The UWM Symphony Orchestra is comprised of graduate and undergraduate music majors as well as students from other academic disciplines. Membership is by audition. The ensemble rehearses six hours a week and performs eight to twelve concerts each season. Members are introduced to the world's great orchestra literature and their training prepares them for careers as professional musicians and music educators.
In addition to a six-concert subscription series, the Orchestra also presents a Children's Concert for area schools. They perform every year with the UWM Choirs and have collaborated with UWM's Opera Theater program and Professional Theater Training Program. In 2007 the UWM Chamber Orchestra performed at St. James Cathedral in Chicago and had a master class with conductor Nicholas McGegan. In 2006, the Orchestra participated in master classes with composer Stella Sung and conductor Andrew Massey and performed a side-by-side concert with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Some of the composers they have collaborated with include John Corigliano, Crawford Gates, Roberto Sierra, Tomas Svoboda and Chen Yi. They have commissioned several works and performed numerous world premieres.
Each year, the UWM Symphony holds a Concerto Competition, with the winners performing concerti with the Orchestra. Since 1987, they have hosted the UWM High School Honors Orchestra Festival, which brings together more than 100 outstanding high school musicians from throughout the state of Wisconsin for a weekend of rehearsals, master classes, performances, and a concert. Since 1991, the Orchestra has sponsored a Young Artist Competition for high school instrumentalists. The winner performs with the UWM Symphony in February.
The UWM Orchestras have performed at Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony Center, in Madison at the Wisconsin Music Educators Association State Conference, for the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, and throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. The orchestra has participated in eight William F. Vilas Trust Estate grants. They have received funding from the Artist Series at the Pabst, Bradley Foundation, Marquette Electronics Foundation, Davidson and Harley Foundation, Pabst Theater and the NEA, as well as numerous corporations and individuals. They have performed at the Milwaukee County Zoo, Children's Hospital, and the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Graduates of the orchestra program are playing in orchestras throughout the world and working as music educators throughout the country.
For further information:
Jun Kim, Director
UWM Orchestra Office