- About Us
Marcus Tsutakawa & The Garfield Orchestras is the focus of the January 2014 issue of School Band & Orchestra magazine. "My goal is to perform often, learn as much new repertoire as possible, and play fun gigs." Read what Marcus has to say about the Garfield Orchestras here: SBOmagazine.com.
This last summer, Mr Tsutakawa received an unexpected surprise - a letter from the White House, Washington DC:
Dear Garfield High School Orchestra,
Congratulations on your awesome performance at the Seattle Science Festival!
My friend and colleague Kal Penn spoke so highly of your performance, describing it as "world class" and "high caliber." President Obama is inspired by the talent and effort of young people and organizations just like yours. As the White House liaison to young Americans, I know how important determined and talented young people are to the future of our country.
President John F. Kennedy once said, "I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft. I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens. And I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well."
You and the Garfield Orchestra fulfill this vision and carry on a proud American tradition of celebrating artistic expression.
Mr. Tsutakawa's reputation is widely known and I want to acknowledge the tireless, incredible work he's done over the course of many years. You are quite lucky to have him as a teacher and to attend a school that places so much emphasis on creativity, the arts, and music. Music touches and changes lives, enriches our communities, and contributes to our cultural heritage. Through your hard work, talents, and dedication, you serve as a source of pride for Americans of all ages.
The White House
See the original letter: White House Letter to Marcus 2013.pdf
The Garfield Symphony Orchestra performed the West Coast Premiere of Philip Glass' Icarus at the Edge of Time at the Opening Night of Seattle Science Festival, Beyond Infinity? The Search for Understanding at the Limits of Space and Time. They shared the stage that night with world renowned physicists, Brian Greene, Adam Frank and Sean Carroll, and narrator Kal Penn.
In addition to making a donation to the FOGO general fund, you can now donate directly to the orchestra classroom. Mr. Tsutakawa has setup a page on DonorsChoose.com describing what he's looking to fund and why. Those that find it easier to donate for a specific item now have a choice!
If you've gotten an email from this site but don't have a password to log in with, enter that email address on the password retrieval page to get started.
GHS parent and photographer Tom Wolken has been photographing the Orchestra's performances. His photos can be viewed at his online gallery where you can download originals or buy prints. Or view many past performances of the Garfield Orchestra on YouTube. Thank you to Galen Chuang for curating this channel!
The Garfield High School Orchestra program, under the direction of Marcus Tsutakawa, is one of the preeminent training grounds for young musicians in the Northwest. The orchestra is made up of young people attending Garfield High School, freshmen through seniors, with diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, excellent musical ability, and good academic records. Graduates of the program have been admitted to study music at top schools throughout the country, including Oberlin, Curtis, Harvard, Eastman, Yale, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Cleveland Institute, and the University of Washington.
The program has grown from ten students in 1985, when Mr. Tsutakawa joined the Garfield faculty, to 180 students now playing in the Symphony Orchestra (advanced students), the Concert Orchestra (students in training), and String Orchestra (freshmen strings). Smaller chamber groups form and play for special events. The Symphony Orchestra has toured extensively in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
All of the orchestras perform in many concerts in the Seattle area throughout the school year. You can help the orchestra travel travel fund and hear excellent music in a smaller venue by hiring a Garfield Chamber Group.
The Friends of Garfield Orchestra (FOGO) supports the program with financial and logistical help - including maintaining this web site.
Friends of Garfield Orchestra (FOGO) is a nonprofit organization that supports the program with financial and logistical help - including maintaining this web site. FOGO consists of a volunteer group of parents, faculty, and community volunteers designed to support the Garfield Orchestra in its fundraising activities. Additionally, FOGO provides general assistance such as chaperones for retreats and festivals, baked goods for bake sales, staffing for ticket sales, and design and printing services for concert programs.
The Garfield Orchestra holds several fundraisers each year in order to pay for music, maintenance of school instruments, trips, and other expenses. Please show your support and attend as many as you are able to. We need volunteer help for many of these fundraisers; please visit the volunteering page if you'd like to help out.
Friends of Garfield Orchestra is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. Tax ID # 91-1469442