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School of Music

Guest conductor Zhonghui Dai with USC Symphony Orchestra.

USC Symphony Orchestra

USC Symphony Orchestra books world-class soloists and presents programs that include challenging repetoire for its 100-plus student musicians and the patrons who applaud their work.

This talented student ensemble, under the superb direction of Maestro Donald Portnoy, is the university’s premier ensemble and one of the top university orchestras in the region. The Chamber Orchestra consists of select players from the full orchestra. Be part of an exceptional ensemble and perform with first-rate musicians.

"...every section of the orchestra proudly took leads that resulted in musical touchdowns. The end result for the university is that the USC Symphony continues to rise to the top of musical achievement in higher education." --Free Times review (April 2014)

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 2016/2017 USC Symphony Orchestra Auditions

Auditions take place at USC School of Music, Room 012.

  • Monday, August 15 - Brass
    Horn - 7:30 – 8:05 p.m.
    Trumpet - 8:10 – 8:45 p.m.
    Trombone - 8:50 – 9:20 p.m.
    Tuba - 9:25 – 9:40 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 16 - Strings
    Viola - 9:00 – 10:05 a.m.
    Cello - 10:15 – 11:25 a.m.
    Bass - 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Violin - 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 16 - Winds
    Flute - 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
    Oboe - 8:05 – 8:35 p.m.
    Clarinet - 8:40 – 9:15 p.m.
    Bassoon - 9:20 – 9:45 p.m.

Students must sign up for an audition time one week before classes begin. A sign-up sheet will be posted on the USC Symphony Orchestra board in the basement (across from the freight elevator) of the School of Music.

  • Winds - Contact your applied teacher for audition information.
  • Brass - Contact your applied teacher for audition information.
  • Percussion - Contact your applied teacher for audition information.
  • Strings - 1. Orchestral repertoire:  Prepare excerpts from Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 4.
    All violins should prepare the first violin part. String parts may be downloaded from the Petrucci Library. Under composers, select Tchaikovsky,  Symphony No. 4. Scroll down to “Parts” and find your instrument.
    2. Solo repertoire: None required.

The first orchestra rehearsal of the semester is Friday, August 19 at 2:30 p.m. in the large rehearsal room at the Koger Center for the Arts (next door to the School of Music).

For more information about orchestra auditions

Neil Casey, assistant director of orchestras
Conductor, Opera at USC
Music Director, USC Campus Orchestra
(803) 777-0536