Dear AHJS Strings Families:  (Letter sent March 24 through Charms for 4th Nine Weeks)


It is difficult to believe that we are in our final nine weeks of school for the 2017-2018 School Year!  Time has flown by!   We have many things to celebrate—most of we will share and celebrate on our final concert in May.


For now, we would like to share with you that we are most proud of the accomplishments of the Sinfonia, Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras in their UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contest held March 21 and 22 at San Marcos High School.  All three groups performed so musically!  Most notably, each of the groups played pieces that were above the UIL-graded Orchestra Performance Requirements for the contest!  With that challenge, each group managed to receive the prestigious University Interscholastic League Concert and Sight-Reading Contest Sweepstake Award!   This means that each group received the highest rating (Superior Rating) in both the Concert and the Sight-Reading portions of the contest! Congratulations to these students and their great accomplishment!   


ALL of our very talented strings students are now looking forward to the next phase of our performances!  With the busy end-of-the-year events fast-approaching, we would like for you to check all of the final dates with your calendars.  Please go over each of these events with your child to see if you have any questions or concerns about any of these events.


April 23, AHISD Strings Festival, Blossom Athletic Center, 7 p.m. (Permission slips will go out this week and will be due ASAP.  We realize that because of the concert date change there may be some conflicts that would be considered excused.  We need to sort that out as soon as possible so that we can adjust our music choices and busing arrangements.)  Dress is formal concert black. (See handbook on Ms. Murdock’s website for details.)  Volunteers are needed for this event (see the permission slips that will go out this week for information).


April 25, AHISD Strings Placement Auditions begin.   Material will be passed out this coming week.  Students should start working on this music as soon as they get it and should seek help as soon as possible, if needed.  We want your performance audition to be as accurately reflective of your ability as possible.  


May 4, AHJS Solo and Ensemble Festival (after school, individual times TBA).  Students will choose a solo and/or ensemble to play in front of single judge (no other audience!)  Preparation for this event is mandatory, and participation in the festival is highly recommended.  Students will receive a rating sheet and possibly an award medal for their performance! Information will be sent out as soon as possible.  Dress is student’s choice, but students will be expected to dress as if for a performance (for example, dress slacks, button-up shirts, dress blouses, skirts, dress shoes, etc.).  We will be available before that day to help students with their solos and ensembles.  We will have student sign-up sheets for coaching times with us.


May 19 (Saturday), Strings/Choir Six Flags Trip (Details TBD) [Approved] Volunteers are needed to help chaperone the bus/help chaperone the event.  Please let us know if you are interested.


May 22, AHJS Strings Pops Concert, 6:00 p.m. until 7:15 p.m.  Eighth Grade Reception following in the cafeteria.  Dress is formal concert black.  Eighth graders will be given a special dress option. J  Volunteers are needed to help set-up cafeteria before concert starts.  We also may need (muscle) help unloading stands/chairs the morning of the concert (the band will be using them for an event from the day before and we need them set-up before our day’s dress rehearsals.)  Please let us know if you are interested. Thank you in advance! J


Strings Student Final Week Events—during school.  Activities will be adjusted to final school calendar events and could be selected from the following. (These fun activities will not commence until all Strings Curriculum/Testing/Grading is completed for the semester.)  Check Google Classroom the week before to see what combination of activities will be selected to be on the schedule of events for Strings the final week!  Parents, if you would like to volunteer to help us any of these days, let us know!

  • (Talent) Share Day(s). What is your talent (on your instrument and/or other)?  Have it ready! 
  • Instrument Inspection and Turn-in Day (and summer check-out). This will be the last day to bring instruments for class (TBD).
  • Sorting Day: Instrument Lockers, Bins, and Room will be cleaned and Lost and Found will be displayed.  All unclaimed items will be donated after last day of school.  Please check for lost items sooner than later.
  • Game Day!  Bring your favorite board game!
  • Award Day!  What will be your unique, special, positive award given to you by your teacher? J
  • Leaving your Legacy Day!  What positive fun, messages can you offer for our next year’s orchestras?


I hope that you got a chance to check out our Summer with Strings event March 8!  Lots of opportunities for enrichment in strings for the summer were presented.  Thank you to Ms. Gil for organizing this event! If you still have questions about summer camp or lesson opportunities, please contact one of us.


Just an update regarding YOSA:  YOSA Audition material has been posted on their website.  Please check it out.  The auditions will take place June 4-10.  See the YOSA website for details and audition materials.


Our strings calendar dates for next year will be discussed and decided at a district calendar meeting very early in May.  If you have any input regarding dates for next year, please let us know before May 1, 2018.

Thank for all you have done to support the AHJS Orchestra Program this year!  As we finish out the year, please let us know how we can make the Strings experience better for you and your child for the upcoming year.  Your feedback is always appreciated!

Finally, please follow us on Twitter (still new at this!) @ahjs_strings


Third Nine Weeks
Greetings AHJS Strings Families!

We have a few important updates for you. 

  • Calendar Updates
  • Upcoming January/February events
  • Plant Sale Prizes and Due Date
  • HAC Grade Publishing
  • Google Classroom Updates and Codes

Calendar Changes/Updates!

There have been some significant calendar date/time changes.  The revised calendar is posted on my webpage under String News, and the dates should be updated on the Charms calendar.   It is also attached to this email. 

AHJS Strings, Murdock’s Web Page: (school code: ahstrings) 

The most significant is the District Strings Festival--moved to April 23 at Blossom Athletic Center, and the AHJS Strings Pop Concert--moved to May 22 due to the STAAR testing dates.  We also changed the performance times for the March 1 concert to accommodate a break in the concert.  Please see the calendar for details and all updates.   

If you anticipate that your child cannot be at one of the mandatory events, we ask that you notify us in writing at least two weeks in advance.  (See the handbook for excusing an absence and details on make-up opportunities.) 

Upcoming January and February Calendar Events 

  • January 19, Friday: 7th Grade Movie Night, 5-7 p.m., Strings Room.  Permission slip forthcoming
  • February 1 and 2, Thursday and Friday:   5th/6th Grade Side-by-Side(1st) and Rollercade event(2nd).  Permission slip forthcoming
  • February 24, Saturday:  Pre-UIL event. Details forthcoming (UIL performance groups only.)

A message from Friends of Strings about the Plant Sale:

Your student should have received their packet for the Friends of Strings Plant Sale last week. 
Please encourage them to sell, sell, sell! These are quality, beautiful, affordable plants perfect for spring containers and beds. We also offer herbs and vegetables. 

Prizes!! Prizes!!

There will be a $100 gift card to the top sellers in the elementary and junior school and a $75 gift card and a $50 gift card for the runners up. Checks should be made payable to Friends of Strings. Packets and money must be turned in on Friday, January 19th! 

Please contact your Strings teacher if you have not received your packet or if you need an additional one!

Thank you!!  

Virginia McMunn


I realized that I need to “Publish” each assignment; otherwise neither you (nor I) will see the grades under “Classwork.”  Also, please be sure that you have updated your settings (under “Notifications”) to be notified when the student’s grades fall below your threshold that you have set.

If you are still not seeing your student grades posted on HAC, please let us know.  


All of our assignments are now being posted in detail on Google Classroom.   It is our expectation that students check their Google Classroom regularly.   

At this time, we are using Google Classroom to only post assignment details/due dates, announcements, and useful websites or documents.  We would like to add one more component.  When students have completed an assignment that was assigned on Google Classroom, they need to check it off as “done.”   Then hopefully, that will take it off the student/guardian notification cue.  To be sure that your assignment was graded, you will need to check the AHISD Home Access Center.   

If you are not getting notifications from Google Classroom (or would like to change your notification status); you may go to and sign-up or edit. 

Google Classroom Codes:

Vivo                    y513tx


Bravo                   5hajl6


Concert           w57j4d8


Camerata          296fb3


Philharmonic    c90tpv


Chamber          nlfb017


Sinfonia           zrws8w


Allegro           j0m0zbe

Information about guardian email summaries/notifications:

If you have any questions, concerns, and comments; please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Thank you for your continued support of the Alamo Heights Junior School Strings Program!

Best regards,

Kathy Murdock

Alamo Heights ISD

AHJS Strings Director

7607 North New Braunfels

San Antonio, Texas 78209

210-824-3231, extension 3333

Friends of Strings 


AHJS Murdock’s Webpage


For classroom assignments:


CHARMS:  (ahstrings)

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