• 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 Neuq

  • 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

    Gilad Fefer, Vet School, Grad


    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

    Leo Moon, Applied Engineering Physics, ‘20

    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



    *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



    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

    2016-2017 Season 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



    2017-2018 season dates, repertoire TBA

    7 pm, Saturday, September 30, 2017

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    Repertoire TBA

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    7 pm, Saturday, November 11, 2017

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    Repertoire TBA

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    3 pm, Saturday, March 10, 2018

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    Repertoire TBA

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    3 pm, Sunday, April 29, 2018

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    Repertoire TBA

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    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 : Louis Chiapetta ljc246 (Fall, 2016), Barry Sharp (Spring, 2017)

    Orchestra Librarian: Derek Maseloff (djm444)



    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


    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 2016 performances

    Saturday, October 1, 2016, 7 pm

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

    KRISTIN KUSTER Devil's Thumb

    GUSTAV MAHLER Symphony No. 6 mvt 1 and mvt 2 Scherzo, mvt 3 Andante

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University


    Sunday, November 19, 2016, 7 pm

    Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

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

    GUSTAV MAHLER Symphony No. 6 Mvt 4 Finale

    @Bailey Hall, Cornell University




    Cornell Symphony Orchestra Spring 2017 Rehearsal schedule (as of February 21, 2017)

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

    Concert Period #1

    Concert Period #1

    Day Reh # Time Repertoire Location guest artist

    Wed 1/25 1 4:45 - 6:45 Sibelius/Ko B20 Lincoln Hall

    Mon 1/30 2 4:45 - 6:25 Shostakovich/Ko/Tower/Strauss B20 Lincoln Hall Irene j, Rick Faria

    Wed 2/1 3 4:45 - 6:45 Tower/Ko/Sibelius B20 Lincoln Hall

    Mon 2/6 4 4:45 - 6:45 Shostakovich/Tower/Lauridsen B20 Lincoln Hall w/Irene, Richard Faria

    Wed 2/8 5 4:45 - 6:45 Ko/Tower/Sibelius B20 Lincoln Hall

    Mon 2/13 6 4:45 - 6:25 Shostakovich/Ko/Lauridsen B20 Lincoln Hall w/Irene

    Wed 2/15 7 4:45 - 6:45 Ko/ Tower(545-625)/Sibelius B20 Lincoln Hall w/Richard Faria

    Mon 2/20 winter break

    Wed 2/22 8 4:45 - 6:45 sectionals/ Tower(545-625)/Sibelius B20 Lincoln Hall w/Richard Faria

    Mon 2/27 9 4:45 - 6:45 Shostakovich/Tower(530-630)Strauss/Lauridsen B20 Lincoln Hall w/ Irene, w/Richard Faria

    Wed 3/1 10 4:45 - 6:45 Ko/Sibelius/Tower(545-645) Bailey Hall with composer, w/Richard Faria

    Fri 3/3 Dress Reh 4:30 - 7:00 Bailey Hall with composer, w/Richard Faria

    Sun 3/5 Performance 3:00 pm Strauss/Lauridsen/Ko/Shostakovich/Tower/Sibelius Bailey Hall with composer, w/Richard Faria


    Concert Period #2

    Mon 3/6 1 4:45 - 6:25 Sibelius 7(445-530)/Boulanger B20 Lincoln Hall

    Wed 3/8 [1] 4:45 - 6:45 Mahler mvt 1-4 B20 Lincoln Hall

    Mon 3/13 2 4:45 - 6:25 Sibelius 7(445-530)/Boulanger B20 Lincoln Hall

    Wed 3/15 [1.5]2.5 4:45 - 6:45 Mahler mvt 1,2 (Sibelius 7 545-645) B20 Lincoln Hall

    Mon 3/20 [2]3 4:45 - 6:25 Mahler mvt 3/Boulanger B20 Lincoln Hall

    Wed 3/22 [2.5]3.5 4:45 - 6:45 Mahler mvt 4/Sibelius 7 B20 Lincoln Hall

    Sun 3/26 Special [3.5] 4:00 - 6:00 Mahler 1-4 Bailey Hall [confirmed]

    Mon 3/27 [4.5] 4:45 - 6:45 Mahler mvt 3,4 B20 Lincoln Hall

    Wed 3/29 [5.5] 4:45 - 7:00 Mahler mvt 1-4 Bailey Hall


    Tour to Argentina over spring break


    Mon 4/10 4.5 4:45 - 6:25 Sibelius 7 B20 Lincoln Hall

    Wed 4/12 5.5 4:45 - 6:45 Boulanger B20 Lincoln Hall

    Sun 4/16 Special[6.5] 4:00 - 7:00 Boulanger Rehearsal in Bailey Hall with Chorus and Glee Club confirmed

    Mon 4/17 7.5 4:45 - 6:25 Sibelius 7 B20 Lincoln Hall

    Wed 4/19 8.5 4:45 - 6:45 Sibelius 7(445-535)/Boulanger B20 Lincoln Hall

    Sun 4/23 Bailey Hall is booked all day for Yamatai

    Mon 4/24 9.5 4:45 - 6:25 Sibelius 7(445-530)/Boulanger B20 of Lincoln Hall

    Wed 4/26 10.5 4:45 - 6:45 Sibelius 7(445-535)/Boulanger B20 Lincoln Hall with chorus and Glee Club

    Sun 4/30 special[11.5] 6:00 - 9:00 Boulanger Bailey Hall with Chorus and Glee Club

    Mon 5/1 12.5 4:45 - 6:45 Sibelius 7 B20 Lincoln Hall

    Monday setup choral risers will stay until concert

    Wed 5/3 13.5 4:45 - 6:45 Boulanger Bailey Hall with chorus and Glee Club

    Fri 5/5 special[14.5] 4:30 - 6:30 Boulanger with Chorus and Glee club in Bailey Hall

    Sat 5/6 Dress Reh. 2:00 - 4:30 Boulanger(2-315)/Sibelius 7(325-430) Bailey Hall with chorus and Glee Club

    Sat 5/6 Performance 7:00 pm Sibelius 7/Boulanger Bailey Hall with chorus and Glee Club

    Mon 5/8 conducting masterclass 4:45 - 6:25 Sibelius [Finlandia] B20 Lincoln Hall with 4121 conductors

    Wed 5/10 conducting masterclass 4:45 - 6:45 Sibelius [Finlandia] B20 Lincoln Hall with 4121 conductors



  • 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).

    Louis Chiapetta

    assistant conductor for Fall 2016

    Louis Chiappetta (b. 1989, Scarsdale, NY) is a New York based composer, whose

    works have been performed internationally in venues including the Helsinki Music

    Centre, London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and at festivals including

    the Aspen Music Festival, Aldeburgh Music Festival and Musica nova Helsinki. His

    recent projects include Lonesome Traveler, a piece for large ensemble which was

    premiered at the 67 th Aldeburgh Festival by members of the Britten-Pears Orchestra

    and Adrift, a ten-minute work for large orchestra, commissioned by Kaija Saariaho

    in celebration of her 60 th birthday and premiered by John Storgårds and the Helsinki

    Philharmonic Orchestra. Chiappetta’s works have been recognized with awards

    from ASCAP, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Fulbright Program.

    He holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Guildhall School of

    Music and Drama, where his principal instructors have been Julian Anderson, Steven

    Stucky and Keith Fitch.

    Barry Sharp

    assistant conductor for Spring 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 13th 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 

    Spring 2017 audition information

    Current as of December 3, 2016


    In the spring semester, only new members need to audition. Those who joined the orchestra in the fall 2016 does not need to reaudition. The following is only for spots that are currently open in the orchestra.


    For the spring semester we anticipate the following opening (this will be updated throughout the winter break).


    In Chamber Orchestra

    Violin 4 spots

    viola 2 spots

    cello 2 spots

    bass 2 spots


    In Symphony Orchestra

    Violin 8 spots

    viola 4 spots

    cello 4 spots

    bass 4 spots

    flute - none

    oboe - none

    clarinet - none

    bassoon - 1 opening

    french horn - 1 opening

    trumpet - 1 opening

    trombone - none

    tuba - none

    harp - 1 opening

    percussion - none

    piano - none


    Auditions for spring 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 the first days of the spring semester (January 24 - 25, 2017)


    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.

    If you wish you can prepare one of the Mahler 6 excerpts below.



    Below is the Fall 2016 audition information(Fall 2017 audition will follow similar format and will be updated on July 1, 2017)

    Fall 2016 Audition Information
    Current as of July 31, 2016 (newly updated audition excerpts!)


    In the fall semester all members must audition for the orchestra.

    As of now we will have the following openings in both orchestras;

    In Chamber Orchestra

    violin - 16 spots

    viola - 6 spots

    cello - 5 spots

    bass - 2 spots


    In Symphony Orchestra

    flute - 4

    oboe - 4

    clarinet - 4
    bass clarinet - 1

    bassoon - 4

    horn - 6

    trumpet - 2

    trombone - 3

    tuba - 1

    percussion - 4

    violin - 32

    viola - 12

    cello - 10

    bass - 8

    piano - 1

    harp - 1


    Auditions for spring 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 audition week (August 22 - 26, 2016)


    Prepared sight seeing excerpt will be posted here on August 1, 2016.

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




    From the Flute 1 part:

    MTV I 3rd bar of 28 to 4th bar of 29 (play first measure of 29)

    35-36 (play first measure of 36)

    MVT II 51-53

    MVT III 97-101

    MVT IV 128-129 (Play first measure of 129)

    7th bar of 133-134

    From the Flute III/Piccolo Part:

    MVT I 5th bar of 40-41

    MVT III 97 to the second bar after 100

    From the Piccolo Part:

    MVT IV 160-161


    oboe/english horn (UPDATED!)

    Mahler 6

    1) Mvt. 1: reh. 22 - reh. 23

    2) Mvt. 1: 4mm after reh. 32 - 2 before reh. 33

    3) Mvt. 2: 3mm after reh. 58 - reh. 59

    4) Mvt. 3: 2mm after reh. 96 - 2mm after reh. 97


    Clarinet excerpts:

    Mvt. I: #30-#31

    Mvt. II: 3 measures after #58 to #59

    Mvt. III: pick ups to #81 for 8 measures

    Mvt. IV: pick ups to #111 to #113

    Bass clarinet excerpts:

    Mvt. I: #24 for 12 measures (in A)

    Mvt. III: pick ups into 4 measures after #98 to #99 (in A), and solo at end (last 7 measures).



    Mvmt 1 —

    second bar of rehearsal 14 to four bars before rehearsal 16, and two bars before rehearsal 17 to six bars after rehearsal 17

    Mvmt 2 —

    rehearsal 55 to 3 bars before rehearsal 56

    Mvmt 3 —

    one bar after rehearsal 97 to 5 bars after rehearsal 98

    Mvmt 4 —

    two bars after rehearsal 150 (key change) to one bar before rehearsal 151



    Mahler 6, Horn 1

    Movement 1

    Number 3 to 5

    Number 23 to 24

    Number 40 to 41

    Number 42 to end of first movement

    Movement 2

    The whole movement

    Movement 3

    Beginning to number 64

    Pickup to 2 measures before number 91 to 6 measures before number 92

    Number 97 to 4 measures after number 101

    Movement 4

    Measure 9 to 4 measures before number 104

    7 measures before number 108 to 3 measures before number 115

    3 measures after number 118 to 3 measures before number 119

    Number 123 to 129


    Mahler 6, Horn 2

    Movement 1

    Number 3 to 6

    Number 21 to 22

    Number 24 to 25

    Number 37 to end of first movement

    Movement 2

    Number 59 to end of second movement

    Movement 3

    Pickup to number 65 to 66

    Pickup to number 84 to 6 before number 85

    Pickup to number 100 to 3 after number 101

    Movement 4

    Beginning to 3 measures before number 104

    11 measures after number 107 to number 109



    from 1st trumpet part of Mahler 6

    1st mvt reh 16-17

    2nd mvt reh 3rd bar of reh 59 to 6 before reh 60

    3rd mvt reh 82 - 83

    3rd mvt reh 97-98

    4th mvt reh reh 124 to 3rd bar of reh 126

    4th mvt reh 153-154


    trombone (UPDATED)

    mvt I. 6 measures before R37 (rehearsal box 37) through to R38
    mvt III. pickup to R63 through to R73
    R97 to R98
    mvt IV. muted solo 8 measures before R122
    solo 3 measures after R126
    R129 through to R130
    6 measures after R133 to R134
    muted solo at R146

    R163 through to R164
    R165 to the end (trombone chorale)



    1st mvt reh 11-13

    1st mvt reh 27-to 2nd bar of reh 29

    3rd mvt reh 82-83

    4th mvt reh 115-117



    Mahler 6, violin 1

    Mvt. I:

    -- figure 3 to 5

    Mvt. II:

    -- beginning until two before 46

    -- nine after 51 until 53

    Mvt. III:

    -- pickup to 64 until 65

    Mvt. IV:

    -- figure 118 to 120

    -- figure 140 to 142



    1st mvt reh 2-4

    1st mvt reh 35-36

    2nd mvt reh 59-60

    3rd mvt reh 74-76

    4th mvt pick up to reh 124 to reh 127



    MAHLER 6

    Movt. 1:


    #14- #16

    Movt. 2:


    #59- #61

    Movt. 3:

    3 measures before #91 to 4 measures after #92

    Movt. 4:

    #129 to 2 measures after #130

    Pickup to #134 to #137

    #140 to #142

    Several sections from the above excerpts will be requested from each cellist.

    Additional sight-reading from anywhere in the piece may be requested.


    bass (UPDATED)

    Mvt 1

    Five before 19 to 20

    Pick up to 25-29

    38 - Four after 40


    Mvt 3

    4 after 64- 4 after 65

    pickup to 4 after 66- 2 before 70

    pickup to 4 before 74- 4 after 74


    Mvt 4

    113- Seven before 116( end of page)

    Three after 119- Four before 120

    Pickup to Four before 124- two before 126

    129- 130

    Two after 133- Five before 134

    Four after 135- one before 136

    Unison seven before 144-144



    Mvmt 1, 4 measures before reh. 42, through 4 measures after reh. 42


    Mvmt 1, 4 before reh. 7, through reh. 7

    Mvmt 1, 7 after reh. 13, take the second ending, through reh. 15


    Mvmt 3, reh. 83 through reh. 84

    Cymbals: 5 crashes- p, mp, mf, f, ff



    1st mvt reh 11-13

    2nd mvt reh 53-55

    4th mvt reh 118-123



    1st mvt reh 33-35

    2nd mvt reh 53-55

    4th mvt reh 120-122




    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 27, 2016.
    • 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.

  • Spring 2017 audition info

    Auditions will be held from January 24-25, 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

    Puerto Rico

    Learn about our most recent 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


  • 2015 Ireland tour

    Links to the photo album of the tour



    Link to Tour newsletter



    Here are student reflections regarding the tour.


    All travel involves transformation on some level or another. On one of our bus rides around Dublin, a student told me that his fondest musical memories happened when ‘everything in the music came together and clicked.’ I was so inspired to see this transformation happen for the students up close. They worked hard, played well and brought a professionalism and enthusiasm that would make anyone proud. Congratulations and thank you, CSO.

    Shea Scruggs (Chaperone and oboe section coach)


    The musical component of this trip was truly unique and wonderful. But for me personally, the most important moments of this trip were outside of St. Andrews Church, the Wexford Opera House and RIAM. The real magic of a trip like this happens on an early morning jog, or a late night walk, or a midday stroll. Having the opportunity to go somewhere new, meet new people, eat new foods and truly experience a culture is an amazing gift. So on that note, I would like to thank the RIAM students and The Man Whom for the music and the memories, but mostly I’d like to thank the Orchestra for giving us the opportunity to experience something unique and wonderful.


    Reade Otto-Moudry (Biology, '17, horn)




    As one of the few graduate students and as part of one of the smaller sections in the orchestra, before this tour I felt rather disconnected from the rest of the orchestra. Sharing the experience of touring in Ireland provided the extra bit of motivation to reach out to distant members of the orchestra and really get to know them on a personal (and musical) level. As a new member myself, I had no strong bonds with any particular group of people before the trip. This allowed me to pick different groups of people to join for each day of the tour; I made sure to meet at least one new person per day, although the average was far higher than this. Before traveling to Ireland with the CSO, I came to rehearsal to make music, and now I come to rehearsal to make music with friends.


    Brian Schaefer(Physics, Ph.D candidate and clarinetist)




    This trip was about meeting people. When musicians bond, we make music with more feeling than just notes on a page. We learn how we play together and we are able to create one sound rather than dozens of individual notes. Not only did this trip offer the opportunity to see a cool new country but it allowed us time to meet new friends. We met new friends from our own ensemble and made new friends in Ireland. I feel like if I were in Dublin tomorrow, I could send a facebook message and have a lunch date in no time. Anybody can go on a trip abroad if they save their money but only a trip like this tour can offer that additional depth which keeps on giving long after returning to B20 of Lincoln Hall.


    Nick Pino (Chemistry, ‘16, English Horn)




    As someone who hadn’t gone on a trip with a school group before, I found our trip to Ireland a very fun and educating experience. One really fun thing I did in Dublin was help coach the clarinet section for the youth orchestra- it was really awe-inspiring to see kids who loved music enough to come out on a Saturday morning instead of sleeping in. It kind of reminded me of why I still play clarinet today as a college-student, and I hope the children in the clarinet section also got to see that music lasts a lifetime. Not only did I get to hang out with friends in one of the coolest places on Earth, I also got to make new friends, both from Cornell and from RIAM. Getting to meet new people in different sections really made me realize that I should make more of an effort to talk to people outside of my section, and I thank Chris for giving us the opportunity to have such a life-changing experience!


    Ellen Hong (Biological Sciences, ‘17, clarinet)




    This trip to Dublin was my first time traveling abroad, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I got the chance to explore a new country with a great group of people! I made a lot of new friendships and reinforced some old ones. Not to mention the food in Dublin was excellent! But my favorite part of the trip was playing with Ian Doyle. The music was nothing like what I usually get to play. It was cool to see how our instruments could work together with drums and electric guitars. I know that it was a performance I will never forget! The trip was overall a wonderful experience and I can’t wait until the next one. Music is a universal language, and being able to play with students from another country who share the same passion and love for music was incredible. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made the trip possible. The experience was truly unforgettable.


    Emma Billmyer (Math, ‘18, cello)



    After accompanying a band in concert and playing a hastily-rehearsed Villa-Lobos and Mahler in the coldest church I've ever been in, I'm beginning to wonder if there is anything this orchestra can't do. I feel extremely privileged to be in an orchestra where every player is so talented and passionate about music. I also feel very lucky to have met such incredible musicians as our RIAM friends, and to have had the chance to talk to and hear stories from Irish people--everyone I talked to was really friendly and helpful. And Dublin is such a beautiful city; it was such an experience to see buildings from medieval times, and go to museums, and listen to live music in pubs, and walk along the river at night. We didn't want to sleep in Ireland, we wanted to be out taking in the city, and drinking Irish beer, and sharing stories, talking, listening to music, playing games. It was a wonderfully fun week.

    Lastly, as a result of this tour, I can finally walk into rehearsal and say hello to people I hadn't talked to before. I think we've all grown closer as an orchestra.


    Colleen Weatherwax (Math, ‘16, viola)



    One of the most interesting parts of this tour for me was playing with and getting to know the RIAM musicians. I learned all about the differences between musicians in Dublin and America-- how notes have different names, orchestras tune to a slightly different pitch, college students follow different degree programs-- but mostly I learned that sharing music is very much the same no matter where you are. It was wonderful to meet not only the Irish musicians but also other members of CSO. I’ve definitely grown much closer to the orchestra because of this trip, and I really appreciate the chance it gave me to experience another place while also sharing my love of music with a great group.


    Emily Shertzer (Biology and Society, ‘16, oboe)




    It seems almost impossible to fully describe the wonder and joy that was the CU 2015 orchestra tour to Ireland, and therefore I will not try to cover every little detail that amazed and thrilled me throughout the trip. Instead, I want to describe the main reason why we came on the trip - to make music with fellow musicians.

    It was on Saturday, two days before we were leaving and one day before the concert, that I played in the most rewarding and exhilarating rehearsal I think I've ever been a part of. Too often in the many music groups I've been a part of have I felt a staggering amount of apathy and apparent unconcern for the music. And when that's the case, making music becomes neither fun nor rewarding. But this rehearsal was something different. We moved together as an orchestra, we focused together as an orchestra, and best of all we expressed together as an orchestra. Even our wondrous conductor Chris Kim paused the rehearsal to describe how amazed he was at the quality of the rehearsal and the simple joy that he, and with no doubt all of us, was having in this session.

    For that, I will always remember Mahler 5 and this great opportunity to play with our fellow RIAM musicians. Thank you everyone, and I hope that there were be many, many more years of making music like in that one Saturday rehearsal.


    Jason Wang (Undecided, ‘18, cello)



    This Ireland tour was a life-changing and eye-opening experience for me. It was my first time abroad, and I was blown away by many aspects of Ireland, including the people, the museums, and the pubs and restaurants . The collaborations with both the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Ian Doyle with The Man Whom were incredible music-making experiences that brought the CSO closer as an ensemble and as friends. A great testament to the kindness of the Irish was Ian’s personal post on my wall when he accepted my Facebook friend request.


    Garrett Levesque (Chemistry, ‘18, violin)




    As a CCO member who began this tour knowing not more than four people, one of my favorite things about the trip was discovering just how welcoming and interesting the members of CSO are. Looking back at the journal I kept throughout the tour, I see that one night I wrote, “It strikes me every once in a while that there really are so many nice people on this trip. I've consistently been pleasantly surprised by orchestra people.” It was true, and it allowed me to have amazing experiences making music with these people, as well as exploring the city with them. On our first night in Dublin, I was feeling a little alone, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to spend the evening, or with whom. I decided to ask my roommate if she wanted to go for a walk, and eventually our group grew to about seven people that I barely knew. We just started walking, turning whichever way suited us. Our adventures took us along the river, past lively pubs and beautiful churches, and eventually to the Brazen Head - the oldest pub in Ireland. We all crowded around a table, and a few of us had a first taste of Guinness, and we talked and listened to live Irish music until we could barely stay awake. For the rest of the week, I could always find someone to talk to about how difficult yet rewarding it was to play the Mahler, or how much fun the concert with Ian Doyle was, or how intriguing the museum we were perusing was. It made the trip a great experience. And I wasn't so alone after all.


    Claire Hacker (Biology, ‘18, violin)




    Playing in Ireland was one of the best experiences ever.  The country, the people, and the culture were amazing.  One of my favorite memories is of the day when a group of us went out to the coast.  It was incredibly beautiful that day, and the Irish Sea was breathtaking.  The orchestra made new friends through the collaborations with RIAM and The Man Whom, and the orchestra grew even closer. I met people in different sections that I didn’t know very well at Cornell.  I am grateful to Chris Kim and the Orchestra for planning this tour, as it was a wonderful experience that I will never forget.


    Lauren Blacker (Biology and Society, ‘17, violin)




    Since I came home from the CSO tour, all of my friends and family have been asking me the famous “How was the trip?” questions. And I keep responding with the same answer: “It was the best trip of my life.” It was such a unique experience and I don’t think I will ever get another opportunity to travel to Ireland in the way that we did. Instead of participating in a typical tour of the country, Chris had allowed us to experience what it was like to be residents in the city of Dublin for a week. Outside of rehearsal, he gave us the chance to wander around the city on our own and see all of the sights. During rehearsal, we had the opportunity to collaborate with Irish students at the academy, which was a remarkable experience in itself. It gave us the chance to really connect with some of the people from the country, instead of just passing by them as a typical tourist would.

    The trip also brought the orchestra closer together as a group as well. Since we had to spend so much time together, we finally had a chance to talk and get to know one another outside of the 5 minute breaks we get at rehearsal. The love of music that we all share and the week we had all spent together has caused me to make friends that I know I will have for years to come.


    Emilie Camera (Engineering, ‘17, violin)



    When I look back at my first semester at Cornell, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t O-Week or Homecoming or frantically studying for prelims and finals. I think about an unforgettable week in Ireland with talented musicians from both sides of the pond. Apart from a few people in the horn section, I didn’t really communicate much with other people in the orchestra prior to the tour. However because of nights of pub hopping, an impromptu trip to Northern Ireland, countless times being lost, and constant carb consumption together, I know our orchestra is the closest it has ever been (now I know that the person I previously referred to as “that girl I always see who plays the flute” actually has a name). This tour was more than just traveling to a country and performing with two amazing groups (RIAM and The Man Whom). It was a cultural exchange. I am so thankful to have experienced Irish culture and see how people our age balance college life and music, even if it was just for a week. To Chris and the orchestra board who made this trip a possibility, Thank You, and I am more excited than ever for our next tour!


    Jesse Liu (Government, ‘18, horn)




    At the risk of offending ~90% of the orchestra, I'd like to bring up a common stereotype: that STEM majors aren't known for being the most social comfortably people... Whether or not this stereotype is actually true, I will say that during the first semester in CSO I occasionally struggled to connect with other players. Our fearless leader has already diagnosed this issue - Chris allows generous 10 minute social breaks and suggests that we communicate with others besides asking them if they "could move to the left just a little" - but I still had difficulty finding myself in situations where I could really vibe with others in the orchestra.


    However, this has changed since the trip to Ireland. I believe many of those who toured would agree with me that the experience helped build camaraderie and gave everyone an opportunity to connect with others. Personally, I know that in traveling to Ireland I found many of the friendships I had been looking for all semester long.


    Fortunately, the trip’s value extends beyond spicing up an occasionally lacking social life. I would hate for the importance of making friends and building a community to be trivialized as merely fun, and heartwarming. Of course it is those things, but the effect of this trip on music-making should not be ignored. This trip brought people together, whether while sight reading or exploring or eating or drinking, and will further enhance our ability to make emotional, impactful music with one another. The truth is that a group that can't come together, laugh together, and connect with one another has little chance of making meaningful music together.


    Perhaps I'm being overly sentimental, but since when has sentiment hurt music? In fact, sentiment helps. The mechanics of music may require the meticulous practice of fingers hitting correcting notes, rhythmic patterns staying within the proper time, brains processing correct dynamics, but the soul of music can only come from a shared community of emotion and feeling. Only when a group of musicians comes together ready to be sentimental, comfortable enough to open themselves to one another, can valuable, worthwhile music-making happen.


    On top of all of this, the trip also helped to break stereotypes. I have heard on occasion the misguided idea that STEM majors would be bad at making expressive music: not only do us STEM majors seem to get along just fine, this trip has also helped us all become holistically better musicians as well.


    Patrick Lynch (Undecided, ‘18, cello)




    This orchestra tour will undoubtedly be a trip that I will remember for the rest of my life. Even though Ireland’s climate wasn’t the ideal winter vacation weather, I am so glad that I got to travel to a country that I would have probably would not have gone out of my way to visit. I got to absorb a whole new culture with new and past acquaintances, and the experience brought us all closer together as a cohesive orchestra. They say that travel either creates rifts or brings people closer, and I’m so glad that it was the latter for the Cornell Orchestra. Regarding the musical part of this trip, I think that we faced a good number of challenges (e.g. learning new music, braving through the Mahler again) but we willingly took them on. It was incredibly inspiring to interact with such passionate conservatory students at RIAM, and the concert with Ian Doyle was so fun yet intimate. Overall, I couldn’t be more grateful to have been part of this experience, and I really hope future tours are as wonderful as this for future students.


    -Eunu Song (Economics, ‘17, violin)




    To be honest, even though as soon as the idea was floated during my senior I knew unquestionably I wanted to go back to Dublin on orchestra tour as an alumnus, I had some misgivings. Having spent my last two years in CCO, that’s where my orchestra family was. And as expected, when I saw the first roster, I recognized maybe… 25% of the names, a number of which were just superficial connections of name to face/instrument. I’m probably no longer the shy, awkward, nerdy guy that I still think of myself as, but I didn’t want to end up being that creepy older alumnus whom no one really knows. I again had this feeling when once finalizing my travel plans and realizing I had missed some deadlines I scrambled to the rooming spreadsheet to find one space left in a four bed room among three unfamiliar names.


    This premonition, of course, was wildly off-base. When everyone showed up at the hostel lobby where I’d been waiting, it suddenly didn’t feel like a whole 8 months since Cornell Orchestras had last been such a huge part of my social life. And while yes, the first people I greeted were HaeSoo, Andrew, James, and Rachael of the old CCO crew, not too much later I was off meeting and socializing with everyone else, which I continued to do and enjoy greatly throughout the entirety of the trip.


    I’m generally rather introverted and can only stand being around people for so long before I need to disappear by myself. A perfect example of this was winter break last year, when I went to Israel on Birthright with a bunch of fellow Cornell Jews. It’s hard to complain about a free trip -- and the trip part of it, the sightseeing and touring around the country, was great. But after the first two nights or so, I really just wanted everyone to leave me alone for a couple of hours, which the nature of the trip made impossible. So pretty much every night after that, I went right to sleep, poking my head out only to yell at people who were being loud.


    I was expecting at least to some extent for the same to happen on this trip. But it didn’t! For possibly the first time in my life, I enjoyed sharing a room. I walked over to some people I hadn’t met yet shouting state capitals at each other, and twenty minutes later a Spaceteam bond was forged. I went to a club and actually enjoyed myself for no discernible reason other than the orchestra members around me. And the final Monday morning, rather than hoping to get back to California and continue on with my life, I wanted nothing more than for the trip to not be over yet.


    To me, this juxtaposition really exemplifies the role that music has and continues to play in my life, and I can really appreciate the bonds I have formed from music and orchestral playing. Furthermore, I can look back to the first orchestra tour in Dublin, three years ago, and see how much I’ve grown in that time. I was certainly not this introspective following it, but my first three semesters were nowhere near as stressful as my last five. In that time, I probably should have done quite a bit less, and from an optimizing-for-post-graduation-life standpoint, music could have been the first thing to go. But instead, I missed quality time on problem sets for practice sessions and rehearsals way more often than the converse occurred. While at the time it was mostly just a release to maintain my sanity, reflecting back now I’m grateful that I maintained this driving force of music in my life. I cannot overstate how much I treasure the community it has made me a part of, and I will never forget the role that the Cornell Orchestras played.


    Harris Karsch (alumni, works at Google, cello)


    The orchestra tour to Dublin has undoubtedly been one of the best experiences of my life. Prior to the tour, I had never been anywhere in Europe and being able to experience Dublin for the first time while bonding with fellow musicians made the trip even more exciting. Not only did I learn about Irish culture by experiencing its cuisine, museums, and beautiful architecture firsthand, but I also had the opportunity to perform with new musicians that exuded passion and enthusiasm with every note they played. In just one week, I felt I had grown musically and created new memories that would last a lifetime. And now, because of this tour, I am much closer to many of the members in our orchestra. The week we spent in Dublin has forever transformed my orchestral experience.  


    Mary Nattakom  (Biological Sciences, Chemistry,  ‘17, violin)


    I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to go on this tour - it was amazing! I made friends on both sides of the ocean, had a great time sightseeing in Dublin, and got to experience the feel of a foreign culture. I find it so impressive that we could combine with RIAM, have a few rehearsals (which were some of the most focused that I’ve been in), and perform Mahler 5! It was a great reminder of how important it is to keep music in our lives.


    Greg Rosenthal (Mathematics and Computer Science, ‘17, cello)


    First Day

    What do you consume when you are tired – coffee? Tea? Red bull? For me, all I needed was a freshening shot of Gustav Mahler. The greatest lesson I learned while touring in Ireland was that music is a strange set of sound waves that has the ability to bring people together. And keep them awake.

    After a 35-hour day with only two hours of sleep, I arrived in Ireland with the Cornell Orchestras and began a fresh new day. Our bus came late and our schedule was so constrained we didn’t even have time to check in. It was off to rehearsal. When we arrived at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, I immediately felt alive again after playing Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. It was like I was home again except everything seemed smaller in Europe.

    Music has a way of creating intimacies. Everyone is sharing their deeply personal sounds that they have meticulously practiced alone in practice rooms. This really helps make connections, as you’ve already exposed a big part of yourself. In Ireland, one of the ironies I found was that we communicated with music better than the way we communicated in English. For example, something funny would happen in the symphony and everyone would join in laughing. On the other hand, if I made a quick witty comment to my stand partner, the cultural differences and my ugly accent often went awry.  

    In Ireland I enjoyed calling quarter notes crotchets and eighth notes quavers, something I can no longer do in New York. It is amazing how I’ve met people from Argentina, China, Germany, and Iran and they all call the standard musical beat a quarter note. And then you go to Ireland and they call it a crotchet. It was nice that most of our laughs and memories in Ireland came straight from the music. It made our connections much more heartfelt.

    -David Vakili




    This tour was a wonderful experience filled with making great music and making new friends in a great city. Having the opportunity to play Mahler’s 5th Symphony is always something very special, but playing it in Dublin, Ireland amongst new musical colleagues and friends from the Royal Irish Academy of Music was truly an unforgettable experience. Our last two rehearsals before the final concert were the most transformative rehearsal experiences I have ever been a part of during my time at Cornell. Tours are also a fantastic opportunity for the orchestra to bond on a much deeper level than is usually possible during the regular semester. Finally, I very much enjoyed experiencing the Irish culture and meeting great people in Dublin. Thank you CSO for an amazing experience!

    Steven Miller (Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ph.D. candidate, trumpet)




    From our collaborative partner Ian Doyle

    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




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