At the UNA Honors Orchestra (January 12-13, 2018), select students will have the opportunity to perform side-by-side with the professional musicians of the Shoals Symphony at UNA.

We encourage high school directors to bring your entire high school orchestra class, for we have two orchestras to accommodate students! All students who wish to participate will be given the chance to work with one of several prestigious clinicians.

Students who wish to be considered for the top Honors Orchestra, will be accepted by audition and recommendation of their school orchestra director. Students are asked to supply a link of an online recording (YouTube or MP3 format) including one 3-octave scale of your choice and two selections from a 2015 All-State Orchestra excerpt list.

Students will be placed into one of two orchestras:

  • + UNA Honor Orchestra – 40 students (plus perform with the Shoals Symphony at UNA)
  • + UNA Festival Orchestra – 60-80 students (perform on the Saturday evening concert)

The UNA Honor Orchestra weekend begins on Friday, January 12, and concludes with an Honors Orchestra concert on Saturday, January 13 at 7:00 pm.

Dress for UNA Honors Orchestra concert is the participating school’s concert attire.


What schedule can we expect for January 12th & 13th?

Teachers will be provided with a sample schedule with an overview of the UNA Honors Orchestra weekend. Students will rehearse for 10 hours, eat food from some of the finest restaurants in and around the UNA campus, and have a few moments to enjoy interacting with UNA college music majors.

How do I apply?

Teachers should send an initial email to Dr. Daniel Stevens at that includes the text ‘UNA Honors Orchestra’, name, email address, phone number, and possible student roster/instruments. Within 24 hours you will be contacted about audition options for students that interested in being in the top Honors Orchestra. At the end of each week (beginning November 15), groups of students will be admitted into the UNA Honors Orchestra until the ensemble is full.

How many students will you accept?

We are limiting the UNA Honors Orchestra to 18 violins, 9 violas, 9 cellos, and 4 basses. We have limited space since the UNA Honors Orchestra musicians will perform side-by-side with the Shoals Symphony on two selections on the concert January 13th.

The UNA Festival Orchestra is open to all high school students, regardless of ability, until the ensemble is full. We can accommodate up to 80 students in this ensemble.

When is the UNA Honors Orchestra concert?

The UNA Honors Orchestra concert will be performed January 13th at 7:00pm in the Norton Auditorium of the UNA campus. Tickets will be available at the door.

Is there a fee for participation?

The UNA Honors Orchestra requests that school programs provide transportation/busses and hotel cost/arrangements for their students. We also request that each student brings $20 to cover one meal out-to-eat.

The Shoals Symphony Association is graciously paying for clinicians, music, meals, and entertainment.

Where do students stay the evening of January 12th?

The Shoals Symphony at UNA has negotiated an agreements with area hotels. Students can stay 2 to 4 per room, dependent on the school preference, in a safe location near campus. An adult resident assistant from the Shoals Symphony at UNA will be on hand to assist throughout the evening.