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Department of Music

University Orchestra

The University Orchestra is open to all students in good standing with the University with prior experience at the university, college or high school level. The ensemble rehearses and performs a variety of repertoire from the standard string and full orchestral literature as well as contemporary works. The orchestra performs two to three concerts each semester and supports the opera and music theater productions as needed. Students will be challenged to prepare and perform at a very high level and have a fantastic experience regardless of your focused area of study. We hope you'll come and be a part of the music family at CNU!


The University Orchestra is open to all students in good standing with the University. All students must have prior experience at the university, college or high school level in either their school program, youth orchestra, or other organized orchestra ensemble. Auditions are not required; however, each member of the ensemble is required to play for a seating and placement assessment. The results of the assessment may result in the recommendation from the panel that the student may not be at the university level.

Students will sign up for placement times on the first day of class. Seating Placements will be held August 30, 2017, from 6 - 10 p.m., in the Ferguson Center, room A100.


Requirements for the placement assessment:

Scales and arpeggios:
Prepare one major scale and arpeggio and one minor scale and arpeggio.

Recommended scales and arpeggios:

  • Violin – G major/minor and/or A major/minor. Three octaves.
  • Viola – C major/minor and/or D major/minor. Three octaves.
  • Cello – C major/minor and/or D major/minor. Three octaves.
  • Bass – E major/minor and/or F major/minor. Two octaves.

Solo piece:
One movement from a standard concerto or sonata. An etude or other study piece is also acceptable as long as the selection is a "solo" composition for your instrument. Provide a copy of your solo to the assessment panel.


J. Lynn Thompson's successful career in music and theater includes more than 40 years as conductor, artistic leader, recording artist, performer and educator. He spent 27 seasons with Atlanta Lyric Theatre, a company he assisted in founding in 1980 where he served as music director/conductor for 27 years and as artistic director for 17 years. Thompson was honored with the title Artistic Director Emeritus in 2007.

A native of North Carolina and raised in Tennessee, Thompson came to Atlanta at the invitation of the late Robert Shaw, longtime conductor of the Atlanta Symphony and Chorus. Hired as a featured soloist for Shaw’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass in 1976, Thompson’s career blossomed under the care and tutelage of Shaw and others in the national orchestral, music theater and light opera worlds.

Students under his instruction have gone on to outstanding institutions such as The Juilliard School, Indiana School of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Oberlin, Northwestern, Florida State and the Curtis Institute. Many such as Jasmine Guy, Andres Diaz, Carmen Thomas and Joseph Wise have achieved stardom, and others boast careers as international solo artists, Metropolitan Opera performers, and as members of the New World Symphony, the Houston Symphony and the Atlanta Symphony.

Thompson attended the University of Tennessee, graduated from Georgia State University receiving his undergraduate degree in music education and master's in orchestral conducting, and has studied with Robert Shaw, Robert Ward, Donald Neuen and Samuel Jones. In 2005, Maestro Thompson conducted the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize winning composer Robert Ward’s ‘Friend of Napoleon’ with the Ohio Light Opera where he has served as music director for 27 seasons.

His own background as singer and performer has served him well; critics note his particular sensitivity and artistry on the podium and in recordings. Mr. Thompson has 18 recordings with The Ohio Light Opera on the Newport Classics and Albany labels.


Our Repertoire

Professor J. Lynn Thompson, Conductor, 2012 - Present

2015 - 16

Composer / Arranger Title
Dvořák, Antonín Czech Suite
Handel, George Frideric Concerto for Viola in C minor, Mvmt I
Handel, George Frideric Suite for Trumpet and Strings
Haydn, Franz Joseph Toy Symphony
Hovhaness, Alan Psalm and Fugue
Mendelssohn, Felix Symphony No. 9
Meyer, Richard Vanishing Pointe
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus "Non piu andrai" from The Marriage of Figaro
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus "Batti, batti o bel Masseto" from Don Giovanni
Newbold, Soon Hee Fire Dance
Vivaldi, Antonio Hornpipe

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2014 - 15

Composer / Arranger Title
Arranged The Polar Express
Beethoven, Ludwig van "Overture" from Egmont
Blair, Bradley (CNU Composition Student) Adagio
Britten, Benjamin Simple Symphony
Copland, Aaron Outdoor Overture
Elgar, Edward Elegy
Elgar, Edward Serenade
Handel, George Frideric "Overture" from Messiah
Handel, George Frideric "Comfort Ye / Every Valley" from Messiah
Holst, Gustav St. Paul's Suite
Meyer, Richard The Idylls of Pegasus
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus "Ach, ich fuhls" from The Magic Flute
Verdi, Giuseppe "Saper verreste" from The Masked Ball
Vivaldi, Antonio Concerto in G

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2013 - 14

Composer / Arranger Title
Bach, Johann Sebastian Brandenburg Concerto No. 3
Copland, Aaron Hoedown
Corelli, Arcangelo Christmas Concerto
Finzi, Gerald Prelude
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Eine Kleine Nacht Muzik
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus "Overture" from The Impressario
Pachelbel, Johann Canon and Gigue in D major
Schubert, Franz Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D.759 ("Unfinished Symphony")
Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich Nutcracker Suite
Verdi, Giuseppe "De miei bollenti spiriti" from La Traviata
Vivaldi, Antonio Guitar Concerto

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2012 - 13

Composer / Arranger Title
Bach, Johann Sebastian Overture Suite No. 3
Barber, Samuel Adagio for Strings
Bernstein, Leonard West Side Story Suite
Delius, Frederick Sleigh Ride
Greig, Edvard Holberg Suite
Holst, Gustav Brook Green Suite
Jenkins, Carl Palladio
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Flute Concerto No. 2
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Horn Concerto No. 3
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Symphony No. 40 in G minor, KV. 550
Warlock, Peter Carpriol Suite
Whitney, Maurice III. Gigue from Dance Suite for Strings

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