Do you enjoy playing in an orchestra but do not wish to play in a stressful environment? Do you enjoy playing your instrument but do not wish to go pro? Do you want to play music in college and play for fun?
If you answered YES to any of the above questions, you should consider joining the Washington University Pops Orchestra (WUPops)!
WUPops is a unique student-run orchestra at Wash U (established in 2007).
It provides musical opportunities to all students. It classifies its music genre as “themes/musical/show-tunes/classical/pops,” since the music ranges from Tchaikovsky to the theme song from The Incredibles!
I am currently a violinist in the WUPops orchestra, and I also play in one of the smaller chamber groups, the Carnivorous Strings. It is so much fun!
This upcoming Saturday at 7 p.m., WUPops will be having its end-of-semester concert at the 560 Music Center (and it’s free!). The name of the concert is “Rhapsody in BluePops.” I am so excited to play in this concert! Our concert will feature songs such as Rhapsody in Blue, Sleeping Beauty, The Incredibles, In The Hall of the Mountain King, Video Games Live, How to Train Your Dragon, Little Talks, Final Fantasy, and the Bach Double, and more! In addition, the Carnivorous Strings and Slanderous Saxes will also play.
So here are some details about the WUPops Orchestra:
Why is there another orchestra if the school already has a Symphony Orchestra?
WUPops is a SU-supported Student Group and runs independent from the Music Department (so it is not a for-credit course, like the Symphony). Students pick the repertoire, conduct the concert, and form an Executive Board to run the orchestra.
WUPops is targeted at college students who prefer a more casual playing atmosphere. They don’t have to practice as much, since WUPops emphasizes on having fun playing together instead of the actual performance. As a result, the music is usually from modern, popular sources such as movie themes and musicals (but there are still a couple classical pieces in each concert).
Here are some pictures:
When and where is rehearsal?
We rehearse every Tuesday from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Des Lee Concert Hall of the 560 Music Center. There is a walking group and car pool options.
Although students aren’t expected to practice too much for WUPops, they should still practice as much as they need to! If you are in a chamber ensemble, you rehearse for approximately an hour (or two) extra on the weekend.
- There are a lot of musicians with different skill levels in the orchestra. This has worked well because the more skilled players help the less experienced players during sectionals.
- WUPops is also very social! There are dinners prior to rehearsal, movie nights, and hangouts after our concerts! I’ve made some really good friends just by playing with them during the rehearsals.
- For more information, visit the Website and Facebook Page!
- Website: http://wupops.org/
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/wupops
Check out some of our performances videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/wupopsorchestra
- My favorite one from the Fall 2014 concert is Pirates of the Caribbean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSDOAsSurKY
~ Nancy Zhao <3