The Norman North Orchestras have continued the tradition of excellence that has long been a trademark of the Norman Public Schools. The orchestras have consistently been awarded superior ratings at state competitions and have been the recipients of the State Sweepstakes Award for the past 18 years. The orchestras have also been awarded Best in Class at music festivals in Colorado Springs, Dallas, New Orleans, and San Antonio and the 2008 Grand Champions of the “Windy City” Classic in Chicago. In 2002, the Symphonic Orchestra was honored to perform at the 56th Annual Midwest Clinic in Chicago. The Symphonic Orchestra was also honored to perform at the 2006 American String Teacher National Convention. Individual members of the orchestras are active in solo & ensemble performances, All-State Orchestra, youth orchestras, and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute. In addition, many have received awards and honors, including the State Superintendent's Award for Arts Excellence.
The orchestra classes are divided by ability. The emphasis in the Concert Orchestra (9th-11th grade) is on technical and performance skill development. The Philharmonic Orchestra (9th-12th grade) is selected by audition and is designed to refine and expand fundamental skills. The Symphonic Orchestra (9th-12th grade) is selected by audition and is designed primarily for students who demonstrate a high level of fundamental and technical skills. The Symphonic Orchestra strings are joined on Tuesdays and Thursdays during lunch by the orchestral winds, brass, and percussion, who are selected by audition. The primary focus of this group is continued technical development in addition to a broader range of performance opportunities.