The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Orchestral Ensembles

Ensembles are open to all UMass Amherst students, subject to auditions held at the beginning of each semester. All ensembles appear in concert on campus several times a year. Ensembles have also been selected to represent UMass Amherst at conventions and festivals that have included Symphony Hall in Springfield, MA; the Washington, D.C. home of the Marine Band; and the Capitol Building in Boston.

For the latest information about UMass Orchestras, Fall 2020, please see Srrings only for Fall 2020.

Placement auditions (strings) for the UMass Symphony Orchestra and All-University Orchestra will be done via video recordings, uploaded to a designated Google drive by 12:00 noon on August 24. Symphony Orchestra will be meeting in person, but All-University Orchestra will be virtual/remote for fall. (AUO students are still required to do a virtual audition.)  For Woodwind, Brass and Percussion auditions, please see the Bands webpage. W/B/P players audition for placement in Wind Ensemble (in person), or Symphony Band (remote)/

For String players: For information and placement audition repertoire, please visit

Professor Morihiko Nakahara, is Director of Orchestral Activities. Please contact him with any questions about the UMass Orchestras.


Planned for Spring 2021.

Symphony Orchestra: Rehearsal Schedule: MWF 2:30-4:10, Rm. 44. First rehearsal Mon. 8/31. In-person rehearsals will be held according to COVID-19 protocols, see info at
Fall 2020 Concerts: To be announced.
All-University Orchestra: Rehearsal Schedule: Wed 5:30-7 p.m. (fully remote class) beginning Wednesday, September 2.

General ensemble descriptions:

Morihiko Nakahara, Director of Orchestral Activities

Features the most advanced instrumentalists at the University. Admission is through competitive audition in the Fall or Spring. The Orchestra presents four annual concerts. Repertoire emphasizes canonic works for orchestra from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Students are required to practice in preparation for sectionals, rehearsals and performances. Members are annually featured at Multibands and occasionally at special events such as our recent Boston Symphony Hall performance for the University's 150th Anniversary celebration.
Concert Repertoire: Fall 2020, To be announced. Rehearsals are M,W,F 2:30-4:10, Rm. 44.

Morihiko Nakahara, Director of Orchestral Activities

Fall 2020: Meets remotely, Wed. 5:30-7pm, starting Sept. 2. (Short placement audition video due Aug. 24, 12 noon.) See for info.

This ensemble, presenting two concerts annually, provides all University members an opportunity to perform in a non-competitive atmosphere, and achieve success according to one's individual goals.
Fall 2020 concert: To be announced.


Elizabeth Chang, faculty coordinator & coach

Opus One is the primary string chamber ensemble at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As there is no conductor, we demonstrate the potential of a collaborative approach to music making.

In addition to two main concerts every season of select chamber works for string ensembles, Opus One is actively involved in various community efforts in the greater Massachusetts area, including our annual String Day event for musicians of all ages in the Pioneer Valley.

Click to listen to and watch Opus One on YouTube.  Facebook page
Fall 2020: To be announced.