The Kennesaw State University orchestra program was founded in 2004 with the establishment of the KSU Symphony Orchestra and expanded in 2010 to include the newly formed KSU Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Symphony—comprising over 70 KSU students—is committed to artistic and technical excellence in the performance of music from the symphonic canon, as well as contemporary compositions and pops literature. Recent repertoire highlights include Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, Brahms’s Symphony No. 2, Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2, Saint-Saëns’s Symphony No. 3 “Organ”, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite, and Musorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, orchestrated by Ravel. The Symphony also regularly engages in collaborative performances with guest and faculty performers, guest and faculty composers, the KSU choirs, the KSU Opera Theater, and the KSU Department of Dance.

orchestal studies student performing

Notable guest artists who have performed or led masterclasses with students in the KSU Symphony include violinists Midori, Augustin Hadelich, Andrés Cárdenes, David Perry, and David Coucheron, cellist Zuill Bailey, MacArthur Fellow and pianist Jeremy Denk, tubist Alan Baer, conductors Robert Spano, David Becker, and Ovidiu Balan, and composers Chen Yi, Kamran Ince, and James M. Stephenson. The KSU Symphony has been invited to perform at the Georgia Music Educators Association’s In-Service Conference in 2009, 2019, and again in 2021. In 2010 the Symphony hosted and performed at the College Orchestra Directors Association National Conference and in January 2011, the Symphony completed a three-concert tour of Beijing and Xian, China.

The KSU Philharmonic is a string orchestra that provides KSU students—both non-music majors and music majors performing on a secondary instrument—the opportunity to advance their instrumental technique and musicianship, explore improvisation, and cultivate problem-solving and teamwork skills. The Philharmonic presents multiple concerts each semester encompassing a wide range of musical genres and styles, from the Baroque to bossa nova. The orchestra frequently collaborates in performance with KSU faculty artists, the KSU University Band, the KSU Percussion Ensemble, and KSU student chamber ensembles.

orchestral studies



  • nathaniel parker

    Associate Professor of Music
    (470) 578-7692
    WB 111B

  • nancy conley

    Associate Professor of Music Education
    (470) 578-6391
    MU 110C



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