Woman playing the violin during Prism concert.

Symphony Orchestra

The Houghton Symphony Orchestra (HSO) is a flexible group of 50-60 orchestral musicians, including strings, winds, and percussion. Both music and non-music majors participate in this ensemble, as well as players from the community. Student membership is open; seating assignments are made based on a rotational system, enabling advanced musicians to mentor members with less experience.

The HSO believes in going beyond being a "Sonic Museum" and regularly performs works by living composers, including repertoire from the film, pop, video game and art music genres. Houghton student and faculty composers frequently have their music performed and read in rehearsal. Most recently the orchestra has performed music by Mark Hijleh, David Davies, Mason Bates and Robert Denham. In addition, the traditional musical eras – works of Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Post-Romantic, and later 20th-century masters – are performed and studied.

The Houghton Symphony Orchestra is directed by music director and conductor Dr. Russell Scarbrough, and graduate students.

All Houghton string students in the HSO complete a short placement audition. Audition material will be posted and students will be asked to play scales and sight-read. Please arrive a few minutes early. Students will sign up for a time slot outside of the Instrumental Rehearsal Hall (IRH) in the Center for the Arts. If you have any questions regarding auditions or participation in an instrumental ensemble, please email Dr. Scarbrough.We look forward to hearing your placement hearing, meeting you, and having you participate with us this year! All Houghton students are invited to participate in HSO, regardless of major.

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