Course Number: MUEN 1101.01/5001.01
Rehearsal Schedule: MWF 11:15-12:35pm
Conductor: Miguel Harth-Bedoya
The Baylor Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is an ensemble of artistic excellence, where musicians will find an environment of camaraderie, motivation, and inspiration through a variety of repertoire from all periods, and where they can grow professionally and artistically. The BSO performs three or four times per semester including the annual Baylor Christmas with the Baylor choirs, and one opera in collaboration with the Baylor Opera Theater. Membership is by audition in the Fall during the week before classes. Audition materials will be posted in the summer. All members of BSO are required to be enroll in private lessons in their instruments.
The late Daniel Sternberg, former Dean of the School of Music, initiated the Baylor Symphony in 1944 with Governor Pat Neff, President of Baylor University, in preparation for the commemoration of the Centenary Anniversary of the University planned for the following year. The first concert of the new orchestra began with The Centennial Overture, a new work composed by Sternberg which later was performed by the Dallas Symphony after winning a contest for new music sponsored by that orchestra. Daniel Sternberg continued to conduct the Baylor Symphony until his retirement from the School of Music in 1982. In 1984, Stephen Heyde became the Mary Franks Thompson Professor of Orchestral Activities and Conductor-in-Residence for the Baylor Symphony Orchestra until his retirement in 2022.
Under the direction of Stephen Heyde, the Baylor Symphony has performed eight times at the Texas Music Educators Clinic/Convention, appeared by invitation at the prestigious Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina and at national conventions of the American String Teachers Association and the College Orchestra Directors Association. In December of 2003, the Baylor Symphony was featured with other School of Music ensembles in a PBS Special, “Christmas at Baylor" that was aired nationally in over 350 markets with an estimated audience in excess of six million viewers.
The Baylor Symphony was privileged to accompany the last public performance of revered violinist Joseph Gingold and has also worked with many other distinguished conductors, performers and composers including Robert Shaw, William Kraft, Jacob Druckman, Lorin Hollander, Marvin Lamb, Steven Stucky, Corey Cerovsek, Giancarlo Guerrero, Roberto Diaz, Peter Schickele (PDQ Bach), Colin Jacobson, John Sharp, Theo Olof (former concertmaster of the Concertgebouw Orchestra), Adrian Avila and Nancy King among others. The Baylor Symphony has taken international tours of Costa Rica and Belgium and has won the American Prize for Orchestra Performance for an unprecedented 4-years in a row.
Starting the Fall of 2023, Miguel Harth-Bedoya became the Mary Franks Thompson Director of Orchestral Studies and Music Director of the Baylor Symphony Orchestra.