About the Symphony
The University Symphony Orchestra is an ensemble comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students that performs at least 4 times during the academic year. It is open to any student at the university by audition. Non-majors are particularly welcome to join!
The UNHSO is a full symphony orchestra that plays pieces from all eras and styles of the repertoire, from Baroque masters to new compositions.The orchestra is led by Dr. David Upham. Rehearsals are held in the Paul Creative Arts Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:10-12:30. String players are highly encouraged to participate in the additional string sectionals that immediately precede the full orchestra rehearsals from 10:10-11:00.
How to Join the Symphony Orchestra
Auditions for the woodwinds, brass, and percussion are held only in the fall. String players may audition and join the ensemble at the beginning of either semester. Additional information about the audition process can be found here.
Prepare a 5-minute chair placement audition that includes…
The required excerpt for your instrument. Excerpts can be found in the Paul Creative Arts Center outside of room M203 in mid-August and will also be posted here.
If you wish, you may also present a solo or etude that best demonstrates your abilities. The piece should be 2 minutes in length (maximum) and is to be presented in addition the the required excerpts.
Wind, Brass, and Percussion
Prepare a short etude or excerpt from a solo.
Prepare both required excerpts for your instrument. Excerpts can be found in the Paul Creative Arts Center outside M203 in mid-August and will also be posted here.
Sign up for an audition time on the list posted next to the audition excerpts outside M203. You will play your symphony audition during the time posted for your instrument. You can audition for the UNH Bands at the same time.
Please contact Dr. David Upham in M212A (David.Upham@unh.edu) with any questions you may have.
2014-2015 Performance Calendar
All performances are held in the Johnson Theatre, Paul Creative Arts Center, on the UNH Durham campus.
Admission is free and open to the public.
About the Conductor
Dr. David Upham came to the University of New Hampshire from Seattle, Washington, where he was active as a conductor of professional, community, and student ensembles. He was the Music Director of the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra and the founding director of the Young Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra at the Seattle Conservatory of Music until his departure. Dr. Upham also served as the Associate Conductor of the Rainier Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Upham also regularly conducted with various professional ballet orchestras including Ballet Bellevue and Emerald Ballet Theatre, and was a featured guest conductor with the Northwest Mahler Festival. Locally he has appeared as a guest conductor with the Portsmouth (NH) Symphony Orchestra. In November of 2009, he made his international debut at the contemporary music festival, Aujourd’hui Musiques, in Perpignan, France to critical and popular acclaim.
Dr. Upham is in demand as an educator and clinician as well. He has led orchestras at festivals across the country, including programs in Massachusetts, Kansas, Iowa, Washington and New Hampshire. He serves as faculty at the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival in the Midwest, at the Summer Youth Music School at UNH, and at the Vivace Chamber Players festival in Seattle. He had a long tenure with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, serving as conductor or assistant with each of the organization’s five orchestras. He conducted at SYSO’s Marrowstone Summer Music in 2006. He will conduct the 2012 New Hampshire All-State Orchestra.
A strong supporter of music in the public schools, Dr. Upham had a successful 10-year career as a public school music educator, leading elementary, middle school, and high school orchestral programs in Kent and Bellevue, WA. In his position at Newport High School in Bellevue, WA, he developed a thriving program with 120 string students across 3 orchestras. The Newport students consistently won top awards at various orchestral and chamber music festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest.