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 Orchestra has given world, American, and Pacific Northwest premieres of works by William Bolcom, Kaija Saariaho, Mason Bates, Missy Mazzoli, Judd Greenstein, 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

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.

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.

2021-2022 Concert Dates and Repertoire

Western Symphony Orchestra

Friday, November 12, 2021 at 8:00 PM

  • Sum Yee Lee: Circulation
         (WWU Composition Competition Winner)
  • Gerald Finzi: Five Bagatelles
         David Bissell, clarinet
  • Samuel Barber: Knoxville, Summer of 1915
         Olivia Pedroza, soprano
  • William Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony

WWU String Sinfonia

Friday, November 19, 2021 at 8:00 PM

  • Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: String Quartet No. 3 in G minor, Op. 1, No. 3
  • Paul Hindemith: Fünf Stücke
  • Edvard Grieg: Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525

Western Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 7:30 PM

  • Courtney Bryan: Shedding Skin
  • Nkeiru Okoye: Songs of Harriet Tubman
         Ibidunni Ojikutu, soprano
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

WWU String Sinfonia

Monday, March 7, 2022 at 7:30 PM

  • Vivian Fung: Pizzicato
  • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Novelletten Nos. 2 and 3
  • Arcangelo Corelli: Concerto Grosso in B-flat, Op. 6 No. 5
         Johnathon Lyons, conductor
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (with combined WWU Strings)

WWU Symphony Orchestra

Friday, April 29, 2022 at 7:30 PM

  • Bernstein: Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront
         Johnathon Lyons, conductor
  • John Williams: Scherzo for Piano and Orchestra (US Preview Performance)
         Gloria Cheng, piano
  • Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations

WWU String Sinfonia

Monday, May 23, 2022 at 7:30 PM

  • Florence Price: Andante moderato from String Quartet in G Major
  • Marion Bauer: Symphonic Suite for Strings, Op. 33
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos: “Aria” from Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 (arr. John Krance)
  • Felix Mendelssohn: Sinfonia No. 7 in D minor

WWU Symphony Orchestra

Friday, June 3, 2022 at 7:30 PM

  • WWU Concerto Competition Winners TBA
  • Poulenc: Gloria (with WWU Choirs)
        Katie Van Kooten, soprano

Past Repertoire


  • 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.