The Great Woods Symphony is the college-community orchestra based at Wheaton College. The orchestra is comprised of about 60 members, which include Wheaton students, staff, and faculty as well members of the general public. Talented high school students are also welcome to join.
Check out the feature article on the GWSO from the Attleboro Sun-Chronicle!
***New members are welcome for the spring 2017 semester.*** The orchestra has openings for all strings, 1 oboe, 1 bassoon, 1 trumpet, and 1 trombone. No orchestral experience is necessary. Membership is free. Wheaton students can receive credit. Rehearsals are held Mondays, 7-9:15 pm, beginning January 30.
The spring concert will feature Dvorak's "New World" Symphony and a collaboration with the world-renowned trombonist Achilles Liarmakopoulos, a member of the famed Canadian Brass.
Auditions will be held the week of Jan. 23. Email the music director at email@example.com to schedule an audition or to get more information.
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In April of 2016, the orchestra collaborated with the Smith College Orchestra on a performance of Gustav Holst's THE PLANETS. The combined orchestra comprised over 100 instrumentalists, plus the 40-member Smith College Chorale. In December 2016, the orchestra presented Beethoven's iconic Symphony no. 5 in c minor, paired with Entr'acte (2014) by Caroline Shaw, the youngest-ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Junior Kristina Danga - a winner of the previous year''s Concert-Aria Competition - performed the "Canzonetta" from Tchaikovsky's violin concerto. Our Spring 2015 repertoire included Bizet's suites from the opera "L'Arlesienne", whose finale is the famous "Farandole." These pieces were performed along with world-premiere screenings of original films by Wheaton students. For this concert, we collaborated with Providence's Community MusicWorks on this concert, which also include a performance of composer and "hip-hop violinist" Daniel Bernard Roumain's piece "Rosa Parks Symphony." In December 2014, the orchestra performed Beethoven's energetic Symphony no. 8 and Verdi's dramatic overture to his opera "La Forza del Destino." In May of 2014, the orchestra presented the overture and suite from Mendelssohn's "Midsummernight's Dream" , as well as the world premiere of Wheaton music major Montana Rogers' piece "Reminisced." well as In December of 2013, the orchestra performed a concert of music inspired by mythical creatures, which included music from the "Harry Potter" films, as well as the world premiere of Mary Louise Spang's piece "The Selfish Giant". In April 2013,the GWCO collaborated with the Wheaton Chorale in a performance of Haydn's glorious "St. Theresa Mass", and opened the concert with a suite of music from Bizet's opera "Carmen". In December of 2012, the GWCO presented a concert of music inspired by Spain, featuring Bizet's "Carmen" Suite" and Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez", featuring the acclaimed classical guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan. In May of 2012, the orchestra was joined by Boston Symphony Orchestra violinist Victor Romanul in a performance of Beethoven's Violin Concerto. The spring concert also featured the 10-member GWCO cello section in a performance of David Popper's Requiem. A month earlier, the orchestra presented "Black Ink: Music by African-American Composers", which featured esteemed composer Alvin Singleton and a concerto by Joseph Boulogne, a Caribbean composer who was a contemporary of Mozart. The orchestra's concert in November of 2011 was geared especially toward children, and included a performance of Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals" as well as music by Beethoven, Handel, and a ragtime piece by James Reese Europe. In May 2011, the orchestra performed Schubert's Symphony No 3, Vivaldi's double cello concerto in G minor, and Act 1 of Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro". The featured soloists in this concert were all current Wheaton students. Taking advantage of the richness and diversity of the Wheaton community, the orchestra prides itself on its trail-blazing programming. In December 2010 the orchestra also presented an entire concert of music by Latin American composers that drew heavily upon the vibrant folk and pop traditions of Central and South America. In March 2011, the GWCO collaborated with the internationally-known turntablist, digital music artist, and composer DJ Spooky in a unique multimedia concert that bridged the gaps between classical music, hip-hop, and techno. In May of 2011, the orchestra collaborated with student singer-songwriters Lillian Jones and Lizzie Camlin-Irving in a performance of original songs with orchestral accompaniment. MEMBERSHIP and BASIC INFORMATION Membership in the Great Woods Symphony Orchestra is open to string, woodwinds, brass, and percussion players. Students may elect to receive 0.5 credits for 2 semesters of involvement in the group. Members of the community - including outstanding high school students - are also welcome to play. There is no membership fee. Auditions are held in September and January. The group rehearses on Monday evenings, 7-9:15 pm, with occasional sectionals for Wheaton students. For more information, contact Music Director Delvyn Case.