Stanford Symphony Orchestra / Stanford Philharmonia

Auditions for membership in the Stanford Symphony Orchestra (MUSIC 160/160Z) and Stanford Philharmonia (MUSIC 160A/160AZ) will take place in person at the Braun Music Center from 13-19 September 2021 for most instruments, with harp and percussion auditions at Bing Concert Hall on the evening of 19 September. All new and returning members will be required to audition. Anyone interested in joining SSO and/or SP in 2021-22 is asked to fill out the Orchestra Participation Form and sign up for an audition time on the Audition Sign-ups. The SSO roster will be announced on 20 September; the SP roster, the following day. The first rehearsal of SSO will take place in Bing Concert Hall on Monday, 20 September, with the first rehearsal of SP on Tuesday, 21 September, in Bing Studio.

SSO and SP provide outstanding opportunities for the practice and enjoyment of orchestral music, rehearsing and performing throughout the academic year. SSO rehearses on Monday and Thursday evenings in Bing Concert Hall from 7:00-9:30pm; SP rehearses in Bing on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:30pm. Most concerts are performed in Bing Concert Hall. Collaborative performances often take place with the Stanford Chamber Chorale, Stanford Symphony Chorus, University Singers, Stanford Wind Symphony, and Stanford Live. Membership, by audition, in SSO and SP is open to all Stanford students (undergraduate and graduate), medical students, Stanford staff and faculty, and members of the community of all ages, with priority given to Stanford students. Members do not have to major in music; in fact, fewer than 5% of SSO and SP members are music majors, with most orchestra members majoring in STEM fields. 

About 100-110 members will be accepted into SSO. This fall, SSO will play Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi, which requires 3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets in B♭ and A, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 4 trumpets (including one off-stage), 4 trombones, tuba, timpani, 4 percussionists (playing triangle, cymbals, tambourine, ratchet, bass drum, tam-tam, glockenspiel), harp, celesta, piano, organ, strings (violin I & II, viola, violoncello, contrabass), and 6 additional brass (“buccine”): cornets, flügelhorns, and euphoniums. The other works that SSO will play all have smaller instrumentation than Pines of Rome. The main works later in the year will be Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”, by Gustav Mahler (Winter) and The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky (Spring).

Typically there are about 40-45 musicians in SP each quarter. The repertoire planned for Fall 2021 will require: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings (violin I & II, viola, violoncello, contrabass). Parts for clarinet, keyboard, harp, and percussion may be added later in the year.

The vast majority of orchestra members play in SSO or SP, not both. However, in some cases, students may be allowed to play in SSO and SP during the same quarter; typically, there are about five students per quarter who do so.

Students in SSO should register for MUSIC 160 (1 unit) or 160Z (0 unit). Those in SP should register for MUSIC 160A (1 unit) or 160AZ (0 unit). Registration codes are required to enroll in the zero-unit versions of SSO and SP, and these codes will be distributed to all students who need them after 21 September once the rosters have been determined.

Concert dress for most SSO and SP concerts is elegant black attire for women and tuxedo (or black suit) with black bow tie and white shirt for men, with black shoes for everyone. For some performances, the dress code is all black for everyone – sometimes black shirts and pants only for men, and sometimes black shirts with black suits or tuxedos. Generally, the dress code for Stanford Summer Symphony is white top and black bottom for women, and white shirts and black pants for men. The annual SSO Halloween concert is performed in costumes (by section) that are determined after the start of Fall Quarter.

Livestreams During 2020-21

During Winter 2021, three Stanford orchestras – SSO Strings, SSO Winds, and SP – rehearsed over JackTrip and presented livestreams to the public at the end of the quarter. In Spring 2021, SSO Strings and SSO Winds continued with JackTrip while SP returned to in-person rehearsals, ending the quarter with a livestream from Bing Concert Hall and a live, in-person outdoor concert at Meyer Green. For more information on our 2020-2021 Season, and other winter quarter performances, visit our 2020-2021 Season page!

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2021-2022 Season 


FALL 2021

HALLOWEEN CONCERT Stanford Symphony Orchestra · Paul Phillips, conductor · Stanford Wind Symphony · Giancarlo Aquilanti, conductor
Friday, 29 October 2021 · 7:30 pm · Dinkelspiel Auditorium · Program TBA

SP FALL CONCERT Stanford Philharmonia · Paul Phillips, conductor Sunday, 7 November 2021 · 2:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall

Program W. A. MOZART Symphony No. 26 in E-flat
BENJAMIN BRITTEN Simple Symphony
TBA Concerto
JOSEPH HAYDN Symphony No. 97 in C Major

SSO FALL CONCERT Stanford Symphony Orchestra · Paul Phillips, conductor · Ethan Chi ’22, piano · 2020 Concerto Competition Winner Friday, 12 November 2021 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall
Saturday, 13 November 2021 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall

Program PAUL PHILLIPS Black Notes and White
WILLIAM GRANT STILL Wood Notes
EDVARD GRIEG Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16
VALERIE COLEMAN Seven O’Clock Shout
OTTORINO RESPIGHI The Pines of Rome

FRIENDS OF MUSIC HOLIDAY MUSICALE Stanford Philharmonia · Paul Phillips, conductor
Saturday, 4 December 2021 · 2:30 pm · Memorial Church · Program TBA


WINTER 2022

SP WINTER CONCERTStanford Philharmonia · Paul Phillips, conductor
Saturday, 26 February 2022 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall
Program DARIUS MILHAUD Stanford Serenade
Other works TBA

SSO-SSC WINTER CONCERT · Stanford Symphony Orchestra · Paul Phillips, conductor · Stanford Symphonic Chorus · Steve Sano, conductor · Addison Jadwin ’22, viola · 2020 Concerto Competition Winner
Friday, 4 March 2022 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall
Saturday, 5 March 2022 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall
Program WILLIAM WALTON   Viola Concerto
GUSTAV MAHLER   Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”


SPRING 2022

SSO SPRING CONCERT Stanford Symphony Orchestra · Paul Phillips, conductor
Friday, 13 May 2022 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall
Saturday, 14 May 2022 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Program TBA Concerto
IGOR STRAVINSKY   The Rite of Spring

SP SPRING CONCERT Stanford Philharmonia · Paul Phillips, conductor
Saturday, 21 May 2022 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall
Program TBA


Stanford Symphony Orchestra

Stanford Philharmonia

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