SHJO ONLINE ACADEMY teaches virtual music-making and more!

South Hills Junior Orchestra launches “Round 2” of its ONLINE ACADEMY!

SHJO announces openings for participation in the Fall 2020 semester of remote music classes!

Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania: In celebration of more than 37 years of music learning in the Western PA area, the South Hills Junior Orchestra (SHJO) will sponsor “Saturday Synchronous” virtual rehearsals, repertoire classes, and asynchronous (“on your own schedule”) music enrichment throughout the months of September through December.

When COVID-19 hit and in-person practices of SHJO at Upper St. Clair High School were postponed in March 2020, Artistic Director Paul K. Fox echoed the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” The music directors and current membership decided to share “SHJO.CLIPS” – digital resources for “self-exploration and mastery of music” – and establish the SHJO summer online academy. “Students of all ages” were invited to participate in small group rehearsals and special interest seminars for developing personal leadership, time management, teamwork, conducting, critical listening, composing, music theory, sight-reading, music appreciation, warmups and technical skill development, practice methods, and solo repertoire sharing.

For the fall semester of SHJO Online Academy, new student and adult musicians alike are invited to “brush up” their skills (or learn something new) with a three-week, free-trial period of virtual practices/lessons. For a limited time, there are openings in all sections (strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments); 24 “seats” are now available.

Tuition for new members is only $50 (September-December 2020) and will include access to all synchronous classes (normally Saturday mornings 11:00-12:30), asynchronous instruction, music libraries, and MusicFirst apps like PracticeFirst, Noteflight (notation), Musition (theory), Focus on Sound (music encyclopedia), and Sight Reading Factory. The next round of classes will begin on September 12, 2020.

SHJO and SHJOOLA are directed by an all-volunteer staff led by retired public school music teachers Paul K. Fox and Donna S. Fox. Supporting local school string and band programs and the music-making of adult amateurs, the nonprofit and non-competitive educational association is made possible in part by the Upper St. Clair School District, professional music educators and community volunteers donating their services, and the SHJO Booster Organization.

To register in the SHJO Online Academy, please contact Managing Director Janet Vukotich at For more information, please view the informational video at, visit the website at, or call and leave a voice mail message for Paul or Donna Fox at 412-854-3459.


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