Letter to Students Interested in Symphony

Dear New Cal Poly Student:

I am pleased to know that you have voiced an interest in the Symphony. There is a long tradition of excellent instrumental music at Cal Poly, and I would like to invite you to become a part of it.

About the Symphony

The Symphony is a full orchestra of 80-90 members that performs music from the Baroque through Contemporary eras in major concerts each quarter. The majority of Symphony members are not music majors, and simply want to make orchestral music a part of their life at Cal Poly, find balance with their studies, and make great friends.


Our repertoire includes everything from blockbuster orchestral works to music from the movies or video games, and we collaborate regularly with guest soloists and other university ensembles.

For example, highlights of the 2016-17 season included a performance of Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and music from the animated films “Fantasia,” “Fantasia 2000,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro.”


The Symphony frequently embarks on tours within the state of California and we tour out-of-state approximately every four years.

Our most recent out-of-state tour was in June 2016, when the Cal Poly Symphony traveled to Central Europe, performing in the Matthias Church (Budapest), Dvorak Hall (Prague) and St. Stephen's Cathedral (Vienna). In each city, we collaborated with European choirs: the Prelude Choir of Budapest, Charles University Choir (Prague), Prague Singers and Cantus Novus Wien (Vienna).

In each of these world-class cities, we benefited from a guided tour and a balance between planned activities and free time, during which Symphony members could explore on their own. This they did! Travelers enjoyed the huge variety of cultural sights these cities offered and relaxed a bit in their down time.


Don't miss your chance to audition for a place in the Symphony this coming year!

Audition sign-up sheets will be posted during WOW week in September, outside room 128 in the Davidson Music Center. The orchestra (MU174/MU374) meets every quarter on Tuesday and Thursday from 4:40 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. While most students join in the fall and remain in the orchestra each quarter, if our rehearsals do not fit your schedule in the fall, you can always contact me to join in winter or spring.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or call the Music Department for more information. The Symphony website lists current and past repertoire,audition information, and more.

I look forward to meeting you in September. Have a safe and enjoyable trip to San Luis Obispo!


David Arrivée, Symphony Director
Office: (805) 756-2358 • Fax: (805) 756-7464