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Orchestral Ensembles

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.

Welcome to Professor Morihiko Nakahara, our new Director of Orchestral Activities. Please don't hesitate to contact him with any questions about the UMass Orchestras: mnakahara@umass.edu.

WIND/BRASS/PERCUSSION Players: Click for the Fall 2017 W/B/P Audition schedule or Audition excerpts. Sign up for ensemble auditions outside Dr. Westgate's office, FAC 257.

STRING Players:

1. STRING AUDITIONS for Fall 2017
All string students (music majors) audition for Symphony Orchestra section placement; non-music majors may audition for All-University Orchestra or the Symphony Orchestra.

1.1. AUDITION FORM (Student info form)
All String players please fill out: http://goo.gl/forms/3sVEW87aJ585G2sF2

1.2 ONLINE AUDITION SIGN-UP SHEET
Please sign up for an audition spot: http://goo.gl/CRcBSQ
Violas/Cellos/Basses, please click on the appropriate tab at the bottom of the form to see your times!
Violins in FAC 283 (Chang): Wed 9/6, 2:30-6:30 for Symphony Orch, Fri. 9/8, 2:30-4:30 for All-Univ Orch
Violas in FAC 251 (Lockwood): Tues 9/5, 4:30-6:30
Cellos/Basses in FAC 259 (Arron): Tues 9/5, 9-1

If you are unable to make any of the audition times, please email Prof. Nakahara at mnakahara@umass.edu to set up a make-up time.

1.3 PIECES TO PREPARE
All String players need to audition in order to place into an ensemble. Please see the Audition Info file for your instrument for details about what to prepare.

Violin: Audition Info
Concertmaster excerpts: Rimsky-Korsakov, Capriccio espagnol
Section excerpts: Brahms Sym. No. 2     Tchaikovsky Sym. No. 4

Viola: Audition Info
Brahms 2     Tchaik 4

Cello: Audition Info
Brahms 2: Mvt II  Mvt IV    Tchaik 4

Bass: Audition Info
Brahms 2        Tchaik 4

2. AUDITION RESULTS, SEATINGS AND ROTATIONS FOR ALL INSTRUMENTS

All results posted (hopefully) by Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017.

3. UMASO First Rehearsal, Monday Sept. 11, 2:30-4:10pm
All Univ. Orch First Rehearsal, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 5:30-7pm

Rehearsals are at 2:30-4:10pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for Symphony Orchestra, and Wednesdays 5:30-7pm for All-University Orchestra.

4. REPERTOIRE FOR THE SEASON

Symphony Orchestra: Please see the 2017-18 Concert Date & Repertoire List

All-University Orchestra: Dates and repertoire to be announced soon

 

5. FIRST YEARS AND OTHER NEW STUDENTS

As always, if you know anyone who's interested in our orchestras, please feel free to share this information with them. Also feel free to direct them to Prof. Nakahara at mnakahara@umass.edu


UMASS AMHERST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 
Morihiko Nakahara, conductor
Click for 2017-18 Concerts/Repertoire (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 faculty soloists such as Josh Michal (horn), Greg Spiridopoulos (trombone), Gilles Vonsattel (piano) and Edward Arron (cello).  
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. 

As the top orchestral ensemble on campus, students are required to practice in preparation for sectionals, rehearsals and performances.


ALL-UNIVERSITY ORCHESTRA

Morihiko Nakahara, conductor   
Click for Fall 2017 Concert/Repertoire (coming soon)

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. 

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.


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

 

Dance Department