Beginner Level Movie Night!

Calling all beginner orchestra students! We are having our Beginner Level Movie Night on Friday, Oct. 18th from 4:00-6:30pm in the Orchestra!


Bring pillows and blankets, and we’ll provide the food (including pizza)! We’ll be watching the new live action movie ‘Aladdin’.


Hope to see you there!

String Fling Concert: Thursday, Oct. 10th at 7:00pm

Our String Fling Concert is only two weeks away from today on Thursday, October 10th at 7:00pm in the DMS Cafeteria.


  • Students need to arrive to the Orchestra Room at 6:40pm for tuning and setting up.


  • Students take home their instruments after the concert, in which they begin practicing for a grade the next week. For Cello/Basses – Please make sure you bring a car that can adequately transport the instrument. Please do not put any instruments in the bed of a pickup truck!


  • Dress: School issued Dowell Orchestra T-Shirts, Nice Jeans, Tennis or casual shoes (no Flip Flops)

*Note: We are having some technical difficulties with the T Shirts. I’ll keep you all updated.


This concert is always a blast, and the beginners have been doing absolutely fantastic this year. Please let me know if you have any questions! Can’t wait to see you all there!

Dowell MS All-Region Workshop: Friday, Sept. 20th from 4:00-6:00pm

Dowell MS is conducting their All-Region Workshop on Friday, Sept. 20th from 4:00-6:00pm in the Fine Arts Wing.


Students will work with clinicians on their All-Region Music with their respective instruments. This event is required for all Honors level students, and open to any student interested in auditioning for the All-Region orchestra.


Hope to see you there!

Upper Level Movie Night – Friday, Sept. 6th from 4:00-6:30pm



Dowell Orchestra is having their upper level movie night on Friday, Sept. 6th from 4:00-6:30pm.

We will watch a newly released movie (PG rating), and then have a pizza dinner in the cafeteria afterwards!

This movie night is open to all Upper Level Students (Philharmonic, Sinfonietta, and Honors), beginners will have their in October.


Hope to see you all there!

First Day of School and Upcoming Dates

We are so excited for tomorrow!


Students do not need their instruments for the first day of school, but please have them bring it on Friday.


Here are our upcoming dates:

Orchestra Parent Meeting (All Orchestra Students): Tuesday, August 20th at 6:30pm – DMS Cafeteria


Fine Arts Fun Night (Open to All Orchestra Students): Sunday, August 25th from 6:00-8:00pm at the APEX Center in McKinney. Entry fee is $5


Upper Level Movie Night (Philharmonic, Sinfonietta, and Honors Students): Friday, Sept. 6th from 4:00-6:30pm in the DMS Orchestra Room/Cafeteria. Pizza Provided.


Welcome to the 2019-2020 Year!

We are so excited that you will be joining us for a great year at Dowell Orchestra! We cannot wait to see you all in the orchestra room!

This is our list of supplies and information that you will need for the beginning of the year.

School Supplies for Orchestra

  • NEW 1.5 inch black binder with clear­ view cover.

  • 5 full sheet divider tabs

  • Zipper pencil pouch to be kept in binder

  • 2 pencils with erasers (No PENS!)

  • 2 yellow highlighters

Beginners, if you have not yet rented your instrument, please do this ASAP at or by calling Dallas Strings at 469-675-0085.


Method Books (Upper Level Students) – Can be purchased at music stores (including Dallas Strings) and online.

Philharmonic: Essential Elements: Book 2 – Purple book

Sinfonietta: Essential Elements: Book 2 – Purple book AND Expressive Techniques for Orchestra

Honors: Expressive Techniques for Orchestra AND Essential Techniques 2000 for Strings Book 3 – Green book

We’ll see you all soon!



Mr. Michael Graber

DSC_6847 2

Mr. Michael Graber is an educator and violinist dedicated to string education and performance. Originally from South Dakota, and a four-year member in the South Dakota All-State Orchestra, Mr. Graber obtained a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in May of 2011, where he studied under Professor of Violin, Sally O’Reilly. Mr. Graber continued his music studies at Texas Tech University and graduated in May of 2014 with a Master of Music in Violin Performance, where he studied under Professor of Violin, Dr. John Gilbert. It was at Texas Tech that Mr. Graber discovered his passion for teaching music, and in conjunction with his master’s degree also obtained a Texas Teacher’s Certification in the Fall of 2014.


Awarded a Teaching Assistantship in Violin from 2011 to 2014 and a Lead Teacher position at Texas Tech University’s ‘String Project’ from 2013 to 2014, Mr. Graber gained a wide variety of teaching experience in conjunction to his master’s studies at Texas Tech. While in Lubbock, he held the positions of Violin Instructor at Texas Tech Band and Orchestra Camp during the summer of 2014, Supplemental Violin Instructor at Lubbock ISD, and Violin Sectional Coach for Youth Orchestras of Lubbock. In 2015, Mr. Graber became the Assistant Orchestra Director at MacArthur High School in San Antonio, TX; a position that he held until 2017 and learned directly from the 2016 Texas Orchestra Director of the Year, Head Director Jan Garverick.


Mr. Graber is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Orchestra Directors Association, American String Teachers Association, and the national music honor’s society Phi Kappa Lambda: Theta Kappa Chapter. An active performer, he has held section violin contracts with Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Texas Symphony, and is currently under contact with the Allen Philharmonic and Las Colinas Symphony. Residing in Frisco, Mr. Graber enjoys hiking, running, reading, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and exploring DFW.



All Dates are Subject to Change or Cancellation

Date Day Time Event Group Location
10/6 Tue 1st P. String Fling Outdoor Rehearsal B South Lawn DMS
10/8 Thur 6:00pm String Fling Outdoor Concert B South Lawn DMS
10/24 Sat ALL DAY Times TBA All Region Auditions P/S/H Dowell MS
11/6-7 Fri Sat 6-9pm, all day All Region Clinic & Concert Selected TBA
11/30-12/1 Mon Tues All periods Winter Concert In Class Rehearsals ALL DMS Stage
12/2 Wed 7:00pm Winter Concert ALL McKinney Boyd HS
1/14-15 Fri, Mon ALL DAY Fine Arts Elementary Feeder Tour H Feeder Elementary Schools
1/27 Wed 4-7:30pm UIL Clinic S/H DMS Stage/Fine Arts Wing
1/30 Sat ALL DAY Beginner Solo/Upper Level Ensemble B/P/S/H Faubion MS
2/9 Tues 6:30pm Pre-UIL C & SR P/S/H DMS Stage
3/1-2 Mon Tue 2nd, 3rd, & 6th periods UIL Rehearsals on stage S/H DMS Stage/Fine Arts Wing
3/4-5 Wed Thur TBA UIL P/S/H TBA
4/10 Sat ALL DAY Times TBA Upper Level Solo/Beginner Ensemble ALL Faubion MS
4/16 Fri 3:45(set up)           5:30-7:00(event) 5th Grade Instrument Selection Volunteers DMS Stage/Cafe, Orchestra Room
5/1 Thurs 8am-3pm Peak Music Festival – Full Orchestra Selected Denton (Murchison Center)
5/7 Fri ALL DAY Pinstack Competition P/S? Pinstack in Allen
5/12 Wed 7th P. Combined Beginner Rehearsal B Stage/Orchestra Room
5/14 Fri All Day NRH20 Music Festival B North Richland Hills
5/17 Mon 7pm Spring Concert ALL McKinney Boyd HS
5/15 Fri ALL DAY Six Flags Reward Trip ALL Six Flags in Arlington
*Legend:  B=Beginner          P=Philharmonic              S=Sinfonietta             H=Honors



Please note that all field trips for the fall semester have been cancelled.

I will be sure to email out any changes as we approach them.

Thank you for your patience and consideration.

Mr. Graber