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 programs 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.

Students will sign up for placement assessment times on the first day of class and will play on the second day of class.

Requirements for the placement assessment:

  • Scales / Arpeggios and a solo piece
  • Scales and Arpeggios. At least two scales / arpeggios (major or minor), two octave minimum

Suggested scales/arpeggios and ranges:

  • Violin – G major/minor and A major/minor. Three octaves
  • Viola – C major/minor and D major/minor. Three octaves
  • Cello – C major/minor and D major/minor. Three octaves
  • Bass – E major/minor and 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 35 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.

His own background as singer and performer has served him well; critics note his particular sensitivity and artistry on the podium and in recordings, labeling him “the singer’s conductor.”

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