Symphony Orchestra

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

Audition required.

The Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra (MUEN 385) is open to all Case Western Reserve University students, faculty, and community members by audition who play a woodwind, brass, percussion or string instruments and who desire to perform in a high level ensemble.  The group rehearses twice per week for a total of 90 minutes and performs 5 to 7 concerts per 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, Case Jazz ensembles, and other University Circle affiliated groups.

Performance in this group requires a high level of commitment because the repertoire demands outside practice in addition to the regular rehearsals and some of the responsibilities ( dress rehearsals and concerts ) can be outside of the regular rehearsal schedule.

Orchestral literature requires high level solo wind players since they are usually one person on a part and this also means that there are limited wind slots.  These slots will be given to only the highest level performers.  Accordingly, in order to give as many high level wind players the opportunity to perform in this ensemble, players will rotate between Symphonic Winds MUEN 383 ( which rehearses at the same time ) and Orchestra.  This will require these performers to register for both courses ( MUEN 385 and MUEN 383)  for either 0.0, 0.5, or 1.0 credits.  There is a special second section of Orchestra for wind and percussion players to enroll in so that there is no “class conflict” in SIS.  This will all be explained in the audition.

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.

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

Here is some additional basic information about that you may be interested in:

  • 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 week of September 7th.
  • How do I register for the course?
    • Request course (MUEN-385) permission in the CWRU Student Information System (SIS).  Course permission will be granted after an audition has been completed during the first week of school.  Permission requests will remain pending until the end of audition week.  Once you are “granted permission” you need to go back into SIS and complete your registration.  In order to perform in the ensemble you must officially register.
  • What is the difference between registering for 0, .5, or 1 credits?
    • This is a personal choice based upon each student’s available credit load and preferences
  • Are instruments available?
    • Specialty and large instruments are available on a limited basis for use by those enrolled in our ensembles.
  • Where are practice rooms?
    • Practice rooms are available in the Wade/Denison Rehearsal Facility (part of Wade Commons) during posted open hours on a first-come, first-served basis.  During Orientation week the Wade/Denison Rehearsal facility will be open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.  Once the Drop/Add period is over the building will be open from 8:00 am to 5;00 pm and you will need to use your ID to get into the building.
  • Is instrument storage available?
    • Lockers are available for music majors, minors, and those non-majors who participate in a Department ensemble. Submit a locker request.
    • 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.
  • When does the Case University Circle Symphony Orchestra perform?
    • The Orchestra Performance Calendar is the Syllabus and will be distributed during auditions.  This year we will be broadcasting our performances that will include both our in-person and remote chamber groups.

Class Information

MUEN 385 – Case University Circle Symphony Orchestra Syllabus for AY 2020 – 2021

** will be posted soon **

MUEN 385 Rehearsal and Performance Dates for AY 2020 – 2021

** will be posted soon **

Information for Academic Year 2020 – 2021

For the 2020 – 2021 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 rotating schedule so that we meet each group in one of our large rehearsal rooms for 30 minute rehearsal blocks based on everyone’s schedules.  After each rehearsal we need to vacate the room to allow a 20 minute window for air circulation.  Because of this we will be moving ensembles around the building to maintain this structure.  Each group will have one scheduled 30 minute block with a Director/Coach and another 30 minute block with a student director.  During the second week of classes commencing September  groups will be assembled, a rehearsal schedule created, and  music distributed to each ensemble.  Formal rehearsals will then begin on week 3 of the semester commencing on September 7, 2020.   The same timeline for information, distribution and rehearsals applies to all students enrolled in orchestra remotely.  Remote students will be assigned a chamber group who will virtually interact and produce a chamber music performance video through an electronic platform.

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.