ABOUT the Amherst Symphony Orchestra ("ASO")

A typical Amherst Symphony Orchestra season includes:

  • WELCOME TO THE FIRST-YEAR CLASS! in late September (either a "preview" concert of the upcoming season or a "stand-alone" concert)
  • AMHERST COLLEGE FAMILY WEEKEND (typically, a full-length professional program consisting of an overture, concerto & symphony)
  • AMHERST COLLEGE HOMECOMING WEEKEND (not presented all years; often an "encore" performance of previously presented repertoire)
  • DECEMBER WINTER CONCERT (either symphonic classics or an opera or musical "in concert"; sometimes "holiday pops")
  • SPRING CONCERT (typically a full-length professional program)
  • COMMENCEMENT "CONCERTOFEST" (showcasing instrumental soloists from the graduating class)

       Some years may also include a performance ON TOUR (past venues have included Dinkelspiel Hall at Stanford University; Schoenberg Hall at UCLA; Zipper Hall at the Colburn School of the Performing Arts in Los Angeles; Symphony Space in New York City)

This year's complete repertoire & performance schedule may be viewed on this site under the tab "Upcoming Performances"


Performances by the Amherst Symphony Orchestra take place in Buckley Hall in the Arms Music Center on the Amherst College campus.


Rehearsals generally are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-9:30 p.m. in Buckley Hall.

Members of the orchestra do not have to be music majors in order to participate. However, all potential members are required to present a simple audition for the Music Director. Please refer to the auditions page for further information.

Incoming Students

IF YOU ARE AN APPLICANT TO AMHERST COLLEGE and interested in majoring in music or merely pursuing music as an extracurricular activity, be sure to SUBMIT A RECORDING OF YOUR PLAYING WITH THE SUPPLEMENTAL ARTS APPLICATION; or BETTER YET, VISIT THE COLLEGE and play for Mr. Swanson in person. This allows your musical talent and achievement to be adequately assessed by the Music Director and factored into the admissions decision.

Please contact our Music Director Mark Lane Swanson at any time at mlswanson@amherst.edu or at 413-542-8205 with any questions you may have about the orchestra.