The University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra (KUSO) is one of the outstanding collegiate orchestras in the country, performing well-known works from the standard repertoire for orchestra as well as less familiar literature. In addition to diverse selections from all periods and styles, the KUSO gives performances of works by KU student composers, and features faculty, guest, and student soloists.
Founded in 1904, the orchestra program at the University of Kansas is one of the oldest in the nation. Dean Skilton first assembled a group of music students to form a rudimentary ensemble and the KU Symphony Orchestra (KUSO) has grown during the ensuing 100 years. The KUSO serves the university community and the greater Lawrence area, while reaching out to audiences in nearby cities.
Read more about KUSO history.
Founded in 1904, the orchestra program at the University of Kansas is one of the oldest in the nation. Dean Skilton first assembled a group of music students to form a rudimentary ensemble and the KU Symphony Orchestra (KUSO) has grown during the ensuing 100-years. The KUSO serves the university community and the greater Lawrence area, while reaching out to audiences in nearby cities.
Past Music Directors have included such internationally known figures as Karl Kuersteiner, George Lawner, and Brian Priestman.
The University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra provides performance majors the highest quality preparation for a professional career in orchestral playing. The orchestra serves as a teaching tool for all music majors as they acquire a familiarity with the orchestral repertoire.
Several concerts are performed each season in the magnificent setting of the nationally renowned 2,000-seat Lied Center of Kansas, acknowledged as one of the premier concert halls in the United States. The orchestra also performs in KU Opera productions as well as in University Theatre productions, and collaborates with KU's Division of Choral Music in the presentation of large scale choral and orchestral works and the annual Holiday Vespers concerts.
KU orchestral alumni have gone on to important teaching and performance careers and have appeared as soloists with orchestras throughout the region, as well as nationally. They currently serve on faculties at universities such as Penn Sate University, Mercer University (GA), Harrisburg University (PA), and the University of Utah (Logan). They are members of professional orchestras, such as the Buffalo Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and the Kansas City Symphony.
About the Orchestra
The University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra offers a fun and challenging musical environment to learn and grow as a person and musician. KU orchestras are open to music majors and non-majors alike.
Those considering a music major will have the opportunity to be challenged to the highest level in preparation for a professional career in music. Please visit the School of Music website to apply to audition to become a music major and to be considered for scholarship.
In addition to applying to become a music major, those interested in the School will also need to fill out an application to the University of Kansas». Those interested in obtaining scholarships are invited to visit the KU Scholarship website».
Prospective students are invited and encouraged to visit campus. To schedule a visit, please make an appointment with the KU Visitor Center 785.864.3911 and set up an appointment to visit with the Director of Orchestral Activities.
How to Join
Membership in the KU Symphony is by blind audition and is open to all qualified students at the University.
Kansas University Symphony Orchestra
David Neely, conductor
2011 Holiday Vespers concert
J. Strauss: Blue Danube Waltz