The South County High School Orchestras, located in Lorton, VA (Fairfax County) consists of roughly 125 students in grades 9-12 performing throughout four ensembles. The SCHS Orchestras have a longstanding tradition of excellence, consistently earning high ratings at VBODA events as well as various festivals across the East coast. The SCHS Orchestra program strives to provide the highest quality musical experience for all students with the hopes of fostering a love of music that will extend well beyond the classroom. Members of the SCHS Orchestras are challenged to develop both strong individual skills and the necessary ensemble skills to ensure a polished performance. The SCHS Orchestras offers a collaborative, supportive and fun environment where students can be a part of something larger than themselves.
Meet the Director
Director of Orchestras
Marci Swift is a native to Northern Virginia and a product of Prince William County Schools. Ms. Swift graduated from The University of South Carolina with a Bachelors in Music and a Minor in Business Administration. While at USC, she studied violin with Donald Portnoy and participated in the nationally recognized teacher training program, the USC String Project. Ms. Swift earned a Masters in Music Education from Georgia State University while teaching in the Cobb County School District outside of Atlanta, GA.
Ms. Swift returned to Northern Virginia (Fairfax County) in 2004. She taught at Holmes MS from 2004-2011 and Kilmer Middle School from 2011-2018. Mrs. Swift joined the South County faculty in 2018. Under her direction, Ms. Swift's orchestras consistently receive superior ratings at State Assessment and various competitions in the mid-Atlantic area. Ms. Swift was selected to perform at the VMEA state conference with both the Holmes MS Concert Orchestra (2007) and the Kilmer MS Symphonic Orchestra (2014). She has served as both a guest conductor and an adjudicator for various Districts across Northern Virginia and conducted the United String Ensemble for the Youth Orchestras of Fairfax for 5 years. Mrs. Swift served as co-director of the Vienna Summer Strings program for seven years.
Ms. Swift lives in Woodbridge, VA with her husband Mike, her two children, Kendall and Collin, and their dogs - a miniature dachshund, Slinky, and a miniature labradoodle, Annie.
Students NEW to SCHS enrolled in Orchestra are expected to audition for class placement. This is a low pressure audition where you are able to demonstrate your performance ability through performance of scales and excerpts. Input from your previous director will also be taken into consideration for final class placement.
Returning students who wish to advance beyond their recommended placement may prepare the audition material. Returning student auditions will take place March 29 during Stallion Time.
CURRENT FCPS STUDENTS ALL GRADES - All audition material is also available in the SCHS Orchestra 2022-2023 Auditions Schoology Group under RESOURCES. Log in to your Schoology account and join the group using access code - RBPQ-72FT-5PJBR. Frequent announcements and reminders pertaining to the auditions will be posted here.
Prepare the posted audition excerpts and scales for your instrument and desired placement level.
Important Info for all current SCHS Orchestra students.
2022-2023 SENIOR REGIONAL ORCHESTRA is an auditioned group composed of the highest level players from across Fairfax County. Students in grades 9-12 are eligible to audition. Students who are selected to perform will then be eligible to audition for All-Virginia Orchestra in February.
2022-23 DISTRICT HONORS ORCHESTRA is an audition groups composed of the highest level players for District 10 in Fairfax County. Students in 9th grade may choose to audition for the JUNIOR or SENIOR orchestra. Students in grades 10-12 will audition for the SNIOR orchestra.
Auditions are on Tuesday, November 15 at Justice HS
Audition Material can be accessed HERE. (you MUST be logged in to your fcpsschools.net account to access.
Members of the SCHS Chamber Orchestra are required to audition for DHO or/and SRO.
Interested in finding a private teacher outside of school? Great! CLICK HERE for a list of teachers in the area. Or check Google Classroom for the most up to date list.
The SCHS Orchestra Booster Club offers scholarships for deserving students.
Guidelines for Scholarship
Scholarship requirements for the student in order of importance include:
Must be presently enrolled in a SCHS Orchestra class
Must be a SCHS graduating senior
Must be planning to attend a 2-year or 4-year college, university, or music conservatory
Must have demonstrated commitment and service to the orchestra during their years at SCHS which may include the following:
Participation in school-related orchestra events, such as Governor’s School for Music, All-Virginia Orchestra, Senior Regional Orchestra, FCPS District X Honors Orchestra, FCPS Solo & Ensemble Festival, and SCHS pit orchestra
Membership in Tri-M Music Honor Society
Involvement in SCHS orchestra fund-raisers
Participation in other orchestra-related events, such as membership in a community orchestra/symphony, private lesson study, and summer music camp.
Must have participated in the FCPS District X Honors Orchestra and/or the FCPS Solo & Ensemble Festival at least once during their high school years
Must submit the application with requested information including an essay on the required topic
Must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
Financial need is not considered for this scholarship
Scholarship is non-renewable
Application for the 2022-2023 school year will be shared at the start of the school year.
Considering a Degree in Music?
If you are considering making music your career, be sure to make plans to visit the Performing and Visual Arts College Fair, held each fall at the convention center in DC!
You'll find almost every college and music conservatory in the country represented there. It's helpful to decide ahead of time which schools you want to consider so that you can make the best use of your time.
The mission of the South County High School Orchestra Booster Club (SCHS OBC) is to support the Orchestra director and students so that they will have an enjoyable and successful year. We carry out fundraising events to provide funding for orchestra music events, the purchase and maintenance of orchestra equipment's, and many other forms of support. As parent/guardian of SCHS orchestra student(s), you are automatically a member of SCHS OBC. There are no membership fees and all of our orchestra concerts are free and open to the public. With this in mind, please consider becoming an Orchestra Patron and/or help us get the word out to individuals and businesses (e.g., any of your regular service providers) that might be interested in supporting our orchestra program. All donors will be listed in the orchestra concert programs and on the orchestra website unless they wish to remain anonymous. A business can make a contribution and advertise at the same time. The SCHS OBC is a 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE to the extent of the law; a tax receipt will be provided to donors. Please select Become an Orchestra Patron to see the patron categories. Donations may be mailed to the address on the form or sent in via orchestra students. We greatly appreciate your contribution and thank you for your support!
Acts as Orchestra liaison with the PTSO and any Arts Advisory group as may be formed. Oversees financial and operational activities of Committee to assure compliance with the Orchestra Bylaws. Conducts periodic meetings of the Orchestra Booster Committee. Approves expenditures and co-signs checks with Orchestra Treasurer. Prepares annual budget. Sends items for Orchestra website to Webmaster. Maintains current e-mail list of orchestra parents and sends out general communications as requested by Orchestra Director.
Takes minutes at Orchestra Committee meetings and forwards to President. Keeps official records of meetings and other Board actions, as well as original copies of Corporation paperwork. Sends Thank You notes and other correspondence as requested.
Establishes a bank account for the organization and keeps a record of orchestra finances. Provides financial reports at Committee meetings. Deposits monies received from Fundraisers. Processes requests for reimbursement of volunteer expenses and other approved expenses. Co-signs checks with Orchestra President. Assists President in preparing Annual Budget. Prepares annual taxes and registration paperwork and remits fees in a timely manner.
Please consider becoming an Orchestra Patron and/or help us get the word out to individuals and businesses (e.g., any of your regular service providers) that might be interested in supporting our orchestra program. All donors will be listed in the orchestra concert programs and on the orchestra website unless they wish to remain anonymous.
A business can make a contribution and advertise at the same time. The SCHS OBC is a 501(c)(3) organization
and all donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE to the extent of the law; a tax receipt will be provided to donors.
Donations may be mailed to the address on the form or sent in via orchestra students.
We greatly appreciate your contribution and thank you for your support!
Your name will be listed as a Legato Patron on our website and in the current year orchestra concert programs.
Your name (or business card or 1/2 page ad) will be listed as a Maestro Patron on our website and in the current year orchestra concert programs. You may request a private chamber music performance at your home or business function.
Your name (or business card or 3/4 page ad) will be listed as a Stradivarius Patron on our website and in the current year orchestra concert programs. You may request a private chamber music performance at your home or business function.
Music Honor Society open to all SCHS Music Students.
What is Tri-M?
The Tri-M Music Honor Society is an organization created to inspire music participation, create enthusiasm for scholarship, stimulate a desire to render service, and promote leadership in the music students of South County High School.
Membership in Tri-M is open to all students in Grades 9-12 who meet the requirements set forth in the Bylaws. In addition to meeting GPA minimums, students must be enrolled in a music performance class and have the recommendation of that teacher. They must also successfully complete an induction recital/performance.
Members of the Tri-M Honor Society are expected to attend meetings and perform service to the music programs. Those students who maintain good standing in the Society will receive cords and a diploma seal at graduation.
How do I apply?
Each year, there is an interest meeting for all new applicants in early October. You will receive application and membership information for the new school year at that time. Completed applications must be the week following the interest meeting. The induction ceremony for all new members or the new school year will take place in mid to late November.
Current Members should check the Chapter Schoology Group page for up to date information.