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Orchestral Ensembles

Ensembles are open to all UMass Amherst students (not just Music majors), 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 placement auditions take place on Saturday, Feb. 3 or by appointment.
for both UMass Symphony Orchestra (UMASO) and All-University Orchestra (AUO).

For spring 2024, string auditions are only for NEW orchestra students or those wishing to change ensembles.
Ensemble information & audition excerpts =>
Sign-up form =>
Audition survey form =>

For Woodwind, Brass and Percussion auditions, please see the Bands webpage. W/B/P players should audition for placement in Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, or Symphony Band.


2023-24 Season: To be announced
2022/23 Concerto Competition winners: Brian Carr, saxophone; Luca Kevorkian, violin & Zhen Tu, piano

Symphony Orchestra (MUSIC 565-01): Rehearsal Schedule: MWF 2:30-4:10, Rm. 44.
Spring 2024 Concerts: Mon. March 11 @ 7:30pm; Tues. April 9 @ 7:30pm, Sat. May 4, 4pm (with Choirs); also Jazz Studio Orch - Fri. May 10, 7:30pm; all in Tillis Hall
March 11 repertoire: Haydn Symphony #100; Shostakovich Symphony #12
April 9 repertoire: Winners of Concerto Competition
May 4 repertoire: Mozart Requiem

All-University Orchestra (MUSIC 593J-01): Rehearsal Schedule: Wed 5:30-7 p.m

General ensemble descriptions:

Gonzalo Hidalgo, Interim Director of Orchestral Activities

Features the most advanced instrumentalists at the University. Admission is through competitive audition in the Fall or Spring. The Orchestra presents at least 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 Boston Symphony Hall performance for the University's 150th Anniversary celebration.
Rehearsals are M,W,F 2:30-4:10, Rm. 44.

Gonzalo Hidalgo, Interim Director of Orchestral Activities

Spring 2024: Wed. 5:30-7pm, starting Feb. 7.

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.
Spring concert: Mon. May 6, 7:30pm, Bowker Auditorium

Elizabeth Chang and Edward Arron, faculty coordinators & coaches

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 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 2024: Tues. April 23, 2024, 7:30pm, Bezanson