Arts & Culture

Introducing the Oglethorpe University Symphony Orchestra

This semester, Oglethorpe’s Music Department has added a new opportunity for instrumentalists on campus.

The woodwinds section in practice on September 6. Photo: Adams

The Oglethorpe University Symphony Orchestra launched in August, with the ensemble’s first practice.

A re-envisioning of the former OU Winds Ensemble, the group was formed by Dr. Brent Runnels and Dr. Timothy Powell as a step toward the department’s vision for a new music major, an addition to the existing minor.

“There’s never been an orchestra at Oglethorpe,” said Dr. Runnels. “But with the growth of the whole program, it just made sense to create what would be the ultimate large ensemble for all of the players.”

Currently, the ensemble is comprised of 30 students, and of those, 25 are freshmen. And with more than 150 Oglethorpe students who play a variety of instruments, the orchestra has room to grow. It is anticipated to double in size within the next four years.

The OU Symphony Orchestra joins other ensembles like the OU Singers and Chorale, the Jazzy Petrels, and student-led efforts, like the Silver Lake Waves. The music department has seen other firsts in recent years, including an invitation to perform in China and the addition of an annual choral festival.

The strings section practices on September 6. Photo: Adams

The orchestra is currently offered as a special topics class, but will be reintroduced later as part of the requirements for the potential new music major.

Rehearsals for the ensemble are held Friday afternoons, and the group will perform for the first time on November 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lupton Auditorium. You can also watch the ensemble perform at this year’s Boar’s Head on December 6.

Interested in participating? Contact Dr. Runnels or Dr. Powell.

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