Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra

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Seeking to glorify God and minister to others through music making, the award-winning Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to developing rich musical understanding through rehearsal and performance of a wide variety of symphonic repertoire.

Directed by Dr. Benjamin Klemme, the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra performs four full concerts during the year, plus the Commencement Celebration Concert and either the Christmas Festival or Children’s Concerts. Tickets can be purchased at tickets.wheaton.edu or at the door. Tickets are $10 for adults and free with college and student ID. All concerts are live-streamed at wheaton.edu/streaming.

“The WCSO has been one of the defining pillars of my experience at Wheaton. It has not only shaped how I think about and practice large-ensemble chamber music, but has significantly broadened and deepened my love for the art. It has also provided me with a truly authentic community over my four years at Wheaton; one fully centered on Christ and dedicated to pursuing a high degree of musical excellence.”
-Micah Sanders, cellist, class of 2020

"The promise of a Wheaton education is that you'll find yourself engaging deeply with the best thinkers and works in your field in the midst of a community of Christians devoted to loving God and each other through the rigorous pursuit of truth and beauty. The Symphony Orchestra is precisely such a community, and the four years that I spent performing in it were truly an indispensable part of my Wheaton experience."
-Cameron Harro, horn player, class of 2020

2023 | 2024 Concert Series

Homecoming Concert
Friday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Edman Chapel

Fall Concert
Friday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Edman Chapel

Winter Concert
Saturday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Armerding Concert Hall

Spring Concert
Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Edman Chapel

Commencement Celebration Concert
Friday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Edman Chapel

Join the Symphony Orchestra!

The Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra has a long history of music excellence dating back to the late 1800s. With a commitment to music for Christ and his Kingdom, the Symphony Orchestra is a unique place where creativity, instrumental performance, and Christian community flourish. Will you join in on the legacy of orchestral music-making at Wheaton?

The Symphony Orchestra is open to all students, regardless of major.  While it is a semester course, it is assumed that the student is committed for the whole year. Auditions consist of orchestral/band excerpts and a short (two minutes or less) portion from a solo of your choice unless a concerto/sonata/etude solo is already provided in the audition music. The links for each instrument audition excerpt are provided 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.  

Student musicians, I hope to meet you in the fall.

Concert-goers, I look forward to seeing you at our concerts this season, or if that is not possible, know that you are watching us on wheaton.edu/streaming!

Contact music@wheaton.edu for more information.

  • Orchestra rehearsal times are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:15 to 6:15pm
  • String sectionals (8-9 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 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.

Auditions will take place during the first week of classes. Let us know your interest here.

If you have questions, please email ensembles@wheaton.edu

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.

Audition Music for 2023-2024 (All links are to PDFs)

Please contact Ms. Faye Seeman, harp instructor.

Faye Seeman faye.seeman@wheaton.edu

Symphony Orchestra Clips

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5

View our Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra Gallery