• Cornell Symphony Orchestra

    2016-2017 season

    The Cornell Symphony Orchestra, comprised of approximately 100 musicians, is dedicated to performing symphonic repertoire from the baroque through the twentieth century, as well as contemporary works of our time. The Symphony Orchestra is directed by Chris Younghoon Kim and presents 4 to 6 concerts per year including the annual Concerto Concert, at which the winner of the School's Annual Concerto Competition perform with the orchestra. Guest conductors have included Leon Fleisher, Johannes Schlaefli (Zurich Hochschule), and Larry Rachleff (Rice University) among others, and the orchestra has collaborated with many of today's most prominent composers including Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, etc. Guest soloists who have appeared with the CSO in recent seasons include Xak Bjerken (piano), Tim Feeney (percussion) and Inbal Segev (cello). The CSO has been distinguished with six awards in seven years with the ASCAP prizes for Adventurous Programming in the Collegiate Division by the League of American Orchestras: first prize in the 2011-2012 ASCAP Awards and second prize in 2013-14. 2013-2014 performances have been recognized by the American Prize in the following three categories; Finalist in Orchestral Programming - the Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award, Finalist in The American Prize in Orchestral Performance (college/university division) for performance of Barber's Symphony No. 1, Finalist in The American Prize in Conducting (College/University Orchestra Division) for performance of Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony.

    Membership in the Cornell Symphony Orchestra/Chamber Orchestra is open to all Cornell students by audition. Audition repertoire and excerpts are available online in August 1 of each summer. Auditions take place during orientation week, and must show a mastery of the material and an awareness of the musical context from which the excerpts are taken.


    Find out more about the orchestra from the member perspective by reading our most recent newsletter [click on the link]


    CSO was honored to join the ranks of the 20 most impressive College Orchestras in America.

    Link to article


    Local Media coverage of our tour to Argentina in the city of Neuquen


    Cornell Chronicle article about the tour to Argentina.


  • Members

    Meet the orchestra

    CSO Roster (Spring 2017)

    * indicates principal (updated January 31, 2017)

    Violin 1

    *Mitch Dominguez, Mechanical Engineering, ‘18

    Kristy Liao, Computer Science, ‘18

    Paul Huang, Chemistry,'18

    Bryan Zheng, Engineering Physics/Pre-med, ‘19

    Garrett Levesque, Chemistry, '18

    Newton Ni, Engineering Physics, ‘19

    Meredith Young-Ng, Electrical and Computer Engineering, '20

    Sarah Edinburgh, Hotel Administration , '20

    Meredith Abato, Undecided, '20

    Jaclyn Lunger, Materials Science/ Engineering, '17

    Dominic Grasso, Environmental Science and Sustainability,'20

    Sophie Lan, Computer Science, ‘20

    Eunu Song, Economics, '17

    Grace Hwang, HBHS, ‘19

    Stephanie Sun, Computer Science, ‘18

    Lauren Blacker, HBHS, ‘17

    Diane Sutyak, Electrical and Computer Engineering, ‘20

    Austin Bates, HBHS, ‘19


    2nd violins

    *David Zhang, Undecided, '20

    Sarah McDonald, Music, ‘18

    Varun Biddanda, HBHS, ‘19

    Seungyeon (Chelsea) Han, Engineering, '20

    Amber Wiens, Computer Science,'19

    Derek Chao, Chemistry, '20

    Felice Liang, Chemistry/Biology, '19

    Joshua Ying, Computer Science, ‘19

    Zeyu Hu, Environmental Science and Sustainability, ‘19

    Nathan Bala, Biochemistry, '20

    Alexis Ferguson, English, '17

    Aditi Athavale, Engineering, ‘19

    Lily Moran, Environmental Science and Sustainability ,‘18

    Rabin Willford, Anthropology, '17

    Emilie Camera, Mechanical Engineering, ‘17

    Mary Nattakom, Biological Sciences & Chemistry, ‘17



    *Ariel Buehler, Food Science and Technology, Grad

    Colby Johnson, Mechanical Engineering, ‘20

    Kristi Lin, Information Science, ‘19

    Amy DeMane, ILR, '17

    Jessica Wang, Undeclared, ‘19

    Eumee Cha, Biology, ‘19

    Linda Li, Engineering, ‘20

    Meghan Powers, Biological Engineering, ‘18



    *Jeremy Gershonowitz, Materials Science & Engineering, '18

    Charis Lin, Mechanical Engineering, '17

    Theo Lee-Gannon, HBHS, ‘20

    Emma Billmeyer, Undecided, '18

    Eugene Kim, Computer Science, ‘20

    Julia Loh, Undecided, ‘20

    Patrick Lynch, Physics, ‘18

    Judy Lee, PAM,‘18

    Colin Barber, '17



    *Wes Britton, Materials Science and Engineering, ‘17

    Henry Schuth, English, ‘17

    Joshua Sadinsky, Music, ‘19

    Alyssa Saunders, '17

    Stewart Schwab, Professor of Law



    Angela Zhang, Math, ‘20



    *Eleanor Bayles, Biometry and Statistics, ‘17

    Jae Baek, Biological Engineering, ‘17

    Jeffrey Yao, Computer Science, ‘20

    Lia Chen, Human Development, ‘20



    *Katie Stawiasz, Chemistry, ‘18

    Michelle Quien, Chemical Engineering, ‘20

    Logan Fikrig, Engineering, ‘20


    English Horn

    Katie Stawiasz, Chemistry, ‘18



    *Brian Schaefer, Physics, Grad

    Derek Nie, Biology, ‘18

    Matt Kimn, Biological Sciences, ‘19

    Eb.Cl Sabrina Chen, Biomedical Engineering, '20

    Bass Cl. Matt Walsh, MAE, Grad



    *Greg Cristina, Engineering Mechanics, Grad

    Yuhui Zhou, Chemistry, Grad

    Caroline Miller, Food Science, ‘18

    Josh Woods, Chemical Engineering, Grad

    Contra Bassoon

    Josh Woods, Chemical Engineering, Grad



    *Derek Maseloff, China and Asian Pacific Studies, ‘17

    Kasim Khan, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, ‘20

    Gita Connolly, Chemical Engineering, ‘19

    Caeli MacLennan, BEE, ‘20

    Albert Wang, Chemistry, ‘18

    Lily Hemler, Food Science, ‘19



    *Lior Kreindler, Physics, ‘20

    Tharun Sankar, Computer Science, ‘20

    Matthew Haefner, Physics, ‘20

    Michael Stern, Music, IC

    Alex Miller, Music, IC

    Mike Salamone, Music, IC



    *Mario Carrillo, Biological Sciences, ‘17‘

    Jacob Kurisko, Mechanical Engineering, ‘20

    Bass Trombone

    Andrew Cartwright, ILR, ‘19



    Francis Ledesma, Chemical Engineering, ‘19



    Brett Ransegnola, Biological Sciences, '19



    Madeline Udell, Operations Research, Faculty



    Jeremy Baxter, Biological Sciences, ‘20

    Khai Zhi Sim, Economics, Grad


    Assistant Conductor
    Barry Sharp, Music Composition, Grad


  • 2016-2017 season repertoire

    Bailey Hall, Cornell University

    2017-2018 Season repertoire

    Repertoire is subject to change [updated June 20, 2017]


    Year of Jazz

    7 pm, Saturday, September 30, 2017

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    Guest Artist Alex Shuhan

    P.I. TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 Mvt 1

    JIM STEPHENSON Sounds Awakened, concerto for French Horn with Alex Shuhan

    DUKE ELLINGTON/JEFF TYZIK Black, Brown And Beige Suite

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    7 pm, Saturday, November 11, 2017

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    Guest Artist Miri Yampolsky

    Guest Artist James Spinazzola

    BARRY SHARP Farther from the Truth for orchestra [world premiere]

    ROBERT SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A Minor Op. 54 with Miri Yampolsky

    P.I. TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 Mvt 2

    DUKE ELLINGTON/LUTHER HENDERSON Three Black Kings (Les trois rois noirs)

    with Tenor Sax/Soprano Sax James Spinazzola

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    3 pm, Sunday, March 11, 2018 [date changed]

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    14th Cornell Concerto competition Student winner, TBA

    WYNTON MARSALIS Blues Symphony (2 mvts)

    P.I. TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 Mvt 3

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    8 pm, Wednesday, March 28, 2018

    Masterclasses and rehearsals with A.D. White House Professor Wynton Marsalis

    Collaboration on his Blues Symphony

    WYNTON MARSALIS Blues Symphony [world premiere of the revised version]

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    3 pm, Sunday, April 29, 2018

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    Guest Artists Nicholas Walker, Greg Evans, Rick Faria, Frank Campos

    DUKE ELLINGTON/MAURICE PERESS Harlem For Jazz Band And Orchestra

    Nicholas Walker, Bass, Rick Faria, clarinet, Greg Evans, drum, trumpet Frank Campos

    P.I. TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 Complete (125th anniversary of year of his death)

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University




    2016-2017 Repertoire

    7 pm, Saturday, October 1, 2016
    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    KRISTIN KUSTER Devil's Thumb

    GUSTAV MAHLER SYMPHONY NO 6 mvt 1,2 (Andante), 3 (Scherzo)

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University

    Link to the Webcast


    7 pm, Saturday, November 19, 2016
    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    GABRIELA LENA FRANK La Centinela y La Paloma (The Keeper and the Dover) with Jessica Rivera, soprano and Nilo Cruz, Poet

    GUSTAV MAHLER SYMPHONY NO 6 mvt 4 (Finale)
    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University

    Link to Webcast


    3 pm, Sunday, March 5, 2017

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    3rd Annual Young Person's Concert featuring Instrument Petting Zoo before the concert

    RICHARD STRAUSS Fanfare for the Vienna Philharmonic [for brass ensemble

    TONIA KO Strange Sounds and Explosions Worldwide

    DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Concerto No. 1 (mvt 1, 2)

    with 13th Annual Cornell Concerto Competition Winner Irene Jeong

    MORTEN LAURIDSEN O Magnum Mysterium​ [for brass ensemble]

    JOAN TOWER Clarinet Concerto with Richard Faria

    JEAN SIBELIUS Finlandia, Op. 26

    @ Bailey Hall, Cornell University

    Link to Webcast


    9 pm, Friday, April 7, 2017 (tour to Argentina)

    Chris Younghoon Kim, Andres Tolcachir, conductors

    Joint performance with Orchestra of Neuquén

    GUSTAV MAHLER Symphony No. 6

    Learn about our tour

    Support our tour to Argentina


    Local media coverage


    7 pm, Saturday, May 6, 2016

    with the Glee Club and Chorus

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    JEAN SIBELIUS Symphony No. 7, Op. 105

    LILI BOULANGER Psalm 130 "De Profundis"

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University

    Link to webcast




    2015-2016 season repertoire

    8 pm, Saturday, October 3, 2015
    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    L.V. BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No. 3

    KENNETH FROELICH Symphony No. 1 (New York Premiere)
    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University

    Link to webcast


    8 pm, Saturday, November 21, 2015
    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    SAMUEL BARBER Second Essay for Orchestra

    CHARLES PECK Metropolitan for Orchestra
    RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Scheherazade
    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University

    Link to webcast


    3 pm, Saturday, March 12, 2016

    Kisun Sung, guest conductor

    2nd Annual Young Person's Concert featuring Instrument Petting Zoo before the concert

    12th Cornell Concerto competition Student winner Yujin Stacy Joo

    BORODIN On the Steppes of Central Asia

    SERGEI PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26, Mvt. 1

    IGOR STRAVINSKY Firebird Suite (1919)

    @ Bailey Hall, Cornell University

    Link to webcast


    3 pm, Sunday, May 1, 2016

    Kisun Sung, guest conductor

    DAVID LUDWIG Fanfare for Sam

    P.I. TCHAIKOVSKY Romeo and Juliet

    JEAN SIBELIUS Symphony No. 2

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University

    Link to webcast




    2014-2015 season repertoire

    7 pm, Sunday, October 5, 2014
    Andrés Tolcachir, conductor
    MARK DAL PORTO Song of Eternity CODA composition contest winner
    A. MARQUEZ Danzón Cubano n2
    A. GINASTERA Danzas del ballet Estancia
    Béla Bartók Concerto for 2 Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra op. BB121
    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    8 pm, Friday, November 14, 2014
    CK conductor
    CHRISTOPHER STARK soprano/orchestral work [world premiere] with Lucy Fitz Gibbon

    link to the performance
    GUSTAV MAHLER Symphony No. 5 in C# minor
    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    January, 2015
    Tour to Ireland
    collaboration with Royal Irish Academy of music
    also collaboration with Ian Doyle


    3 pm, Saturday, February 28, 2015
    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor
    11th Cornell Concerto competition Student winner, Paul Huang, violin

    RICHARD WAGNER Overture to Rienzi (conducted by Tonia Ko)

    EDUARDO LALO Symphonie Espagnole, 1st Movement
    LEONARD BERNSTEIN Symphonic Dances from West Side Story 
    @ Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    730 pm, Saturday, April 25, 2015
    in Bailey Hall
    Cornell Charter Day Celebrations
    Joint concert with Glee Club and Chorus
    Cornell songs orchestrated by Tom Schneller
    STEVEN STUCKY Finale of Second Concerto for Orchestra
    ROBERTO SIERRA Unicorn and Dragon from his Carnival

    Link to the webcast


    4 pm, May 2, 2015

    Ford Hall, Ithaca College

    Ithaca International Conducting Masterclass with Larry Rachleff

    with IICM7 conductors




    2013-2014 season repertoire

    3 pm, Sunday, October 6, 2013

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    James Spinazzola, associate conductor/composer, saxophone

    Symphony at the Movies:

    LEONARD BERNSTEIN Candide Overture (JS)

    LEONARD BERNSTEIN On the Waterfront Suite (CK)

    JAMES SPINAZZOLA Lost Treasures with silent film directed by written and directed by Gibson Frasier and Mark Shanahan (JS)

    JOHN WILLIAMS Raider’s March (JS)

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    8 pm, Saturday, October 19, 2013

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    Solisti Ensemble, combined string players of CCO, CSO, and IHS

    RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Five Variants of “Dives and Lazarus”

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    3 pm, Sunday, November 17, 2013

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    James Spinazzola, associate conductor

    Niccolo D. Athens, guest composer/conductor

    NICCO D. ATHENS Symphony in Two Parts (World premiere) (NA)

    P.I. TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4 (JS & CK)

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    8 pm, Friday, March 7, 2014

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    James Spinazzola, associate conductor

    TANIA LEON, guest composer

    TANIA LEON Batá (JS)

    TANIA LEON Kabiosile with Ryan McCullough (JS)
    Cornell Concerto Competition winner (CK)

    ERICH KORNGOLD Violin Concerto with Ji Min Yang(CK)

    ANTONIN DVORAK Cello Concerto with Daniel Cho(CK)

    RICHARD WAGNER Flying Dutchman Overture (CK)

    @ Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    April 28 - May 2, 2014

    Ithaca International Conducting Masterclass VI

    Carl St. Clair, masterclass teacher

    SERGEI PROKOFIEV Romeo and Juliet Suite

    @ Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    3 pm, Sunday, May 4, 2014

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    Loren Loiacono, assistant conductor

    Saint-Saëns - Samson and Delilah - Bacchanale (LL)

    SERGEI PROKOFIEV selections from Romeo and Juliet Suite 1 and 2

    Montagues and Capulets, Suite II, 1

    Juliet the Young Girl, Suite II, 2

    Masks, Suite I, 5

    Balcony Scene, Suite I, 6

    Tybalt's Death, Suite I, 7

    Romeo at Juliet’s Grave Suite 2 No. 7


    Link to old CSO website

  • Syllabus

    Nuts and bolts including rehearsal schedule

    Music 3621 Cornell Symphony Orchestra

    Music 3621 Cornell Symphony Orchestra

    Either 0 credits, S-U, or 1 credit, letter grade, each semester. Prerequisite: successful audition.

    Chris Younghoon Kim

    332 of Lincoln Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853 Tel: 607-255-8614 Office hours: by appointment

    Orchestra TA : Barry Sharp (Fall, 2017)

    Orchestra Librarian: Emma Billmeyer emb365@cornell.edu



    Regular rehearsals are held in B20 of Lincoln Hall and Bailey Hall. Please consult the google calendar on the CSO website for latest location and schedule.

    Mondays 4:45 - 6:25 PM

    (Monday rehearsals will be extended by 20 minutes during concert week)

    Wednesdays 4:45 - 6:45 PM


    Dress rehearsals

    Saturday (9/30) 2:30 - 4:30 PM in Bailey Hall

    Saturday (11/11) 10:30 - 1:00 PM in Bailey Hall


    Course Objectives

    Be able to make musical decisions as an independent, integrated ensemble.


    Diversity Statement

    Openness to ideas/interpretations from another perspective.

    A safe environment in which everyone is respected and can express their own opinion.

    A community of learners who give each other constructive feedback /criticism towards a common goal of the orchestra.


    Learning Outcomes

    Identify and devise solutions to a musical problem.

    Compare all the possibilities of interpretation to a musical passage.

    Critique one’s own performance as well as their peer’s through verbal reflection and performance.


    Course Description and Rationale

    The goal of this music performance course is to provide the opportunity for you as an orchestral performer to come together with other like-minded musicians in an ensemble setting to rehearse and perform the highest quality literature from the symphonic orchestra repertoire. In this course we will focus on overall concepts of self and ensemble expression, engagement, participation, and performance. We will also address musical concepts of ensemble and individual balance, blend, intonation, phrasing, dynamics, articulation, tone, rhythmic precision, color, and ensemble clarity. We are going to listen to ourselves, to each other and to the composer’s voice.



    We will be breaking down the top-down structure of how an orchestra works together. Rather than waiting for the conductor to always correct mistakes, each member will offer musical insight in rehearsal and sectionals so that we can improve as a member/stand partner/section//section leader/conductor/orchestra. Let’s utilize all of our ears and listen carefully to what we are producing. Be ready to contribute ideas to develop our ability to solve musical problems together. I, as a conductor, plan to be an engaged learner through this as your traveling companion.

    Ask relevant questions of yourself, your stand partner, your section leader, and your conductor to make our musical journey full of discovery. If you are one of the rotating section leaders you will have the added responsibility of leading your section. That means guiding your section in matters of intonation, style, phrasing, sound, vibrato, dynamics, balance, precision, articulation and string technique issues such as bowing. Each concert period there will be two sectionals and at least one practice session with your stand partner. In all these sessions, a two way communication line is expected from all members.

    Each member will listen with a full score at least once during each concert period and be responsible for giving written comments to the orchestra. You can post recordings, talk about the progress of rehearsals, share sectional material, discuss your concept of a piece or section of a piece, etc. Our main goal is to develop a set of criteria for how to listen. Please utilize the blog for this inter-orchestra reflection.



    Since the Symphony Orchestra is a performance-oriented course, it is expected that each member will attend ALL rehearsals and performances. For any musical ensemble to be successful, every member must demonstrate a high level of commitment to the group. Lateness and absence are detrimental not only to the actual music-making but more importantly, to the morale of the entire orchestra. Therefore, grades are based on attendance and musical preparation. Frequent tardiness will affect one's grade and membership in the orchestra. It is the student's responsibility to request excuses, and document absences/lateness in writing. Each unexcused absence above two (2) will result in your grade being lowered by a letter. Four (4) unexcused absences will cause dismissal with an F. Two tardies will count as one unexcused absence. Absences during concert week will not be allowed.


    Extra credit

    If you miss a rehearsal for any reason, you can makeup for the absence with a musical writing assignments such as program notes for our concerts.



    Seating is made on a concert-by-concert basis. There will be rotating section leaders. In fact, it will not be unusual for a section leader to sit in the last chair for one piece. After all, a good section leader must experience what it is like to play from the last stand as well as the first stand.



    There will be sectionals scheduled occasionally throughout the semester, usually during the regular rehearsal time with guest coaches. One sectional led by the section leader of each piece is required of all members in the section.


    Concert Dress

    Women: All black - Black skirts/dresses or black (dress) pants, black blouse, dark hose, elegant black shoes.

    Men: All black - Black (dress) pants, jacket, white shirt, black bow tie, black socks and black shoes. No sneakers or jeans please.


    Website and listserv

    The orchestra website will have all current info about upcoming rehearsal schedules and concert schedules.


    To be included on the Orchestra listserv please contact Chris Kim cyk8(at)cornell.edu


    Fall 2017 performances [updated August 15, 2017]

    7 pm, Saturday, September 30, 2017

    Joint concert with CCO

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor


    Symphony No. 6 Mvt 1


    Sounds Awakened, concerto for French Horn with Alex Shuhan


    Black, Brown And Beige Suite

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    7 pm, Saturday, November 11, 2017

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor


    Farther From the Truth for Orchestra [world premiere]


    Piano Concerto in A Minor Op. 54 with Miri Yampolsky


    Symphony No. 6 Mvt 2


    Three Black Kings (Les trois rois noirs)

    with James Spinazzola, Tenor Sax/Soprano Sax

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    Cornell Symphony Orchestra Fall 2017 Rehearsal schedule (as of August 10, 2017)

    This schedule is subject to change please confirm actual schedule via listserv email on Sunday evenings.


    Concert Period #1

    Day Reh # Time Repertoire Location guest artist

    Mon 8/28 1 4:45 - 6:25 Tchaikovsky B20 Lincoln Hall

    Wed 8/30 2 4:45 - 6:45 Stephenson/Ellington B20 Lincoln Hall

    Mon 9/4 Labor Day No rehearsal

    Wed 9/6 3 4:45 - 6:45 sectional on Tchaikovsky/Ellington B20 Lincoln Hall sectional coaches

    Mon 9/11 4 4:45 - 6:25 sectional on Ellington B20 Lincoln Hall sectional coaches

    Wed 9/13 5 4:45 - 6:45 Tchaikovsky/Ellington B20 Lincoln Hall

    Mon 9/18 6 4:45 - 6:25 Stephenson/Ellington B20 Lincoln Hall w/Alex Shuhan

    Wed 9/20 7 4:45 - 6:45 sectional on Tchaikovsky/Ellington B20 Lincoln Hall guest conductor

    Mon 9/25 8 4:45 - 6:45 Stephenson/Tchaikovsky B20 Lincoln Hall w/Alex Shuhan

    Wed 9/27 9 4:45 - 6:45 Tchaikovsky/Ellington Bailey Hall

    Sat 9/30 Dress Reh 2:00 - 4:30 Tchaikovsky/Stephenson/Ellington Bailey Hall w/Alex Shuhan

    Sun 9/30 Performance 7:00 pm Tchaikovsky/Stephenson/Ellington Bailey Hall w/Alex Shuhan


    Concert Period #2

    Mon 10/2 1 4:45 - 6:25 Tchaikovsky/Sharp B20 Lincoln Hall

    Wed 10/4 2 4:45 - 6:45 sectional on Tchaikovsky/Sharp B20 Lincoln Hall sectional coaches

    Mon 10/9 Fall break No rehearsal

    Wed 10/11 3 4L45 - 6:45 Schumann/Ellington B20 Lincoln Hall w/Miri Yampolsky

    Mon 10/16 4 4:45 - 6:25 sectional on Schumann/Ellington B20 Lincoln Hall sectional coaches

    Wed 10/18 5 4:45 - 6:45 Schumann/sectional on Tchaikovsky B20 Lincoln Hall w/Miri Yampolsky

    Mon 10/23 6 4:45 - 6:25 sectional on Ellington B20 Lincoln Hall sectional coaches

    Wed 10/25 7 4:45 - 7:00 Tchaikovsky/Sharp B20 Lincoln Hall

    Mon 10/30 8 4:45 - 6:25 Schumann/Ellington B20 Lincoln Hall w/Miri Yampolsky

    Wed 11/1 9 4:45 - 6:45 Tchaikovsky/Sharp B20 Lincoln Hall

    Sun 11/5 Special [10] 4:00 - 6:00 Tchaikovsky/Ellington Bailey Hall TBC

    Mon 11/6 11 4:45 - 6:45 Ellington/Sharp B20 Lincoln Hall

    Wed 11/8 12 4:45 - 6:45 Schumann/Tchaikovsky Bailey Hall w/Miri Yampolsky

    Sat 11/11 Dress Reh. 10:30 - 1:00 Sharp/Schumann/Tchaikovsky/Ellington Bailey Hall w/Miri Yampolsky

    Sat 11/11 Performance 7:00 pm Sharp/Schumann/Tchaikovsky/Ellington Bailey Hall w/Miri Yampolsky

    Mon 11/13 reading session 4:45 - 6:25 Rachman/Sharp B20 Lincoln Hall w/composer

    Wed 11/15 reading session 4:45 - 7:00 Rachman/Sharp B20 Lincoln Hall w/composer

    Mon 11/20 No rehearsal

    Wed 11/22 Thanksgiving No rehearsal

    Mon 11/27 1 4:45 - 6:25 Dvorak B20 Lincoln Hall

    Wed 11/29 2 4:45 - 6:45 Dvorak B20 Lincoln Hall




  • Recent news

    Cornell Orchestra is awarded the Advanced programming award by ASCAP and the League of American Orchestras. This is the 6th award in 7 years.

    Alumni Risa Naka accepts award for orchestra

    Alumni member Risa Naka was on hand in Seattle to accept the award on behalf of the Cornell Orchestras

    27 American orchestras were recognized with 2013-14 ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming at the League of American Orchestras’ National Conference, June 4-6 in Seattle. ASCAP and the League present the awards each year to orchestras of all sizes for programs that challenge the audience, build the repertoire, and increase interest in music of our time. Press release linked here, and a complete repertoire list is posted here. Photo credit: Robert Wade Photography


    Read more

    Worldwide celebration of Cornell's Sesquicentennial: Are you in?

    Cornell Symphony Orchestra and the Cornell Glee Club and Chorus will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Cornell University with a concert program featuring new orchestration of the Cornell Songs and Alma Mater along with works by Steven Stucky, Kevin Ernste and Roberto Sierra.


    Read more.


    Cornell Orchestra tour to Argentina in 2017 is in the works. Find out how you can be a part of this tour.

    Over 10 days Cornell Orchestra members will travel to the city of Neuquén, Argentina in April, 2017. We will collaborate with two institutions to combine for a performance of Gustav Mahler's 6th Symphony and also collaborate with the Conservatory students in educational events. More info will be posted. If you would like to be part of the tour as a participant, organizer and sponsor, please contact Mitch Dominguez, chair of the tour committee.


    Contact Mitch


  • Conductors

    Get to know our conductors


    Chris Younghoon Kim

    Director of Orchestras

    Passionate about working with young musicians and music education, Chris Younghooon Kim is the Director of Orchestras at Cornell University and is an active adjudicator, guest clinician, and masterclass teacher. The League of American Orchestras and ASCAP have awarded the first place award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music to the Cornell Orchestras among all collegiate orchestras in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. With the Cornell Orchestras he has led international tours and joint collaborations with the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico. Before coming to Cornell, Chris was active in the new music scene in Boston conducting the Firebird Ensemble and the Kalistos Chamber Orchestra. Since 1997 he has been the Artistic Director of the new music ensemble Brave New Works in Ann Arbor, Michigan one of America’s most innovative and progressive ensembles. He has appeared with orchestras in the United States and abroad, including ensembles such as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Delta Festival Ballet, Symphoria based in Syracuse, NY, Divertimento Ensemble of Milan, Italy. He has also appeared in music festivals such as, Kinhaven Music Center, Skaneateles Music Festival, International Bartok Festival in Szaombarthely, Hungary among others. He is an active promoter of music of our time, and has collaborated with dozens of composers, and commissioned and premiered numerous new works. He was recently chosen to be one of three young conductors to appear at the Ensemble Moderne Academy in Innsbruck, Austria being mentored by members of Ensemble Moderne at the 2012 Klangspuren new music festival. He has also been chosen as one of four conductors to take part in the College Orchestra Directors Association’s Ibermusicas initiative in 2014, and will guest conduct Orquesta Sinfónica del Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina. In 2008, he made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut as part of Royal Irish Academy Chamber Orchestra’s East Coast Tour of the United States with a world premiere of Evan Chambers’s Concerto for Violin, Irish fiddle and string orchestra.


    Link to his website


    Previous conductors

    2000 - 2004 John Hsu

     about his final concert

     about his teaching

     his bio on music dept website


    1975 - 1999 Edward Murray

     about his teaching

     remembrance concert


    1954 - 1975 Karel Husa

     about his teaching

     90th birthday concert

     Cornell Sun on his first concert at Cornell


    1950 - 1954 Robert Hull

    (if you have info please contact us)


    1947 - 1950 missing information

    (if you have info please contact us)


    1943 - 1947? John M. Kuypers

    (if you have info please contact us)


    1941 - 1942 Ronald Ingalls

    he conducted the Sinfonietta beginning from 1936 but took over after Coleman retired

    (if you have more info please contact us)


    1905 - 1941 George L. Coleman

     article about founding of the orchestra

     his final concert


    List of all Cornell Orchestra concerts from 1905 - current (We do have missing info, if you have info you can share with us to complete this list, please contact us).

    Barry Sharp

    assistant conductor for Fall 2017

    Barry Sharp has completed degrees in music with a focus on composition at the University of Iowa (MA) and Murray State University (BM). Performances of his compositions have taken place in the U.S., Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, and Thailand by performers such as the JACK Quartet, OSSIA Ensemble, the Princeton Singers, Cornell University Chamber Singers, Murray State University Symphony Orchestra, Webster County High School, and the MSU Brass Band. He is the recipient of a 2016 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and has been selected to participate in festivals such as June in Buffalo, New Music on the Point, and the Lehigh Choral Composers Forum. In addition to composition, Barry has studied conducting, tuba, and voice. He is currently a doctoral student in composition at Cornell University studying under Kevin Ernste and Roberto Sierra. 

  • Results of the 13th Annual Cornell Concerto Competition

    Cellist Irene Jeong, '19 won the 13th annual Cornell Concerto Competition on November. 20 for her performance of Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 in Eb Major (Mvt 1 and 2), accompanied by Miri Yampolsky. Originally from Palo Alto, CA, Jeong is a San Francisco Conservatory Pre-College alum. She began playing the cello at age 8 and has since been a prizewinner in numerous competitions including the National YoungArts foundation, Mission College Symphony concerto Competition, and Alexander and Buono International String Competition. As an avid chamber musician, she won the inaugural Galante Prize and was featured twice on NPR's From the top. She has also played at Carnegie Hall and in various music festivals. Irene is a sophomore Physics major at Cornell University where she studies with cello wtih Prof. John A. Haines-Eitzen and co-principal cellist of the Cornell Chamber Orchestra.


    She was one of four finalists chosen by judges Phiroze Mehta, Richard Faria of Ithaca College and Heather Buchman of Hamilton College.

    Other finalists were:

    • Ellie Bayles '17, a Biometry and Statistics major(student of Liz Shuhan), performing Lowell Libermann's Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (Mvt III), accompanied by Mary Ann Miller;
    • Jiacong Xu, '17, a Computer Science major(student of Xak Bjerken), performing Saint Saens' Piano Concerto No. 2 Mvt 1, accompanied by Miri Yampolsky;
    • David Zhang, '20, a Biological Sciences Major(student of Ariana Kim), performing Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy (mvt 1), accompanied by Miri Yampolsky.

    Link to the 14th Cornell Concerto Competition application form


    This year's panel of judges


    Phiroze Mehta is Professor of Piano at the Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca, where he has been teaching since 1976. He has performed as recitalist and in chamber music groups at universities, music conventions, and for radio broadcasts. A graduate (M.M.) in piano performance of the University of Massachusetts, and a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music, London, he also holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and in Industrial and Systems Engineering. A recipient of several awards, he was named a Dana Teaching Fellow at Ithaca College in recognition of excellence in teaching. Prior to joining the music faculty at Ithaca College he taught piano at Western Michigan University and at Western Illinois University. Mehta has presented master classes in the U.S., China, Taiwan, and India, and has also frequently served as adjudicator for piano competitions. Many of his students have been winners at piano competitions, including top prizes at the Music Teachers National Association Competition, the Young Keyboard Artists International Piano Competition, and the Bartok-Kabalevsky International Piano Competition.


    Clarinetist Richard Faria pursues an active career as soloist, chamber musician, and educator. He has been a participant in numerous festivals such as the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, Bard Music Festival of the Hamptons, Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Skaneateles Festival, Garth Newel Music Festival, and Klasik Keyifler in Cappadocia, Turkey. His chamber music experience includes collaborations with such diverse groups as the Zephyros and Sylvan Wind Quintets, Atlantic, Tetraktys, and Arianna String Quartets, Composers Concordance, Guild Trio, Mother Mallard, and the Young Composer’s Collective in Seattle. He has performed in Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, The Kitchen, Miller Theater, Spivey Hall, the Smithsonian Institution, as well as at the American Academies in Rome and Berlin, Netherlands' De Lakenhal, and the Temple of Apollo in Turkey. As a founding member of the new music group Ensemble X, he recorded chamber music by Steven Stucky (In Shadow, In Light) and by Scottish composer Judith Weir (The Consolations of Scholarship), which Gramophone magazine praised as “powerful, streetwise, colourful.” The inaugural season featured Richard as soloist in John Adams clarinet concerto Gnarly Buttons. Other notable performances have been of Thomas Adès Catch, Op. 4 and Life Story, Op. 8, Magnus Lindberg Steamboat Bill, Jr. and American premieres of Anders Hillborg Tampere Raw and Matthias Ronnefeld Sextett, Op. 2.


    Heather Buchman is director of the Hamilton College Orchestra and Chamber Music program and Chair of the Department of Music. She has served as Education and Outreach Conductor for Symphoria, Syracuse’s professional orchestra. She has developed numerous innovative programs for Symphoria, as well as for the orchestral and chamber programs at Hamilton College. She appears freqently as conductor and trombonist with the Society for New Music and other organizations. Buchman’s work in regional arts advocacy has been recognized by a citation from the Society for New Music in 2013 and Civic Morning Musicals’ Ruth Edson Award in 2014. She serves on the board of CNY Arts, a regional organization working with NY State Council on the Arts and other funders for supporting and promoting arts and culture in Central New York. In 2012 she received Hamilton College’s Class of 1963 Award for Outstanding Teaching. She served on the ad hoc committee that developed Hamilton College's educational goals. Buchman completed professional studies in conducting at the Juilliard School, earned a M.M. in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan, and a B. Mus. degree in trombone from the Eastman School of Music. More recent studies include conducting workshops in St. Petersburg, Russia. She served as Principal Trombonist of the San Diego Symphony from 1988-1997. She won prizes at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Germany and the New York Philharmonic Young Artists Concerto Competition. A more recent interest of hers is the study of ballet. She explores the parallels and intersections between music and dance in her teaching and in performance. Her other interests include the connections between music/sound and other art forms and fields, and developing collaborations grounded in these connections. She also maintains her own website.


    Official 13th Annual Cornell Concerto competition accompanist


    Pianist Miri Yampolsky made her orchestral debut as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta at the age of 16, playing Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 1. Since then, she appeared with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Mainz Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Valencia, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, National Orchestra of Johannesburg, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Peninsula Music Festival orchestra, and Cornell Symphony and Chamber Orchestra. A first prize winner of the Valencia International Piano Competition Prize Iturbi in Valencia, and the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Yampolsky is an avid and active chamber musician, with appearances in festivals such as Tanglewood, Ravinia, Davos, Berlin Festwoche, Tucson Winter International Chamber Music Festival, Olympic Music Festival, Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival, Peninsula Music Festival, Schwetzingen Festival, Citta di Castelo; Klassikfest Kaisrstuhl, Lucena International Piano Festival, and Salzburg’s Mozarteum. Yampolsky’s teachers include Hannah Shalgi, Michael Boguslavsky, and Chaim Taub in Israel; Prof. Dmitri Bashkirov and Marta Gulyas at the Escuela Superior De Musica “Reina Sofia” in Madrid, and Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. Yampolsky is on the faculty at Cornell University and is a co-artistic director of the international chamber music festival Mayfest.


  • Audition FAQ's and  guide

    Look here first if you have questions about the audition

    Frequently asked questions 

    Fall 2017 audition information will be updated by end of June, 2017


    In the Fall semester, ALL members [new and old] need to audition.

    For the Fall semester we anticipate the following opening


    In Chamber Orchestra

    Violin 8+8 spots

    viola 6 spots

    cello 6 spots

    bass 2 spots


    In Symphony Orchestra

    Violin 16 +16 spots

    viola 12 spots

    cello 12 spots

    bass 8 spots

    flute - 3 [must be able to double on piccolo]

    oboe - 3

    clarinet - 1 Eb clarinet, 1 bass clarinet and 2 Bb clarinet

    bassoon - 3

    french horn - 5

    trumpet - 3

    trombone - 3

    tuba - 1

    harp - 1

    percussion - 4

    piano - 2


    Auditions for Fall semester will be held on all auditions will take place in Room 332 or B20 of Lincoln Hall unless indicated otherwise.


    complete the audition form at;



    Complete an audition form to be assigned an audition time slot during Orientation week and first week of classes (Sunday August 20 - Friday August 25) (You must audition with like instruments during the schedule outlined below)

    Orchestra auditions for Fall 2017


    Sunday, August 20

    330-5 pm Percussion with Michael Sparhuber [confirmed]

    5-630 pm Keyboards and harp with Barry Sharp

    630 pm Day one conflicts and overflow


    Monday, August 21

    1030-1230 pm Flutes with Elizabeth Shuhan and Juliana Pepinsky [confirmed]

    1230-230 pm oboes and bassoons with Emily DiAngelo and Daniel Hane [confirmed]

    3-4 pm Trumpets with Jeff Stockham [confirmed]

    4-6 pm Horns with Ilze Brink-Button [confirmed]

    630-730 pm Low Brass: trombones, tuba with Melissa Gardiner [confirmed]

    730-9 pm Clarinets with Lenora Schneller [confirmed]

    9 pm Day two conflicts and overflow


    Tuesday, August 22

    9 am Audition results for winds, brass and percussion posted on CU Orchestra board

    10 - 12 pm bass auditions with Barry Sharp

    2-5 pm viola auditions with Alex Trygstad [confirmed]


    Wednesday, August 23

    10-12 pm cello auditions with John Haines Eitzen [confirmed]

    1-3 pm cello auditions with John Haines Eitzen continued


    Thursday, August 24

    12-4 pm violin auditions part 1 with Timnah Mayer [note new time]


    Friday, August 25

    9-1 pm violin auditions part 2 with with Timnah Mayer [note new time]


    Saturday, August 26

    10 am CSO , CCO audition results posted online

    Sunday, August 27

    2 pm Orchestra picnic


    Monday, August 27

    445 pm in B20 first rehearsal for CSO


    Tuesday, August 28

    445 pm in Barnes Hall first rehearsal for CCO


    Prepare two contrasting excerpts from the solo repertoire along with a scale of your choice (3 octaves for string players). Audition will be about 10 minutes total.

    Main prepared excerpts will be taken from Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony.

    Part will be posted on July 1.

    Specific excerpts will be posted August 1.


    Complete an audition form to be assigned an audition time slot during audition week (August 20 - 25, 2017)


    Prepared sight seeing excerpt will be posted here on August 1, 2017.

    You can start to learn the Tchaikovsky parts using these imslp parts.



    Specific excerpts from Tchaik 6 chosen by our lesson teachers.



    Mvt. I Bar 66-D
    Bar 101-E
    3rd bar of I-2nd bar of K
    Mvt. II One bar before K-M
    Mvt. IV Second bar of A to low C# in bar 18

    Mvt. I C-D
    Mvt. III Bar 37-end of bar 45
    Kk-bar 339



    Tchaikovsky 6, 1st oboe part

    Mvmt. II: mm 9-16

    Mvmt. III: mm 202-209 & mm. 222-228



    From Movement I:

    1. Solo after letter B, measures 54 through 58

    2. 10 measures after letter M through measure 248

    3. Letter T to Andante mosso

    From Movement III:
    4. Letter H to letter I



    from mvt 1 first 12 bars of the bassoon 1 part

    Then the rest are from the bassoon 2 part:

    -a nice lyrical stretch in 5/4 from the 2nd mvt [counting is the hard part here and most of it is unison between both bassoons], [from letter A to 5th bar of letter B]

    -a seemingly never-ending G major/chromatic etude from the end of the 3rd mvt [m.329-342]

    -the opening of the 4th mvmt -- this is unison for both bassoons so it makes a really good excerpt for everyone. [m.1-36]



    Tchaikovsky 6 horn 1:

    1. Movement 1 from pickup to measure 263 to measure 276

    2. Movement 2 from measure 17 to measure 24

    3. Movement 3 from measure 81 to measure 96

    4. Movement 3 from measure 214 to measure 244

    5. Movement 4 from pickup to measure 55 to measure 63



    Trumpet 1 Part

    Mvt. I: Bars 67-76; 133-146, 190-197, 201-213, 260-274

    Mvt. II: Bars 65-72 (Letter E), 144-146

    Mvt. III: Bars 15-27, 93-96 (Letter K), 312-333

    (note: there is a misprint in bar 132 of Mvt III: the half-note on beat 2 should be a quarter note.)

    Mvt. IV: Bar 63-79, 111-124



    Mov. 1

    Excerpt 1 - m. 196-229

    Excerpt 2 - m. 280-302

    Mov. 3

    Excerpt 1 - m. 205-251



    Wagner - Die Meistersinger Overture: From letter I toL

    Stravinsky - Petrouchka: Bear Theme (No. 100)

    Berlioz - Symphony Fantastique: 5th mvt Dies Irae Coda

    Mahler - Symphony No. 1 3rd mvt, 4 bars before 3 to 4





    Tchaikovsky – The Nutcracker: The Waltz of the Flowers Cadenza
    Berlioz - Symphony Fantastique: 2nd Movement
    -2 bars before [21] to [22]
    -[32] to Animato




    Stravinsky - Petrouchka: Solo(piano)

    Tchaikovksy Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Opening and Cadenza(celeste) from The Nutcracker

    Shostakovich Symphony No. 1 mvt 2 2 before rehearsal 18 to rehearsal 22




    Movement I:

    Be ready to play anywhere between Reh N through Reh U

    Movement III:

    Reh Ii through Reh Kk


    In addition to the timpani excerpts, please prepare an etude for snare and a work for mallets, OR the following excerpts:

    Snare: Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade, Mvmt. III, reh. D through reh. E; Mvmt. IV, reh. P through reh. R (via IMSLP)

    Xylophone: Gershwin, Porgy and Bess, Overture (contact mas847@cornell.edu if needed)

    Please also be prepared to play a variety of cymbal crashes, and a snare roll from pp<ff>pp.

    If you are performing an etude of your choice, please bring a copy of the music for the conductor.



    Mvt. I:

    1. mm. 67-80
    2. pickup to 306 through letter T

    Mvt. II:

    1. second ending (m. 16a) through letter A

    Mvt. III:

    1. beginning through letter B
    2. letter U through letter Y

    Mvt. IV:

    1. beginning through letter B



    1st mvt


    Letter B-D



    Movt 1: measures 28-34 and 89-101

    Movt 2: measures 1-25

    Movt 3: measures 40-77



    Mvt 1

    4 after Rehearsal H until 6 after Rehearsal I




    Prepare two contrasting excerpts of your choice from the solo repertoire.

    Three octave scale of your choice for string players, 2 octave scale for wind and brass players.

    Before Auditioning
    • Sign up for your audition time slot using the audition form below.
    • In the audition form, indicate a preference for an ensemble. Although the slot is not guaranteed, the student's preference will be given much consideration.
    • Thoroughly prepare your audition repertoire.

    • Be sure to warm up before the audition. Practice rooms on the basement floor of Lincoln Hall will be available during the entire audition period.
    • Please Note: Due to the large number of violins auditioning, the audition format for violins will be as follows. Each person will have 5 minutes; 5 violinists will be scheduled every half hour for a total of 90 slots over the two days.



    During the Audition
    • Be on time for the appointment. If you are late, you will have a shortened audition.
    • Each audition will last 10 minutes (except for violins, see note in "Before Auditioning"
    • Prepare 6 to 7 minutes of music to play at the audition. Contrasting excerpts from solo or orchestra literature are recommended: for example, a fast and technically demanding excerpt accompanied with a slow and lyrical excerpt.
    • You will also be asked to prepare an excerpt from the standard orchestral repertoire and also to play a three-octave scale of your choice. Transposing instrumentalists may be asked to demonstrate faculty with transposition skills.
    • Hint: prepared excerpt will include passages from the 2015-2016 repertoire (subject to change). Download the PDF's here: (these will be available on August 1). (does not apply for spring auditions)


    After the Audition
    • Results will be posted online at 3 pm on Saturday, August 26, 2017.
    • All musicians accepted for membership are expected to attend the organization's first rehearsal, as announced on the posted lists. Be sure to check all of the acceptance lists carefully, as you may not be placed in your first-choice ensemble.
    • All orchestra members must be available for all rehearsals and concerts. Please check the schedule of rehearsals and concert dates posted online.

  • Fall 2017 audition info

    Auditions will be held from August 20-25, 2017

    Here is a link to the audition form (click here if the form is not visible below)

  • Orchestra Tours

    The Cornell Orchestra tours both domestically and internationally. These tours provide an incredible opportunity for young musicians to see the world, perform in world-class venues, bond as a group, and form life-long friendships.

    2008 Berlin, Germany

    2010 New Orleans, LA

    2012 Dublin, Ireland

    2014 San Juan, Puerto Rico

    2015 Dublin, Ireland

    2016 Salt Lake City, UT (performance at the CODA National conference)

    2017 Neuquen, Argentina


    Learn about our most recent tour to Argentina and our collaboration with the Neuquen Symphony Orchestra


    link to the orchestra newsletter


    Featured article on Cornell Chronicle


    Dublin, Ireland

    Learn about our 2015 tour to Ireland and our collaboration with the Royal Irish Academy of Music


    link to the orchestra newsletter


    Link to Tour Album


    Salt Lake City, UT

    Learn about our 2016 tour to Salt Lake City, UT, when the chamber orchestra performed at the National conference for College Director's Association.


    Link to performance


    Puerto Rico

    Learn about our most 2014 tour to Puerto Rico and our collaboration with the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico


    link to the orchestra newsletter


    link to the flickr photo album


  • 2017 Argentina tour



    Here are student reflections regarding the tour


    How has tour impacted me?

    It’s hard to describe all the ways that tour has impacted me, but even after a couple

    weeks, I know that this tour has already changed my life and the lives of others. First, I came into tour only able to count on one hand the number of people that I knew in CSO. But, at the end of it all, I felt like I left Argentina with my arms full of close friends. At the same time, I knew that I was leaving behind a couple new friends in Argentina. Playing with the orchestra in Neuquén was an absolute joy in part because everyone in the Neuquén orchestra was so excited to have us there. Right after our dress rehearsal, my stand partner - who has kept in touch with me since tour - turned to me and said that she was going to miss all of us, and I realized that I was going to miss them too. For both groups, it’s difficult to put into words how special it is to be able to assemble an orchestra dedicated enough to tackle a Mahler symphony, never mind one cobbled together from two orchestras from different continents.

    The concert in Neuquén is without question the most meaningful musical experience I’ve

    ever had. In my thirteen years of playing music, I’ve played in a number of concerts, but I’ve

    never had the joy of playing for a crowd that was so excited about listening to our music. In the days leading up to the performance, passers-by would ask us if we were the Americans playing in the concert on Friday. What was originally a concert gradually expanded into something of a festival, between a screen being set up in the town square, some tango dancers performing outside the concert hall before the performance, and our concert being broadcast on television. For a while, we were mini-celebrities. My eyes welled up during the applause after the fourth movement because I could see the bond of friendship we cultivated had made something magical. Tour recalled to me a line from Don McLean’s classic “American Pie.” He sings, “And I knew if I had my chance/That I could make those people dance/And maybe they’d be happy for a while.” We were given the chance, we did make them dance, and while I can’t speak for everyone from Neuquén, there wasn’t a single face in that hall that wasn’t grinning after our concert. Unforgettable is the only word that comes close to describing what it means to have been able to build such a relationship with the people of Neuquén and the musicians around me. I had no idea that I had the power to transform the people around me so profoundly through music, but now that I do, I want to play in as many things as possible. In my opinion, every musician should get the opportunity to collaborate with performers from around the world, if only so everyone can get a taste of what it means to be changed by music. So, I cannot wait for the Neuquén musicians to come to Cornell. Even if I’m not on campus for that day, I know that whoever is around will have the performance of a lifetime.

    Colin Barber, '17






    From our collaborative partner Ian Doyle from the Ireland Tour

    Ian Doyle (Irish Folk singer and our collaborative partner in Wexford)

    I have been struggling to put into words what happened last friday night. What I do know is that it was the most alive I have ever felt in my life. Wrapped in a blanket of sound with the amazing Cornell Orchestras, Cill E Byrne and Geoff Warner-Clayton behind me. The gifted Lorcan Byrne playing his heart out to my right and a personal hero of mine Clive Barnes to my left. With the most engaged audience I have ever had the honor of standing before I was overwhelmed, speechless and stunned.

    For me the heros of the night were Conductor Chris Kim and Composer Peter Fahey. I can’t thank you both enough for the gift of your talents.

    I would also like to say thanks to Seamus Redmond and all at the Wexford Opera House. Brandon Watson, Eddie Looney and Tony Mc Guire for helping out with instruments.and Matthew O Brien for guitar tech. James Bell and Johnny Francis Stewart for filming the night,and Aoife Cooney and Barry Ennis for steping in last minute to save the day.

    Finally a massive thank you to Phil Hayes on sound and recording duties. This is a recording of the start of the night with an overture of "Call all the People" Composed by Peter, conducted by Chris and performed by the Cornell Orchestra. Listen loud.






    Photos by Richie Tyndall




  • Where to find us.



  • Sponsors

    Contact jhb325@cornell.edu if you would like to be a sponsor!

  • Support the activities of the Cornell Orchestra 

    John Hsu Fund

    To support the activities of Cornell Orchestras, please consider a donation to the John Hsu Orchestra Fund. The John Hsu Orchestral Fund serves as a permanent legacy to his fifty years of teaching and focuses on enriching funds for orchestra activities at Cornell, such as future tours, retreats and guest artists. The Cornell Music Department has provided the initial seed money for this new endowment fund; its growth will be dependent on targeted donations from the greater Cornell community. To sustain the vitality of this lasting legacy to Professor Hsu and orchestral music at Cornell, contributions to the fund are encouraged and greatly appreciated. Follow the link to donate.


    General Orchestra Fund.

    We use this category for purchasing all manner of things necessary for the operation of the two orchestras at Cornell including instruments, rental of music etc. Follow the link to donate.