orchestra performance
Welcome to CU Orchestras!

Welcome to CU Boulder Orchestras! We offer a range of repertoire for all levels of musicians at the University of Colorado Boulder. Learn more about our ensembles:

CU Symphony Orchestra, CU Philharmonia Orchestra + CU Chamber Orchestra

The College of Music's University Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra perform a wide variety of symphonic repertoire. The past three years have included standard works by Barber, Beethoven, Berlioz, Bernstein, Brahms, Copland, Debussy, Haydn, Mozart, Prokofiev, Ravel, Schumann, Shostakovich, Sibelius, R. Strauss, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, as well as world premieres by Carter Pann and the U.S. premiere of a work by Finnish composer Juhani Nuorvala.

CU Boulder Orchestras are committed to the regular and sustained performance of works by marginalized composers, including women and people of color. Recent performances include works by Lili Boulanger, Anna Clyne, Roshanne Etezady and Fanny Mendelssohn. During the 2021-2022 season, works by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) composers will be included on each program, including Clarice Assad, Joseph Bologne, Kevin Day, Jessica Mays, Philip Herbert, Florence Price, Carlos Simon and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

Our Symphony Orchestra has appeared with such artists as cellist Johannes Moser, pianist Jeremy Denk, jazz pianist and Academy Award-winning composer Dave Grusin. The orchestra also recently appeared with pop artist Natalie Merchant and their live recording with the Indigo Girls was released in 2018. The orchestra further enjoys a regular collaboration with the principal musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra during a biennial residency on the CU Boulder campus. Solo appearances with the orchestra are awarded to students as a result of the annual Honors Competition.

Campus Orchestra

The Campus Orchestra is an ensemble composed primarily of non-music majors who perform one concert each semester. The ensemble performs a wide-ranging repertoire from Baroque through contemporary periods in both string and full-orchestra settings. Campus Orchestra rehearses on Wednesday evenings, 8:50 p.m.-10 p.m., in rooms E-160 and S-134 in the Imig Music Building. No formal audition is required for admission into this ensemble. Questions? Contact us at CampusOrchestra@colorado.edu.

University of Colorado Boulder Orchestras mission statement on Diversity, Equity + Inclusion

The mission of the University of Colorado Boulder Orchestras commits its members to a shared belief that our collective work as musicians should be guided by an unwavering affirmation of diversity; a staunch desire to foster for all people, without exception, a sense that they belong; and the knowledge that social justice never exists if it does not exist for all people, not least people who have historically been and continue to be marginalized, frequently by violent means. We recognize and embrace the notion that the inherently collaborative nature of our art is important to the development of empathy and inclusion. However, throughout its long history, our art has not adequately included women and BIPOC. The CU Orchestras are committed to amplifying the voices of, and creating an encouraging environment for, musicians, composers and scholars of these historically marginalized groups and for every person who seeks to collaborate genuinely and to grow artistically.


Repertoire planned for the Symphony Orchestra for the 2021-22 season includes:

  • Assad–Nhanderu 
  • Mahler–Symphony No. 1
  • Kevin Day–Blue Hour Skyline 
  • Marcelo–Trumpet Concerto in C minor 
  • Mullikin–Oboe Concerto 
  • Stravinsky–Petrouchka 
  • Dvorak–Cello Concerto 
  • Price–Symphony No. 1 
  • Bologne–Symphony No. 1 in G major, op. 11
  • Holmes–La Nuit et l’amour 
  • Theofanidis–On the Bridge of the Eternal (world premiere to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the College of Music)
  • Ravel–Tzigane 
  • Ravel–Daphnis and Chloe, Suite No. 2 

Repertoire planned for the Philharmonia Orchestra includes:

  • Coleridge-Taylor–Danse Negre
  • Simon–Portrait of a Queen
  • Herbert–Elegy in Memoriam Stephen Lawrence
  • Rimsky-Korsakov–Capriccio Espagnole
  • Ravel–Ma Mere L’Oye
  • Mendelssohn–Symphony No. 5, Op. 107
  • Mozart–Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550
  • Beethoven–Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21
  • Rossini–Overture to Barber of Seville
  • Mays–“Anthem for Go”
  • Price–Orchestration project in collaboration with CU Composition Studio

Chamber Orchestra repertoire TBA


CU Orchestras 2021-22 performance dates

Symphony Orchestra
Wednesday, September 22–Dress Rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Macky
Thursday, September 23–Performance, 7:30 p.m., Macky

Philharmonia Orchestra
Sunday, September 26–Dress Rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Grusin
Monday, September 27–Performance, 7:30 p.m., Grusin

Chamber Orchestra
Wednesday, October 20–Dress Rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Grusin
Thursday, October 21–Performance, 7:30 p.m., Grusin

Opera Orchestra
October 17-24–Production Week (evening rehearsals on Oct. 17, 19 and 20 with performances the weekend of Oct. 22-24)

Philharmonia Orchestra
Sunday, November 14–Dress Rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Grusin
Monday, November 15–Performance, 7:30 p.m., Grusin

Symphony Orchestra
Wednesday, November 17–Dress Rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Macky
Thursday, November 18–Performance, 7:30 p.m., Macky

Holiday Festival Orchestra
December 2-5

Campus Orchestra
Monday, November 29–Dress Rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Grusin
Monday, December 6–Performance, 7:30 p.m., Grusin

Philharmonia Orchestra
Monday, February 7–Dress Rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Grusin
Tuesday, February 8–Performance, 7:30 p.m., Grusin

Symphony Orchestra
Wednesday, February 9–Dress Rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Macky
Thursday, February 10–Performance, 7:30 p.m., Macky

Opera Orchestra
March 6-13–Production Week (evening rehearsals on Mrach 6, 8 and 9 with performances the weekend of March 11-13)

Chamber Orchestra
Wednesday, March 9–Dress Rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Grusin
Thursday, March 10–Performance, 7:30 p.m., Grusin

Campus Orchestra
April dates TBA

Philharmonia Orchestra
Wednesday, April 20–Dress Rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Grusin
Thursday, April 21–Performance, 7:30 p.m., Grusin

Symphony Orchestra
Monday, April 25–Dress Rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Macky
Tuesday, April 26–Performance, 7:30 p.m., Macky


Gary Lewis
Director of Orchestras

Joel Schut
Assistant Director of Orchestras

Mike Tetreault
Ensembles Percussion Instructor + Coordinator