A vibrant performing ensemble, the University Symphony Orchestra is made up of superior student musicians from throughout the university. The USO presents a minimum of two concerts per semester, covering a wide range of repertoire from Bach through the present day, including the great masterpieces of symphonic literature. Concerts take place in the critically acclaimed Baum-Walker Hall at the Walton Arts Center on historic Dickson Street. Recent performances have included Stravinsky’s “Firebird,” Mussourgsky’s “Picture’s at an Exhibition,’ Shostakovitch’s Symphony No. 10, and a special performance of Bach and Beethoven at the Fulbright Exchange Anniversary with President Bill Clinton and the German Ambassador. Under the direction of Dr. Robert Mueller, the University Symphony Orchestra continues to thrive as one of the university’s premier ensembles.
In keeping with our commitment to a comprehensive orchestral experience for our music majors, the USO does collaborations with the UA Schola Cantorum and the UA Opera Theater. The annual Concerto-Aria competition is open to all music majors, and the winner is a featured soloist with the USO on one of its spring concerts.
Scholarships are available to string students, both majors and non-majors, who play in the USO. Students must audition for scholarships and admission, and must also audition for seating at the beginning of each academic year. The requirements for string players interested in playing in the University Symphony Orchestra can be found by navigating to the Prospective Undergraduate Admissions page and then selecting the String Audition Requirements. The requirements are the same for majors and non-majors.