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    UNC Symphony Orchestra

    The Ensemble


    The UNC Symphony Orchestra is a 100-member ensemble which rehearses Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm throughout the academic year and performs two major concerts each semester. Enrollment is open by audition to anyone—music majors, minors, non-majors, graduate students, and community members.

    The UNCSO was honored to be named the 2012 first-place winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—College/University Division, for their performance of the Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances, available for viewing on YouTube.

    Led by its Music Director and Conductor, Tonu Kalam, the orchestra often presents faculty and student musicians as concerto soloists and has regularly collaborated with UNC opera and choral ensembles, including recent full productions of Mozart's Così fan tutte, Orff's Carmina Burana, and Brahms' German Requiem.

    Major standard orchestral works performed in past years have included Mahler's Symphony No. 1, Stravinsky's Petrushka, Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, Beethoven's Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 9, all four Brahms Symphonies, Tchaikovsky's Symphonies Nos. 2, 3 and 5, Berlioz' Symphonie fantastique and Harold in Italy, suites from Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé and Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Elgar's "Enigma" Variations, Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade, Dvořák's Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 and 9, Shostakovich's Symphonies Nos. 5, 6 and 9, Saint-Saëns' "Organ" Symphony, Respighi's Pines of Rome, Gershwin's An American in Paris, and Strauss' Death and Transfiguration.

    The UNCSO has also performed numerous works by significant twentieth- and twenty-first-century composers, including Barber, Copland, Bernstein, Hanson, Schuman, Hovhaness, Hindemith, Britten, Walton, Bloch, Milhaud, Poulenc, Khachaturian, Christopher Rouse, Michael Torke, Arvo Pärt, Jennifer Higdon, John Harbison, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Peter Lieberson, Michael Gandolfi, Robert Moran, Hilary Tann, Christopher Theofanidis, Lowell Liebermann, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and John Corigliano, as well as UNC faculty composers Roger Hannay, Ingrid Arauco, Lynn Glassock, and Stephen Anderson.

    Audition Information

    Auditions for the UNC Symphony Orchestra will be held beginning Monday of the first week of classes in August. Information will be posted on the Music Department bulletin boards in the Kenan Music Building and Hill Hall. Returning orchestra members must reaudition each year for seating placement.

    The string audition will consist of two brief solos of your choice—one slow/melodic, one fast/technical—and a three-octave scale.

    Wind/brass/percussion audition requirements and excerpts are posted online at

    String auditions will be held in Prof. Kalam's office, Kenan Music Building Room 3123. Wind/brass/percussion audition locations are posted on the UNC Bands website.

    Everyone interested in the orchestra, including new and returning players, must attend the first meeting on Wednesday, August 21 at 7:00 pm in Kenan Room 1201, even if you have not yet auditioned.

    Player Information Form and Audition Signups

    Prior to auditioning, all prospective and returning orchestra members must fill out and submit the Player Information Form accessed by clicking the following link:

    Fall Auditions

    • Wind/brass/percussion players must sign up for an audition time online by following the links at
    • String players must sign up for an audition time online by clicking the following link, which will not be activated until the second week in August:

    Spring Auditions

    Players interested in joining the orchestra beginning in the spring semester must contact Prof. Kalam directly to arrange an audition time prior to the holiday break in December.

    If you have any questions or desire more information about the orchestra program, please email Prof. Kalam at


    UNC Symphony Orchestra - Barber Piano Concerto: Mvt. 1
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