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Symphony Orchestra


2016 URSO

Formed in 1956, The University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra (URSO) continues a tradition of joyful performances of masterworks of the symphonic repertoire. Numbering 100 members, the Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Dr. Rachel Waddell) is a blend of university undergraduate and graduate students as well as talented community musicians from the greater Rochester area. 

Membership is by auditions held at the start of the fall semester. URSO rehearses are on Tuesday evenings for our series of four free concerts each year that showcase this accomplished ensemble.

The Symphony Orchestra performs in the Henry Alvah Strong Auditorium on the University of Rochester River Campus. 

In lieu of our traditional Concerto Competition, this year the University of Rochester Orchestras will be launching an exciting new program – our {Virtual} Masterclass Series.

  blarp!Selected students will participate in livestreamed coachings with performing musicians from around the country. These masterclasses will take place on select Saturday mornings through the fall and spring semesters. Each 1.5-2 hour masterclass will be Livestreamed and opened to anyone to view.  For more information and to apply, please click here

 Auditioning for the Orchestra

Symphony Orchestra

For the Fall 2020 semester, URSO will only be accepting auditions for string instrumentalists (violin, viola, cello, and bass). If you are a wind, brass, percussion, piano, or harp player, we will be announcing auditions for the spring 2021 semester at a later date, pending COVID-19 regulations.
All auditionees must be current University of Rochester students, faculty, or staff.

To be considered for membership in URSO, a brief online audition is required. Auditions take about 5-7 minutes and will be held - virtually - on August 24 & 25, 1PM-4PM. You must secure your audition time in advance by signing up online.

Auditions will consist of a 3-5 minute solo or solo excerpt of the individual's choice. In addition, students should be prepared to play the following major scales in 3 octaves: CM, GM, DM, AM, EM, BM, FM, BbM, EbM, AbM, and the following minor scales (natural, harmonic, and melodic) in 2-3 octaves: a minor, e minor, b minor, f# minor, d minor, g minor, and c minor. Dr. Waddell will select one major and one minor scale for each student to perform at their audition.

Selections from movements of a major concerto or a sonata would be appropriate choices.

For Fall 2020, and possibly Spring 2021, acceptance into URSO does not guarantee live music making. The ability to create live music experiences this semester (possibly academic year) will be dependent on COVID-19 regulations and government mandates.

Although membership is normally granted through auditions held each September, experienced string players are welcome to audition at any time during the year. Rehearsals are held on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 10 p.m. in Strong Auditorium. [Note- venue may be altered for Fall 2020]


Concerto Competition Winner Spring 2015

We hope you will join us for this exciting season!