The Luther College Symphony Orchestra, Luther’s largest and oldest orchestral ensemble, maintains an active rehearsal and performance schedule during the academic year, from early September to late May. More than eighty student musicians, representing a variety of academic disciplines, perform with Symphony Orchestra. Many members also sing in a choir, play in a band or jazz ensemble, and form small chamber groups. Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Daniel Baldwin.
In addition to regular concerts featuring masterworks of the orchestral literature, Symphony Orchestra takes great pride in performing new music on a regular basis. Since 2001, the orchestra has been pleased to present six world premiers. The orchestra also collaborates with the Luther College choirs in biennial performances of major choral-orchestral works and in the annual Christmas at Luther festival performances.
Symphony Orchestra tours annually in the United States and every four years maintains a three-week residency in Vienna, Austria, with a final performance at the Wiener Konzerthaus. Domestic tours have included trips through the Pacific Northwest, the Great Plains States, the Southeast, and the Upper Midwest. Since 1997, the Luther Symphony Orchestra has completed fifteen major American tours.
In addition to off-campus tour performances, each year Symphony Orchestra performs a one full length fall concert, two full length spring concerts, is featured at Christmas at Luther, and is included on the Homecoming and Commencement Weekend concerts.
Symphony Orchestra rehearses Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoons in the Orchestra Room.
Auditions for Symphony Orchestra are held annually at the beginning of the academic year.
Berlioz; Harold in Italy
Bernstein; Dance Episodes, from On the Town
Brahms; Symphony No. 2
Copland; The Red Pony, Film Suite
Dvorák; Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World")
Falla; Three Dances, from The Three-Cornered Hat
Gershwin; Cuban Overture
Harbison; Remembering Gatsby (Foxtrot for Orchestra)
Hovhaness; And God Created Great Whales
Liszt; Les Préludes
Mussorgsky-Ravel; Pictures at an Exhibition
Respighi; Pines of Rome
Saint-Saëns; Symphony No. 3 ("Organ")
Sibelius; Symphony No. 1
Stravinsky; Firebird Suite (1919)
Tchaikovsky; Symphony No. 4
Vaughan Williams; Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis
Wagner; Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Walton; Henry V Suite