MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink) - The Ball State Symphony Orchestra is headed to nationals.

The Ball State Symphony Orchestra left for Boston Thursday for a national conference. This is the first time the orchestra has been invited to play on a national scale. They were accepted to perform at the College Orchestra Director Association National Conference (CODA).

“I’m looking forward to sharing this experience both musically and also non-musically. Groups that travel together get to know each other better and I think, in the end, that slows them to perform better together,” Douglas Droste said. 

Droste is the conductor for the Ball State Orchestra. He also conducts the opera productions and oversees the orchestral conducting program. 

“Some of these students have never traveled very far from home, and I think it’s going to be a great experience. Being able to experience the states, being able to experience Boston for the first time and also having experience to perform this program three times,” Droste said.

The travel group consisted of 97 students with three stops, one in Pickerington, Ohio and another in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to perform their set at two high schools. Their  final performance will be in Boston at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. 

Students have been preparing for this trip since the beginning of the spring semester. 

“Aside from being able to play the music, I’m the most excited to actually be in Boston because I love being in the bigger cities,” Taylor Matthews, a fifth-year violinist, said. 

For many, the Ball State Orchestra is a family of individuals who work hard, collaborate and share a love and passion for music. It is an all-student orchestra that performs music from all genres and time period.

“The really cool part about being in any orchestra is being able to collaborate with other musicians and listen, hear and see the ensemble improve and be part of a group,” Rachel Jordan, a senior clarinet player, said.

The show does not end with nationals. The orchestra will continue rehearsing for upcoming concerts, including one on February 26 at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $5 and free to students with ID in advance at Emens Box Office.