Symphony Orchestra



UWSO 2022-2023 Season Brochure


The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra is on Facebook.



The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra is a 90-member ensemble playing the finest in orchestral repertoire. With soloists ranging from internationally known guest artists to faculty performers to student competition winners, and with tours throughout the Rocky Mountain region, the Symphony performs many exciting concerts each year. In 2007, the orchestra embarked on a week-long tour of Bolivia, with concerts ranging from Centro Sinfonico in La Paz to village churches and plazas. (View pictures)

The Symphony has performed with many world-class soloists. Artists they’ve accompanied range from harpsichordist Igor Kipnis and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet to Van Cliburn Competition medalist Daniel Hsu, NY Philharmonic Principal Cellist Carter Brey, and the classic rock band Kansas. In addition, they have collaborated in shared concerts with the Shanghai University OrchestraOrquesta Municipal de El Alto (Bolivia), and the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony.  Symphony concerts in Laramie draw a large and appreciative audience and are an important part of the cultural life of the University community.



Dr. Michael Griffith took over the podium of the Symphony in 1989.  Since then the orchestra has grown significantly in size, playing level, and repertoire.  He was named a University of Wyoming "Top Ten" teacher by the graduating classes of 2006 and 2012, has served as a guest teacher at such disparate institutions as the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and at Shanghai University, and was President of the Conductors Guild. Dr. Griffith has guest conducted orchestras in Rio de Janiero and Goiãnia, Brazil, in Shanghai, China, and in many cities around the United States.


Works Presented

Works played by the Symphony during Maestro Griffith’s tenure include symphonies by Mahler, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Sibelius, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Dvorak, Franck, Vaughan Williams, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn, Hanson, and Borodin; Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration, Respighi’s entire Rome trilogy, Rimski-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, de Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat, and more. Exploring the great diversity of the orchestral repertoire, they have performed works by Samuel Akpabot, Francesca Caccini, Duke Ellington, Carlos Gomes, Hu Sisi, Scott Joplin, Li Huanzhi, Arturo Márquez, César Guerra Peixe, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Clara Schumann, Dame Ethel Smyth, Liu Tieshan, Mao Yuan, and many others. They have joined UW choral groups in large works such as Carmina Burana and the Brahms and Mozart Requiems, and played in the pit for theater works including La TraviataThe Nutcracker BalletThe Magic FluteCandide, Don PasqualeCosì Fan TutteThe Mikado, and Pirates of Penzance.


New Works

New works by fascinating, living composers are often found on Symphony programs, and the orchestra was a winner of a 2005 ASCAP/American Symphony Orchestra League Award for Adventurous Programming. In 2009 we were one of only three college orchestras invited to participate in the Ford Made in America program, and our 2000-2001 Premieres for the Millennium season included four new works composed expressly for the Symphony. Other projects included participating in year-long residencies with Pulitzer- and Grammy- award winning composers Jennifer Higdon and Libby Larsen, a 1999-2000 retrospective on 20th Century music, and 1998's Hildegard's Year, which saluted all women composers in honor of the 900th birthday of Hildegard von Bingen, a medieval German nun and composer. We have commissioned many works - either alone or within a consortium - including music by Joseph Schwantner, Gywneth Walker, Judith Lang Zaimont, Anne Guzzo, and Joseph Curiale. Other 21st-century composers on recent concerts include John Adams, John Corigliano, and others. 



Past UWSO members have served in top jobs all over the world, including:

  • a first violinist in the Cleveland Orchestra

  • the concertmaster of the Roanoke Symphony

  • the co-principal trumpet of the New Japan Philharmonic

  • the assistant concertmaster of Brazil’s Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais

  • a violist in the Colorado Symphony

  • a violinist in the Netherlands Philharmonic

  • a cellist in the Symphony Orchestra of National Theatre of Brasilia, Brazil

  • the keyboard player in the New World Symphony of Miami

  • the Executive Director of the Wyoming Arts Council

  • the cello professor at Guizhou Normal University, China

  • the Programming Manager for the Los Angeles Philharmonic

  • a trombonist in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band

  • the oboe professor at Western Washington University

  • Utah’s Music Educator of the Year for 2016

  • the conductor of the San Francisco Philharmonic

  • the conductor of the Wheeling Symphony Youth Orchestra

  • the Executive Director of the Moab Music Festival

  • the conductor of the Idaho State Civic Symphony

  • a bassist in the jazz clubs of LA

  • various cruise ship band members

  • many highly successful music educators working all around the country

  • A trumpeter in the national company of the Broadway show, The Book of Mormon

Student violinist


Membership is by audition only. Players are drawn primarily from the University student body, including both music majors and talented musicians majoring in other fields of study. Many of the members receive some scholarship aid in return for playing in Music Departmental ensembles. There are also a few Laramie residents who participate in the orchestra.



Symphony tours are funded by a combination of sources. These include the University of Wyoming, the University of Wyoming Foundation, the Symphony Association, private donors and host communities, the Wyoming Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Symphony association logo

Symphony Association of the University of Wyoming

The Symphony Association for the University of Wyoming offers significant support to the orchestra. This Laramie-based organization funds scholarships, tours, equipment needs, commissions, and other special projects. They also encourage community involvement in orchestra events, help with educational projects, and offer occasional social outlets for lovers of symphonic music.



Contact Us

Department of Music

University of Wyoming

1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3037

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-5242

Fax: (307) 766-5326


Find us on Instagram (Link opens a new window)Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window)Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)Find us on LinkedIn (Link opens a new window)Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)
Youvisit Pixel Youvisit SNPLW Pixel Youvisit Pixel Youvisit SNPLW Pixel Youvisit Pixel Youvisit SNPLW Pixel Youvisit Pixel Youvisit SNPLW Pixel Youvisit Pixel Youvisit SNPLW Pixel