Symphony Orchestra

Photo of the Symphony Orchestra
Dr. 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 woodwind, brass, percussion or string instruments, and who desire to perform in an advanced ensemble.

The group rehearses twice per week for a total of 90 minutes and performs 5-7 concerts each academic year.  The 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 Case Concert Choir, Jazz Ensembles, and other University Circle affiliated groups.

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.


Repertoire that has been performed by the Symphony Orchestra since 2001: CUCSO-Repertoire-Performed-2001-2019.

Instructional Format (2020-21)

For the 2020-21 academic year, all Ensembles will be utilizing a “small” ensemble approach to allow us to maintain in-person rehearsals. To accomplish this we will be creating a semester specific schedule so that we meet each group in one of our large ensemble rooms for rehearsal.  After each rehearsal, we need to vacate the room for 30 minutes to allow time for air circulation. Each group will have two scheduled 60-minute rehearsals per week with a Director/Coach.  The spring semester schedule will be generated in January based on each enrolled student's schedule.

Spring Semester 2021 Details
  • Rehearsals will begin on Monday, February 1, 2021. 

  • New Member Auditions: Due by January 15, 2021 (virtual submission). Only for those individuals who did not participate during Fall 2020. Please submit auditions HERE. Auditions requirement below.

  • Returning Members from Fall 2020: request permission in SIS to join orchestra no later than January 11, 2021. Please register in SIS by January 15, 2021 and complete an information form HERE.

  • Small ensemble placements and schedule will be posted on January 25, 2021

  • The same timeline for information, distribution, and rehearsals applies to all students enrolled in orchestra remotely.

  • Fully remote students will be assigned a chamber group that will virtually interact and produce a chamber music performance video through an electronic platform. 

Returning Member Form

New Member Audition Form

Ensemble Rotation for Wind and Percussion Players

Orchestral literature requires excellent solo wind players since this instrumentation is usually one person on a part. This also means that there is limited wind chairs available. These parts will be given to only the highest level performers. Accordingly, in order to give as many wind players the opportunity to perform in this ensemble as possible, students will rotate between Symphonic Winds (which rehearses at the same time) and Symphony Orchestra.  This will require these performers to register for both courses (MUEN 385 and MUEN 383) for either 0.00, 0.5, or 1.00 credits. There is a special section of Symphony Orchestra for wind and percussion players to enroll in so that there is no “class conflict” in SIS. See registration section below.

Similarly, the string section is also very competitive and in order to maintain the highest quality performance of this kind of orchestral literature, the string section must not get to large and remain balances so as to maintain section clarity.  As a result, we have strict enrollment quotas per section so most first-year students will be assigned to the Case Camerata Chamber Orchestra (MUEN 386 ) until slots are available.


  • All orchestral ensembles require an audition once per year. You may audition in the fall even if you don’t plan on enrolling until the spring. Or you may choose to audition in the spring if that is easier.  Auditions for the spring will be accepted by Video and must be submitted by January 15, 2021.
  • We encourage all students who are on campus and intend on performing with an in-person ensemble to take an in-person audition. However, if you are in quarantine or not comfortable with an in-person situation for health reasons, you can opt for the remote audition
  • If you planning on enrolling in Symphony Orchestra as a “fully remote” offering you will be required to take a remote audition.
  • Audition materials including requirements and excerpts are listed below.
  • The audition requirements are the same for both in-person and remote auditions.
Audition requirements:
  • Scales: 2-3 octave Major and Harmonic Minor Scales
  • Prepared piece: etude or solo piece that shows your level of performance (not to exceed 3 minutes) 
  • String players only: orchestral excerpts provided below
Audition materials for string instruments:


For Spring 2021
Director: Kathleen Horvath

MUEN 385-100: Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra
MoWe 7:00-8:30 PM (Wade Rehearsal Hall)
0-1 units
In-Person: This section is for students meeting in-person (studying on campus) and during the regularly scheduled meeting pattern; contact hours may be reduced and supplemented with remote instruction.

MUEN 385-101: Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra
TBA (Location: TBA)
0-1 units
In-Person: This section is for students meeting in-person (studying on campus) and outside of the regularly scheduled meeting pattern; contact hours may be reduced and supplemented with remote instruction.

*Section 101 is for wind/percussion students studying on campus during the 2020-21 academic year and rotating between Symphony Orchestra/Symphonic Winds.

MUEN 385-800: Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra
0-1 units
Remote-Asynchronous: This section is for all fully remote students; instructional contact hours are delivered in 100% remote format delivered asynchronously. There will be no specific meetings days and times; schedule to be arranged by students and instructor. 


When are auditions?

Auditions take place during the first week of the fall semester. Contact the director for spring auditions. 

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 3rd week of class (this is a change from previous years due to COVID-19). 

What provisions are being made due to COVID-19?

As a large symphonic band ensemble is not viable during a pandemic, all individuals who audition will be divided into smaller ensembles and assigned a rehearsal slot (based on availability). The current ensemble format will be determined based on auditions and course enrollment. Every effort will be made to work with student schedules and ensemble participation interests. Students may choose to participate in ensembles either in-person or remotely if the student chooses not to return to campus.

Health and safety protocols have been established based on the most current musician aerosol studies coming out of the University of Colorado at Boulder and data will be shared with students. Such data covers:

  • Specialized masks for playing (to be provided)

  • Bell covers (to be provided)

  • Appropriate distance between musicians

  • Appropriate maximum contact time in rehearsal and room clearing between groups for air transfer

  • Building entrance and egress protocols

Department of Music COVID-19 Information

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 need to go back into SIS and complete your registration. Students must officially register to participate in the ensemble. 

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. 

Are instruments available?

Specialty and large instruments are available on a limited basis for use by those enrolled in our academic ensembles.

Where are practice rooms?

Practice rooms are available in the Denison Hall Complex (@Wade Commons) during posted open hours on a first-come, first-served basis. During Orientation week Denison Hall operates with extended hours from 8 AM - 10 PM.  Once the Drop/Add period is over the building will be open from 8 AM - 5 PM and you will need to use your Student ID to get into the building.

Is instrument storage available?

Lockers are available for music majors, minors, and non-majors who participate in an academic ensemble. Please note, due to the busy start of term, it may take us a bit to respond to all requests and we ask for your patience.

Facilities Policies and Locker Information

When does this ensemble perform?

The performance schedule and syllabus will be distributed during auditions and the first week of class. For the 2020-21 academic year we will be broadcasting our performances that will include both our in-person and remote chamber groups.