Welcome to CU Orchestras!

 

Orchestra audition excerpts Audition sign-ups

Welcome to orchestras at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music!

CU Boulder orchestras

The CU Symphony Orchestra, CU Philharmonia Orchestra and CU 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, Stravinsky, R. Strauss and Tchaikovsky, as well as world premieres by Carter Pann, Christopher Theofanidis 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 underrepresented composers. Recent performances include works by Joseph Bologne, Lily Boulenger, Anna Clyne, Roshanne Etezady, Fanny Mendelssohn, Jessie Montgomery, Derrick Spiva Jr. and George Walker. During the 2021-2022 season, works by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) composers were featured on each program, including Clarice Assad, Joseph Bologne, Kevin Day, Philip Herbert, Florence Price, Carlos Simon and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. 

The CU Symphony Orchestra has appeared with such artists as pianist Jeremy Denk, cellist Johannes Moser and jazz pianist/Academy Award-winning composer Dave Grusin (Mus ’56). The orchestra also recently appeared with pop artist Natalie Merchant and their live recording with the Indigo Girls was released in 2018. The orchestra enjoys a regular collaboration with the principal musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra during a biennial residency on campus. Solo appearances with the orchestra are awarded to students as a result of the annual CU Boulder Honors Competition.

CU Boulder Campus Orchestra

The CU Boulder Campus Orchestra comprises primarily non-music majors and presents one concert performance each semester. The ensemble performs a wide-ranging repertoire from Baroque through contemporary periods in both string and full-orchestra settings. There is no formal audition required for admission into this ensemble. Musicians of any major interested in participating should attend the first meeting of the ensemble: Aug. 24, 7 p.m., Imig Music Building, E160. More information will be presented at the first meeting. Questions? Contact Kedrick Armstrong, Kedrick.armstrong@colorado.edu.

CU Boulder orchestras mission statement on diversity, equity + inclusion

Members of CU Boulder orchestras commit 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 (Black, Indigenous and people of color). CU Boulder 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.

Auditions

Auditions for the fall 2022 semester are open to all CU Boulder students. String auditions will be held on the first two days of classes; audition excerpts are posted below and available for download. All string majors, regardless of degree program, are expected to audition through this process. The audition signup link will be posted here. Information about wind and percussion auditions is available hereAudition questions? Contact Casey Klopp, cuensembles@colorado.edu

Audition materials

All string musicians are responsible for the following:

  • Find audition excerpts—as well as information about audition dates and times—here
  • A short solo work or étude you feel best demonstrates your ability.

Repertoire

2022-23 repertoire for the CU Symphony Orchestra includes:

Coleridge-Taylor–Violin Concerto
Sibelius–Symphony No. 2
William Grant Still–Afro-American Symphony
Irene Britton Smith–Sinfonietta (premiere of new edition)
Shostakovich–Symphony No. 5
Arnold–Concerto for Flute and Strings
Carter Pann–World premiere
Orff–Carmina Burana (with CU Boulder Choirs in Boettcher Concert Hall)

CU Philharmonia Orchestra repertoire: TBA

CU Chamber Orchestra repertoire: TBA

CU Boulder orchestras 2022-23 rehearsal + performance dates

CU Philharmonia Orchestra
Sunday, Sept. 25–Dress rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Grusin Music Hall
Monday, Sept. 26–Concert, 7:30 p.m., Grusin Music Hall

CU Symphony Orchestra
Wednesday, Sept. 21–Dress rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Macky Auditorium
Thursday, Sept. 22–Concert, 7:30 p.m., Macky Auditorium

CU Opera Orchestra
Oct. 16-23–Production week (evening rehearsals on 16, 18, 19 with performances on weekend of 21-23)

CU Chamber Orchestra
Wednesday, Oct. 19–Dress rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Grusin Music Hall
Thursday, Oct. 20–Concert, 7:30 p.m., Grusin Music Hall

CU Philharmonia Orchestra
Sunday, Nov. 13–Dress rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Grusin Music Hall
Monday, Nov. 14–Concert, 7:30 p.m., Grusin Music Hall

CU Symphony Orchestra
Tuesday, Nov. 15–Dress rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Macky Auditorium
Wednesday, Nov. 16–Concert, 7:30 p.m., Macky Auditorium

CU Boulder Holiday Festival Orchestra
December 1-4, Macky Auditorium

CU Philharmonia Orchestra
Sunday, Feb. 12–Dress rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Grusin Music Hall
Monday, Feb. 13–Concert, 7:30 p.m., Grusin Music Hall

CU Symphony Orchestra
Wednesday, Feb. 15–Dress rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Macky Auditorium
Thursday, Feb. 16–Concert, 7:30 p.m., Macky Auditorium

CU Opera Orchestra
March 12-19–Production week (evening rehearsals on March 12, 14, 15 with performances on March 17-19)

CU Chamber Orchestra
Wednesday, March 15–Dress rehearsal, 7-10 p.m.p, Grusin Music Hall
Thursday, March 16–Concert, 7:30 p.m., Grusin Music Hall

CU Philharmonia Orchestra
Wednesday, April 26–Dress rehearsal, 7-10 p.m., Grusin Music Hall
Thursday, April 27–Concert, 7:30 p.m., Grusin Music Hall

CU Symphony Orchestra
Monday, May 1–Dress rehearsal (evening TBA), Boettcher Concert Hall
Tuesday, May 2–Concert, 7:30 p.m., Boettcher Concert Hall