The Catholic University of America

About Us

• Extraordinary Faculty

• Alumni in top symphony orchestras and K-12 schools

• Atmosphere of idealism and commitment to the individual student

The Instrumental Music Division is made up of approximately 25 undergraduates (divided between Music Education and Performance), and 45 graduate students (all studying performance). The richness of playing across all instruments is displayed in our ensembles: the Catholic University of America Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Searle, and the Catholic University of America Wind Ensemble, conducted by John Mitchell.

Many orchestral instruments students are members of the CUA Symphony Orchestra, which performs major orchestral works regularly throughout the year. The Orchestra also serves as the ensemble for CUA Opera Theatre, and is featured in the Annual Christmas Concert for Charity, broadcast on EWTN from the Basilica of National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception each year. In addition, the orchestra plays for the CUA Chorus when performing major works, such as Elijah, and Verdi's Requiem. This gives the CUA Symphony Orchestra players a deep breadth of scope and repertoire during their years at CUA. Graduate students and undergraduates sit together in the ensemble, creating an opportunity for mentorship between experienced players and new music students. Special events include a recent appearance at Carnegie Hall featuring selected members of the Orchestra under the direction of David Searle.

Open to the University and community by audition, the CUA Wind Ensemble forms a major part of many students' ensemble experience in the School of Music. A 30-35 member group, the CUA Wind Ensemble performs several concerts throughout the year of a large variety of literature. The ensemble meets 7:10-9pm on Mondays, and its conductor is John Mitchell. Music majors may use the CUA Wind Ensemble as their major ensemble.

In their private lessons, students work towards mastery of their instrument not only for ensemble playing, but for solo performance and chamber music. At CUA, undergraduate orchestral instruments majors complete either one or two Chamber Music performances as a part of their degree (depending on the instrument). Students also study with some of the best teachers in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area, with players in the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Washington National Opera Orchestra.

With all of the performing opportunities in Washington, D.C., CUA is the perfect place to hone your craft, and start sharing your art with the world.