College Orchestra

The MCO is a full symphony orchestra that explores the exciting, dynamic repertoire for orchestra of the last two and a half centuries, from Bach and Mozart to Adams and Lutoslawski.

We welcome students from all disciplines and concentration from across campus—you do not need to be a music major to participate. Faculty and staff, community members, and professional players are also included when possible.  

The orchestra presents two concerts a year of major repertoire and is involved in special events. Over the last two decades, the orchestra has performed with professional soloists from the Metropolitan Opera, as well as the College Choir, Concerto Competition winners, in Theater Department productions, radio performances, and in festivals and symposia.

New Works

As part of its mission to promote and engage new works, the orchestra has premiered over twenty new compositions and engages in special projects. In 2018 it recorded an original film score to accompany the animated short film Estrellita, which has won numerous awards and been featured at US and international film festivals. In 2019, the ensemble performed with indie rock superstar Pete Francis (Pete Francis, Dispatch) in an arrangement of a new track from his soon-to-release album. It finished 2019 with the premiere of a piano concerto written by Jack DeBouter ’20 and featuring piano soloist Gareth Cordery ’20. We hope you will join us as our exciting journeys continue!


Sunday and Thursday, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Robison Hall, MAC 

Our first meeting will be Thursday, Sept. 16 at 7:00 p.m. in Robison Hall. Please come! There will be general information about the group and what we’re looking forward to this semester, followed by auditions. Auditions are required this fall for all new and returning members. Please see below for audition guidelines.

Health and Safety

Orchestra follows the college’s guidelines regarding procedures designed to ensure your health and wellness. These include the following:

  • Everyone must wear masks, including while playing.
  • Wind players must wear a mask while playing.
  • Some instruments will also be required to have bell covers.
  • More information about the specific types of masks and instrument covers for wind players who don’t have them is forthcoming. 

Audition Guidelines

Auditions will be in-person at MAC 221.

Music for auditions

  • Please prepare two brief contrasting excerpts from your instrument’s solo literature that demonstrate your expressive and technical capabilities. For example, this may consist of a fast, technical excerpt and a slow, expressive one. While ideally they are from different pieces, excerpts may be from the same piece—just make sure they are as contrasting as possible.
  • There may be some sight-reading, but no scales.

How to audition

  • Sign up for an audition time at the first meeting on Thursday, Sept. 16th or by contacting the orchestra President at
  • Fill out the student information sheet online prior to the day of your audition. Anyone who has not filled out the form by the time of the audition will have to re-schedule their audition to a later time. 
  • Remember to breathe! Everyone wants the best for you!

Orchestra for Course Credit

Orchestra is also a class (MUSC 0205A) that students register for during their second semester of full participation (one credit). 

Recent Repetoire

Beethoven Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral”
Berlioz Romeo and Juliette: Scene d’amour
Borodin Symphony No. 2
Chabrier Espana
Copland An Outdoor Overture
DeBouter Piano Concerto (premiere)
Dvorak Symphony No. 8
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 5, “Reformation” (revised 1830 version)
Weber Der Freischutz Overture
Wagner Siegfried Idyll


The Orchestra Committee includes the following:

About the Music Director

Conductor Evan Bennett Is Music Director of the Middlebury College Orchestra and the Northeastern University Symphony Orchestra. He trained also as a composer, oboist, and pianist, winning awards for both composition and as a solo oboist. At nineteen he began playing professionally with the Utah Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted the Juventas Ensemble, Magnitude6, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, Burlington Chamber Orchestra, Middlebury Chamber Soloists, Lowell Opera, and other ensembles at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. His passion for contemporary music has led to conducting the premieres of over 15 new works. His compositions have been premiered by the Brodsky String Quartet, Gemini, Cardinal Brass Quintet, Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra, and a broadcast over BBC Radio.

Awards include the Yehudi Menuhin Prize and a Naumburg fellowship. In addition to his musical activities, he has been a guest lecturer and panelist on music education in the US and internationally, including for the Korean government as part of its national KIGA program and at Tufts University. A former faculty member of New England Conservatory and Middlebury College, he was also Executive Director of the NEC at Walnut Hill conservatory program. He currently is a faculty member at Northeastern University where in addition to directing the orchestra he teaches chamber music, and a faculty member at the Longy School of Music at Bard College in the Composition and Theory Department. He holds degrees from Harvard, the Juilliard School, and Princeton University.