We are looking forward to getting to know you! Here are some helpful questions and answers. If you want to audition, please fill out the form below, and we will be in touch shortly.
Q: Who can play?
A. All members of the general public and all Wheaton students (regardless of major.) In addition to adult members of the public, we also include several talented high school students from the local community.
Q. Can I play if I've never played in an orchestra?
A. Absolutely! Many woodwind, brass, and percussion players have only had the chance to play in concert or marching bands. Playing in an orchestra requires the same set of skills.
Q. How much does it cost to play?
A: Nothing! Note that Wheaton students receive 1/2 credit for every two semesters of orchestra. (You will automatically be enrolled if you are accepted.) Students from other local colleges may also receive credit.
Q: What kind of music do you play?
We play everything from classics to pops to cross-over pieces. Check out this link for descriptions of our past concerts.
Q: What instruments do you need?
Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, piano, harp, percussion, violin, viola, cello, bass. (On occasion we have the need for saxophone.)
Q: How good do I need to be?
A. We strive to maintain a balance between musical excellence and inclusivity. If you audition you will probably be accepted, since your willingness to prepare for an audition and commit to the group usually means you are accomplished enough to play. However, there are limited spots for woodwinds and brass, and in some cases not all qualified auditioners can be accepted. FYI: It's ok if you are rusty!
Q. I'm nervous. What's it like to play with the GWSO?
A. We pride ourselves on maintaining a friendly, supportive environment in rehearsals. We are a team that works together to play glorious music! (Read our Conductor's Message to get a sense of how we operate.) Wheaton's string faculty play in the GWSO and provide valuable coaching and instruction during rehearsals, so everyone will improve over the course of the semester.
Q: What do I need to do for an audition?
A: Just prepare a 3-minute excerpt of some classical piece that you have played in an ensemble or studied in a private lesson. No sight-reading or scale-playing is required. Auditions last no more than 5 minutes.
Q: When are the rehearsals and concerts?
A: Rehearsals are held Monday evenings 7-9:15 pm in Watson Fine Arts on the campus of Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts (25 minutes from Providence, 40 minutes from Boston) from September to early December, and then February to early May. We perform two concerts each year.
*Our first Fall 2019 rehearsal will be held on Monday, Sept. 9, 7-9:15 pm.*
*Our Fall 2019 Concert will be Saturday, Dec. 7 at 3 pm, with a dress rehearsal earlier that afternoon.*
Q: When are auditions?
A: Auditions for the Fall 2019 ensemble will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 4, from 1:30-3:30 and 7-9 pm at Wheaton College. Please fill out the form below and you will receive a confirmation of your time. If you cannot audition on this day, please let us know and we will schedule a different time.
WHEATON STUDENTS ONLY: Please use this link to sign up for a slot directly. But please ALSO submit this form so we can get your information.