Ensembles are open to all UMass Amherst students, subject to auditions held at the beginning of each semester. All ensembles appear in concert on campus several times a year. Ensembles have also been selected to represent UMass Amherst at conventions and festivals that have included Symphony Hall in Springfield, MA; the Washington, D.C. home of the Marine Band; and the Capitol Building in Boston.
FALL 2016 STRING PLACEMENT AUDITIONS:
String Audition Form String Audition Sign-Up (Tues 9/6, 1-4:30pm and Fri 9/9, 12-3pm)
What pieces to prepare:
If you are interested only in the All-University Orchestra, please prepare a piece or portion of a piece that's about 5 minutes long; choose music that best reflects the full range of your abilities.
If you are interested in the Symphony Orchestra, please prepare the above, plus one of the excerpts for your instrument.
If you are interested in being a section leader, prepare the above, plus all of the excerpts for your instrument.
Excerpts found here.
Wind/Brass/Percussion Audition Schedule (Auditions held week of Sept. 6, sign up outside Rm. 257 FAC); excerpts available in the Music office or online.
UMASS AMHERST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
As the top orchestral ensemble on campus, students are required to practice in preparation for sectionals, rehearsals and performances.
Ng Tian Hui, conductor
Click for 2016-17 Concerts/Repertoire (pdf); Rehearsal Schedule (pdf); Syllabus/Description (pdf)
Consists of the most advanced instrumentalists at the University. Although the ensemble typically consists mostly of graduate students in music performance and seniors in performance studies and music education, all instrumentalists at the University and the Five Colleges, including staff and faculty, are welcome to audition for a place in the orchestra at the start of each term.
The orchestra presents two full programs each academic term, with additional appearances at the annual Multibands Pops concerts, performing canonic works for orchestra from the 18th century to the present day, and works with world-famous soloists such as Ayano Kataoka (percussion), Greg Spiridopoulos (trombone) and Gilles Vonsattel (piano).
Orchestra members receive additional opportunities to work with renowned visiting artists such as the Shanghai Quartet, Wu Man and members of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
The orchestra performs a one-hour program of music each term. In addition, the orchestra does a mini Christmas carol concert in the fall term and a collaboration with Jeffrey Holmes, for the Jazz Ensemble and Studio Orchestra concert each spring. The orchestra rehearses once a week on Wednesday evenings.
Ng Tian Hui, conductor
Click for Fall 2016 Concert/Repertoire or 2016-17 Rehearsal Schedule (pdf); Syllabus/Description (pdf)
The All-University Orchestra's members reflect the diversity of the University community, with representation from many departments other than music. The orchestra is a valuable resource for less experienced musicians seeking to expand their musical horizons with orchestral repertoire, and for skilled musicians who have chosen other courses of study at the University.
OPUS ONE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (Link to Opus One website)
Elizabeth Chang, faculty coordinator & coach
A conductorless Chamber Orchestra, featuring varied repertoire from Baroque through Contemporary periods.
Click to listen to and watch Opus One on YouTube