Xibus is an
program for HS & MS string orchestra students
Students perform alongside professional musicians and participate in workshops in rock, pop and contemporary styles. In our 2023-24 season, we feature the award winning electric violinist, the Blue Violin.
What is Xibus?
Created in 2008 by the Boston String Quartet, Xibus is an innovative and groundbreaking program that engages young people in music by taking their favorite Tik Tok, Instagram, and YouTube hits, and puts them onto a music stand in the classroom. These aren’t cheesy, color by the numbers arrangements either. We’re adding in extended string techniques into the music such as harmonic glissandi, flautando vibrato, fiddle chops, swing style, building a groove, and more. Music teachers can design their program from our repertoire of songs from artists such as Coldplay, Lizzo, OneRepublic, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift. Each piece is written to feature the Blue Violin in performance with the student orchestra.
Xibus has been hosted by 100+ schools and has received national broadcasting and critical acclaim by music educators, students, and media throughout the country. The program is free to all participating schools, and with over 15,000 previous participants, it’s been proven a life-changing experience to countless students.
The Blue Violin is himself a teacher, and understands that school is an extremely busy time for students, and learning how to prioritize and be efficient with their practice is essential. That’s why, when working with the students, the Blue Violin focuses on introducing tested practice methods, intermediate and advanced rhythmic and melodic figures, group and individual improvisation exercises, and “jam” sessions.
How does the Performance Work?
An evening performance is a requirement of all schools participating in the Xibus program, and is the primary way that we fund our program. The performance should last approximately 60-75 minutes, and will feature collaborative works between the school orchestra and the Blue Violin, as well as several solo pieces by the Blue Violin.
Schools should choose between 5-7 pieces from the Xibus Repertoire list to perform with the Blue Violin, and we will provide a concert order, no less than 2 weeks prior to the event.
Sheet music for our 2023-24 season will be available as of August 1, 2023, and parts/scores/audio are available for print and download on the Xibus Repertoire page of our website to all schools who have completed their registration for our program.
Featuring Guest Artist, the Blue Violin in 2023-24
Conservatory trained, rock and roll violin virtuoso, the Blue Violin’s breathy sound captures the beauty of artists such as Bethel Music, while his unrelenting rhythmic improvisation and multi-tracking leaves audiences breathless from his arrangements of Lizzo, Sam Smith, and One Republic.
How does the Program Work?
Xibus is a one or two day residency alongside the Blue Violin, with selected Middle and High School orchestral students. Students will have the experience of working and performing with a professional touring artist. Workshops are designed outside of rehearsals for additional learning opportunities in improvisation and extended string techniques. Students will participate in music ranging in style from Sam Smith to the Weeknd. Although the schedule is flexible, and can be adjusted to the needs of your program, we request a minimum of 3.5 hours for rehearsals, and 1 hour for workshops. Dates are available during the 2023-24 school year, Mon-Sat.
- 12-12.30 Ice Breaker
- 12.30-2 Rehearsal 1 (90 min)
- 2-2.15 Break
- 2.15-2.45 Improvisation Workshop
- 2.45-4 Rehearsal 2 (75 min)
- 4-4.15 Break
- 4.15-4.45 Extended String Techniques
- 4.45-5.45 Dress Rehearsal (60 min)
- 5.45-6.15 Dinner
- 6.15-7 Break / Get Dressed (Call time 15 min before performance)
- 7-8 Concert
Qualifying schools must meet the following requirements for participation:
- A string orchestra minimum of thirty (30) student participants
- Minimum 5 (five) hours of rehearsals, workshops, and icebreakers for orchestra and the Blue Violin
- Evening ticketed performance with the string orchestra and the Blue Violin
How Can I Sign Up?
If your school meets the qualifying criteria listed above, please contact us to schedule a date for Xibus at your school.
What’s the COst?
The Xibus program is provided at a flat fee (pending 1 or day residency). Schools use the evening concert to fund this program and raise money for the school orchestra program through concert ticket sales. We do expect that each school is actively promoting the performance with the Blue Violin within their school community, and although schools are not required to sell a minimum amount of tickets
Repertoire for the 2023-24 season
Our repertoire is currently under development for the 2023-24 season with the Blue Violin and currently includes the following:
- Metallica Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (Enter Sandman / Nothing Else Matters / Master of Puppets)
- Tik Tok Suite for Orchestra (Bloody Mary / I Ain’t Worried / About Damn Time / Golden Hour / I’m Good)
SOMe Previous Xibus Tour Locations
- Waverly Shell Rock High School (IA)
- Morton High School (IL)
- Morton Middle School (IL)
- Centennial High School (GA)
- Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School (NH)
- Maryville High School (TN)
- Zionsville High School (TN)
- Battlefield High School (VA)
- Strongsville High School (OH)
- New Trier High School (IL)
- Frank W. Cox High School (VA)
- Brookline High School (MA)
- Lassiter HS (GA)
- Houston High School (TN)
- Collierville High School (TN)
- St George’s Middle School (TN)
- Tri-Cities High School (GA)
- Danbury High School (GA)
- Mount Mansfield High School (VT)
- Roswell High School (GA)
- Brookwood High School (GA)
- Palmetto Middle School (FL)
Previous Xibus Tour Artists
- Turtle Island Quartet
- Boston String Quartet
- Fionnuala Gill (from Riverdance)
- Orla Fallon (from Celtic Woman)
- Giorgia Fumanti
- Scarlet Fade
- Jeanette Ollson (from hit tv show, GLEE!)
- Ben Rosenblum
- Lanny Myers (Emmy award winner)
My school has more than one orchestra, can both orchestras participate?
Yes! If your school has multiple orchestras, we would love to work with them! We invite each school to choose concert music from the Xibus Repertoire list, and you may split the selections between each of your participating orchestras. Although rehearsals may be split between the different orchestras, we request that all students participate in the workshops with our guest artists.
Can my Middle School participate?
Xibus is a great program for High Schools and Middle Schools alike! If you would like to consider Xibus for your Middle School, we ask that you first review the Xibus Repertoire List, and view some of the sheet music samples to ensure that your students can successfully play at the required level. Participating students should be at Suzuki Book 3 level or higher.
Can we hold the event on Saturday?
Yes. Xibus may be scheduled Mon-Sat.
How much does it cost?
Program cost varies based upon 1 or 2 day residency. Contact us to discuss pricing, and how you can use Xibus to raise money for your school orchestra program.
Ready to get started?
Awesome! Please complete the Xibus Registration Form below to register your school as a participant in the Xibus Tour. Once your registration has been received, we will send you a Welcome Packet, and schedule a call to go over all the details.