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Renker, Sophie


Parent Contact Information for 2013-2014

Please click on your child's grade level link below to fill out a quick questionnaire to collect your contact information so I can contact you via email and phone.  Your information will be kept confidential and sent to my Google Drive.

For 6th Grade Orchestra students

For 7th Grade Orchestra students

For 8th Grade Orchestra students

Welcome to Rawlinson Patriot Orchestra!!!

First Week Info: Students will not bring thier instruments on the first day of school. If students are assigned an orchestra locker on the first day of school, they will bring their instrument to school on Tuesday.  If students are assigned a locker on Tuesday, they will bring their instrument on Wednesday.  All students will share a locker with another student. After students select their "locker buddy," they will decide who will bring the combination lock.  Cello & bass students will share a school cello/bass with a few students.

Beginners will select their instrument during the first week.  They need to have an instrument by Monday, September 2.  Beginners can begin bringing their instruments on Tuesday or Wednesday during the first week after they have been assigned an orchestra locker.

Bringing Instruments To School: Students will take their instrument to their grade level courtyard before school.  At 8:15am, teachers on duty will allow students with Instruments to take their instrument to the Orchestra room.  Students should take instruments home after school to practice at home.

Morning Practice for Cello/Bass Students who do not have an instrument at home: Students will receive a pass from Mrs. Renker to allow them to come to the orchestra room at 7:50am to practice until 8:20am.

Fall Flex Intervention Days: On the days that the Orchestra Room is open for Intervention, Mrs. Renker will be teaching Region Orchestra music to students interested in auditioning in November.  

Peer Tutoring "The Buddy System": For Beginning & Intermediate students that would like help with their music or help reading music, they will be able to sign-up to practice before school at 7:50am or during Flex with an advanced 7th or 8th grader who will practice with them in the orchestra room.

Supplies List

Please click on the Supplies List located on the right side of the screen. Please have all supplies by Monday, September 2.  The Concert Calendar will be released on Friday, August 23.  


Please rent an instrument from one of the Violin Shops listed on the Supplies List.  There are Rent-To-Purchase programs at most Violin Shops.  I do not recommend purchasing an instrument for your child if they are not playing a full size instrument yet.  NO COLORED, PAINTED INSTRUMENTS because it effects the sound quality of the instrument, and is not appropriate for UIL Contest for Advanced Orchestras.  If you are a 6th grader, and you played a colored instrument in 5th grade, please let me know. You may use it in 6th grade, but you will not be able to play it at Pre-UIL or UIL Contest in 7th grade.

COLORED BOWS - Colored bows are appropriate for class use and all concerts EXCEPT for Pre-UIL Contest and UIL Contest.  Just make sure the bow sounds good on your instrument before your buy it!

Violin & Viola students will take their instrument to school every day for orchestra class, and take their instrument home after school to practice at home.  (See Supplies List for Orchestra Locker info.)

Cello & Bass students will be able to play on a school instrument every day during class.  Cello and Bass students that have a rental instrument at home, should practice at home.  Cello & Bass students who do not have a rental or school instrument at home must practice before school 7:50am-8:20am for their Practice Record grade. They will also have the opportunity to sign up for FLEX practice.

Concerts - Cello students should bring their rental instrument to concerts.

*For information about Orchestra Lockers & Concert Uniforms: See Supplies List




7th & 8th grade orchestra placements were announced to the students during the last week of school when they received their Orchestra Camp flyer.  Students auditioned for their placement.

Incoming 6th Grade Auditions were held on May 30-31 in the orchestra room.  Students who auditioned for Mrs. Renker already know their orchestra placement.  

If you are a 6th grader who participated in 5th Grade Strings who did not audition in May, please come to the 6th Grade Intermediate camp session.  Mrs. Renker will audition you during camp on Thursday, August 15 3:00-3:50pm.

6TH GRADE AUDITIONS: You will play a D Major Scale and a song from the Essential Elements book (or a solo) of your choice.  You will also sight-read a song from the book that you don't know so Mrs. Renker can assess your note-reading level.  

6TH GRADE INTERMEDIATE PREREQUISITES: Students need to be able to play their instrument comfortably with correct posture and a good bow hold.  When playing a song, students need to be able to play in tune without stopping often.  Students need to be able to read music as they play a song at a steady tempo without stopping often.

ORCHESTRA CAMP 2013-2014 for Rawlinson Orchestra Students

Orchestra Camp for 6, 7 & 8th grade Orchestra Students will be held August 12-15.  There will a Pizza Party with games on Friday, August 16 for all orchestra students from 12:00-1:00pm.  Please bring $2 cash for pizza and drinks.

August 12-15: Students should report each day to the Orchestra room when their Orchestra class is meeting.  Please bring your instrument, 1" black music binder, Essential Elements Book listed below, and a pencil.

Chamber Orchestra 12-12:50pm (bring Essential Techniques 2000 Book 1 if you have it already.  If you don't have it, we will use the school copies.)

Allegretto Orchestra 1:00-1:50pm (bring Essential Elements 2000 Book 2)

Concertino Orchestra 2:00-2:50pm (bring Essential Elements 2000 Book 1)

Incoming 6th Grade Intermediate students 3:00-3:50pm (bring Essential Elements 2000 Book 1)

PIZZA PARTY: All Orchestra students including Beginners are invited to the Pizza Party on Friday, August 16 from 12-1pm  Cost $2 cash for pizza & drinks.

BEGINNERS:  There will not be a Beginning class for beginners since they will not select instruments until the first week of school.  Please email me at to RSVP yes for the Pizza Party.  Please state your child's first and last name, parent first and last name, and parent phone number.

PARENT VOLUNTEERS: Please email me at to volunteer to help supervise & serve pizza and drinks at the pizza party OR if you would like to sign-up to bring cups, plates, liters of soda, or cookies/cupcakes.

FOOD ALLERGIES: Please email Mrs. Renker if your child is allergic to wheat or diary, etc. or an ingredient in pizza, soda, cookies or cupcakes.

Rawlinson Orchestra Handbook 2012-2013

Parents & Guardians, please read the Orchestra Handbook under Classroom Information and sign the Handbook Contract. Please send this form with your child by Friday, September 6th.

Also, I will send home an Emergency Information Form with the Handbook Contract that I will take on all field trips. Please return it with your Handbook Contract by next Friday, September 6th. Thank you!


Mrs. Renker is the Orchestra Director at Rawlinson Middle School.   Her primary instrument is the violin.  She has been playing the violin for 21 years.  She also plays the viola, cello and string bass when she is teaching.

Violin studies:  She studied and performed the violin from 4th - 10th grade in the Iowa City Community School District in Iowa.  Go Hawkeyes!  She was a member of the Clark High School Orchestra her Junior & Senior year.  She attended college at The University of Texas at San Antonio with the Clara Freshour Music Scholarship. 

In college, Mrs. Renker studied violin performance with Mary Ellen Goree, Principal 2nd Violinist of the San Antonio Symphony, and Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio, former Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony.  She studied Chamber Music with Karen Stiles, Assistant Principal 2nd Violinist of the San Antonio Symphony, and Dr. Jennifer Clark, Professor of Viola.  She studied Viola with Dr. Jennifer Clark, Cello with Dr. Andrea Yun, and String Bass with Steve Zesserman of the San Antonio Symphony.

Music Education history:  Mrs. Renker was a UTSA String Project teacher from 2002-2006 under the direction of Dr. Eugene Dowdy, Dr. Andrea Yun, Dr. Jennifer Clark, and Mrs. Cathy Logan.  She was a chamber coach at UTSA Summer Music Institute.  She was a student teacher at Clark High School in NISD under the direction of Mrs. Teresa Nguyen, and Garner Middle School in NEISD under the direction of Mrs. Phyllis Malone.  She earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2007.  Her first teaching position was in North East ISD at Nimitz Middle School where the Orchestra earned Superior Ratings at U.I.L. Contest.  As a Northside graduate, she had the desire to return to Northside ISD, and accepted the position as Assistant Orchestra Director at Jefferson Middle School in 2010 where she co-taught and assisted Ms. Majah SpearsBrown, and earned Superior Ratings at U.I.L. Contest.  Mrs. Renker was appointed Orchestra Director at Rawlinson Middle School in 2012.  She lead the Rawlinson Chamber & Allegretto Orchestras in earning U.I.L. Superior Sweepstakes in 2013.  She is VERY PROUD of all of the students in the Rawlinson Orchestra program!

Performance history:  In college, Mrs. Renker enjoyed performing in the UTSA Orchestra as Concertmaster of the first violin section or Principal Second violin.  She also performed in the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra and Kerrville Symphony Orchestra.  She LOVED attending CREDO Chamber Music festival at Oberlin Conservatory in 2004 & 2005.

Fun facts:  Mrs. Renker plays a purple Mark Wood Viper electric violin at church, and in a local band with her husband who plays electric bass.  She also enjoys playing her classical violin at weddings and events, and preparing her students to do the same in the future.  She and her husband have 3 cats: Special Agent Leroy, Oliver and Grapenut.

Class Information

Title Filename Modified
Rawlinson Orchestra Calendar 2013-2014.pdf 8/23/2013
Orchestra Supply List.pdf 8/24/2013
Rawlinson Orchestra Handbook.pdf 9/8/2012

Student Handouts

Title Filename Modified
Practice Record 1st 6-weeksSAMPLE.pdf 8/20/2013


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