The Juniata College Orchestra
The Juniata College Orchestra performs a wide variety of string ensemble and full orchestra music, chosen to develop ensemble playing abilities and musicianship. The ensemble, directed by Benjamin Firer, consists of over 30 string musicians, all non-music majors. In recent semesters the ensemble has performed a number of standard works in the symphonic literature, both in strings-only and full-orchestra format - most recently, Beethoven Symphony No. 1, Britten's Simple Symphony, Finlandia by Jean Sibelius, the Schumann Konzertstuck, op. 86 featuring our horn section, Symphony No. 5 (mvt. 1) by Beethoven, Adagio for Strings by Barber, Egmont Overture by Beethoven, and Hoedown by Copland. Selected members from the wind and percussion sections of the JC Wind Symphony are invited to join for the full orchestra pieces. In spring 2010 the orchestra joined forces with a regional professional orchestra, the Altoona Symphony Orchestra, for a side-by-side concert in which our members performed in one or both: Copland's Outdoor Overture and Holst's The Planets!
The ensemble rehearses approximartely 100 minutes per week; the first portion dedicated to full orchestra and the remainder to strings-only. Each section has an additional 60 minute weekly sectional. Additional options exist as well, such as our Honors String Quartet (by invitation), our Cello Choir, and other quartets depending on interest.