About the ENO
Edmond North High School is one of three high schools in Edmond, Oklahoma, located just north of Oklahoma City in America’s Heartland. Founded in 1992, this school of over 2400 students boasts a thriving arts program with one-fourth of the student population involved in the performing arts. The Edmond Public Schools orchestra program was founded in 1978 by Ms. Diane Berger, and in nearly thirty years, the program has expanded to include over 800 students in grades 6 to 12. At Edmond North, one in twenty students is enrolled in orchestra.
In 2002, the Edmond North Orchestra (ENO) welcomed their current director, Mr. Peter Markes. Under his direction, they have been selected by the Oklahoma Music Educators Association to perform at the 2012 and 2008 conferences as the high school honor orchestra. They have won eight consecutive State Sweepstakes Awards, four consecutive times with the Medal of Distinction, and have been recognized annually by the state for academic achievement. They have performed in the Chicago Symphony Center, the Dallas Meyerson Symphony Center, the Oklahoma Civic Center Music Hall, and most recently had a return performance in the world-famous Carnegie Hall where they were met with three standing ovations on the concert. The orchestra has twice performed for the Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Award ceremony, the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Centennial banquet, and was also invited to perform as part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics ceremonies. In May of 2007, the orchestra received a Governor's Commendation from Oklahoma Governor, Brad Henry. The governor wrote, "Your academic excellence along with your musical abilities show the best of the Oklahoma spirit and stand as a testament to the great potential of our youth." The orchestra has performed world-premieres of numerous works including Elegy on Stella, a piece for voice and orchestra by Aaron Fryckland, Longa Nekriz, an Arabic concerto for oud and orchestra by Callen Clarke, and numerous other works by Clarke including Normandie, a romance for violin and orchestra, Boum, and the Wedding Suite featuring the Sanctuary Overture. With its scheduled concert season and small chamber music events, the orchestra performs over ten times annually.
Currently, there are 136 students in grades 9 through 12 enrolled in the 2011-2012 ENO. In 2006, rising student retention rates finally allowed for two groups that could each progress at more appropriate levels, and the 2009-10 school year saw the addition of a third ensemble. During the spring, the Symphony Orchestra combines with members of the band to perform a full orchestra piece at the state festival competition. In addition to large ensemble opportunities, students also participate weekly in a chamber music program, and hold weekly sectionals with string teachers and professionals in the metro area. The orchestra also joins the rest of the performing arts department each year to present a full scale Broadway style musical, performed entirely by students. They have presented such productions as Oklahoma!, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Camelot, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, and Singin’ in the Rain. By graduation, an involved student will spend over 300 hours outside of class participating in orchestra!
The ENO has an active clinician and guest artist series. Each year the orchestra receives clinician visits from professors at the University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University, the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and Wichita State University. Additonally, the orchestra has received visiting university performances from the Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma State University, and Texas Tech University symphony orchestras. In addition to these strong university relationships, the orchestra has also hosted numerous guest presenters, including blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa, the Synergy Brass Quintet, Chicago Civic Orchestra conductor Cliff Colnot, violin virtuoso and pedagogue Dr. Brian Lewis, jazz violinist Christian Howes, composer Jeffrey Bishop, tenor vocalist Bruce Decker, Les Miserables soprano (Nat'l Tour as Cosette) Amanda Clark, and Oklahoma's Musical Ambassador and virtuoso fiddle player, Kyle Dillingham. In October of 2011, the ENO was pleased to welcome Barrage to the classroom and stage!
The ENO has an active parent booster group that sponsors numerous activities throughout the year, including annual summer music camp scholarships, weekly sectional coaching sessions for each of the five sections from all three orchestras, and private lesson scholarships. Holding monthly meetings, the boosters organize an annual basket auction, car washes, and golf scrambles that raise and spend over $15,000 each year for the orchestra. An orchestra student council sponsors social events and community volunteer opportunities. They also assist with the daily organizational operations of the orchestra. Without all of this support, the orchestra could not function at such a prestigious level. The ENO Boosters hold non-profit 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.
The enrollment of the Edmond North High School Orchestra holds a 3.59 grade point average, a 28 ACT average, and consistently has National Merit finalists and numerous valedictorians. The ENO regularly has students accepted into the North Central Honor Orchestra with a school record of twenty-four accepted in 2010, the Oklahoma Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra with a school record of nine accepted in 2011, the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, and the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras. Our students participate in the school football, wrestling, golf, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, tennis, soccer, track, and cross country programs. They hold officer’s positions in the National Honor Society, Spanish club, Latin club, S.U.N. club, and creative writing club. In addition to orchestra, they are members of choir, band, drama, debate, and art departments; they are active in the student council, multi-cultural club, AFJROTC, journalism, film, and photography clubs, German and French clubs, Key club, environmental club, chess club, Mu Alpha Theta, the Pre-Engineering Academy, DECA Marketing Program, and Future Farmers of America.