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The BYU Chamber Orchestra is the most select of the five orchestras in the BYU School of Music. Comprised of 47 of the top musicians from the BYU Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra is the touring orchestra that represents BYU throughout the U.S. and internationally, making it, perhaps, the most widely traveled university orchestra in the world. In addition to its local concert schedule, past tours have taken the orchestra to Austria, China, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales, and Ukraine.

Conducted by Professor Kory Katseanes, Chamber Orchestra programs feature the great classical repertoire written for small orchestra from across all musical periods. From Bach and Handel, Mozart and Haydn, and on through Dvorak and Tchaikovsky and including composers of the twentieth century such as Bartok, Stravinsky, and Copland, the vast variety of music the orchestra performs is a showcase for the refinement and energy especially suited to this compact ensemble. In May 2017, the Chamber Orchestra will tour the Philippines and, while there, perform with Broadway superstar Lea Salonga.

The premier orchestra in the School of Music, the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra is made up almost entirely of music majors, both undergraduate and graduate students. Their mission is to perform the greatest masterpieces of the symphonic literature. This 98-member ensemble performs ten to fourteen concerts each year, and tours regionally every other year, when the Chamber Orchestra is not touring. In addition to its concerts locally and regionally, the orchestra is featured in regular broadcasts on BYU-TV (BYU’s cable channel), and KBYU-TV and KBYU-FM, enabling audiences worldwide to enjoy the orchestra’s performances.

Past tours have taken the orchestra to Arizona, Nevada, California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, and British Columbia.

Kory Katseanes is the Director of Orchestras in the School of Music, and conducts the Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras.

The BYU Symphony Orchestra is the preparatory orchestra in the School of Music and is conducted by Professor Christian Smith. Each semester, the 85-member Symphony performs approximately two concerts devoted to the symphonic literature, in addition to sharing the responsibilities of collaborating with the ensemble concerts presented in the School, as well as performing regularly with musical theater productions. Although concert repertoire is selected from every era, emphasis is placed on the classical period, which provides the foundation of all symphonic playing.

Graduate students majoring in Instrumental Orchestral Conducting conduct the University Orchestra and University Strings.


Open to anyone enrolled in the University, this popular orchestra fills a great role in providing a continued orchestral experience for those students who have chosen degrees other than music, but who yearn to keep their love of music alive. The consistent popularity of this orchestra attests to the fun to be had in playing with friends and fellow student musicians in a more relaxed evening environment. The concert schedule, of one concert per semester, is geared toward the class schedules of the non–music major. This class is held on Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm.


A large string orchestra of around 60 musicians, the University String Orchestra provides any university string player the opportunity to enjoy the rich variety of music written for a string orchestra. Repertoire from all periods, with a slight emphasis on Baroque concerto grossi, is prepared in this evening class, with one concert per semester. This orchestra meets on Thursday evenings from 7-9pm.


The BYU Baroque Ensemble is an early music chamber orchestra performing on original instruments created by the Violin Making School of America. Repertoire includes great works from the baroque era as well as lesser known masterpieces by underrepresented composers. In addition to a showcase concert each semester, the ensemble frequently collaborates with the BYU choirs and solo artists.

(This course fulfills requirement 10 for string majors and may fulfill the chamber music requirement for graduate string and keyboard majors.)

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