orchestra students
The UNC Charlotte Chamber Orchestra in Montreal, Canada, March 2015.

At UNC Charlotte, we envision the act of performing in a symphony orchestra as one of public service. Under the leadership of Dr. Jonathan Andrew Govias, Director of Orchestras, UNC Charlotte symphonic ensembles have distinguished themselves as much for their excellent performances as for their service and contribution to diverse communities around the world. Some highlights of just the past three years include:

  1. Thirteen performances in ten days as part of an in-state tour (Fall 2014)
  2. Annual visits to El Sistema inspired programs in North Carolina, including Kidznotes in Durham, and Musicworks in Asheville
  3. A one-week residency in the city of Montréal, Canada (Spring 2015) in partnership with Encore! Sistema Québec. (First-ever international tour by a UNC Charlotte instrumental ensemble!)
  4. The first-ever performance of a Symphony Orchestra on the Kahnawake Mohawk Indian reserve (Spring 2015)
  5. A one week residency for select orchestra musicians in England (Fall 2015)
  6. A featured performance for select orchestra musicians at the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition in San Francisco (Summer 2016)
  7. A featured performance for select orchestra musicians at the International Society of Music Educators Conference in Glasgow, Scotland (Summer 2016)
  8. A one week residency for select orchestra musicians in Israel (Spring 2017)
  9. A featured performance for select orchestra musicians at the World Association of Arts in Education Conference in Auckland, New Zealand (Fall 2017)
  10. A 10 day visit to Vancouver, Canada as Educational Ensemble in Residence at the Kay Meek Performing Arts Centre (Spring 2018)
  11. A 10 day visit to Vancouver, Canada a sEducational Ensemble in Residence at the Kay Meek Performing Arts Centre (Spring 2019)


The Orchestra in performance, under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Govias.

Participation in all UNC Charlotte orchestras is open to all students at UNC Charlotte and members of the general public.

The UNCC Orchestra  (MUPF 1110) represents the highest-level orchestral performance group at UNC Charlotte. The primary touring ensemble of the Orchestras area, the Orchestra presents music from across the spectrum of the symphonic repertoire, and emphasizes the art and science of group musical interaction. An audition is required for enrollment.  See below for enrollment information

The Philharmonia (MUPF 1168) is a string ensemble, performing standard works from the Baroque period through the present. No audition is required to enroll. Click here for more information.

Join us!

All new and returning string majors and minors, are required to perform an audition for placement in orchestra. The audtion is graded and constitutes 10% of the final grade, regardless of the ensemble assigned.  Spring Semester 2019 Auditions will be held Thursday, January 10, 2019, from 5:30-8:00 pm in ROB 210. Registration for these auditions is online, and specific repertoire excerpts can be found below.

If you are not a string music major or minor, you are not required to audition if you meet ANY of the following criteria:

  1. you have successfully auditioned for the UNC Charlotte Chamber Orchestra in prior semesters
  2. you have auditioned successfully for the NC All-state, WRO or ERO orchestras (or out-of-state equivalents) in the past
  3. you have auditioned successfully for the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra (or equivalent) in the past

If one or more of these apply to you, please contact the Director of Orchestras for the terms and conditions of the waiver. If none of these apply to you, an informal audition is required. There is no set repertoire for these auditions and they may be scheduled directly with the Director of Orchestras. Auditions must be completed before the add/drop deadline of the Spring 2019 semester.

Online Violin Audition Registration 
Online Viola Audition Registration 
Online Cello  & Bass Registration 

Audition requirements for String majors/minors

Orchestra Audition Excerpts Spring 2019
All parts in the public domain and available through IMSLP.ORG

Instrumentalists must prepare all respective excerpts listed.

Violin (all first violin excerpt unless otherwise noted)

J. Strauss II            Die Fledermaus

Measure 1 to downbeat of Measure 40
Measure 122 to  end of Measure 141
Measure 388 to Measure 416

Bizet       Carmen

“Chanson du Toreador”
Measure 1 with pickup to end of Measure 8
Measure 12 to downbeat of Measure 17

Danse Boheme
Letter K to Letter L for Violin 1 AND Violin 2
Letter P to End for Violin 1 AND Violin 2


J. Strauss II            Die Fledermaus
Measure 122 to  end of Measure 141

 Bizet       Carmen

“Chanson du Toreador”
Measure 1 with pickup to end of Measure 8
Measure 12 to downbeat of Measure 17

Mendelssohn          Midsummer Night’s Dream
M. 17- Rehearsal letter D


J. Strauss II            Die Fledermaus
Measure 122 to  end of Measure 141

 Bizet       Carmen

“Chanson du Toreador”
Measure 1 with pickup to end of Measure 8
Measure 12 to downbeat of Measure 17

Mendelssohn          Midsummer Night’s Dream
Rehearsal Letter C to D, N to O


Bizet       Carmen
“Les Toreadors”
Measure 55 to 79

Strauss    Don Juan
Opening to 5th bar
Rehearsal Letter  A to 6 measure before Rehearsal Letter D.

Beethoven              Symphony No. 9
Recitatives and Ode (Pickup to measure 9, to measure 90, measure 92 to third beat D of measure 115.

Wagner                  Die Meistersinger

Special Initiatives

Assistant Conductors Program

Initiated in Fall 2015, the Assistant Conductors program gives undergraduate students who have completed the advanced conducting sequence with excellence the opportunity to serve as an Assistant Conductor of the orchestras. Assistant conductors perform at least once in public with an orchestra during the semester while receiving private mentoring and instruction from the Director of Orchestras. Unique nationally at the undergraduate level, the Assistant Conductors program at UNC Charlotte reflects the Orchestra area’s mandate to promote student leadership and development at all levels of study.

For the 2015-2016 year, the Assistant Conductors were Faith Foster and Dawn Carpenter.

For the 2017-2018 year, the Assistant Conductor was Benjamin Shafer.

For the 2018-2019 year, the Assistant Conductor is T.J. Zuber.

Carolinas Orchestral Conducting Academy

Founded by Dr. Jonathan Govias, the Academy is an intensive conducting workshop, with all instruction taking place in front of a live orchestra. It is intended for established conductors to refine their conducting and rehearsal techniques, and develop their ensemble leadership under the instruction of world-class conductors. For Spring 2017, Maestro Christopher Warren Green served as Distinguished Guest Faculty.  Up to 10 active participants are normally accepted for the workshop, with a limited number of auditors/observers. The next iteration of the Carolinas Orchestral Conducting Academy will be announced soon.

Click HERE to view information about the Carolinas Orchestra Conducting Academy of Spring 2019


For more information about any activities of the Orchestra area at UNC Charlotte, please contact:

Dr. Jonathan Govias, Asst. Professor
Director of Orchestras
Twitter: @jonathangovias

Selected Past Programs

April 27, 2017 (Belk Auditorium, UNC Charlotte)

November 8, 2018 (Booth Playhouse, Blumenthal Performing Arts Centre)

“Prayer for Peace”
E. Farrar                 Heroic Elegy
L. Foss                   Elegy for Anne Frank, Dawn Carpenter, piano
G. Butterworth       The Bank of Green Willow
L. Boulanger          D’un soir triste
E. MacMillan         Notre Seigneur en Pauvre
S. Farber                Bestemming, Cicely Parnas, cello & Jay Morong, narrator

October 4, 2018 (Belk Auditorium, UNC Charlotte)

F. Mendelssohn      Overture: Hebrides
G. Verdi                 Dances from Macbeth: No. 2 (T.J. Zuber, conductor)
N. Gade                  Echoes of Ossian, Op. 1
W. Alwyn              Suite of Scottish Dances

April 27, 2018 (Belk Auditorium, UNC Charlotte)

Symphony of Diversity 2.018

E. Bernstein           Overture: Magnificent Seven
C. Schumann         Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 7

                              Sara Davis Buechner, Piano

Moncayo                Huapango
Donkin                   Frosted Pane
Sung                      Chorale from Partita for Orchestra
Copland                 Hoe-down from Rodeo

March 3-13, 2018 (Kay Meek Centre, Vancouver Canada)

Repertoire included

Donkin                   Frosted Pane
Bushnaq                Ghadan
Kabalevsky            Suite from The Comedians
J. Strauss               Emperor Waltz
Rimsky-Korsakov  Capriccio Espagnol
Mozart                   Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major
                                             Danielle Dameron, flute & Tamar Rowe, harp

February 15, 2018 (Belk Auditorium, UNC Charlotte)

J. Strauss               Emperor Waltz
Mozart                   Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major
Rimsky-Korsakov  Capriccio Espagnol

December 4, 2017 (Belk Auditorium, UNC Charlotte)

Haydn                    Symphony No. 94 (“Surprise”)
Butterworth            The Banks of Green Willow
Vaughan Williams  English Folk Song Suite

October 6, 2017 (Belk Auditorium, UNC Charlotte)

Schubert                Symphony No. 8 (“Unfinished”)
Debussy                 Children’s Corner (Coin des Enfants, arr. Caplet)

April 27, 2017 (Belk Auditorium, UNC Charlotte)

Symphony of Diversity

Verdi                       La Forza del Destino: Overture
Rushen                  Sinfonia: Adagio
Lavry                     Tone Poem: Al Naharot Bavel (By the Rivers of Babylon)
Bushnaq                Ghadan (Western hemisphere premiere)
Márquez                Danzón No. 2

March 15, 2017 (Belk Auditorium, UNC Charlotte)

Mendelssohn         Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 (“Scottish”)

January 27, 2017 (Belk Auditorium, UNC Charlotte)

Mozart                   Horn Concerto No. 2 in E flat
Puccini                   “Signor ascolta” from Turandot
Herbert                  “Art is calling to me”
Svendsen               Romance Op. 26 for Solo Violin and Orchestra


An initiative of the Carolinas Orchestral Leadership Academy at UNC Charlotte, the Philharmonia is a string repertory orchestra. Open to all members of the public, age 14 and up, the ensemble provides a positive and supportive environment for string players wishing to continue their involvement in music in a fun and low-pressure setting. Students from public, private, and home schools are especially welcome.

The Philharmonia is offered in multi-week sessions in both Fall and Spring semesters.  Participatns may register for one or both sessions.

WHEN AND WHERE:  Philharmonia meets Thursday, from 7:00pm - 9:15pm in Robnson Hall, Room 210

AUDITIONS: Auditions are not required for Philharmonia. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

ELIGIBILITY: Applicants must be age 14 or above as of the date of the first rehearsal (January 17, 2019) in order to participate. There is no upper age limit.

Spring 2019:
Rehearsals every Thursday, January 17 through February 28 and March 14 - March 21. (There is no rehearsal on March 6.) A final dress rehearsal will take place on Thursday, March 21 , followed by a concert at 7:30 pm in Rowe Recital Hall.

TUITION: Tuition is $100 per semester for participants not currently enrolled at UNC Charlotte. Participants registering for both semesters by September 5 will pay a reduced rate of $180. Tuition includes all costs of participation, including music fees, clinics, and parking vouchers. Only one set of parking vouchers per address will be issued. Parking vouchers will be distributed at each rehearsal.

Tuition fees are not refundable after the second rehearsal of each semester.  For students enrolling for both semesters, tuition fees will not be refunded after the second rehearsal of the first semester.