W-ASTA/WWU State Orchestra Festival

Orchestra Festival dates and location

  • Middle Schools - Friday, March 14, 2025
  • High Schools - Saturday, March 15, 2025
  • Performing Arts Center, Western Washington University


logo for american string teachers of washington




About the Festival

Western Washington University Department of Music and The American String Teachers Association Washington State Chapter (W-ASTA) proudly offer a unique opportunity to have all aspects of your orchestra program assessed by outstanding adjudicators, with an emphasis on providing a high quality educational experience through expert comments and clinics for every ensemble.

Attending a state-level festival gives orchestra students an opportunity to listen to outstanding symphonic and string ensembles from throughout the region, including a performance by the Western Symphony Orchestra each day.

The W-ASTA/WWU State Orchestra Festival is open to W-ASTA and non-W-ASTA directors, as well as “non-school” ensembles such as youth symphonies and ensembles from private studios. Orchestras outside Washington State are also welcome.

Questions? Email orchestra.festival@wwu.edu.


  • Division for Small Ensembles – Trios, Quartets, Quintets, Octets
  • Division for Chamber Orchestras
  • Two Divisions for Large Ensembles: String Orchestra & Full Orchestra
  • Plus an Eclectic Strings Division– fiddle, pit orchestra, folk, jazz, rock - any and all non-classical styles
  • Two tracks – Competitive or Non-competitive
  • High School Festival only: Separate classes within Competitive Divisions for Large (>1200) or Small (<1200) schools and Freshman-only Ensembles
  • Open to W-ASTA and non-W-ASTA directors, as well as “non-public school” ensembles such as youth symphonies and ensembles from private studios
  • Open to both Washington and non-Washington Schools
  • All Divisions will receive assessments from two outstanding adjudicators as well as an onstage clinic
  • All entries — Competitive or Non-Competitive — will receive a Trophy designated with a Gold, Silver or Bronze Award based on their performance


  • Division I - String Orchestra Division: String orchestras with personnel greater than sixteen
  • Division II - Full Orchestra Division: Ensembles greater than sixteen that perform literature with winds/percussion
  • Division III - Chamber Orchestra Division: Conducted or non-conducted: Nine to twenty-two string players (HS); Eight to twenty-two string players (MS); Multiple players per part
  • Division IV - Eclectic Ensembles Division: Defined as any ensemble not performing classical music. Improvisation is encouraged!
  • Division V - Chamber Ensembles Division: Three to nine players (may include piano and winds) performing chamber Music literature – one player per part. Schools must register in at least one other Division (I-IV) in addition to Division V

Each Division will have both Competitive and Non-Competitive tracks with the prerequisite of three entries, minimum, to constitute a Competitive Division. Private/select organizations (e.g. youth symphonies and select ensembles from multiple schools) are encouraged to participate, but may only enter the Non-Competitive track.

High School Festival only

Each Competitive Division will have both Large School (>1200) and Small School (<1200) Classes, with separate rankings for each Class; Freshman-only Ensembles will also receive separate rankings within all except the Chamber Ensembles Division.


  • First Large Group (Div I-IV) - $275
  • Second Large Group (Div I-IV) - $200
  • Each Additional Large Group (Div I-IV) - $175
  • Division V Chamber Groups (High School Only) - $60 each.


All entries — Competitive or Non-Competitive — will receive a Trophy designated with a Gold, Silver or Bronze Award based on their performance.

Friday Evening Social Event

W-ASTA/WWU State Orchestra Festival Friday Night Social: 7:30–9:00 March 14, Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.  Open to all participants – Middle and High School. Cost: $5 per student. An all-ages event with a concert featuring a professional string ensemble and refreshments. Past events have featured performances by the renowned Pearl Django Jazz Ensemble, Seattle Rock Orchestra, Roma violinist Lache Cercel, and the Gothard Sisters, followed by an ice cream feed with a toppings bar and punch.  This is a great way to meet participants from other schools, hear great music, and celebrate multiple styles of string playing.  We hope you will join us!


2024 Festival Winners

Middle Schools - Friday, March 15, 2024

Division I: String Orchestra

  • First Place - Odle Middle School Orchestra
  • Second Place - Eckstein Concert Orchestra
  • Third Place - Chinook Middle School Orchestra

Division II: Full Orchestra

  • First Place - Odle Middle School Symphony
  • Second Place - University Prep MS Orchestra 

High Schools - Saturday, March 16, 2024

Division I: Large School String Orchestras

  • First Place - Redmond HS Chamber Orchestra
  • Second Place - Inglemoor HS Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Third Place - Hanford HS Chamber Orchestra

Division I: Small School String Orchestras

  • First Place - VSAA Vitamente Sinfonietta
  • Second Place - VSAA Chamber Orchestra
  • Third Place - Port Angeles High School Symphonic Orchestra

Division I: Large School String Orchestras - Freshman Only

  • First Place - Olympia HS String Orchestra
  • Second Place - Bothell HS Concert Orchestra

Division II: Large School Full Orchestras

  • First Place - Edmonds Woodway HS Full Orchestra
  • Second Place - Kamiak HS Symphony Orchestra 1
  • Third Place - UPrep Chamber Orchestra

Division III: Large School Chamber Orchestras

  • First Place - Olympia HS Chamber Orchestra
  • Second Place - Inglemoor HS Chamber Orchestra
  • Third Place - Jackson HS Chamber Orchestra

Division III: Small School Chamber Orchestras

  • First Place - Port Angeles HS Chamber Orchestra
  • Second Place - University Prep Chamber Strings
  • Third Place - Holy Names Academy Chamber Orch.

Division V: Chamber Ensembles

  • First Place - Olympia HS Grieg Quartet
    Second Place - Central Kitsap HS Quartet
    Third Place - UPrep Dvorak Quartet

2025 Festival Information

The 2025 W-ASTA/WWU State Orchestra Festival will be held March 14-15, 2025. More information will be posted here later in spring, 2024, and a save-the-date will be sent via email to past participants. To be placed on the mailing list, please contact orchestra.festival@wwu.edu.

Looking for more information?

If you have any questions, we're happy to find you an answer. Call the Music Department Office 360-650-3130, or view the directory of faculty and staff.