Don't dismay over cuts to music in the public schools! There are several nationally recognized, top private orchestras right here in Portland.
These organizations include long established classical orchestras such as Portland Youth Philharmonic and Metropolitan Youth Orchestra.
Two weeks ago I was contacted by Brent, the director of a new youth orchestra called, "Portland Youth Rock Orchestra". He was calling to see if any of my strings students would be interested in auditioning . I found out they will be preforming modern orchestral music with electric guitars and 5 piece drums and other percussion. This sounds like a fun alternative for students who want to play more contemporary music in addition to classical music.
I have long thought that strings should be utilized more in rock music. In fact lately I've noticed there is a welcome trend in this regard in rock music. I recently played in a folk/rock group where I played cello, violin, upright bass and keyboard and got to arrange the parts. The audience loved it. This group, Cris Kelly, even had a person playing penny whistle and a variety of recorders. It made the sound very interesting and unique.
So google Portland Youth Rock Orchestra as well as Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and Portland Youth Philharmonic and see the many opportunities available to string players and other instrumentalist!