The Emory University Symphony Orchestra presents dynamic and varied performances of repertoire embracing music from the Baroque to the twenty first-century, often combining forces with the Emory choirs to feature masterworks of the rich symphonic-choral tradition. True to the spirit of the liberal arts environment, the 90-member orchestra draws its membership from not only the Department of Music but from all disciplines across the campus. Although largely populated by music majors, the orchestra warmly welcomes the participation of 20-25 qualified non-majors and graduate students with appropriate backgrounds. Participation and joint enrollment for students at Georgia Tech, Agnes Scott and other area institutions is also possible depending on available space. Membership of EUSO is by competitive audition (please see the Auditions page).
The orchestra presents six performances each year on the Emory campus. In addition to collaborations with faculty, other distinguished guest artists and the 200-voice University Chorus, students have the opportunity to appear as soloists with the orchestra as winners of the annual concerto and aria competition. EUSO is featured regularly on Atlanta’s National Public Radio affiliate WABE with broadcast performances including Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and No. 10, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and 6 and Philip Glass’ Cello Concerto No. 2 with acclaimed cellist, Matt Haimovitz. The orchestra gave two performances in New York in 2009, one at Lincoln Center and a special appearance as part of Campaign Emory that overall raised an additional $1.5B for the endowment.
The home of the orchestra is the world-class Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Completed in 2003, the Schwartz Center houses the 800-seat Emerson Concert Hall, Tharp Rehearsal Hall, the Schwartz Center Box Office and Administrative Suite, multiple chamber music and practice rooms, teaching studios, classrooms and student lounges. The 2005-2006 Season celebrated the inauguration of the new $1.5M concert organ built by Daniel Jaeckel, the latest addition to the hall. Additional practice rooms, classrooms, offices and a 250-seat Performing Arts Studio can be found at the Music Department’s Burlington Road building. The Schwartz Center incorporates a small black box theater and a dance studio. See: www.bestvalueschools.com/25-most-amazing-university-performing-arts-centers/
Members prepare their parts through regular individual practice and demonstrate weekly improvement both technically and musically; consultation and coaching should be sought as needed. All members are punctual (early), respectful to all people and property, and positive in demeanor.
Tuesdays: 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Thursdays: 7:00-9:00 p.m.
When scheduled, individual sectionals are held in the large chamber studios on the upper floor of the Schwartz Center. Members are to be seated and warmed up 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start of rehearsal.
PRINCIPAL PLAYERS & NAMED CHAIRS
Students who win positions as principal players coordinate the various aspects of section operation and liaise with the conductor. EUSO enjoys the distinction of two named chairs by virtue of the extraordinary generosity of two patrons and friends of the orchestra. The student winning the position of Concertmaster holds the Joel M. Felner M.D. Concertmaster Chair and plays a $250,000 1687 Grancino violin for the season. Similarly, the student winning the position of Principal Second Violin holds the Edward Goodwin Scruggs Chair and plays a $150,000 1870 Scarampella.
Full and partial lesson scholarships are available to all students (majors and non-majors) who successfully audition into EUSO. These are made possible by the orchestra’s Edward Goodwin Scruggs endowment and a generous gift from Robert and Margery McKay. Holders of these scholarships must be enrolled in lessons for majors or non-majors as appropriate (MUS310 or MUS320).
Following auditions all undergraduates are required to be enrolled in MUS300, a performing arts credit for both majors and non-majors. Students cannot self-enroll; the Music Department enrolls students directly once the audition cycle has concluded. Graduate students may participate on a credit or non-credit basis with the same expectations as for the undergraduates.
As with any performing ensemble, each member is expected to be at every rehearsal and performance. Unexcused absences will result in the lowering of the grade and potential dismissal from the ensemble. Labs, exams and review sessions conflicting with rehearsal times must be rescheduled. Emory instructors will provide alternate times for these events.