Orchestral Ensembles

Orchestra Rehearsal

University Symphony Orchestra

Director: Professor Mark Russell Smith

Audition requiredThe University Symphony Orchestra is a select ensemble of 80 to 90 students who are primarily music majors. The orchestra rehearses and performs the finest orchestral literature available, from well-known works to premieres of new compositions. The orchestra performs four to six concerts per year, in addition to working with the University Opera Theatre on two productions per year. Course Number: MUS 3420/5420 (Registration takes place AFTER auditions).

"I’m so lucky to be performing major works with the University Symphony Orchestra in my first semester, right alongside the graduate students, because this environment and the scholarship behind it are willing to believe and trust in my abilities. With any luck, but more importantly, with the support that propels me here, I’ll be pouring my passion into a real symphony orchestra in no time."—Aimi, music student

University Philharmonic Orchestra

Director: TBD

Audition requiredNew for 2024-25, the University Philharmonic Orchestra is an auditioned ensemble open to students of varied majors with significant orchestral experience. They rehearse and perform standard orchestral repertoire at a rigorous and high level. UPO performs two concerts per semester, in addition to collaborating with other School of Music ensembles and musicians. Course Number: MUS 3430, section 001 (Registration takes place AFTER auditions).

  • UPO Meeting Times: Mondays and Thursdays, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

Campus Orchestras

Directors: David Carrillo, James Chang, and Jingqi Zhu

Non-auditioned ensemble.  Campus Orchestras are open to students of varied majors within the University and provide opportunities to explore orchestral music and collaborate with guest musicians and other University ensembles. Each Campus Orchestra rehearses once per week (Tuesday or Wednesday evenings) and performs concerts in Ted Mann Concert Hall twice per semester. Although a minimum level of competence is expected as this adds to the students' overall orchestra experience, a formal audition is not required.

Interested in joining a Campus Orchestra? Register for MUS 3430, section 002 or 003. Unsure which Campus Orchestra to join? We recommend selecting the orchestra that works best with your course schedule.


Campus Orchestras Meeting Times:

  • Maroon Campus Orchestra (MUS 3430-002): Tuesdays, 6:00 – 8:00 pm 
  • Gold Campus Orchestra (MUS 3430-003): Wednesdays, 6:00 – 8:00 pm 
"The daily switching between playing viola and studying physics is very intellectually stimulating, and I’ve noticed that my musical involvement seems to improve my skills in physics, and vice versa."—Gabriel, violist