Department of Music

Symphony Orchestra

General Information

Formed in 1956, The University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra (URSO) continues a tradition of joyful performances of masterworks of the symphonic repertoire. Numbering one-hundred members, the Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Dr. David Harman) is a blend of university undergraduate and graduate students as well as talented community musicians from the greater Rochester area. Membership is by auditions held at the start of the Fall semester. URSO rehearses on Tuesday evenings for our series of four free concerts each year that showcase this accomplished ensemble.

The Symphony Orchestra performs in the Henry Alvah Strong Auditorium on the University of Rochester River Campus.


Auditions for the River Campus Concerto Competition will take place on Wednesday, November 5th at 7:30pm in Lower Strong Auditorium. Please complete and return the application to Jimmy Warlick by Friday, October 31st. For a PDF version of the Concerto Competition application, click here.

Symphony Orchestra

To be considered for membership in URSO, a brief audition is required. Auditions take about 5-7 minutes and are typically scheduled on the first Wednesday and Thursday of the Fall semester. You must secure your audition time in advance by signing up at the Ensembles bulletin board located in the Music Department (in Dewey Hall). The sign up sheets will be available beginning on Monday before classes begin. Please prepare about three minutes of a solo which you feel best displays your musicality and level of technical accomplishment. Selections from movements of a major concerto or a sonata would be appropriate choices. Sight-reading from the standard orchestra repertoire will be supplied as well. Audition results will be posted within a day after auditions are completed on the Music Department Ensembles bulletin board. We look forward to hearing you!

Although membership is normally granted through auditions held each September, experienced string players are welcome to audition at any time during the year. Rehearsals are held on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. in Strong Auditorium.

We hope you will join us for this exciting season!