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.

About Us

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 a total of 3 hours per week divided into two 90 minute rehearsals.  Generally, the ensemble performs 5-7 concerts each academic year.  Performances are generally held in the Maltz Performing Arts Center as part of the Silver Hall Concert Series.  Performance 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.


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

Instructional Format 

  • Rehearsals will begin on Wednesday, September 7 for the fall semester and Wednesday, January 18 for the spring semester

  • Auditions for Fall Semester 2022 take place during the first week of classes following this schedule:

    • Monday, August 29: music majors as assigned 

    • Tuesday, August 30: any interested minor/non-major

    • Wednesday, August 31: any interested minor/non-major

    • Thursday, September 1: any interested minor/non-major

  • Auditions for Spring Semester 2023 take place on Wednesday, January 18, 2023

  • The Rehearsal and Performance Schedule details the activities for the Academic Year (course calendar for the 2022-2023 academic year) 

  • Syllabus: posted here in early August

Ensemble Rotation for Wind and Percussion Players

All wind and percussion players interested in performing with either Symphonic Winds or the Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra should plan to complete a singular audition following the audition guidelines listed on the Symphonic Winds ensemble page. All auditioning players 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 emailed to those auditioning by the end of the audition period and before the add/drop period ends. Under certain circumstances, some students will be assigned to play with both ensembles during one semester, however great care will be given to the student's rehearsal schedule to be respectful of their time. If a student is assigned to both ensembles within one semester, detailed instructions will be sent to the student pertaining to rehearsal schedule and course registration by directors of both ensembles.

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.


  • 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.  
  • All Auditions will take place in the Wade/Denison Rehearsal Facility.
  • Audition materials including requirements and excerpts are listed below.

Electronic Audition Scheduling

Beginning July 15, 2022 non-music majors who play string instruments may choose their audition time during the first week of classes HERE. All non-music major wind and percussion players should choose an audition time from the Symphonic Winds website.

Music majors will receive their audition time from Dr. Horvath via email.

Audition requirements (string players only)

  • 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) 
  • Excerpts: Orchestral excerpts provided below

Audition materials for string instruments


When are auditions?

Auditions take place during the first week of the fall semester. New members can also audition during the first week of the spring semester.

When is the first rehearsal?

Because auditions take place during the first week of classes the actual first rehearsals will take place the second week of class

Where can I find the COVID-19 protocol?

The Department of Music will continue to follow CDC and CWRU COVID-19 guidelines. We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19-related developments throughout this year. As we have throughout the pandemic, leaders will adjust university practices in accordance with guidance from health experts from within and beyond the university. Learn more about CWRU's COVID-19 response.

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 before the Drop/Add Period ends (second Friday of the semester). 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 school-owned instruments available to loan?

The Department of Music maintains a limited inventory of instruments for student use. Our instruments are not available for public use. A policy has been put in place by the Ensembles Committee to have students complete and sign a contract when borrowing school-owned instruments or equipment for very special circumstances. Please review our Policies and Operating Procedures for more information. 

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 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 Symphony Orchestra perform?

The Symphony Orchestra course calendar is posted above. All performances held in the Maltz Performing Arts Center as part of the Silver Hall Concert Series are live-streamed for free concurrently with the posted concert time. All concerts occur in eastern time.

Registration via SIS

Director: Dr. 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.