Symphony Orchestra


The purpose of the joint Duke University Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and Duke University Wind Symphony (DUWS) ensemble is to foster a community that continues to meet, inspire, and create through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ensemble is open to any Duke student by audition. (For Spring 2021, contact: Prof. Harry Davidson or Dr. Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant directly.)  No audition is required for returning members for either ensemble. Large ensembles are facing many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we want to ensure that our community stands strong and that we are finding creative ways to engage with all members of the ensembles.

We recognize that this does not replace music making in person as part of a large ensemble, but we can address certain aspects for which we might not have sufficient time and opportunity during a regular season, such as:

1)    Performance anxiety
2)    Stage presence
3)    Part and score study
4)    Bowings and fingerings
5)    Video and audio recording analysis
6)    Preparing for rehearsal
7)    Appreciating the conductor’s perspective
8)    Preparing for auditions 

DSO and DUWS Celebrate LvB: “The 9 Symphonies: Preparation, Perspective, and Performance Practice”

In 2020, the world of music has been celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of the quintessential composer, Ludwig van Beethoven. While many concert presentations have been postponed or cancelled, we think it appropriate to incorporate a study of his 9 Symphonies into our course as these works constitute a cornerstone of the repertoire for symphonic ensembles. 

In addition to exploring and practicing examples of the 9 symphonies, each member will work on and participate in three virtual performance projects throughout the semester. 

If you are interested in joining please contact: Prof. Harry Davidson and Dr. Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant.


The Duke Symphony Orchestra, directed by Harry Davidson, numbers some 80-100 players and draws its membership almost entirely from the student body.

The Duke Symphony Orchestra, open to all members of the University community by audition, performs orchestral repertoire of the 18th through 20th centuries. Since the spring of 2004, the DSO has made memorable, annual trips to Beaufort, South Carolina, to play benefit concerts for the Duke-affiliated Keyserling Cancer Center, raising a combined total of over $250,000. The Pops Concert on the East Campus Quad is a beloved Labor Day Weekend tradition that is entirely planned and carried out by the student-run Orchestra Committee.

Each year the Symphony's programs are centered around an overall theme, which may be a specific composer and his influences, a musical genre such as opera, or a group of interrelated composers.

Visit the DSO's student-run website for more information!
Visit the DSO's Facebook page!