Harvard Unversity Band playing on Science Center Plaza Tower in distanceOrchestras and Choruses

Professionally-Led Orchestras

Baroque Chamber Orchestra: A chamber orchestra that performs using baroque bows and instruments from the Early Instrument Collection of the Music Department. Phoebe Carrai, Director. 

Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra The HRO is the oldest university symphonic orchestra in America, now celebrating its 214th season. The orchestra presents four major performances annually in Sanders Theatre, with repertoire spanning from the 18th century to new commissions. The orchestra also tours internationally to countries such as Argentina, Korea, Mexico, Canada, and Italy. Federico Cortese, Director. 

Jazz Band: Founded in 1971, the Jazz Bands play literature that spans all the major eras and traditions of jazz, from big band to be-bop to fusion. The bands perform regularly with jazz luminaries through the OFA Jazz Program. Yosvany Terry, Director of Jazz Ensembles. 

University Band: The Band performs at all home and away football games. Throughout the year, it can also be seen in action at men's and women's hockey and basketball games, other Harvard sports, and at various university, community and charity events. Mark Olson, Director, Harvard University Bands and Wind Ensemble. 

Wind Ensemble: A select group of fifty musicians, founded in the 1960s, to offer talented Harvard musicians the opportunity to study and perform original literature for winds and percussion. Mark Olson, Conductor. 

Harvard Pops Orchestra: The Harvard Pops Orchestra provides the Harvard community with unique musical experiences. Through seasonal concerts built around creative themes, presenting an eclectic range of music from classical to rock to pop, and employing theatrical and visual elements, we strive to create events that are not only enriching, but also highly enjoyable. Allen Feinstein '86, Conductor. 

Student-Led Orchestras

Bach Society Orchestra: Harvard's premier student-led chamber orchestra. Alumni include cellist Yo-Yo Ma, composers John Adams and John Harbison, conductors Alan Gilbert, Isaiah Jackson, Christopher Wilkins, Hugh Wolff, and Samuel Wong, and members of top American symphony orchestras.

River Charles Ensemble at Harvard College: The RCE orchestra is a music program for student musicians to develop as young artists, creative thinkers, and unique personalities. Without the presence of a conductor, each musician becomes a peer mentor, and the intensive work ethic has helped to raise the caliber of the orchestra with every performance. An ensemble with musicians from a diverse range of backgrounds, RCE is a resident orchestra of Paine Hall in the Harvard Music Department. The RCE is modeled after the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of New York and aims to perform at a high level by developing leadership and collaboration techniques amongst all musicians in the ensemble. RCE is a proud partnering organization of the Harvard College Piano Society.

Mozart Society Orchestra (MSO)  is a student-run orchestra that prides itself on its tight-knit musical community, fostering a relaxed and friendly environment while still remaining committed to musical excellence. MSO combines the intimate music-making atmosphere of a chamber ensemble and the full sound of a symphony orchestra. Our repertoire spans time periods, identities and genres, ranging from baroque concertos to 20th century compositions. 

Professionally-Led Choruses

Harvard Choruses: The parent organization of the Harvard Glee Club, Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, Radcliffe Choral Society, and Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus. The Harvard Choruses aspires to empower singers, student leaders, and communities by sustaining and advancing choral music education and practice. Together we value continuous and ongoing growth for our singers and the choruses at large: as students, through leadership and creativity; as musicians, through dedication to art-making; and as citizens, through community engagement. The Harvard Choruses sponsors voice lessons for all interested members.

Harvard Glee Club (tenor and bass Chorus (TTBB) chorus): The nation's oldest collegiate chorus, showcasing music written in the male chorus tradition, the Harvard Glee Club performs throughout the year, collaborating with arts groups on campus and across the world, through national and international tours. HGC also features its own student-conducted a cappella group, Glee Club Lite. Through excellence in performance, student-management, education, community, tradition and philanthropy, the Glee Club offers a unique musical experience for all members.

Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus: (mixed symphonic chorus) Founded in 1979, the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus is made up of 120 undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff and community members. The ensemble presents two major choral-orchestral performances per year, exploring a wide range of repertoire spanning the baroque, classical, romantic, 20th century and present-day music. Members of HRC represent a variety of music backgrounds and experience levels.

Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum (mixed (SATB) chorus). A nationally acclaimed collegiate mixed choir, Collegium has performed at prestigious venues in the United States and around the world. The ensemble performs a dynamic and innovative repertoire spanning classical large-scale works to new compositions by renowned, emerging and student composers. Collegium is proud to foster a tradition of excellence through community as reflected in its music-making, student leadership, community engagement, alumni engagement and lifelong bonds between members. Collegium also features The Chamber Singers, a student-led subset that performs a wide variety of new music, world music and canonic works.

Kuumba Singers of Harvard College: Founded in 1971, The Kuumba Singers of Harvard College is the oldest black undergraduate organization on Harvard's campus. Kuumba is a non-audition choir and artistic space dedicated to singing music from the African Diaspora (spirituals, gospel, R&B, jazz, etc.), and celebrating Black creativity and spirituality through various mediums of creative expression: song, dance, poetry, theater and visual art. Sheldon K. X. Reid ‘97, Director. 

Radcliffe Choral Society ( soprano and alto (SSAA) chorus). Founded in 1899, the Radcliffe Choral Society is Harvard's oldest women's organization and one of the country’s premier soprano-alto choruses. RCS is dedicated to the enjoyment, appreciation, and performance of women’s choral music, singing a distinctive repertoire spanning nine centuries of choral literature. As a student-run and managed 501(c)(3) non-profit, the RCS celebrates its extraordinary community through commissioning new works, high-caliber performances and domestic and international tours. RCS also features its own student-led subset a cappella group, ‘Cliffe Notes.

University Choir: A mixed voice choir affiliated with Memorial Church. The choir performs sacred works at Sunday morning services and in periodic concerts throughout the year. Edward Jones, Conductor. 

Skills for Singing Course

The Skills for Singing co-curricular course offers training in fundamental skills for singing: ear training, sight-reading and vocal technique. Special attention is giving to audition preparation; participation may lead to singing (by audition) with one of the Harvard Choruses.
Fall 2021 class update: Enrollment for the Fall 2021 semester is now closed. If you are interested in future sections of the course, please email Instructor Elizabeth Eschen at eschen@fas.harvard.edu

Instructor: Elizabeth Eschen.
Find out more about the course