About Chelsea House Orchestra

Musically, CHO (Chelsea House Orchestra) provides a varied and colorful performance repertoire with the majority of the music derived from traditional Celtic sources. However, other folk music sources are used to provide students with an eclectic musical experience.

The basic philosophy of the arrangements is to allow everyone in the group to enjoy Celtic music as much as possible. Consequently, the majority of the playing is melody based with very little inner harmony or separate part writing. This truly provides students a contrasting experience from their normal school orchestra.

All music is memorized and arrangements often evolve from rehearsals and suggestions from students. Individuals are showcased through the use of solos, duos, and special features.

Students are also encouraged to learn other instruments such as mandolin, guitar, bodhran, djembe, cajon, various folk percussion, bass, bouzouki and anything else they can think of that has a folk connection.


  • Phillip Sylvester began as new director for CHO in 2019.

  • Jed Fritzemeier founded CHO (Chelsea House Orchestra) in 1996 with 10 students. Within three years, the group was performing on Celtic Festival stages and fairs throughout the region. He retired in 2019, and remains active as mentor/advisor.

  • Venues include Alma Highland Games, St. Andrews Highland Games, Saline Celtic Festival, Scottish Society of Southwestern Michigan, Kalamazoo Irish Festival, and Edinboro, Pennsylvania Highland Games, as well as many varied festivals around the Midwest

  • Annual performances on their own stage in Chelsea, Michigan

  • CHO has performed on stage with Cross Bow, Thunderwude, Barrage, Jerry Holland, Simon Mayor and Hilary James, Bowfire, Pub Domain, and many others.