Wooster Symphony Orchestra
A performing organization comprised of students and members of the community devoted to the study and performance of the standard orchestral repertoire from the baroque to the contemporary. Admission is by audition. Four hours per week. Four regular concerts per year. One-eighth course credit per semester. Annually. Fall and Spring.
Founded in 1915 by Daniel Parmelee, then Professor of Violin at Wooster College, the Wooster Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in continuous performance in the state of Ohio. Originally a community organization, the WSO was taken under the aegis of The College of Wooster and adopted as an important component of the Music Department's curriculum. The College realizes the important curricular opportunity of such an ensemble by supporting such a town-gown ensemble and including it in the curriculum. Enrolled students are given the opportunity to play in a large symphony orchestra (60-70 members) which performs a variety of literature, an opportunity normally not available to a student enrolled at a small liberal arts college.
As an auditioned orchestra, today's Wooster Symphony offers participating instrumentalists experience performing orchestral literature of musical genres ranging from the baroque period to the contemporary, including music by living composers. As part of the College's curriculum, the Wooster Symphony Orchestra offers its members the opportunity to improve skills requisite for fine ensemble playing: rhythmic accuracy, correct intonation, excellent tone quality, attention to balance, sight reading, and correct stylistic interpretation. In addition to these peda-gogic and interpretive skills, students are expected to pursue the performance of the ensemble's music with an understanding of the place a given work has in its historical context, including po-litical and social parallels, as well as its relation to other artistic movements.
The Wooster Symphony Orchestra's performance schedule includes three subscription concerts during the school year as well as other performances scheduled when opportunities present themselves. In addition to the full symphony orchestra, the Wooster Symphony Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble selected from the membership of the parent organization, is a 35-piece fall-semester ensemble that concentrates on the chamber orchestra literature.