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About Us

Texas State University offers a rigorous and comprehensive orchestral training program under the leadership of Dr Carolyn Watson. Orchestral ensembles include two full symphony orchestras and a chamber orchestra, all performing a diversity of literature comprising major works of the symphonic canon, concerti, chamber repertoire, new music, world music, popular music and music for film.

Texas State Symphony Orchestra

The Texas State Symphony Orchestra (TSSO) is the flagship ensemble of the orchestral program. The TSSO presents 4-6 major concert performances each year, is the resident orchestra for annual opera productions and frequently collaborates with the Texas State choirs. In addition to works presented for performance, the orchestra reads and rehearses numerous other works in regular reading sessions. Runners-up in the School of Music Concerto Competition are offered the opportunity to workshop their piece with the orchestra and winners perform in concert with the orchestra. The TSSO also works with internationally renowned visiting guest artists and faculty soloists, and works with the Composition Department to showcase the works of student composers.

The Texas State Symphony Orchestra is open by audition to all Texas State students however it is composed primarily of music majors. Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester (in late August and mid-January) for both entrance and seating. The Texas State Symphony Orchestra has performed by invitation at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention and the American String Teachers Convention. The symphony orchestra has toured Europe, performing in Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland and has been invited to perform at the White House Christmas celebration. In recent years, the orchestra has performed under the batons of guest conductors Rob Kapilow, Lukas Foss, Peter Bay and Nicholas Carthy.

The orchestra rehearses on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2:00 to 3:50pm and is a one credit hour course.

Texas State Chamber Orchestra

The Texas State Chamber Orchestra (TSCO) is a specialized, classical sized ensemble drawn from the symphony orchestra and typically presents 2-4 concerts annually. In May 2017 the TSCO will tour Central Europe giving concert performances in Budapest, Prague and Vienna.
Entry to the TSCO is by audition, and membership tends to be made up of music majors. Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester (in late August and mid-January) for both entrance and seating.

Texas State University Orchestra

The Texas State University Orchestra (TSUO) is a newly established ensemble open to all members of the Texas State community—faculty, staff, music majors, non-majors, alumni and members of the local community. The TSUO typically presents 2-3 performances annually on campus and at venues in the local San Marcos community.

There is no audition requirement or pre-requisite to play with this ensemble, but all members are encouraged and welcome to audition for private study from School of Music studio faculty on a space-available basis.

The University Orchestra rehearses weekly on Tuesday evenings from 8.00-10.00pm. The TSUO is an all-volunteer ensemble and is there is no course credit associated with this ensemble. There is also no cost to join and play with the group. Please email here to register your interest and for more information.