Western Orchestras

orchestra members holding their instruments in the plaza adjacent to the Performing Arts Center

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 Orchestra has given world, American, and Pacific Northwest premieres of works by 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 Studio. Recent highlights include a performance of Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler Symphony at the National Association for Music Education All-Northwest Regional Conference; a collaborative residency with Grammy-winning pianist Gloria Cheng; a memorized, choreographed, and costumed production of Peter and the Wolf; and the world premiere of Roger Briggs’ Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra with the acclaimed Friction Quartet.

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.

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.

Past Repertoire


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)

Follow the WWU Symphony Orchestra on Facebook