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:

The competition will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 27 between 11am and 6pm
Winners will perform at the concert on Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30pm in the Concert Hall
Any UMass student enrolled for applied lessons with a UMass Department of Music & Dance faculty member during spring semester is eligible to participate, with the approval of the student's applied teacher.
More information and the application form may be found here.

Symphony Orchestra: Please see the 2017-18 Concert Date & Repertoire List
All-University Orchestra: Wednesday, April 4, 6:30pm, Grace Church, Amherst
AUO participants also are usually included in the Jazz Studio Orchestra, concert Thurs. April 26, 7:30pm, Bowker Auditorium



General ensemble descriptions:

Morihiko Nakahara, Director of Orchestral Activities

Consists of the most advanced instrumentalists at the University. Admission is through competitive audition in the Fall. The orchestra presents four annual concerts. Repertoire emphasizes canonic works for orchestra from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Students are required to practice in preparation for sectionals, rehearsals and performances. Members are annually featured at Multibands and occasionally at special events such as our recent Boston Symphony Hall performance for the University's 150th Anniversary celebration.
Concert Schedule, 2017-18 Season.  Spring 2018 concerts are on March 8 & April 17 at 7:30pm in the FAC Concert Hall.

Morihiko Nakahara, Director of Orchestral Activities

This ensemble, presenting two concerts annually, provides all University members an opportunity to perform in a non-competitive atmosphere, and achieve success according to one's individual goals.


Elizabeth Chang, faculty coordinator & coach

Opus One is the primary string chamber ensemble at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As there is no conductor, we demonstrate the potential of a collaborative approach to music making.

In addition to two main concerts every season of select chamber works for string ensembles, Opus One is actively involved in various community efforts in the greater Massachusetts area, including our annual String Day event for musicians of all ages in the Pioneer Valley.

Click to listen to and watch Opus One on YouTube.  Facebook page
Spring 2018 concert on Monday, March 26 at 7:30pm in Bezanson Hall