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

Have you gotten your OCHS Music Rocks! Magnets for your car to show your support for Fine Arts at Orange County High School?  Each magnet is $2 and shipping is available.  Please send your orders to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Congratulations to our OCHS Marching Hornets for their 1st place in the 3A Division and 4th place overall victories this past Saturday, October 12th.  Our band did a wonderful job in representing what it means to be an OC Hornet!  Congratulations again to our OCHS Marching Hornets!



Congratulations to the OCHS Marching Hornets for their performance in the SVMI preliminary round! They took 1st place in class 3A, and received captions in music and visual. They’ll be performing in the final round at 8:45 this evening!


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