University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra

The University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra (UMSO) offers study and performance opportunities for music majors pursuing bachelor's to doctoral degrees and for non-majors. The UMSO has about 85 members. Approximately two-thirds are undergraduate and one-third are graduate students. Professor Pu-Qi Jiang, D.M.A., has been the director and principal conductor of the UMSO since 2000. The UofM Symphony Orchestra was Second Prize Winner in the American Prize Orchestral Performance Competition (College/University) 2011. The orchestra performs at least two symphonic concerts and one chamber orchestra concert on campus each semester. The UMSO's repertoire includes compositions written for full orchestra, chamber orchestra, opera and concerto performances. Recent concerts have included Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by C. M. von Weber, Mahler's symphonies, and works by Barber, Beethoven, Copland, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky and others. In addition, orchestra members perform in University Opera productions and have the opportunity to play with many professional organizations in Memphis and the Mid-South. More than 12 former and current UMSO members are contracted to play with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and many others play regularly with other orchestras in the Mid-South region. Many members of the UMSO have joined the School's orchestral concert tours to perform in European countries and China. The UMSO supports aspiring young students by premiering their compositions, accompanying winners of the annual UofM Soloists' Competition and offers significant podium time to student conductors. Most orchestral conducting major students go on to professional careers as conductors, professors, opera coaches and D.M.A. candidates. Positions in the UMSO are filled by audition at the beginning of each semester. A limited number of scholarships are available.