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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)

See our current roster of excellent student musicians.

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2014/2015 USC Symphony Orchestra auditions

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

  • Monday, August 18 (evening) - Brass
  • Tuesday, August 19 - Strings
  • Wednesday, August 20 (morning) - Winds

Students must sign up for an audition time. A sign-up sheet will be posted on the USC Symphony Orchestra board in the basement of the School of Music, approximately one week before classes begin.

  • 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's Symphony No. 2.
    All violins should prepare the first violin part. String parts may be downloaded from the Petrucci Library.
    2. Solo repertoire: None required.

For more information about orchestra auditions

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