Garfield Orchestra 2 Oct. 2010: Foyer Concert I Oct. 2010: Foyer Concert I Quartet plays in Seattle's Japanese Garden Quartet plays in Seattle's Japanese Garden

Welcome to the Garfield Orchestra


Upcoming! Foyer Concert IV - May 19, 2016 7:30p 

Plymouth Congregational Church (6th Ave. and University Street)


Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 1, Op. 21

1. Adagio molto; Allegro con brio

Percy Grainger (arr. O. Langey) 

Molly on the Shore

Antonin Dvorak Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53

2. Adagio, ma non troppo (Liam Beveridge, violin) 

Max Bruch

Romanze, Op. 85 (Sophie Morada, viola)

Edward Elgar

In the South (Alassio) Op. 50

Information for joining the Garfield Orchestras in 2016-17

Symphony Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Freshmen Strings

New strings DO NOT NEED an audition. ALL 9th Grade string players join the Freshmen Strings class.

New Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion

Auditions for new woodwinds, brass & percussion after school - May 3-5, 2016. First come basis. (I’d like to hear a major and minor scale; 2 mins. of a solopiece or etude; and 1 min. of sightreading)


  • PE REQUIREMENT can be waived with Music participation.
  • Occupational Education credit available for juniors and seniors.
  • Fine Arts credit available for freshmen and sophomores.
  • 15 orchestra members are currently taking two (or more) music classes.


More info:


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Marcus Tsutakawa's 30th Anniversary


Garfield Orchestras Side-by-Side with Seattle Symphony!

Calling alumni, colleagues and friends of Marcus Tsutakawa and Garfield HS Orchestras! We are celebrating Marcus' 30th anniversary with Garfield at a Seattle Symphony community concert, at which Ludovic Morlot will conduct Debussy's 'La Mer', which will feature Garfield musicians playing side-by-side with Seattle Symphony musicians.
Concert 7:00 pm
Party 8:15 pm
Free! No tickets required, but please email us so that we can send you a Symphony invitation. 
Please join us and let us know when you were at Garfield. For more information, contact Karin Brookes ( or Missy Chow (
We are collecting short recollections of Tsut’s 30 years at Garfield, and are particularly interested in video vignettes - personal anecdotes or memories on video. If you have a memory that you are willing to share (photographs and written stories are also welcome!), email Ideally, audio and video submissions would be under one minute, and written stories approximately 200 words maximum. Cell phone camera videos are absolutely good enough! Deadline for submissions: February 21, 2016.



Garfield Symphony Orchestra at Santa Monica

As part of the 2015 spring trip the Garfield Symphony Orchestra preformed in a joint concert with Santa Monica High School Orchestras. Garfield presented:

  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47, II. Allegretto (5:22)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47, IV: Allegro non troppo (11:33)
  • Arturo Marquez: Danzon No. 2 (10:23)

Click HERE or on the photo above to see HD YouTube videos of the full concert (courtesy of a Santa Monica High School parent).

UpClose: Marcus Tsutakawa - Great Works and Fun Gigs

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:

Garfield High School Orchestra Honored by the White House

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.


Ronnie Cho
Associate Director
The White House

See the original letter: application/pdf icon White House Letter to Marcus 2013.pdf

Symphony Orchestra at the Paramount

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.

Marcus honored as 2013 Superhero for Families

Marcus Tsutakawa was named one of ParentMap's Superheros for Washington Families. You can read the piece about Marcus online or pickup a copy of the latest issue of ParentMap. Congratulations Marcus!

Donate directly to the orchestra classroom!

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 describing what he's looking to fund and why. Those that find it easier to donate for a specific item now have a choice!

New to the site?

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.

Photos and Recordings

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.

application/pdf iconAdditional information on FOGO's 501(c)(3) status

Friends of Garfield Orchestra is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. Tax ID # 91-1469442

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