Symphony Orchestra

SSU Symphony Orchestra



The Symphony Orchestra is comprised of the finest string, wind, brass, and percussion students at Sonoma State and of musicians from the broader Sonoma County community. Under the direction of Dr. Alexander Kahn, the Symphony Orchestra performs a diverse array of orchestral literature, ranging from the Baroque period to world premieres and from classical repertoire to film, opera, and educational works. Soloists are regularly featured, including guest artists, faculty soloists and student soloists chosen through the annual concerto competition. In addition to performing 2-4 concerts each year in the beautiful confines of Weill Hall, the Symphony Orchestra performs regularly on tour throughout California and beyond. 


Membership is through audition only, and is open to all students regardless of major as well as community members. String, wind, brass, and percussion majors focusing on classical performance and/or music education are required to participate in either the Symphony Orchestra and/or the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at the discretion of the music directors every semester while in residence at SSU. You may be invited to participate in more than one ensemble. 


Auditions are held during the first week of each semester. The audition consists of prepared scales, excerpts and sight reading. Complete audition information can be found HERE


Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-6 pm in Weill Hall.


THE Sonoma State Symphony Orchestra

Proudly announces its

2018-2019 Concert Season 

(all repertoire subject to change)


Sept 29, 2018, 7:30pm
Season Opener: Collaboration concert with the Musicians of the Valley of Moon
Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Trio opus 3 (featuring Musicians of the Valley of the Moon)
Telemann, Concerto Grosso for Two Horns (Spencer Causey and JJ Mayer, soloists and 2018 Concerto Competition Winners)
Vivaldi, Concerto Grosso opus 3 No. 8 (Maria Romero and Carla Moore, soloists)
Beethoven, Symphony No. 7


Nov 17, 2018, 7:30pm
Music from the New World: “Seminario” Joint Concert with ELM, Simply Strings, and the Valley Vibes Orchestra
José Luis Elizondo, Estampas Mexicanas
Bernstein, Somewhere (arr. Jamie Bernstein)
Dvorak Symphony No. 9, “New World”
Leonard Bernstein, Mambo (arr Gareth Glyn and Andrew J. Smith)
Additional repertoire TBD
March 3, 2019, 2pm
Family concert: Picture This!
Opening work TBD: Student Composition Competition winner (world premiere)
Mussorgsky/Ravel, Pictures at Exhibition 


April 27, 2019, 7:30pm
Season Finale: Thematic Transformations
Liszt, Les Preludes
Saint-Saens, Concerto No. 1 for Cello in A Minor (Brynn Dally, soloist and 2018 Concerto Competition Winner)
Franck, Symphony in D Minor


Instruments: Instruments are available to students who pay a $20 refundable deposit at Seawolf Services.

For additional information please contact Dr. Alexander Kahn, Director of Orchestral Studies.

3rd Annual Sonoma State Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition

The next Orchestra Concerto Competition will take place on Saturday, April 7, 2019, at 7:30pm in Schroeder Hall. Judges will be Dr. Alexander Kahn (Sonoma State Symphony Orchestra) Richard Loheyde (Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra), and Jerome Fleg (Santa Rosa Junior College). The winner(s) of the competition will perform in concert with the Sonoma State Symphony Orchestra during the 2018-2019 concert season.

How To Apply to the Concerto Competition

In consultation with your private teacher, please fill out the Concerto Competition application form.. Participants should provide 1 copy of the score (orchestral score preferred; piano reduction acceptable) to Dr. Kahn along with their application form. 

Concerto Competition Rules

The competition is open to Music Majors and Minors at Sonoma State University and all registered members of Sonoma State Music Department ensembles.
Concerti can be for single soloists or multiple soloists (concerti grossi, double concertos, duets, etc). Arias, concert songs, and song cycles are all welcome provided they were originally written with orchestral accompaniment. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with Dr. Kahn for help in choosing an appropriate work before submitting an application.  
Each competition performance will be 8 to 12 minutes in length at the panel’s discretion.
Applicants should provide their own accompanist. 
Applicants may begin with a section of their choice, but must be prepared to play anything from the whole work if requested to do so by committee.
Memorization is preferred but not mandatory.
Lengthy tutti sections should be omitted.
The committee reserves the right to choose several winners or not to choose anyone.
Winner(s) must be prepared to attend rehearsals and concerts as arranged with the Sonoma State Symphony Orchestra during the 2019-2020 concert season. 

Concerto Competition Application Form

Orchestra In The News 

February 6, 2017

October 3, 2016

Inagural Concert Promotion Video

September 8, 2016

September 10, 2015

September 15, 2015

December 8, 2015

December 15, 2015