Orchestras 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 (HRO): The oldest university symphonic orchestra in America, now celebrating its 200th year. The orchestra presents four major performances annually in Sanders Theatre, with repertoire spanning from the 18th century to new commissions. 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 close musical community. MSO fosters a relaxed and friendly environment while still remaining committed to musical quality. We hold auditions both in the fall and spring, and we strongly encourage anyone and everyone of all levels to audition. Rehearsals are Tuesdays at 7 PM in Paine Hall.

Professionally-Led Choruses

Harvard Glee Club (TTBB Choir): The nation's oldest collegiate chorus, showcasing music written in the male chorus tradition. The Glee Club performs throughout the year, collaborating with arts groups on campus and at other universities, and across the world through national and international tours. 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: Founded in 1979, HRC 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 represent a variety of music backgrounds and experience levels and the ensemble offers a fall semester "Skills for Singing" course for those new to music hoping to learn (see below for more information).

Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum (SATB choir). Harvard's nationally acclaimed mixed choir, the Collegium has appeared at multiple national choral conventions and in high-profile events in the U.S. and around the world. The ensemble performs a dynamic and innovative repertoire, from masterworks by Bach and Mozart to new compositions by renowned composers and works by HRCM members. HRCM features its own student-led, co-ed a cappella group, Collegium Underground.

Harvard Choruses: The parent organization of the Harvard Glee Club, Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, Radcliffe Choral Society, and Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus. The Harvard Choruses sponsor voice lessons for all interested members and promote the choral program on campus and to the wider community.

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 an 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 (SSAA choir). Founded in 1899, RCS is Harvard's oldest women's organization and one of the country’s premier women's choruses. The Radcliffe Choral Society is dedicated to the celebration and performance of women’s choral music. The Choral Society sings a wide variety of repertoire including Medieval chant, Renaissance polyphony, Romantic masterworks, international folk songs, and contemporary women’s choral music. RCS tours annually in the U.S. and abroad, and features its own student-led a cappella group, the '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

Co-curricular course offering 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. Instructor: Elizabeth Eschen. More information here.