Desert Ridge Middle School Orchestra Website

Important Announcements for Orchestra:

All Advanced and Intermediate students should bring their instrument to school every day now.

School Instrument Use Contracts are due by Monday, August 26th. School Instrument Use Contract

Orchestra Fees are due by Friday, September 6th.

Beginning Orchestra will start using instruments next week (8/19-8/24/19)

Our concert dates for 2019-2020 can be found here: Desert Ridge Orchestra Concert Dates

Here is a link to our Intermediate/Advanced Orchestra Student Handbook

Here is a link to our Beginning Orchestra Student Handbook

Beginning Orchestra Instrument Introduction Video


Welcome to the Desert Ridge Orchestra Website! Please check this page often, as it will contain many important updates about our orchestra program!

My name is Erica Photiades, and I am originally from Detroit, Michigan. I loved visiting Albuquerque so much, I decided to move here! I have spent the last eight years teaching orchestra in Waco, Texas. Before that, I taught K-12 music in a small town in Northern Michigan, where I started a strings program. I have a Bachelors in Music Education from Michigan State University and I have a Master's in Music Education from Baylor University. I am also a certified Suzuki Violin Instructor. I am the director of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony's Junior String Orchestra and the AYS Elementary String Program.

I began my musical studies on the violin when I was four years old, and studied the Suzuki Method. Violin playing runs in my family-I had an ancestor who was in the court orchestra of Franz Joseph, emperor of Austria! I started teaching private lessons when I was fifteen and discovered a love of teaching that has not left me. As a middle schooler, I toured Europe, and I was a member of the Detroit Symphony Civic Youth Orchestra when I was in high school. I also attended Interlochen Arts Camp and was a member of the Michigan All-State Orchestra.

Performing has always been an important part of my life. I have performed in several semi-professional symphonies in Michigan, Texas and now New Mexico/Colorado! In my free time, I enjoy being outside, hiking and running. I also love to read and I am a cat mom to 4 great kitties. They are all very friendly, even if they insist on being fed every time I walk past their food bowl!

Here is my class schedule:

  • 1st period: Beginning Orchestra at Eisenhower Middle School
  • 2nd period: Advanced Orchestra at Eisenhower Middle School
  • 3rd period: Planning period and travel (10:13 AM-11:06AM)
  • 4th period: Advanced Orchestra at Desert Ridge Middle School
  • 5th period: Intermediate Orchestra at Desert Ridge Middle School
  • 6th period: Beginning Orchestra at Desert Ridge Middle School

The best way to contact me is by email: erica.photiades@aps.edu. I will do my best to respond as soon as possible!