The Strings division at the University of Central Oklahoma has an international faculty of high esteem. With performance opportunities ranging from historical through classical and jazz, students have many unique opportunities in their string studies at UCO. Throughout the year, various events are offered inviting students to campus, including Instructional Clinics, Master classes, and opportunities for those who wish to pursue music to visit ensembles and classes. A string camp for students of all ages is also offered every summer.
The Orchestra Division of the UCO School of Music consists of the UCO Symphony Orchestra, the UCO Chamber Orchestra, and several other student chamber ensembles. The division offers the student a wide range of pedagogical, orchestral and chamber music experiences. With a rich heritage of symphonic literature as a basis for repertoire selection, the group fosters opportunities for participants to expand their technical, intellectual, and musical skills.
The UCO Symphony Orchestra performs twice a semester, with repertoire ranging from symphonic classics to new music. Comprised on national and international students from around the globe, the group also hosts a yearly concerto competition where the winner performs with the orchestra in the historic Mitchell Hall Auditorium. The UCO Symphony frequently hosts guest artists, including Grammy-Award Winner Sandi Patty in 2015, Lebanese violinist and composer Claude Chalhoub in 2013, and Broadway vocalist Franc D'Ambrosio in 2012. In addition, the orchestra frequently collaborates with Valery Kuleshov, world renowned pianist and Artist-In-Residence at the UCO School of Music.
The UCO Chamber Orchestra is an elite performing group made up of the finest string players from the UCO Symphony and the UCO string faculty. They perform challenging and diverse repertoire in a setting that allows for collaboration, with students frequently performing alongside faculty. In addition to performances in the Radke Fine Arts Theatre and Mitchell Hall, the group performs locally, nationally, and internationally. Most recently, the UCO Chamber Orchestra toured the Bavaria Region of Germany, performing with renowned guitarist Stefan Grasse in the Summer of 2014. The group has also hosted several guest artists, including Grammy-Award-Winning Composer Michael Daugherty in 2011.