Symphony Orchestra

Photo of the Symphony Orchestra
Kathleen Horvath
Course Number
MUEN 385
Rehearsal Day/Time
MoWe, 7:00-8:30 PM
Rehearsal Location
Wade Rehearsal Hall
Participation Information

Requires audition.


The Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra is open to all CWRU students, faculty, and community members who play wind, brass, percussion or string instruments, and who desire to perform in an advanced ensemble. Repertoire is drawn from standard orchestral literature comprised of symphonies, overtures, suites, etc., as well as other more contemporary genres such a rock and jazz. The ensemble also works in collaboration with the CWRU Concert Choir, Jazz Ensembles, and other University Circle affiliated groups. Generally, the ensemble performs two or three concerts each semester.

Performance in this group requires a full commitment because the repertoire demands individual practice in addition to the regular groups rehearsals; some of the performance responsibilities (i.e. dress rehearsals and concerts) are held outside of the regular class meeting pattern.

Visit this page for a list of repertoire that has been performed by the Symphony Orchestra.

Course Documents and Schedule

MUEN 385 - Case University Circle Orchestra, meets Monday and Wednesday from 7:00 - 8:30 pm in the Wade Rehearsal Hall in the Denison Music Building.  Because of Auditions taking place the first week of classes the first official rehearsal will be on Wednesday September 6, 2023.

The course Syllabus provides all of the information about the ensemble including class meetings, performances, preliminary repertoire, class policies and other information. 

 MUEN 885, CUCSO SYLB AY 2023 - 2024

Additionally, there is a separate document that just gives the schedule of Rehearsal and Performance Dates.

  MUEN 385, Rehearsal & Performance Dates, AY 2023 - 2024


Fall 2023

  • Aug.: Non-music majors who play string instruments may choose their audition time USING THIS LINK. Music majors will receive an assigned audition time scheduled on Mon., Aug. 28. 
  • Thu., Aug. 24: Ensembles Overview (Harkness Chapel, 3:00 PM) for new students Discover Week
  • Mon., Aug. 28: Fall Classes Begin; Auditions for music majors on strings/woodwinds/brass
  • Tue., Aug. 29: Auditions for non-majors
  • Wed., Aug. 30: Auditions for non-majors
  • Thu., Aug. 31: Auditions for non-majors
  • Wed., Sep. 6: Rehearsals Begin (Wade Rehearsal Hall, 7:00-8:30 PM)
  • Fri., Sep. 8: Drop/Add Period Ends Be sure you are registered!

Spring 2024

  • Tue., Jan. 16: Spring Classes Begin
  • Wed., Jan. 17: Auditions for new members; Rehearsals Begin (Wade Rehearsal Hall, 7:00-8:30 PM)
  • Fri., Jan. 26: Drop/Add Period Ends Be sure you are registered!

Participation and Placement

All wind and percussion players interested in performing with either Symphonic Winds or the Symphony Orchestra should plan to complete a single audition following the guidelines listed on the Symphonic Winds ensemble page. All auditioning musicians are considered for membership in both ensembles. As orchestral literature is traditionally performed with one musician per part, this repertoire requires confident and highly musical players. As such, there are limited wind and percussion slots available. These parts will be given to only the highest level performers based upon their Symphonic Winds audition. In order to give as many wind players the opportunity to perform in the Symphony Orchestra as possible as well as maintain musical excellence across our primary ensembles, students will rotate between Symphonic Winds (which rehearses at the same time) and Symphony Orchestra by semester. These ensemble assignments will be made by the end of the audition period and before the end of the Drop/Add Period. Under certain circumstances, some students will be assigned to play with both ensembles during a semester, however great care will be given to the their rehearsal schedules to be respectful of their time. If a student is assigned to both ensembles within a semester, detailed instructions will be sent to the student pertaining to rehearsal schedule and course registration by both ensemble directors.

Similarly, the string section is also very competitive and in order to maintain the highest quality performance for this kind of orchestral literature, the string section must be balanced so as to maintain section clarity.  As a result, most first-year students will be assigned to the Case Camerata Chamber Orchestra (MUEN 386 ) until slots are available in the Symphony Orchestra.


  • Auditions are required once per year and take place in-person during the first week of classes.
  • A fall semester audition also counts as an audition for the spring semester. However, new members can audition the first week of the spring semester.
  • All wind and percussion players should choose an audition time and follow the audition guidelines from the Symphonic Winds website.
  • All string players should choose an audition time HERE (strings only)

Audition Requirements 

  • Scales: 2-3 octave Major and Harmonic Minor Scales
  • Prepared piece: etude or solo piece that displays level of performance (not to exceed 3-minutes) 
  • String players only: orchestral excerpts provided below

Audition Materials (Strings)


Enrollment permissions are granted in the Student Information System (SIS) following a successful audition or during the first week of class. Once course permissions have been granted (before the Drop/Add period ends) students should return to their SIS account to register in the appropriate MUEN course. The Drop/Add Period ends on the 2nd Friday of each semester.

Director: Kathleen Horvath

MUEN 385-100: Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra
MoWe 7:00-8:30 PM (Wade Rehearsal Hall)
0-1 units

MUEN 385-101: Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra
TBA (Location: TBA)
0-1 units
This section is for students rotating between both Symphonic Winds and Symphony Orchestra. This section should only be used when directed to do so by the ensemble instructor.


All performances held in the Maltz Performing Arts Center as part of the Silver Hall Concert Series or in Harkness Chapel as part of the CWRU Music Concert Series are live-streamed for free concurrently with the posted concert time. All concerts occur in eastern time.


When are auditions?

Auditions take place during the first week of the fall semester. 

Can wind and percussion players audition for Symphonic Winds and Symphony Orchestra?

All wind and percussion players audition for Symphonic Winds. Each semester, a select list of wind and percussionists from those who audition will be assigned to play in Symphony Orchestra only if winds and percussion members are needed. 

When is the first rehearsal?

Because auditions take place during the first week of classes and the faculty will need to staff small groups and choose repertoire, the actual first rehearsals will take place beginning the second week of classes.

Are graduate students able to participate?

Absolutely! We welcome students from all programs and degrees. Following your audition, please discuss course registration with Dr. Scherber to follow the appropriate process with your respective school.

I have a course conflict during fall semester, am I still able to participate during spring semester?

Yes. While we certainly hope you would consider performing with us all year, we will hold auditions at the beginning of spring semester for those wishing to join halfway through the year. This date will be listed on the spring semester course calendar when it is posted. Please note, only those who audition in the fall and perform for an entire academic year are able to be considered for a semester placement in the Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra

How do I register for the course?

Request course permission in the Student Information System (SIS). Course permission will be granted after an audition is completed during the first week of class. Once you are “granted permission” you will need to go back into SIS and complete your registration

What is the difference between registering for 0.0, 0.5, or 1.00 credit units?

Most academic ensembles (MUEN) are offered at variable credit to allow students the choice based on total credit load and personal preference. Music majors should check their academic requirements before selecting the credit amount. 

Where are practice rooms?

CWRU music majors and students enrolled in music ensembles (MUEN) or applied music lessons (MUAP) are provided access to Haydn Hall and/or Denison Hall practice rooms. Please review our Policies and Operating Procedures for more information. 

Will I have after-hours building access?

All music majors and CWRU students enrolled in ensembles or lessons will automatically be activated for card swipe/after-hours access to Denison Hall and Haydn Hall. Card swipe access will begin the first day of orientation for music majors and the Monday after drop/add for non-majors. Denison Hall operates on extended hours during the first two weeks of each semester. Please check in with the building monitor on staff if you have questions.

Is instrument storage available?

Instrumental Locker Policies and Requests
The Department of Music will make instrument storage lockers available to music majors and non-majors currently enrolled in official CWRU Department of Music ensembles, following established university guidelines and policies.

When does the ensemble perform?

The performance schedule and syllabus will be distributed during the first week of class. Performances during the regular academic year are scheduled in advance and held in the Maltz Performing Arts Center as part of the Silver Hall Concert Series or in Harkness Chapel as part of the CWRU Music Concert Series