ENSEMBLE – ongoing ♦ East Bay ♦
Oakland Community Orchestra
The Oakland Community Orchestra started when a handful of people, playing an odd assortment of instruments, began playing together in a music program offered by the City of Oakland Parks and Recreation Department in the early 1960’s.
As one of the Bay Area’s only volunteer, daytime orchestras, the Oakland Community Orchestra provides the opportunity for seniors and others to fulfill their passion for music without having to drive at night. Our musicians, now grown to more that fifty in number, vary in age and experience, but our love of orchestral music is what brings us together.
The orchestra is currently under the direction of Music Director and Conductor Sue Crum. For 50 years, from 1964 until 2014, the Oakland Community Orchestra was led by Music Director Gil Gleason. Mr. Gleason was instrumental in growing the Oakland Community Orchestra into a full symphonic orchestra.
With continued sponsorship by the City of Oakland Parks and Recreation Department, the Oakland Community Orchestra performs free concerts for elementary school students in the Oakland Public Schools and seniors at the City of Oakland Senior Centers.
Audition required? No
TO FIND OUT MORE: Oakland Community Orchestra
ENSEMBLE – ongoing ♦ SF ♦
Golden Gate Symphony Orchestra
Founded by conductor and educator, Urs Leonhardt Steiner, the Golden Gate Symphony Orchestra & Chorus has provided more than 20 years of quality musical performances and dynamic music education programs to communities in the Bay Area and abroad. Maestro Steiner created the organization to provide access to classical music at the community level by encouraging amateur and professional singers, musicians and composers to collaborate closely and build community through performing live classical music. The GGSOC achieves this through programming innovative orchestral and choral works, and performing a wide range of repertoire from the great classics to premieres of works by local composers.
The orchestra is comprised of 40-50 amateur and professional musicians who rehearse weekly in San Francisco, and perform several concerts from fall through early summer. We are fortunate also to have our own 50-member chorus which rehearses and performs regularly with the orchestra. The GGSOC always welcomes new musicians, and string players especially are encouraged to join. Interested musicians should contact our administrator to arrange an informal audition with the Music Director.
Audition required? Yes
Age Restriction? None
TO FIND OUT MORE: Golden Gate Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
ENSEMBLE ♦ SF
SAN FRANCISCO CIVIC SYMPHONY
The Civic Symphony Association of San Francisco consists of several performance ensembles, which have different schedules and have different instrumental needs.
Depending on your skill level, instrument, and interest in repertoire, we have several groups that may be a good fit. If you fill out the form linked below, we will work with you to find the group that best matches what you’re looking for and has available room.
TO FIND OUT MORE: sfcivicsymphony.org/join-us/
ENSEMBLE ♦ EAST BAY
OAKLAND CIVIC ORCHESTRA
A thriving community orchestra, OCO brings together musicians of all ages and backgrounds from throughout the Bay Area, to share in the joy and magic of music-making. The orchestra maintains a roster of 50 – 65 players who perform high quality, free, and accessible afternoon concerts in the beautiful lakeside setting of Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland. Our programming ranges from presenting beloved symphonic repertoire to showcasing emerging and established talents of local performers and composers.
New members are always welcome in the string section; interested string players should call or email for more information prior to attending rehearsal. Winds, Brass and Percussion are accepted by audition as vacancies occur. Interested players are encouraged to contact the Director to learn about vacancies and arrange an informal audition.
TO FIND OUT MORE: OUR WEBSITE
ENSEMBLE (NO AUDITION) ♦ EAST BAY
THE REALLY TERRIBLE STRING ORCHESTRA
Location: St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley
(near the Claremont Hotel)
Rehearsals the last Sunday of every month year round
Time: 6:30 – 9pm
Suggested Tax Deductible Donation – $20, no one turned away!
Bring a stand and your sense of humor – oh, and a string instrument!
Age restriction: This is for adult amateurs. However, if your child wants to play, they’re welcome!
TO FIND OUT MORE: www.rtso-sfbay.org
READING ♦ BAY AREA – VARIOUS
Part performance, part open rehearsal, they’re open to all musicians and all audiences. Awesöme Orchestra plays everything from Stravinsky to Star Wars, in fun spaces all over the Bay.
Awesöme Orchestra Collective brings together Bay Area music-lovers for orchestral adventures. We hold drop-in reading sessions that are open to all musicians, and free for everybody. JOIN THE PLAYERS LIST to receive info on all events.
Almost anyone can enjoy the unique collective energy of an orchestra. Yet the experience of attending a typical symphony concerts feels unreachable for many people. Whether it’s the price, the formality, or the repertoire, there are many barriers to entry for audiences. Our free, open sessions aim to remove as many of those barriers as possible. They are free, fun, relaxed, and diversely programmed.
It can also be difficult for musicians to have an opportunity to play in an orchestra. There are many local musicians who want to join an orchestra, but lack the time for a regular rehearsal commitment, or feel too intimidated to audition for even a community orchestra. Our open sessions create a welcoming environment for all musicians.
We strive for accessibility, community, and excellence in all that we do. We believe music sounds better when everybody is having a good time.
TO FIND OUT MORE: www.awesomeorchestra.org
ENSEMBLE – ongoing ♦ South Bay
Open Auditions: Year round, contact music director
The New Millennium Chamber Orchestra emerged as the shared vision of many accomplished musicians in the Mid-Peninsula area who wanted the opportunity to share their talents playing exciting music in a chamber orchestra environment.
Our vision is to provide a venue for local musicians to perform a broad range of repertoire, to empower our musicians to help plan and shape our programs, to give local composers the opportunity to have their works performed by a highly-skilled ensemble, and to engage and educate young musicians on the Peninsula
History: The New Millennium Chamber Orchestra was founded in February of 2012 by a small group of accomplished musicians in the mid-Peninsula area who wanted to share their talents playing exciting, entertaining music in a chamber orchestra environment. We’re a diverse group of all ages – busy professionals, teachers, students, retired persons – all with a love of playing great orchestral music together for Peninsula audiences
Music Director and Conductor: James Richard Frieman
Audition required? Yes
Age Restriction? None
TO FIND OUT MORE: New Millennium Chamber Orchestra
CLASSES ♦ SF
ORCHESTRA MUSIC at Community Music Center
Community Music Center provides several opportunities to play in an orchestra!
Join a Pickup String Orchestra at Community Music Center’s 95th Birthday Party!
Community Music Center is celebrating 95 years of music for everyone, and their founder, Gertrude Field, on Field Day! The afternoon will consist of a five-hour performathon, lesson and class demos, and an instrument petting zoo.
Field Day activities: Sunday, November 20 from noon-5pm
Field Day orchestra performance: noon (arrive by 11:30am)
The orchestra will play J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. Download the music at the link below. Come join us!
Admission is free.
TO FIND OUT MORE: http://sfcmc.org/join-field-day-orchestra-choir/
String Orchestra Workshops at Community Music Center
String Orchestra Workshop I is a beginning orchestra class for string students to develop ensemble playing, good intonation, rhythmic skills and bowing techniques. This class is a great introduction to ensemble playing and is particularly helpful for students with little or no ensemble experience.
String Orchestra Workshop II is for string players interested in developing the skills to play in a full orchestra setting or in intermediate to advanced chamber ensembles. This class is a great introduction to ensemble playing and is particularly helpful for students with little or no ensemble experience.
These groups meet off-site. Please register at CMC’s Richmond District Branch.
TO FIND OUT MORE: http://sfcmc.org/classes/ensembles/#bstorch
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