The Minnesota State University Moorhead Symphony
Orchestra (University Symphony Orchestra) consists of Minnesota State
University Moorhead and North Dakota State University students as well as
Fargo-Moorhead community members dedicated to learning string and symphonic
music from the 18th century to the present by composers of varied nationalities
and both genders. The orchestra presents at least four concerts annually,
including collaborations with professional soloists, university choral
ensembles, and the winner(s) of the annual Student Concerto/Aria Competition.
We invite all university students who play an orchestral
instrument, regardless of major, to audition. We also invite qualified Post Secondary Option students, F-M
community members, and collegiate faculty and staff to join us. Past orchestra
students have majored in a variety of subjects including music, elementary
education, psychology, computer science, engineering, biology, foreign
languages, art, nursing, and many other disciplines.
The most advanced members of the University Symphony
Orchestra are encouraged to audition for openings in the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, the region's paying
professional orchestra. Students are excused from their university orchestra
rehearsals during Fargo-Moorhead Symphony weeks.
Rehearsals are held on Tuesdays from 7:00-9:30 p.m. and
Thursdays from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the MSUM Roland Dille Center for the Arts, Room
0100. After 4:30 p.m., parking near the building is free (in Lot
In order to maintain a performance level appropriate for
a university ensemble, members of the University Symphony Orchestra must
possess sufficient musical independence and instrumental technique to perform
standard orchestral repertoire. All members are encouraged to enroll
in private lessons on their instrument, especially those who have less
experience on their instrument.
Individuals interested in joining the University
Symphony Orchestra should contact the Dr. Yi-Ping Chen-Beyers at
The USO is open to all students, you do NOT have to be a
music major to join!
Near the beginning of each semester, university string
players play an audition for seating placement.
The audition may include two
prepared piece that is contrasting in style (one lyrical and one technical) and
Musical considerations such as tone, intonation,
rhythm, and technical facility determine the seating. The Music Director will
consider previous musical experiences. Community members do not need to
audition for chair placement. The Music Director names a principal player in
each section. Principal players sit first chair and have additional leadership
responsibilities (bowings, fingerings, leading sectionals, etc.).
Wind players and percussionists join the orchestra based
upon the recommendation of their respective studio instructor and an audition.
After this process, any remaining openings will be made available to other
university students not currently in studio, interested community members, or
A Concerto/Aria Solo Competition is held near the end of
the fall semester to identify the finest student soloist(s) and to provide the
opportunity of performing with the orchestra on a spring semester concert.
The competition is open to all MSUM and NDSU junior,
senior, and graduate music majors (including double majors) currently in
studio. Students who have already won may not compete again. Concerto/Aria Solo
Competition Audition Application Forms will be available in the music office by
mid-September. Due dates are strictly enforced.
Adjudicators will rank the auditions on the basis of
high performance standards, without regard for instrument or voice. Multiple
winners may be named. Likewise, if none of the auditions meets a national
standard, the competition may end without a winner.