University Symphony Orchestra
Successor to the University Philharmonic Society, the University Symphony Orchestra (USO) was established in 1945 as a student orchestra which presented at least two major concerts a year.
Currently, the University Symphony Orchestra is the Music Department's symphony orchestra. Although membership is mandatory for music performance students, students from other faculties in the University and members of Edmonton's musical community also play in the USO. Entry and the player's place in the orchestra seating are determined through audition. The Academy Strings Orchestra comprises the string section of the USO, the Orchestral Winds and Percussion Ensemble comprises the wind and percussion sections of the Orchestra.
The University Symphony Orchestra gives up to three concerts a year and often participates in choral and operatic presentations. The repertoire performed ranges from the Classical period to present day. Although most concerts are held in the University's Convocation Hall, the USO also performs in the Winspear Centre for Music. In February 2002, the University Symphony Orchestra collaborated with the Department of Music's Opera Program to present Mozart's opera The Magic Flute. This was an extraordinary success and the two groups collaborated again, presenting Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and Menotti's Old Maid and the Thief in 2005 and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro in 2006.
The USO's mandate is to prepare the music students thoroughly for professional symphony orchestra life, by providing study and performance of the main symphony repertoire and preparation for the professional audition process through judicious choice of repertoire and individual and sectional excerpt coaching. Members also receive training in orchestral etiquette.
The first conductor of the USO was G.T. Lindskoog. Other conductors include Arthur Crighton, Normal Nelson, Malcolm Forsyth, and Tanya Prochazka.