The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Orchestral Ensembles

Ensembles are open to all UMass Amherst students (not just Music majors), 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 2022, please see the Orchestra Info sheet. General descriptions are below.

Fall 2022: String section placement auditions for the UMass Symphony Orchestra and All-University Orchestra are required for everyone including returning members. Auditions will take place by sign-up during the first week of classes, Wed. 9/7, 10am-7pm; Thurs. 9/8, 4-6pm & Fri. 9/9, 1-5pm. Audition requirements can be found on the Info sheet. Please also fill out the Orchestra Strings Student Audition Form.

For Woodwind, Brass and Percussion auditions, please see the Bands webpage. W/B/P players audition for placement in Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, or Symphony Band.

For String players (fall 2022): For information and placement audition repertoire, please see the Orchestra Info sheet. Symphony Orchestra auditions include a short solo piece of your choice and orchestral excerpts. All-University Orchestra auditions include two short pieces in contrasting styles. Please sign up for an audition time here and fill out the UMass Orchestras Strings Audition Form.

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


Planned for Spring 2023.

Symphony Orchestra (MUSIC 565-01): Rehearsal Schedule: MWF 2:30-4:10, Rm. 44.
Fall 2022 Concerts: Wed., Oct. 19, 7:30pm and Mon., Nov. 21, 7:30pm in the Tillis Performance Hall, plus Multibands on Fri. Oct. 28.
Oct. 19: James Lee III: Amer'ican (2019); R. Schumann: Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129 (Edward Arron); Amy Beach: Symphony in E minor, Op. 32 "Gaelic"
Oct. 28 (Multibands): John Williams: Hedwig's Theme from "Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone"
Nov. 21 (with Percussion Ensemble): Tchaikovsky: Suite from The Nutcracker, op. 71a; Kodaly: Hary Janos Suite

All-University Orchestra (MUSIC 593J-01): Rehearsal Schedule: Wed 5:30-7 p.m. Concert: Wed. Nov. 30, 6pm, Bezanson

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 2022, See above. Rehearsals are M,W,F 2:30-4:10, Rm. 44.

Morihiko Nakahara, Director of Orchestral Activities

Fall 2022: Wed. 5:30-7pm, starting Sept. 7.

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 2022 concert: Wed. Nov. 30, 6pm


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 2022: Wed. Nov. 16, 2022, 7:30pm, Bezanson