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Colgate University Orchestra

Marietta Cheng, Conductor

The Colgate University Orchestra is unique. Composed of students and professionals, it is based on an educational model of the teacher and the student sitting next to each other. Each semester we perform two concerts with the same symphonic repertoire as professional orchestras.

The Triumph of Shostakovitch's Fifth Symphony

February 24, 2014


We perform a repertoire of terrific music. A few examples include:
  • Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 in F Minor
  • Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
  • Copland Appalachian Spring
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C Minor
  • Brahms Symphony No. 4 in E Minor
For live and archived concert videos of the Colgate University Orchestra, go to:

Marietta Cheng, Conductor

Praised as a vibrant and compelling conductor who is a born communicator, Marietta Cheng is Professor of Music and Conductor of the Colgate University Orchestra. She has been a Colgate Presidential Scholar, AAUP Professor of the Year and recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award given by the Colgate Alumni Board. Marietta Cheng is Conductor Laureate of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, a widely acclaimed professional orchestra in the southern tier of New York State. READ MORE

Participation and Credit

We rehearse Wednesdays from 7:00-9:30 p.m. and also intermittent Monday evening sectionals just for strings. Most of the students in the orchestra are not music majors; they simply love playing. You can, however, receive course credit and a grade for orchestra. This may be done twice, and two full semesters are required for one credit. Normally, in January, you register for a full course credit.

When first-years arrive on campus there is an orchestra informational meeting for musicians in the Dana Arts Center, Room 122. Auditions, usually on Labor Day, are informal. Come prepared with five minutes of any solo work, and then there will be two minutes of sight-reading.

Audio Samples Recorded Live in Concert

For live and archived concert videos of the Colgate University Orchestra, go to:

Student Testimonials

"Playing in the Colgate University Orchestra is definitely one of the highlights of our undergraduate experience. There is simply nothing that parallels playing major works alongside professional musicians, especially with the incredible sound and precision that we are able to produce as a group. Rehearsals are a chance to relax and enjoy playing after classes, and an opportunity to meet fellow students who share your passion for music. We strongly encourage you to be part of this amazing experience!"

"I feel lucky to be a part of the orchestra. There are many great opportunities that one wouldn't think a small school like this would offer."

"I am very lucky to play in such a professional organization. We are exposed to so many great pieces!"

"Orchestra presents a good opportunity to work with and learn from professional musicians."

"It's a great learning experience to play in an orchestra amongst professionals and it's also exciting to feel like you've really contributed."

Dvorak Noonday Witch, Live in Concert

April 14, 2013