Appalachian Community Orchestra

Appalachian Community Orchestra - Registration Now Open

The Appalachian Community Orchestra welcomes musicians of all orchestral and band instruments to make music, build teamwork, learn technique, and perform a concert each semester! Offered through the App State Community Music School, the ACO will be directed this year by Dr. Alexandra Dee, Director of Orchestral Activities at the Hayes School of Music! ACO is an ensemble that draws from the whole community. From middle schoolers (12+) to adults, this is a great opportunity for those who can read music and have at least 2 years' playing experience to dive into challenging repertoire in a supportive environment.

College students are invited to join! This is a great way to keep up a passion for playing and/or get performance experience on a secondary instrument. (Please note that ACO is not for course credit, and that all participants - student or non-student - must register on this page each semester.)

Dr. Alexandra Dee also conducts the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra, an auditioned ensemble that is open to App State students for course credit or to community participants via Community Music School registration.  

Program Information

  • Age: 12-adult. 
  • Experience: At least 2 years of playing experience and ability to read music fluently. 
  • Instructor: Dr. Alexandra Dee (Director of Orchestral Activities at the Hayes School of Music and Conductor of the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra) 
  • Price: Regular price is $250, but need-based pricing options can be selected in registration.
  • Location: Broyhill Music Center, Room 119 (Spencer Rehearsal Hall)
  • Time: 6:30-7:20 on Thursdays. Class will meet 10 times starting September 14 and ending November 30.
    • No class on November 23.
  • All participants must register here, whether App State/HSOM students, community members, or youth.
  • Participants should plan to attend all rehearsals, since all instrument parts are needed for the other members of the orchestra to rehearse effectively. However, App State students should prioritize their main ensemble obligations if those occasionally conflict with ACO, notifying the ACO conductors beforehand if they must miss a rehearsal.
  • Participants will need to bring their own instruments.

Parking for CMS Classes

As of Fall 2023, there is now a charge for parking between 7am and 7pm on weekdays at Appalachian State University. Please visit the CMS Parking and Directions page for complete parking information.

  • Free Options: Instead of purchasing a parking pass, participants can be dropped off at their class/lesson or take the free AppalCart bus to the Broyhill Music Center.
  • Visitors who do not already have an App State parking pass can purchase parking passes in their Community Music School registration form:
    • 5pm-7pm visitor parking pass - $10/month
    • 7am-7pm visitor parking pass - $25/month
  • After purchasing a pass in registration, please plan to pick up your parking pass off campus before your first class (or first use of the pass). See the CMS Parking and Directions page for details.

Register Here!

Before registering, please read the Community Music School's Musician Handbook and COVID-19 Policies.

Register here! >

  • If asked for a code, enter ACOFall23.
  • If you do not have an Iris account, you will need to create one (tutorial here). 
  • An adult will need to complete the registration. To register another participant in your family, click “Create Additional Registration”

Permission Forms

  • For musicians under 18, a parent/guardian will need to fill out the Youth Form online before the first class. 
  • All participants (and parents/guardians), please come a few minutes early to the first class to fill out the Media Form. We will provide blank copies. You can preview the Media Form here.

Connect with CMS!

  • Have questions about Iris? Katie Jensen (, 828-262-6568) can help with the registration forms.
  • For questions about our programs, contact us at or (828) 262-6629.

Payment and Scholarships

Offering this program costs the Community Music School $250 per participant. Depending on the program, our expenses include faculty, assistants, staff/administration, facilities, instruments, music, books, supplies, stands, and more. 

We are still testing a model in which participants can select need-based pricing options for group classes on the honor system. By selecting an amount according to your needs, you can help us sustain this program!

Based on financial need, you may select the regular tuition or a reduced payment from the options below during the regstration process. At this time, no waiting or approval is required to select these options.

  • Pay $250 - Regular Class Tuition
  • Pay $150 - Need-based pricing option
  • Pay $75 - Need-based pricing option
  • Pay $25 - Need-based pricing option

Registrants needing their full class tuition waived will need to begin the registration form first and then contact Conference and Event Services (Katie Jensen, / (828) 262-6568) and the $25 minimum will be waived before you complete registration.