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Philharmonia Orchestra

Philharmonia Orchestra

The Intermediate Step

The intermediate step in the Music Education program’s continuum of performing ensembles, the Philharmonia Orchestra engages string, wind, brass, and percussion students in performing as a full orchestra under the baton of Marisa McLeod. To provide targeted training and experience with other repertoire, Philharmonia students also rehearse as a chamber strings group with Marisa McLeod and a symphonic wind band with Karen Dutton. Students in the Philharmonia Orchestra have two (2) or more years of study on a string, wind, brass, or percussion instrument.

Program Highlights

  • Weekly rehearsals led by conductor Marisa McLeod and instrument-specific sectionals led by local professional musicians.
  • Three public performances at venues throughout Santa Barbara.
  • Students and their families are provided opportunities to attend masterclasses, Santa Barbara Symphony concerts at reduced cost, and other musical community events

Participant Guidelines

  • Level: Intermediate.  Students in the Philharmonia Orchestra have two (2) or more years of study on a string, wind, brass, or percussion instrument.
  • Open to woodwind, brass, percussion, and string instrumentalists.
  • Rehearsal commitment is Sunday from 3-5pm. Students rehearse during the school year from September through May.
  • Students are expected to practice their instruments and review assigned material outside of scheduled programming.
  • COVID-19 UPDATE: Student safety is our priority and we continue to closely monitor guidelines from the Public Health Department. Fall 2021 instruction will be conducted in-person with social distancing and safety precautions in place.

2021-2022 Audition Information

Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our students, teachers, and staff during COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021-22 season auditions are moved to the online platform, Acceptd.  This platform allows students to upload their video audition, answer application questions, and apply for tuition scholarships all in one place.

Audition Requirements

  • Visit the Acceptd website to complete your application and upload your audition video.  Applications will be considered for each new rehearsal term.
  • Scales and Arpeggios:
    • Violin players prepare a 1 octave E major scale with two notes slurred, and a 2 octave D major scale with two notes slurred, and a 2 octave scale of your choice with two notes slurred.
    • Viola players prepare a 1 octave E major scale with two notes slurred, and a 2 octave G major scale with two notes slurred, and a 2 octave scale of your choice with two notes slurred.
    • Cello players prepare a 1 octave E major scale with two notes slurred, and a 2 octave G major scale with two notes slurred, and a 2 octave scale of your choice with two notes slurred.
    • Double Bass players prepare a 1 octave E major scale with two notes slurred, and two other scales of your choice with two notes slurred.
    • Woodwind and brass players prepare a 2 octave major scale and arpeggio of your choice in any key up to four flats and four sharps AND a two-octave chromatic scale if possible.
  • Audition Excerpts: download and prepare audition excerpts according to your instrument.
  • A Solo Piece, which best demonstrates both technical and musical skills on the instrument (no accompanist needed).
    • Percussionists please prepare a solo piece or excerpt on the snare drum.

2021-2022 Tuition

$300/year

As a non-profit, generous annual donations from Symphony supporters enable us to keep Tuition fees to a minimum.  Tuition applies to the 2021-22 season. Need-based Scholarships are available and information regarding these can be found on the application form. Admitted musicians will not be turned away due to finances. If tuition is a challenge, please reach out to the Education Programs Manager at 805-898-1417.

Support this program!

Would you like to join our family of donors and support this program? Annual donations at any level have a big impact. They can fund scholarships, help pay our faculty, provide instruments and more! 

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