Symphony Orchestra
Foster Beyers, director

The JMU Symphony is the premier orchestra within the School of Music at James Madison University. Membership is open, through the audition process, to all JMU students who attend the University. String sections include music majors, music minors, as well as other/non-major students. Wind, Brass and Percussion sections are made up of some of the School of Music's top music majors. This select group of 70-80 musicians presents approximately seven to ten performances during each academic year. Music programmed is challenging, and covers a broad range of time periods and nationalistic styles.

The JMU Symphony has made numerous appearances at VMEA, Virginia’s state Music Conference, and also participates annually, in conjunction with Carnegie Hall (NY) in their “LinkUp” Youth Concert series. The Symphony is, at present, the only university orchestra consistently invited to participate in the program. Major works recently performed include: Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, Respighi’s Pines of Rome, Tchaikowsky Symphonies 4 and 5, Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Shostakovitch Symphony 5, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (with the JMU Choral Area) and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2. For additional information, contact Foster Beyers, Director of Orchestras at:


Chamber Orchestra
Foster Beyers, director

The JMU Chamber Orchestra is comprised of 30-36 musicians, and presents up to 4 performances each year Membership is open, through the audition process, to music majors, music minors as well as non-majors looking for an opportunity to continue playing at JMU. Works programmed include compositions from the Baroque, Classical, early 19th century, as well as chamberorchestral works of the 20th century. In addition, the Chamber Orchestra spends substantial time each semester reading a variety of other works, providing the members exposure to literature from a broad range of composers and styles. For more information, contact Foster Beyers, Director of Orchestras at:


Spring String Thing

A spring tradition for over 40 years, the JMU Spring String Thing welcomes more than 400  7th through 12th graders to campus for three days of music and fun. With six orchestras (including the newly created Cello Choir) and over 50 professional musicians and educators here to help, you are sure to have a memorable weekend. The Spring Thing happens each May so check here for the latest updates. For more information contact Spring String Thing Executive Director Yi-Ping Chen at

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