School of Music

Performance Ensembles



The WSU Symphony Orchestra studies, rehearses, performs and reviews original works and transcriptions for symphony orchestra. In addition to performing as a full orchestra, the orchestra divides at times to perform opera, theatre and chamber orchestral works. Each year a student concerto competition is held and the orchestra often performs with high profile guest performers and composers. The WSU Symphony Orchestra provides rehearsal and performance experiences that will assist students in their preparation for careers as performers, teachers, engineers, technicians, managers, composers and lifelong practitioners of music.

Course Goals:

  1. Develop group performance skills in the areas of intonation, blend, balance, phrasing, articulation, and rhythm.
  2. Develop awareness and execution of proper stylistic and performance practices of orchestral repertoire from the Baroque, Classic, Romantic, 20th, and 21st century time periods.
  3. Develop excellent habits of preparation and rehearsing as a member of a performing ensemble.
  4. Develop concert performance abilities that include artistic execution, poise, focus, and etiquette.
  5. Know a broad base of composers who have composed high quality original works for orchestra.
  6. Learn basic elements about the process of composing for orchestra from contact with living composers and the writings of the past.
  7. Develop a greater awareness of high artistic standards through contact with guest artists and performances at professional conventions.
  8. Learn a sense of camaraderie that develops from supporting and working with other musicians.
  9. Learn the ability to interpret physical gestures of conductors and transfer those gestures into musical sounds.
  10. Critique and review live performances in a written format.
  11. Gain awareness and acceptance of the variety of roles that exist within an ensemble and the ability to carry out one's own role.
Music Director:

DANH PHAM is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Washington State University. He conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and serves as the Coordinator of Instrumental Music Education within the University's School of Music and liason to the College of Education.

Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, he received his degrees from DePauw University, Indiana University, and the University of Oklahoma, where he studied conducting with Ray Cramer, Stephen Pratt, and William Wakefield. Prior to his appointment at Washington State University, Pham held similar posts at McMurry University, Western Oregon University, Salem-Keizer Public Schools, and the Beaverton (OR) School District.

Pham has appeared as a guest conductor and clinician at several region honor bands throughout Texas, the Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest. His ensembles have appeared at the Oregon Music Education Association State Conference (twice), the MENC Biennial Northwest Conference, the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Southwest Convention, and the Texas University Interscholastic League State (UIL) Marching Contest.

Pham has been part of several commissioning projects, including those of composer Kevin Walczyk. He was an integral part in organizing Walczyk's Symphony No. 2 "Epitaphs Unwritten" which was recently awarded the National Band Association William Revelli Memorial Composition award. Pham is also a contributing Research Associate for the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series released by GIA Publications.


Regular Rehearsals: Tuesday and Thursday 3:10 - 5:00 in Kimbrough, Room B-48

Those wishing to audition for the Spring 2014 semester should check the Auditions tab for more information.

Contact Danh Pham with any questions.

Contact with any questions



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School of Music, PO Box 645300, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5300, 509-335-3898, Contact Us