The University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra (UMSO) offers study and performance opportunity
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 U of M Symphony Orchestra was Second Prize Winner
in the American Prize Orchestral Performance Competition (College/University) 2011.
Maestro Pu-Qi Jiang conducts the UMSO with the University Singers in
the Mahler Symphony #2 in 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 twelve 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 U of M 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. For more information, please contact
the conductor, Dr. Pu-Qi Jiang by email or at 901-678-3775.