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Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra

Orchestra Violin 900 x 600

The Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra is an ensemble dedicated to excellence in the performance of orchestral repertoire from the 18th century to the present, seeking to glorify God and minister to others.

The orchestra performs four major concerts during the year, plus two children’s concerts.  In addition, the orchestra is one of five ensembles that perform at the Commencement Celebration Concert.  The main concerts take place in Edman Chapel, with a start time of 7:30 pm (tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free with college and student ID). All concerts are live-streamed at wheaton.edu/streaming. 

  • Full orchestra rehearsal times are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:15 to 6:15pm
  • String sectionals (9 times per semester) are held Mondays, 5:00-6:15pm, and are led by faculty string coaches
  • Woodwind and percussion sectionals are on selected Wednesdays, 5:30-6:15pm
  • Brass sectionals are twice a semester, 10:00am to noon, two Saturdays per semester and are led by CSO Assistant Principal Trumpeter, Mark Ridenour

Study with one of our outstanding private teachers, many of whom are very active performers in top chamber groups and orchestras in the Chicago area, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Music of the Baroque Orchestra, Camerata Chicago, period instrument ensembles, and many other performance organizations.

Student tickets (usually $15) are available for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra concerts (both at Symphony Center, Chicago, and for the three-concert series the CSO performs at Edman Chapel, Wheaton College) and the Lyric Opera. Students also get in free to the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago with a student ID. Many of our students regularly avail themselves to these opportunities. Transportation is easy, with the train station just across the street from the southeast corner of campus.

2019 | 2020 Concert Series

Saturday, October 12, 7:30
Mozart...and the Movies!

Saturday, November 23, 7:30
Abundance: A Concert for Thanksgiving, featuring Concerto Competition winners

Saturday, February 29, 7:30
Story in Sound, featuring Jennine Oh Brown, flute

Saturday, April 25, 7:30
Epic Adventures

Audition Information

The Symphony Orchestra is a full-year course and is open to all students. Auditions are held during the first three days of the fall semester, August 28-30.  New students and transfer students should sign up for a time during freshman orientation in Lower Beamer, August 22 and 23, or contact Dr. Sommerville directly (e-mail address below).  Auditions consist of orchestral excerpts and a short (two minutes or less) excerpt from a solo of your choice, unless a concerto/sonata/etude solo is already provided on the audition music.  The links for the audition excerpts are below.  Wind players for orchestra and band use the same audition materials, but non-majors only need to play those excerpts marked with an asterisk. 

Instrumentation for the symphony orchestra: violins, violas, cellos, double basses, flutes (including piccolo), oboes (including English horn), clarinets (including bass clarinet), bassoons (including contrabassoon), horns, trumpets, tenor trombone, bass trombone, tuba, percussion, harp.  The percussion music included below are only for orchestra auditions. 

The Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra performed at the 2018 Illinois Music Education Conference, and in that same year, the orchestra was also named in January as one of the twenty most impressive college/university orchestras in the United States by Online Schools Center.  Student musicians, I hope to meet you in the fall; Concert-goers, I look forward to seeing you at our concerts this season!

Daniel Sommerville sommerville@wheaton.edu

Audition Music for 2019-20 (All links are to PDFs)

Please contact Ms. Faye Seeman, harp instructor.

Faye Seeman faye.seeman@wheaton.edu

View our Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra Gallery