Western Orchestras

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

Western Symphony Orchestra

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.

Western String Sinfonia

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.

2018-2019 Concert Dates and Repertoire

Friday, November 16, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. - Western Symphony Orchestra

P. I. Tchaikovsky: Waltz and Grand Polonaise from Eugene Onegin
     Mika Armaly, conductor
Benjamin Britten: Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings
     Eric Rieger, tenor - Gustavo Camacho, horn
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54

Friday, December 7, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. - Western String Sinfonia

J. S. Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067
     Lisa McCarthy, flute
Edward Elgar: Serenade in E minor, Op. 20
     Mika Armaly, conductor
Caroline Shaw: Entr’acte 
Ottorino Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 3

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. - Western Symphony Orchestra and Concert Choir

W. A. Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K. 626

Monday, March 11, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. - Western String Sinfonia and Symphony Orchestra

Henry Purcell: Suite from The Fairy Queen, Z. 629
George Walker: Lyric for Strings
Judd Greenstein: Four on the Floor
Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka (1947 Version)

April 19-28, 2019 - WWU Opera Studio

Claudio Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea

Friday, May 3, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. - Western Orchestras go to the Movies!

Program and ticket information to be announced

Monday, June 3, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. - Western String Sinfonia

Mika Armaly, conductor. Program to be announced

Friday, June 7, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. - Western Symphony Orchestra

Winners of the annual WWU Concerto Competition
Gershwin: An American in Paris

Past Repertoire

2017-2018

  • 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)


2016-2017

  • 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

2015-2016

  • 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

2014-2015

  • 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)

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