• About Us

    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.

    How To Join

    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.

  • Syllabus

    Nuts and bolts including rehearsal schedule

    Music 3621 Cornell Symphony Orchestra

    Music 3621 Cornell Symphony Orchestra [revised August 26, 2017]

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

    Chris Younghoon Kim cyk8@cornell.edu

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

    Assistant conductor/Guest composer: Barry Sharp bss227@cornell.edu

    Orchestra TA : Daniel Hawkins daniel.h.hawkins@gmail.com

    Orchestra Librarian: Emma Billmeyer ebillmyer@gmail.com



    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.



    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. No absences will be allowed during concert week.


    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. You can also sign up to help with setup crew for our regular rehearsals, dress rehearsals and performances.



    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.


    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.

    Also each Sunday evening upcoming week’s schedule will be emailed out on the cso-l@cornell.edu listserv.


    To be included on the Orchestra listserv please contact Chris Kim cyk8@cornell.edu


    Cornell Symphony Orchestra Fall 2017 Rehearsal schedule (as of August 26, 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/Ellington 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


    Concert Period #3

    Mon 11/27 1 5:00 - 6:30 Vivaldi Gloria Sage Chapel w/ Chorale & Spinelli

    Wed 11/29 2 4:45 - 6:45 Vivaldi Gloria B20 Lincoln Hall soloists & Spinelli

    Fri 12/1 Dress reh 5:45 - 6:30 Vivaldi Gloria Sage Chapel w/ Chorale & Spinelli

    Fri 12/1 Performance 8 pm Vivaldi Gloria Sage Chapel w/ Chorale & Spinelli