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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.

STRING AUDITIONS for UMass Amherst Symphony Orchestra (click for Concerts/Repertoire) & All-University Orchestra
1. Music majors/minors & returning UMass Symphony Orch players: Tues., Sept. 8, 12:30-6pm, Rm. 272 (Assigned times, sent to students)
2. String players who are not Music majors/minors, for UMass Symphony Orchestra (highest level): Thurs., Sept. 10, 1:30-3:30pm, FAC Rm. 283  SIGNUP
3. String players (not Music majors/minors) for All-University Orchestra: Mon., Sept. 14, 4:30-6:30pm, FAC Rm. 272  SIGNUP

Audition requirements
: 1. A short solo piece of your choice, preferably with contrasting sections, that demonstrates your full expressive & technical range.
2. Sight-reading
3. Short interview (1 min.), share your orchestral aspirations & background
4. Excerpts (for Music majors/minors only) (Tchaik 5, pdf): 
Violin   Viola    Cello    Bass

WOODWIND/BRASS/PERCUSSION AUDITIONS for Orchestras, Wind Ensemble & Symphony Band:
Sept. 8-11, 2015.
Audition sign-up sheet will be posted outside of FAC 257 on Monday, August 17th.
Download W/B/P Info File
(pdf) with available times/rooms for each instrument.
Audition requirements include:
1. Prepared excerpts, downloadable pdfs- links on Bands webpage
(For questions about the excerpts, contact the studio teacher directly)
2. Major & Chromatic scales;
3. Sight reading
Audition results will be posted outside of FAC 257 by 10pm on Sept. 11th.

Ng Tian Hui, conductor
Click for 2015-16 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. 

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 Fall 2015 Concert/Repertoire or 2015-16 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. 

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


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