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. 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 few 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. Philharmonia (MUPF 1168) also is open to members of the general public.

The UNC Charlotte 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 IIDie 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


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

MendelssohnMidsummer 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


“Les Toreadors”
Measure 55 to 79

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

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

WagnerDie 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


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 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. AlwynSuite 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

DonkinFrosted Pane
KabalevskySuite from The Comedians
J. StraussEmperor Waltz
Rimsky-Korsakov  Capriccio Espagnol
MozartConcerto for Flute and Harp in C Major
Danielle Dameron, flute & Tamar Rowe, harp

February 15, 2018 (Belk Auditorium, UNC Charlotte)

J. StraussEmperor Waltz
MozartConcerto for Flute and Harp in C Major
Rimsky-Korsakov  Capriccio Espagnol

December 4, 2017 (Belk Auditorium, UNC Charlotte)

HaydnSymphony No. 94 (“Surprise”)
ButterworthThe 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

VerdiLa Forza del Destino: Overture
RushenSinfonia: Adagio
Lavry Tone Poem: Al Naharot Bavel (By the Rivers of Babylon)
BushnaqGhadan (Western hemisphere premiere)
Márquez Danzón No. 2

March 15, 2017 (Belk Auditorium, UNC Charlotte)

MendelssohnSymphony 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