Fairfax County, established in 1742, is located in Northern Virginia, less than ten miles from our nation's capital, Washington D.C. Because of this proximity, residents of Fairfax County have access to a wealth of museums, cultural centers, and arts events.

Within its 399 square miles are archeological digs of Indian artifacts, historical sites from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and remnants of agrarian life that was once the predominant lifestyle of the Country. The rapid growth of the Federal government following World War II spurred the development of the county, which now has an increasingly urban character and a population of over 1,000,000.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is the largest school system in Virginia and the twelfth largest in the nation. FCPS has an enrollment of over 160,000 students and employs over 11,000 teachers in 236 schools and special education centers. Fairfax County's strong commitment to education is borne out by the fact that 91 percent of all high school graduates go on to post secondary education.

The Fairfax County Music Program

Music education is a vibrant component of Fairfax County's total education program. Instrumental music instruction begins with weekly orchestra classes in the fourth grade and weekly band classes in the fifth grade. In addition weekly choral rehearsals begin in the fifth grade. At the middle and high school levels, music is an academic subject taught as an elective either daily in a seven period day or in a rotation as part of a block schedule. Currently, over 40 percent of the middle school students (grade 7 and 8) and 25 percent of the high school students in the FCPS participate in at least one of the music courses offered.

Fairfax County Public Schools employs 468 music teachers with nearly 40,000 students participating in at least one music elective in grades 4 though 12. There are currently over 30,000 students participating in the band and string programs. Committed to excellence, the music program reflects the demonstrated values of Fairfax County itself: an appreciation of the treasures of the past and a workable plan to ensure that they are preserved and transmitted to future generations.

Robinson Secondary School

James W. Robinson Secondary School is one of three secondary schools (grades 7 - 12) in the Fairfax County Public Schools and part of a system which includes 23 middle schools and 24 high schools. The school has an enrollment of over 4300 students with over 1400 students participating in a music elective. Students come from six elementary feeder schools to make up the Robinson pyramid. Robinson Secondary is a member of Cluster VI along with the Lake Braddock and West Springfield pyramids.

Students in high school may elect to participate in one of five concert bands, jazz band, marching band, two orchestras, four choirs, five guitar classes, guitar ensemble, music theory and International Baccalaureate music class. All facets of the music department are very involved in district, regional and state musical activities. Eight full time and one part time faculty teach these classes and performing organizations.

The Robinson Middle School Bands (grades 7 - 8) are organized into seven band classes with 385 students participating. The classes are Beginning Band, Concert I, Concert II, Concert III, Concert IV, Concert V, and Symphonic Band. Students also have the opportunity to participate in an after school jazz ensemble. There are two middle school orchestras, a mixed choir, girls choir, and 8th grade semester beginning guitar class.


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