Ball State's Symphony Orchestra will take the stage for the first time this semester with a performance featuring 75 student musicians. 

The Ball State Symphony Orchestra is an all-student orchestra, conducted by Douglas Droste, director of orchestras and associate professor of music at Ball State.

The program will include diverse pieces ranging from 19th century compositions to more contemporary, jazz-influenced works. It will also feature the winners of the Undergraduate and Graduate Solo and Concerto Competitions.


What: Symphony Orchestra Concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31

Where: Sursa Performance Hall


Graduate winners: 

James Thompson, flute (student of Mihoko Watanabe)

Keying An, piano (student of Ray Kilburn)

Undergraduate Winners:

Cameron Keenan, bassoon (student of Keith Sweger)

Gabriella Gervasio, clarinet (student of Elizabeth Crawford)

Valerie Weingart, mezzo-soprano (student of Yoko Shimazaki-Kilburn)

Proud to showcase their talents, the orchestra and the competition winners will perform at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 in Sursa Performance Hall.

James Thompson plays flute for the orchestra and is one of the Graduate winners for the Concerto Competition. He is a second-year doctoral student who is pursuing a degree in music performance. 

With a show that features the talents of a wide range of students, who've been practicing their craft vigorously for years, the Symphony Orchestra's first concert of the semester is something the musicians are excited to showcase. 

Thompson said one of the things he loves about being in the orchestra is being able to make music with other people. For him, it is a very rewarding experience.

Bringing together the orchestra with the winners of the Concerto Competition gives the audience a unique opportunity to experience a night of entertainment from the School of Music, featuring both undergraduate and graduate students. 

“This is an especially great concert for students and community members to attend because it will showcase the winners of the concerto competition, who include both graduate and undergraduate students at Ball State," Thompson said. "It will be a great demonstration of the talents that Ball State music students possess.” 

Collaborating with others who are just as passionate and committed to their craft, is what makes this concert special for the musicians.

Gabriella Gervasio, one of the Undergraduate Concerto Competition winners, is a junior studying music education. She has been playing the clarinet for twelve years. 

Getting a chance to perform and showcase all of her hard work is what makes it all worth it for her.

"I love that there is more individual accountability, and I greatly enjoy the collaboration aspect of performing in the Orchestra. It is also very rewarding to play such great music," Gervasio said.