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Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra

Orchestra Violin 900 x 600

The Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra is an ensemble dedicated to learning and performing excellent orchestral repertoire from the 18th century to the present, seeking to glorify God and minister to others through the process.

The Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Sommerville, conductor, is pleased to offer these concerts to our campus and to the wider western suburban communities. All concerts take place in Edman Chapel, 7:30pm  Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free with student/college ID.

  • 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.

East Coast Tour, Spring 2019

The Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra will be embarking on a spring tour, March 9-17, 2019.

2018/2019 Concert Series

Saturday, October 6
Homecoming Concert: “A Time to Remember”
Music by Beethoven (5th symphony), Liszt and Butterworth

Thursday, October 18
Benefit Concert for the new concert hall, with Christian recording artist Michael W. Smith and Nashville songwriter/composer/arranger/conductor David Hamilton

Saturday, November 17 
Concerto Competition Honors Concert
Featuring the winners of the four area concerto competitions, plus music by Handel and Respighi

Friday, December 7 (7:30) and Saturday, December 8 (4:00, 7:30)
Music to include excerpts from Vaughan Williams, Hodie 

Saturday, February 23
Winter Concert: “Hope Springs Eternal”
Music by Verdi, Ives, Barber, and Nielsen

March 9-17
Spring Break concert and ministry tour to Washington, D.C.

Saturday, April 27
Spring Concert,
Featuring Mahler Symphony No. 5

Audition Information

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 29, 30 and 31.  New students and transfer students should sign up for a time during freshman orientation in Lower Beamer, August 23 and 24.  Or contact Dr. Sommerville directly (e-mail address below).  Auditions consist of 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 music are below.  Wind players for orchestra and band use the same audition materials, but non-majors need not play the excerpts marked “orchestra only.” 

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 (also for euphonium), bass trombone, tuba, percussion, harp.  The percussion music included below are only for orchestra auditions.  For band only percussion music, please contact Dr. Kastner, professor of percussion, at kathleen.kastner@wheaton.edu

The Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra performed at the 2018 Illinois Music Education Conference in Peoria last January, and the orchestra was also named in January as one of the twenty most impressive college/university orchestras in the Unites 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 2018-19 (All links are to PDFs)


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