The UNCG Symphony Orchestra is a highly select ensemble of approximately ninety performers majoring in music. Performers include undergraduates through masters and doctoral candidates in music performance and music education. Membership in the organization is highly competitive, and all students are placed by audition. Members of the Symphony have achieved numerous individual honors including solo competition awards on regional and national levels, music scholarships, undergraduate teaching fellowships, graduate assistantships and fellowships, and membership in honors ensembles.
The UNCG Symphony Orchestra periodically tours the state and region, and has recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and at the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem, NC. A recent review in the Classical Voice of North Carolina described the Orchestra’s performance as, “dramatic and incisive,” and “beautifully done.”
In addition to the performances of standard orchestral literature, the Symphony Orchestra collaborates annually with the UNCG choirs to present a major choral/orchestral work. Faculty, as well as winners of the annual Student Artist Competition, are often featured as soloists. The Symphony combines with the School of Music Opera Theatre and the UNCG School of Theatre to perform a fully staged opera production each spring semester. String performers who are not majoring in music are especially encouraged to participate.
Recent Repertoire Highlights
- Barber – Prayers of Kierkegaard
- Beethoven – Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36
- Beethoven – Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, “Eroica”
- Beethoven – Symphony No. 5 in C minor
- Bernstein – Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
- Brahms – A German Requiem
- Brahms – Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80
- Brahms – Schicksalslied (Song of the Fates)
- Brahms – Symphony No. 2 in D Major
- Brahms – Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a
- Copland – Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo
- Dvorak – Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70
- Dvorak – Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88
- Dvorak – Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World”
- Gershwin – An American in Paris
- Higdon – blue cathedral
- Mahler – Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
- Mahler – Symphony No. 1
- Mahler – Symphony No. 4
- Mendelssohn – The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave)
- Mozart – Requiem, K. 626
- Mussorgsky/Ravel – Pictures at an Exhibition
- Prokofiev – Romeo and Juliet, Suite No. 2
- Respighi – Pines of Rome
- Rimsky-Korsakov – Capriccio Espagnol
- Rimsky-Korsakov – Russian Easter Overture
- Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherazade
- Schelle – Samurai
- Schubert – Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished”
- Shostakovich – Symphony No. 5
- Sibelius – Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43
- Strauss – Death and Transfiguration
- Stravinsky – Firebird Suite (1919)
- Tchaikovsky – Nutcracker Suite
- Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 4
- Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 5
- Theofanidis – Rainbow Body
- Turina – Danzas Fantasticas
- Verdi – Requiem
- Wagner – Prelude to Die Meistersinger
- Wagner – “Wotan’s Farewell” from Die Walküre
The Gate City Camerata is a unique ensemble composed of UNCG School of Music string faculty and selected string students. This chamber music experience affords students the opportunity to rehearse and perform with their faculty mentors – truly a rare learning experience. Since its inception nineteen years ago, this elite ensemble has performed throughout North Carolina and has accepted invitations to perform as featured guest ensemble at the North Carolina Music Teachers Association Convention and the North Carolina Music Educators Association Conference.
In recent seasons, the Gate City Camerata has enjoyed two distinguished guest artist collaborations – performing with violinist, Dmitry Sitkovetsky on his Sitkovetsky & Friends chamber music series and also with violinist, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg on the UNCG University Concert and Lecture Series. The ensemble has also performed concerts on chamber music series sponsored by the Wilmington Chamber Music Society, American Music Festival, Pamilco Musical Society, Bald Head Island, and Roanoke Island Festival Park. Through an educational outreach component arranged with three of these eastern NC venues, the Gate City Camerata performed for more than 2,000 elementary and middle school students. The ensemble typically performs without a conductor and has recently programmed works ranging from Bela Bartok’s Divertimento and Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto for Three to Mozart’s Divertimenti and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
The Sinfonia is dedicated to broadening the artistic performance level of its members while presenting programs that encompass a wide range of styles, from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras. Faculty members are frequently featured as guest soloists, and the Sinfonia has performed several world premieres and collaborated with students from the UNCG Department of Dance on recent performances. For non-music majors, the Sinfonia provides a musical outlet while studying in another discipline. Membership is determined by audition for music majors, and additionally is open to talented university students who are preparing for life-long involvement in the arts without audition.
Casella Sinfonietta was created as an enhancement to the large ensemble offerings in the UNCG School of Music. Performing a range of works for 6 to 18 players, from the Renaissance period through world premieres, the ensemble functions on a professional model and performs one concert each semester. The personnel for each semester is determined by the repertoire, allowing the finest performers on wind, brass, string, percussion, and keyboard instruments the highest-level experience possible. Faculty and guest soloists and composers frequently collaborate with the ensemble.