Ironhorse Music offers a variety of programs for elementary through high school students.

Everyone at Ironhorse has loved our return to rehearsals this 2021-2022 season. As always, the well being of students, instructors, and supporters remains our highest priority.

Our health protocols were updated in March 2022, but they will continue to be monitored and adjusted. We want them to reflect current community needs while maintaining everyone’s safety. As always, your feedback is appreciated.



Ironhorse Full Orchestra (IFO) – 3:30-4:30 pm, Thursday, CRA Middle School

The Ironhorse Full Orchestra is one of the oldest in our organization. It is open to string students of all ages and ability levels as long as they are willing to practice and attend rehearsals. This ensemble plays repertoire for string orchestra and also performs a variety of symphonic orchestral works that include winds, percussion, and choir.

Ironhorse Orchestral Winds and Percussion (IWP) – 3:30-4:30 pm, Thursday, CRA Middle School

As Ironhorse Youth Orchestra expanded its repertoire to include symphonic literature, students from band programs were invited to join the ensemble. This orchestral ensemble is open to woodwind, brass, and percussion students of all ages and ability levels as long as they are willing to practice and attend rehearsals. This group explores chamber music and jazz standards in addition to orchestral repertoire.

Ironhorse Camerata Orchestra (ICO) – 5:00-6:00 pm, Thursday, CRA Middle School

The Camerata Orchestra was formed to provide additional challenges to string students at the high school level. It is open to all high school students without audition, and to other advanced players by audition. This ensemble plays advanced repertoire for string orchestra and other chamber music by established composers. Students in Camerata Orchestra are invited to attend Youth Orchestra (at no additional charge) on a limited rehearsal schedule.

Ironhorse Rock and Funk Band (IRF) – 4:30 pm-5:30pm, Thursday, CRA Middle School

During the spring semester of 2021, the first Ironhorse rock and funk band was born! Because students and staff both enjoyed it so much, we are once again offering the joy of rock ‘n’ roll and funk music in our Ironhorse community. This ensemble is open to students with established skills on traditional rock instruments, but it also welcomes woodwind and brass students to fill out the horn line.

Ironhorse Woodwind Ensemble (IWE) – 4:00-5:00 pm, Thursday, CRA Middle School

We are thrilled to announce the creation of a new ensemble this season! Advanced woodwind students interested in quartet literature are invited to join this unique ensemble and build their chamber music skills.

Ironhorse Youth Chorus (IYC) – 6:30-7:30 pm, Thursday, CRA Middle School

The Ironhorse Youth Chorus is a community choir open to all singers in grades three through eight. The ensemble performs traditional and contemporary choral literature and joins the Youth Orchestra for various selections featuring orchestral accompaniment.

Ironhorse Opera Chorus (IOC) – 4:00-5:00 pm, Tuesday and Thursday, CRA Middle School (Spring only)

The Helena Symphony is contracting with Ironhorse to prepare a children’s chorus for the symphony’s April 30 performance of Carmen! This is a rare opportunity for singers in grades five through eight to perform in an opera (sung in French), and we are excited to offer it to students. Details will be shared as they are finalized, but we are planning at this point for two rehearsals a week starting as early as February.

Other Programs

Music and Technology Class – Postponed until Fall 2022

Another program started during the 2020-2021 season, this class explores broad topics related to technology in music (audio production, recording and editing tools, and music notation software are just a few topics). This class will be presented in 10 online sessions (using Zoom and starting September 14), but some additional classes will be scheduled in person. This class is open to middle and high school musicians from any discipline.

Private Instruction – Individually scheduled by students and teachers

Nothing builds musical skills as effectively as private instruction, so Ironhorse is excited to continue our private lesson program from last season. Students of all ages and skill levels are welcome in private lessons, but availability depends on enrollment and teacher schedules.

The MET Live in Schools – Saturdays, dates TBD

Ironhorse music is excited to support and assist with the Live in Schools program this season. For over a decade, the Helena School District’s partnership with the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York has allowed hundreds of students to see live, world class opera for free in our local movie theater. Because the program aligns with our organizational mission, Ironhorse staff are planning to assist with instruction and student supervision throughout this season.

The MET Live in Schools is and always will be free and open to every student!