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.
Recent tours include:
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
2018 Toronto, Canada
Our upcoming tour to Toronto, Canada
information will be posted soon!
Reflections From Tours
Argentina Tour 2017
Colin Barber, '17
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.
Ireland Tour 2015
Ian Doyle, Irish Folk singer and collaborative partner
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