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KU Symphony Orchestra Information: Fall 2020, updated Aug. 9, 2020

Hello All,

Greetings, and I hope you are all well. I look forward to seeing you all in person and on campus very soon.

Given the extremely unusual circumstances created by Covid-19, things for KUSO will look a little different this semester.

The purposes of this page is to let you know a little more about what we have planned, and hopefully to answer some questions.

COVID-19 and Safety

At this stage, KUSO (ORCH400/700) is planned as an in person course. Should you need accomodations in order to complete this course remotely, please follow the instructions supplied by Professor Bergee.

While we are planning to meet in person, please be aware that it may potentially be necessary to amend and/or change this plan over the course of the semester according to local/state health regulations, and/or university policies. As such, please be prepared for things to possibly change, and at very short notice!

Please see here for additional safety protocols which will be in place for band and orchestra rehearsals in Murphy Hall this semester. Publicized KU information and guidelines as found here should also be adhered to at all times.

Spray disinfectant will be available prior to every rehearsal, with each member of the group responsible for sanitizing their work station both before and after, similar to wiping down equipment as you would do at a gym.

You are welcome to bring your own portable/fold up music stand to rehearsals if you would prefer.


At this stage, the KU Symphony Orchestra is planning three performances this fall as follows:

Collage, September 11

(Please note, this will be a virtual event. We are planning to record Lightspeed in Murphy 130 during our regular rehearsal time and broadcast the recording as part of the Collage livestream).

Kevin Day Lightspeed (Fanfare for Orchestra) 2:30’

3[1.2.pic]  2  2  2 — 2  2  3  1 — tmp+2 — pf — str

KUSO Beethoven Symphony Cycle, September 30 (Dress rehearsal Sep 29)

Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21, First Movement (Adagio molto – Allegro con brio)

2 2 2 2 — 2 2 0 0 –  tmp — str

Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36, Second Movement (Larghetto)

2 2 2 2 – 2 0 0 0 – str

Symphony No. 3 in Eb Major “Eroica,” Op. 55, Third Movement (Scherzo: Allegro vivace)

Conductor: Joseph Chan

2 2 2 2 – 3 2 0 0 – tmp – str

Symphony No. 4 in Bb Major, Op. 60, Fourth Movement (Allegro ma non troppo)

1 2 2 2 – 2 2 0 0 – tmp – str


Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93, First Movement (Allegro vivace e con brio)

2 2 2 2 – 2 2 0 0 – tmp – str

Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, Second Movement (Allegretto)

2 2 2 2 – 2 2 0 0 – tmp – str

Symphony No. 6 in F Major “Pastoral,” Op. 68, Third Movement (Allegro)

Conductor: Leandro Cardoso

2 2 2 2 – 2 2 0 0 – str

Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67, Fourth Movement (Allegro)

3 (2+pic) 2 2 3 (2+contra) – 2 2 3 0 – tmp – str

Day of the Dead Celebration – Mexican Music Fiesta, November 5

In collaboration with KU Center for Caribbean and Latin Studies

Featuring Lied Center Guest Artists Tiempo Libre

(originally also planned as a collaboration with Washburn University Chamber Orchestra and Kansas Wesleyan University Orchestra however that is looking highly unlikely currently due to COVID)

Chavez Symphony No.2 (Sinfonia india) 12’

4[1.2.3/pic2.pic1]   3   4[1.2.bcl.Ebcl]   3 — 4   2   2   0 — tmp+4 — hp — str

Reveultas Sensemaya7’

4[1.2.pic1.pic2]  3[1.2.Eh]  4[1.2.Ebcl.bcl]  4[1.2.3.cbn] — 4  4  3  1 — tmp+5 — pf, cel[played by perc] — str

Márquez Danzon No. 2 10’ (Side by Side with Lawrence and Free State High School Orchestras?)

2[1.2/pic]  2  2  2 — 4  2  3  1 — tmp+3 — pf — str

perc: bd, sus cym, sd, güiro, claves, 3tomtoms

Selections for Orchestra and Salsa Band with Tiempo Libre


KUSO retains our usual Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 4.00-5.45pm rehearsal slot in Murphy 130.

Recommendations for safety are to rehearse for 30 minutes followed by a 20 minute break, to allow the air in the room to replenish. As such, our rehearsals will be divided sometimes between two venues, and/or sectional rooms to make the best use of our time.

Ensemble size will be limited to 45 members, and where necessary/feasible, players will be rostered in/rotated out much like we have done in the past for works with smaller/non-standard instrumentation.

Particularly at this early part of the semester, we will likely work primarily in small sectional groups, with fewer tutti rehearsals. Some of these sectionals may be led online.


There will NOT be formal placement auditions for strings (only) this semester due to the unusual circumstances. Please don’t stress if you have worked hard on your excerpts all summer – this is time very well-spent! All those Beethoven excerpts are taken from the repertoire for the September concert, so you are already ahead. ☺

At this stage I understand there WILL still be formal placement auditions for ww/brass/percussion. Please see here for more information.

Week 1 Draft Rehearsal Schedule

Monday Aug 24: Tutti Strings with string faculty: Meet and Greet

Tuesday Aug 25: Individual String Sectional Rehearsals

Thurs Aug 27: Tutti String Rehearsal 

University Orchestra

Please note, there is now also a second orchestral ensemble (ORCH 406/706), University Orchestra, that some of you have enquired about. You are welcome to also play in this ensemble, however it will. not fulfil your orchestral requirement as mandated by your degree program. This ensemble is open to all students on campus, without audition and/or pre-requisite. It can be taken for credit or for zero credit, and will meet once weekly on Tuesday evening at 6.00pm. The ensemble will be led by the graduate orchestral conducting studio. For more information, please see here, or email leandro@ku.edu

Anything else? Please email me: Carolyn_watson@ku.edu

All best

Dr W

The University of Kansas Orchestral Program offers a range of ensembles and caters to all students wishing to enjoy an orchestral experience during their time on campus.

The Symphony Orchestra (KUSO), is one of the outstanding collegiate orchestras in the country. It is the flagship orchestral ensemble in the School of Music and the central ensemble for majors in the string area. Membership of KUSO is largely comprised of music majors, however it is open to all qualified students at the university, regardless of major, via successful audition at the beginning of each semester.

The University Orchestra (KUUO), was established in fall 2020. It is open to all students from across the university without audition or pre-requisite. The University Orchestra rehearses once weekly, typically presents 1-2 concerts per semester, and is led by the graduate students in orchestral conducting.

The Vespers Festival Orchestra (VFO) is a community orchestra which convenes in November-December to enjoy a side-by-side performance with KUSO at the annual Vespers performances. The VFO is open to all members of the KU and Lawrence community – staff, faculty, alumni, parents, friends, local area high school students etc.

Whatever your orchestral experience, the KU Orchestral Program welcomes you!

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