted to enter the building before, during, or after rehearsals ● Instructional staff, guard members, and percussionists will be required to wear masks at all times ● Wind players will be asked to wear masks as they enter and exit the designated rehearsal space ● There will absolutely no sharing of equipment, instruments, water bottles, etc. ● Water stations will not be provided (students should bring their own water bottles)

While making music remains the driving force behind our return to campus, student safety has become the mission. I have worked very closely with our activity director and school administration to ensure that every precaution has been taken in order to create the safest possible learning environment possible for both our students and our staff. As we work toward the start of the school year, the safety precautions and guidelines listed above are non-negotiable and will remain in place until amendments are recommended from the appropriate state agencies.

PARTICIPATION SURVEY​ ​(link below) Those planning on participating with the 2020 OCHS Marching Band should complete and submit the participation survey as soon as possible. While there is not a formal “commitment form” being distributed this year, your response to this survey will be interpreted as your intent to join us for the 2020 season. Please provide as much information as possible so we can plan accordingly for the coming weeks. CAQKOs3Q/viewform

Rehearsal Schedule With ever evolving information and circumstances changing almost daily, I think our best bet is to proceed with our focus on the immediate future. I have been given the start date of MONDAY, JULY 20th and our plans are to begin rehearsals the following day. Currently, we are looking at seven 3 hour sessions throughout the week allowing for small groups/sections to come in and start working on warm up material and marching fundamentals. It is our hope to generate a schedule that allows each member of the ensemble to attend two sessions a week. The rehearsal sessions are listed below:

Tuesday Evenings 5pm - 8pm Thursday Evenings 5pm - 8pm Friday Afternoons 1pm - 4pm Friday Evenings 5pm - 8pm Saturday Mornings 9am - 12pm Saturday Afternoons 1pm - 4pm Saturday Evenings 5pm - 8pm

Once information has been collected through the participation survey, we will generate a schedule that can be repeated weekly. We are trying to take everything into account; transportation, instrument needs, etc. However, should you have a question or concern that has not yet been addressed, please be in touch with me as soon as possible.

Competitions, Football Games, Parades, Public Performances As I stated in the previous section, I don’t feel like we have enough information to address the demands of these types of gatherings. Of course, it is our goal to share our production with the community as well as gain feedback from adjudication panels. I have been in correspondence with many professionals across the Commonwealth to discuss potential avenues for marching performances and state assessment. When that time comes and we have the resources to participate safely, our standards will be as high as ever and we plan to continue to contribute to the impressive Orange County reputation.
The 2020 Show​ “Class of 2021” Our staff has reached out to our senior class and opened the floor for their ideas and feedback. We have decided to piece together a show that features musical selections from our senior band and color guard members. This year’s show will be by our seniors and for our seniors. A few musical selections have already been made and the composition process is underway. More than anything, with the likelihood that competitive opportunities will be limited this year, we are making it a priority to create a memorable and enjoyable season on the marching field.

Final Thoughts I would like to thank everyone for their patience and their perseverance. As with most challenging times, it is difficult to find solace amidst the turmoil. However, I encourage you to stay focused on the great joy and immense pride that comes with overcoming adversity. How will it feel at the end of a successful season when we can all share a moment of great accomplishment and say to one another, “We did it...and we did it together.” This season is going to be special and I am so looking forward to seeing each of you again very soon. All the best to you and your families. Be safe and stay strong.

With great love, Tommy Doss

Due to current events regarding the Coronavirus and the potential spread, the OCHS Fine Arts Boosters will be cancelling the Prom Boutique that was scheduled for Saturday, March 21, 2020.

Please be advised that we are going to be doing this event yearly so, as you are spring cleaning and have any dresses, shoes and accessories that you would like to donate, please contact Carissa Grayson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will be happy to arrange to pick them up to store for next season.  

The OCHS Fine Arts Boosters along with the Orange County Office on Youth will be hosting a 2020 Prom Boutique/Vendor Sale on March 21, 2020 from 10am - 2pm at the Orange County High School Hornets Sports Center.  The Sports Center is located at 200 Hornet Dr, Orange, VA 22960.

The OCHS Fine Arts Boosters are requesting donations for dresses, shoes, and accessories in which we will be selling to offset the cost of what prom would usually costs for these young people.  Please contact Carissa Grayson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any items you would be able to donate.

The OCHS Fine Arts Boosters are also requesting volunteer help with this event.  If you are a parent of an OCHS Fine Arts Student, please access your CHARMS account to help by signing up for a shift that day. 


#weareoc #ochsfab

Congratulations to OC's 21 District Choir delegates!  Fantastic work, everyone!  Additional congratulations to Kamryn Davis, Julia Koehler, Adam Zadory, and Michael Fowler on qualifying for All-Virginia Chorus, and Sydney Peral for earning an alternate spot.  Great job, everyone!

#ocsings #weareoc

The Orange County High School Saxophone Ensemble was selected to perform at the 2019 Virginia Music Educators Association annual conference. The group was one of only a few invited to attend and perform at this prestigious event. The quartet members are Cash Deane, Dykeem Cervantes, Callie Sties, and Travon Cervantes, with Emma Stewart as the guest percussionist. If you have not yet heard the quartet perform, you are truly missing something special. 

On November 21st, Emma Stewart participated in the All Virginia Jazz Ensemble at the 2019 Virginia Music Educators Association annual conference. Emma auditioned back in October on the vibraphone and earned the principal chair position in the top band. The ensemble was under the direction of jazz musician Wycliff Gordon. Several students from the OCHS band program were fortunate enough to be audience members and share in the infectious enthusiasm of these amazing musicians as they performed jazz selections personally arranged by Mr. Gordon. 

Pictured:  OCHS Band Director Tommy Doss, Emma Stewart, Ally Novogradac, and Jake Manglicmot
Congratulations to Emma Stewart, Ally Novogradac, and Jake Manglicmot for an outstanding performance with the Senior Regional Orchestra at E. C. Glass High School in Lynchburg this past weekend. The South Central SRO is one of four regional orchestras held in Virginia each November, and is sponsored by the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association and the Virginia Music Educators Association. Back in September, OCHS band students auditioned for the SC SRO along with high schools from VMEA Districts 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 13. Emma earned the principal chair for percussion, Ally earned 3rd chair French horn, and Jake earned 2nd chair percussion. All three musicians are eligible to take the All-Virginia Band and Orchestra audition in February. Great job!

Bringing the very successful 2019 marching band season to an end on Saturday, November 2, the OCHS Marching Hornets finished in 3rd place at the VMBC (Virginia Marching Band Cooperative) 2019 State Championship!  This is a huge accomplishment that everyone should be proud of.  Their final score, which was a tough panel, was 88.5.  The highest score in their class, which took 1st place, was 91.13 achieved by Cox High School from Virginia Beach.

The Marching Hornets have practiced tirelessly for many hours each day.  This is more than apparent when you see their show at a competition.  The quality of music and the outstanding performance prove that practice makes perfect.  Congratulations 2019 Marching Hornets!  You've earned your superior rating and provided a superior show to all of those that watched!

#weareoc #marchinghornets

The OCHS Fighting Hornets earned a superior rating at the VBODA State Assessments on Saturday, October 26, 2019.  This recognition is the first step in becoming a Virginia Blue Ribbon School and a Virginia Honor Band for another year.

What is a blue ribbon school?

A blue ribbon school, which is awarded by the VMEA (Virginia Music Educators Association), is a highly sought after award from every school that has a band, orchestra and choir program.  The school must earn a superior rating at the state assessment for marching band, orchestra and choir to earn a blue ribbon for the next year.  With a massive incline in the number of schools that achieved a blue ribbon for the 2019 school year, only 15% of schools applied and were recipients.  OCHS was one of those schools that achieved a blue ribbon for the 2019 school year!  The superior rating at this years state assessment is part one of three in achieving the 2020 blue ribbon!

What is the Virginia Honor Band Recognition?

VBODA (Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association) has established a state marching band assessment and concert assessment for which any school wishing to achieve a blue ribbon recognition must attend.  While a blue ribbon school includes the choral program, a Virginia Honor Band can be achieved by the music department alone.  The assessment on Saturday was one of two in achieving the Virginia Honor Band recognition.  Only 11% of schools applied and were recipients of the Virginia Honor Band recognition for the 2019 school year.

What does this all mean?

This means that our music program is currently among the top 15% in the state of Virginia!  It also means that our Marching Hornets are part of an elite 11% of the state of Virginia to achieve a rating that is superior in marching band and orchestra.  We are proud of the achievements and hard work that our Hornets drive for!  They put in many hours of rehearsal to achieve these goals.  Without this dedication, achieving these recognitions would not be possible.  We have had an amazing run this year and want to thank everyone for their support!

Special Thanks

We want to thank Tommy Doss and Cetch Waters for dedicating many hours of their time to making this program a huge success!  While many people think that being a band director is teaching kids how to play music during school, this is incorrect.  Our band directors are at school from sun up to sun down, and very often past midnight, putting in many hours of teaching our Hornets not only music skills, but life skills as well.  Leadership is what makes this program a huge success and we thank you!

Another person that deserves credit for the success of this program is Cassie Rathburn.  She is the engine that drives the colorguard.  There are many talented performers in our Hornet colorguard and in order for those performers to all lineup straight and make the show seem uniform, it takes a strong driving force.  That force is Cassie and her leadership skills.  Thank you for your hard work and dedication!

What next?

So, now that VBODA has witnessed our amazing show and has given us a superior rating, we can prepare for our concert assessment?  Not quite yet!  We still get to perform at one more home football game on November 1, 2019 and we are attending the Virginia Marching Band Cooperative State Championship on November 2, 2019 at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.  This championship determines the best bands in the state, as they go head to head.  If you have not seen the final performance of your Hornets, now is the time!

Thank you again for all of your support!

#weareoc #marchinghornets

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