Orchestra, Band, and Choral

Senior Juries Requirement

Although Orchestra is truly its own area, it works in sync with choir, band, dance, and the drama department. The orchestra classes are taught by the very talented Edith Ellis, who has led her students to impromptu concerts such as the one pictured in the photo gallery of the opening of the presidential library and the dedication of the trolley cars in downtown Little Rock. Other areas of the community where the music department is involved include Parkview at the Rep, Medieval Feast, Hillcrest Harvest Fest, Arkansas Drug Free Youth, Festival of Stars, Holiday Parades, Special Event Planning, Spring Musical, Musical Revue, Holiday Concerts, Spring Concerts, Youth Orchestra, Jazz Band at the Governor's Mansion.

To see honor cord requirements, click here.

Ellis has been with Parkview for about 20 years, but has also taught at Booker-Arts Science Magnet, Geyer Springs, and Woodruff elementaries, and at Henderson and Horace Mann Middle Schools. Her passion for her art is apparent, and she can be found each day after school patiently tutoring her students to perform to their full potential.

        There are three levels of orchestra classes: I, II, III, IV. Students taking orchestra as their area of study must take two classes from the music area each year. Those courses include the following:

  • Music Theory I and II
  • Pre-AP Music Theory III
  • AP Music Theory IV and V
  • Lab Singers I and II
  • Choir I, II, III, and IV
  • Vocal Ensemble (female)
  • Madrigals
  • Woodwind I
  • Brass I
  • Percussion I
  • Survey of Fine Arts
  • Concert Band
  • Symphonic Band
  • Symphonic Orchestra
  • Jazz History
  • Orchestra I, II, III, IV

About the Orchestra classes

Beginning Orchestra
This class is designed for the beginning student and will concentrate on the fundamental concepts of correct playing position, learning the notes in first position and basic rhythmic skills. Playing as an ensemble and performance situations will culminate in the second semester open to all students ninth through 12th grades.

Intermediate Orchestra
This class is designed for the student who has studied an orchestral string instrument prior to the ninth grade. Concentration will be placed on expanding reading skills and introduction of notes in third position. Extensive ensemble playing provides opportunities for several performances throughout the year. Open to ninth grade by audition only.

Intermediate/Advance Orchestra
This class will concentrate on continuing to expand the students' knowledge of orchestral techniques establised in earlier years of playing. Extensive use of third position and more complex ensemble playing will allow the students to perform throughout the year. Examples are all-region orchestra, all-state orchestra, solo ensemble which involves various community performances such as IMAX (for American Express) Pyramid Art Gallery, Medieval Feast, or other community based experiences.

Other recommendations
Mrs. Ellis strongly encourages orchestra students to take private lessons and participation in the Arkansas Youth Orchestra.

Edith Ellis, Orchestra Department Chair
Education: BME University of Central Arkansas.
Honors: Ellis has served as an adjudicator since 1993. She was a guest Clinician at All-Region Orchestra in 1988 and in 2000 for All-Region Orchestra in Conway. She hosted all-region tryouts at Parkview. She has served as a judge for all-region auditions, all state tryouts, and governor school auditions. She is the string manager for the All Region Orchestra. She is also a member of the NEA, AEA and LRCTA, The Arkansas Band and Orchestra Directors Association and Arkansas String Teachers Association.

Devonna Whited, Director of Bands,. Director of the Parkview Symphonic Band III, Cadet Band, Assists with the Parkview Marching Patriot Band and Symphonic Band IV.
Education: Bachelor of Music Education (Instrumental), University of Central Arkansas. Master of Music Education (Vocal), University of Central Arkansas.
Honors: Mrs. Whited has served as the Director of Bands for the Mayflower School District. She taught beginning band, intermediate band, senior band and choir. Whited has worked as marching captain head for Delta Brigade Drum and Bugle Corps, Arkansas' only division III Corp. An active member of the Arkansas Chamber Singers, Whited performs regularly in central Arkansas and surrounding areas and in special productions in partnership with the Arkansas Symphony.

Anthony Wyrick. Assistant band director
Education: Bachelor in Music Performance with a commission in Military Science through Army ROTC.
Honors: Wyrick, moved to Little Rock, Arkansas after leaving Muskegon Heights, Michigan after he graduated from Muskegon Heights High School in 2011. He attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and received his bachelor’s degree. Wyrick served in the United States Army from 2013 to 2019 and was honorably discharged. He worked as the head band director at J.A. Fair High School from 2018 to 2020, whre he started a male drum major mentorship program in Little Rock called Directive Destruction in 2014.

Mary Shollmier, Director of Choirs
Teaches: AP Music Theory, Choir I-IV, Concert Choir, Lab Singers, and Madrigals.
Education: BA Music at Hendrix College; MEd Secondary Education, University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Honors: National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification, 2010; Teacher of the year, Mayflower Middle School 2000-2001; PTSA Teacher of the year Dunbar Middle School, 2004-2005. Arkansas Choral Directors’ Association (ArkCDA) Director of the Year 2015, 2019

Mrs. Mary Shollmier is the Director of Choirs at Parkview High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Hendrix College, a master’s degree in education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and is a National Board Certified Teacher. At Parkview, Mrs. Shollmier directs the Lab Singers, Madrigals, and Concert Choir in addition to teaching AP Music Theory. In 2015 and 2019, she was honored as the Director of the Year by the Central Region/Region 2 of the Arkansas Choral Directors’ Association. She and her husband, Ed, live in North Little Rock with their rescue dog, Ozzie who keeps her on her toes.

CamRyn Stillman, Associate Director of Choirs
Teaches: Choir I-IV, Concert Choir, Advanced Treble Chorus, Lab Singers, Musical Theatre Performance, and Piano I.
Education: BM Vocal Music Education at Henderson State University; MM Music Education, George Mason University.
Honors: Mr. Stillman is the Associate Director of Choirs at Parkview High School and teaches Piano I and Musical Theatre in addition to directing and assisting the various choirs at Parkview. Before joining the music staff at Parkview High School, Mr. Stillman was a music teacher at Fred Lynn Middle School in Woodbridge, Virginia. From 2016 to 2019, Mr. Stillman was the director of choirs at Pinnacle View Middle School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Mr. Stillman has placed several students in the All-Region Choir; earned ratings of "superior"and "excellent" in performance and sight-reading at Invitational Festival, Region Choral Performance Assessment, and Junior High Honors Festival; and actively performed around Central Arkansas. Mr. Stillman is an active pianist and choral singer in the Central Arkansas area singing with and accompanying various ensembles. Mr. Stillman is a member of Alpha Chi national college honor society, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia of America fraternity, and the American Choral Directors Association.

Kelly Rush, Piano I through IV
Education: BME Music Education
Honors: She began teaching as a choir director at Lakeside High School in Hot Springs, before moving on to the UALR graduate school for social work and then to UCA for counseling psychology.  While at UALR and UCA, Mrs. Rush continued to study piano and voice before returning to teaching at Cloverdale Middle and eventually at Hall High School where she took her Madrigal ensemble to Carnegie Hall to perform under the direction of John Rutter.  Mrs. Rush taught choir for a total of 20 years, as well as teaching private voice and piano lessons. Mrs. Rush began playing the piano at the age of five.  During her high school, college, and her teaching career she has accompanied for soloists and choral ensembles. 



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