Orchestras at Western

Western Symphony Orchestra

Dr. Ryan Dudenbostel, conductor

Performing orchestral masterworks from the Baroque to the present day, the Western Symphony Orchestra presents five to six programs a year, including traditional concerts, educational programs, and an annual concerto competition concert featuring student soloists.

Committed to advancing the discourse on orchestral music, the WSO has given world, American, and Pacific Northwest premieres of works by John Williams, William Bolcom, Kaija Saariaho, Mason Bates, Missy Mazzoli, and Roger Briggs. The Orchestra frequently collaborates with faculty and guest artists, along with the Western Choirs and Opera Theatre.

Recent highlights include the unofficial US Premiere of John Williams' Prelude and Scherzo for Piano and Orchestra, featuring Grammy-winning pianist Gloria Cheng; the first live performance of the landmark Gil Evans/Miles Davis collaboration Sketches of Spain in the Pacific Northwest; conference appearances at the College Orchestra Directors Association and National Association for Music Education; a memorized, choreographed, and costumed production of Peter and the Wolf; and the second-ever performance of Bruce Ruddell’s The Healing Heart of the First People of This Land, commissioned by Upper Skagit elder Vi taqʷšəblu Hilbert.

Western String Sinfonia

Dr. James Ray, conductor

The Western String Sinfonia gives quarterly concerts of classic and contemporary works for string orchestra, with a focus on developing fundamental skills and ensemble technique. The String Sinfonia regularly joins forces with the Western Symphony Orchestra in the performance of large-scale orchestral works.

Join the WWU Orchestras!

Membership in the Western Orchestras is by audition, and is open to the entire Western campus community. For more information about the Orchestral Program at Western, please contact Dr. Ryan Dudenbostel, Director of Orchestral Studies.

2022-2023 Concert Dates and Repertoire

Visiting Orchestra: St. Olaf Symphony

Sunday, October 16, 2022 at 7:00PM

  • Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Symphony No. 1 in G Major
  • Engelbert Humperdinck: “Evening Prayer” and “Dream Pantomime”
  • Tour Soloists TBD
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B Minor (“Pathétique”)

Western Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 7:30 PM

  • Christopher Morrison: Chasing Shadows
         (WWU Composition Competition Winner)
  • Gustav Mahler: Rückert Lieder
         Richard Hodges, baritone
  • Bruce Ruddell: The Healing Heart of the First People of this Land

WWU String Sinfonia

Monday, November 28, 2022 at 7:30 PM

  • Tomaso Albinoni: Sinfonia in G Major
  • Vivian Fung: Pizzicato
  • Quinn Mason: Irish Dance Suite for Strings
  • Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major

Western Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 7:00 PM

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in Concert

WWU String Sinfonia

Monday, March 6, 2023 at 7:30 PM

  • J.S. Bach: Air from Orchestral Suite No. 3
  • William Grant Still: Danzas de Panama
  • Christopher Wilson: Suite for String Orchestra

WWU Opera

Friday, April 14, 2023 at 7:30PM
Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 7:30PM
Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 2:00PM

  • Kurt Weill: Street Scene

WWU Symphony Orchestra

Friday, April 28, 2023 at 7:00 PM

  • Sergei Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf

WWU String Sinfonia

Monday, May 22, 2023 at 7:30 PM

  • Carl Nielsen: Little Suite, Op. 1
  • Alan Hovhaness: Psalm and Fugue, Op. 40a
  • Jean Sibelius: Romanze in C, Op. 42
  • Joan Trimble: Suite for Strings

WWU Symphony Orchestra

Friday, June 2, 2023 at 7:30 PM

  • Concerto Competition Winners (To Be Announced)
  • Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major

Past Repertoire


  • Keiko Abe: Prism Rhapsody II (Tyler Bateman & Lucas Webster, marimba)
  • Samuel Barber: Knoxville, Summer of 1915 (Olivia Pedroza, soprano)
  • Marion Bauer: Symphonic Suite for Strings, Op. 33
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7
  • Leonard Bernstein: Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront (Johnathon Lyons, conductor)
  • Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: String Quartet No. 3
  • Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major (Alex Amick, piano)
  • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Novelletten Nos. 2 and 3
  • Arcangelo Corelli: Concerto Grosso in B-flat, Op. 6 No. 5 (Johnathon Lyons, conductor)
  • William Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony
  • Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations
  • Gerald Finzi: Five Bagatelles (David Bissell, clarinet)
  • Edvard Grieg: Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34
  • Charles T. Griffes: Poem for Flute and Orchestra (Adelle Koenig, flute)
  • Paul Hindemith: Fünf Stücke
  • Sum Yee Lee: Circulation (WWU Composition Competition Winner)
  • Felix Mendelssohn: Sinfonia No. 7 in D minor
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik
  • Nkeiru Okoye: Songs of Harriet Tubman (Ibidunni Ojikutu, soprano)
  • Francis Poulenc: Gloria (with WWU Choirs and Choir of the Salish Sea; Katie Van Kooten, soprano)
  • Florence Price: Andante moderato from String Quartet in G Major
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos: “Aria” from Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5
  • John Williams: Scherzo for Piano and Orchestra (Gloria Cheng, piano)


  • John Adams: Shaker Loops
  • Yasushi Atukagawa - Triptyque for String Orchestra
  • Béla Bartók - Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
  • Benjamin Britten: Simple Symphony
  • Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Concert pour quatre parties de viole
  • Nathaniel Dett: Adagio cantabile from The Cinnamon Grove
  • George Whitfield Chadwick: Serenade in F Major
  • Philip Glass: Company
  • Adolphus Hailstork: Sonata da chiesa
  • Norman Leyden: Serenade for Strings
  • Gustav Mahler: Adagietto from Symphony No. 5 in C# minor
  • William Grant Still: Ennanga
  • William Grant Still: Mother and Child
  • Toru Takemitsu: Three Film Scores
  • Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate: Chokfi’
  • Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Prologue and Variations


  • Brandenburg Concerto No. 3
  • Copland: The Promise of Living
  • Davis/ Evans: Sketches of Spain (Kevin Woods, trumpet)
  • Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
  • Falla: Three Songs from El amor Brujo (Melissa Plagemann, mezzo-soprano)
  • Grieg: Suite from Holberg’s Time
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G Major (Heather Dudenbostel, soprano)
  • Montgomery: Strum
  • Rodrigo: Concierto di Aranjuez (David Feingold, guitar)
  • Snyder: Something for the Dark
  • Tchaikovsky: Francesca di Rimini
  • Vaughan Williams: Concerto Grosso
  • Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasilieras No. 9
  • Villa-Lobos: Cavatina


  • Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067 (Lisa McCarthy, flute)
  • Bartó​k: Rumanian Dances
  • Britten: Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings (Eric Rieger, tenor - Gustavo Camacho, horn)
  • Elgar: Serenade in E minor, Op. 20
  • Gershwin: An American in Paris
  • Greenstein: Reservoir (West Coast Premiere)
  • Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major (Cori Holquinn, cello)
  • Jager: Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra (David Mills and Asa Morris, percussion)
  • Mahler: Songs of a Wayfarer (Elizabeth Feeney, mezzo-soprano)
  • Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea
  • Mozart: Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546
  • Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K. 626
  • Purcell: Suite from The Fairy Queen, Z. 629
  • Ravel: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major (Jacinda Davis, piano)
  • Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 3
  • Rutter: Suite for Strings
  • Shaw: Entr’acte
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54
  • Stravinsky: Petrushka (1947 Version)
  • Tchaikovsky: Waltz and Grand Polonaise from Eugene Onegin
  • Walker: Lyric for Strings


  • Bernstein: Symphony No. 2 - The Age of Anxiety (Judith Widrig, piano)
  • Bolcom: Symphony No. 2 (“Oracles”) - WORLD PREMIERE
  • ​Brahms: Variations on a Theme of Haydn, Op. 56
  • Britten: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
  • ​Debussy: La mer
  • Duparc: Three Songs (Jacob Bernado, tenor)
  • Edwards/Stone: 1776
  • ​Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F (Sarah Potocki, piano)
  • Haydn: Symphony No. 103 in E-flat Major (“Drumroll”)
  • Márquez: Danzón No. 2
  • Mazzoli: Holy Roller
  • Ravel: Ma mère l’​Oye Suite
  • Stamitz: Clarinet Concerto No. 7 in E-flat Major (Wayra Quinchiguango, clarinet)


  • Adams: Century Rolls (Gloria Cheng, piano)
  • Bartók: Viola Concerto, op. posth. (Antti Niemistö, viola)
  • Corigliano: Fern Hill (with the WWU Concert Choir)
  • Duddell: Ruby (Patrick Roulet, percussion)
  • Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”)
  • Hindemith: Mathis der Maler Symphony
  • Janáček: Suite for Strings
  • ​Kernis: Musica Celestis
  • Navarro: Clarinet Concerto No. 2 (Fabian Nieto, clarinet)
  • Porter: Kiss Me, Kate
  • Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 54 (Nicholas Swanson, piano)
  • Stravinsky: The Firebird (1919 Suite)
  • Tchaikovsky: Suite from The Nutcracker
  • Vivaldi: The Four Seasons


  • Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major
  • Bartók: Dance Suite
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major
  • Berlioz: Rakoczy March
  • Briggs: Concerto for String Quartet (World-Premiere, featuring the Friction Quartet)
  • Gottschalk: The Banjo
  • Körvitz: Kreegi Vihik (featuring the combined WWU Choirs)
  • Mahler: Selections from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Hannah Petersen, mezzo-soprano)
  • Messiaen: Oiseaux exotiques (Judith Widrig, piano)
  • Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf (Narrated by Rosemary Vohs and Choreographed by Pam Kuntz)
  • Ravel: Piano Concerto in G (Ben Seavello, piano)
  • Saariaho: Lumiére et pesanteur
  • Shostakovich: Violin Concerto in A minor (Ian Aegerter, violin)
  • Sibelius: Symphony No. 1 in E minor
  • Still: Afro-American Symphony
  • ​Stucky: The Star and the Roses
  • Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy


  • Bates: Music from Underground Spaces
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 2
  • Bernstein: Chichester Psalms (WWU Concert Choir)
  • Brahms: Academic Festival Overture
  • Briggs: For the Future (World-Premiere, with the WWU Concert Choir)
  • Copland: Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo
  • Debussy: Nocturnes (with the WWU Advanced Women’s Chorale)
  • ​Dvořák: The Noon Witch
  • Dukas: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  • Gershwin: Cuban Overture
  • Grieg: In the Hall of the Mountain King
  • Mozart: Symphony no. 41 (“Jupiter”)
  • Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no. 3 (Milica Jelača Jovanović, piano)
  • Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto no. 4 (Gabija Vaičekonis, piano)
  • Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1 (John Friesen, cello)
  • Saint-Saëns: Danse macabre
  • Séjourné: Vibraphone Concerto (George Allison, vibraphone)
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5
  • Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1 (Gustavo Camacho, horn)
  • Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite
  • Tchaikovsky: Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin (Yuliya Varavina, soprano)

Looking for more information?

If you have any questions, we're happy to find you an answer. Call the Music Department Office 360-650-3130, or view the directory of faculty and staff.