Music Department


Orchestra2014-1The Harding University-Community Orchestra utilizes university musicians, local professionals, and advanced string students from the Searcy Community School of Music who play violin, viola, cello or double bass. Wind and percussion chairs are reserved for university music majors only. The orchestra meets twice per week for extended rehearsals, accommodating university students as well as community members.

In addition to performing regular concerts on campus, members of the orchestra may serve as the core players for the homecoming musical orchestra each fall. Highly talented orchestra members may audition for positions in multiple University String Quartets. Some advanced student performers audition for vacancies in regional orchestras, where they gain experience in a professional context.

Repertoire includes music for string orchestra and full orchestra genres. The orchestra also frequently hosts student and professional guest artists in the performance of solo sonatas, other solo literature, and concertos.

Students wishing to participate must audition with a prepared solo or other suitable material.  Contact the orchestra director: or orchestra office:  501-279-4575 for specific information or to set up an audition time.

Recent Orchestra Repertoire

February 22, 2016
Dr. Michael Chance, Conductor
Mrs. Alicia Walls, String Quartet Coach

Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, BMV 1048 - J.S. Bach
Andantino II (from Six Duets for Two Cellos) - Kummer
     Soloists: Clara Hartman, cello; Elisabeth Ronsick, double bass
Nocturne (from String Quartet No. 2) - Broodin
Quartet, Op. 74, No. 2, Mvt. 2 - Haydn
     Alexandra Longley, Michael Nesbit, Stefan Paic, Jessica White
Academic Festival Overture, op. 80 - Brahms


April 7, 2016
HU Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Dr. Cliff Ganus III, Conductor

A German Requiem, op. 45 - Brahms
     Stacey Neely, soprano
     Alex Ritchie, baritone


December 8, 2015
Home for the Holidays
HU Symphony Orchestra with HU Concert Choir
Dr. Michael Chance, Conductor-Orchestra

Dr. Kelly Neill, Conductor-Concert Choir
Guest Faculty artists:  Priscilla Tsai-violin
                                     Kristin Smith-cello

Angels We Have Heard on High - Shaw/Parker
Gaudete! - Engelhardt
Still, Still, Still - Luboff
Fantasia on Greensleeves - Greaves/Vaughan Williams
             Violin soloists: Michael Nesbit and Stefan Paic
Souvenir de Florence, op. 70 - Tchaikovsky/Drew
     -Mvt. 2 Adagio
     -Soloists:  Priscilla Tsai-violin; Kristin Smith-cello
A Feast of Carols - Randol Bass


April 27, 2015
A Romantic Evening
Dr. Michael Chance, Conductor
Mrs. Alicia Walls, String Quartet Coach

Trio in G Major, op. 9, no.1 - Beethoven
     -Scherzo and Presto
Symphony No. 3 in F Major, op. 90 - Brahms
     -Poco allegretto
Koncert for Trombone Og Okrester - Grondahl
     -Moderato Assai
     -Quasi un Leggenda
               Austin Westjohn, trombone soloist


March 2, 2015
Dr. Michael Chance, Conductor
Mrs. Alicia Walls, String Quartet Coach

Dargason from St. Paul's Suite - Holst
Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64 - Mendelssohn
     -Allegro con fuoco
             Michael Nesbit, violin soloist
Rodeo Ballet Suite - Copland
     -Bucakroo Holiday
     -Corral Nocturne
     -Saturday Night Waltz


November 20, 2014
The Glory of Strings
Dr. Michael Chance, Conductor
Mrs. Alicia Walls, String Quartet Coach

Cumbia y Congo - Still
Andante Cantabile from Quartet no. 1 - Tchaikovsky
The Entrance of the Queen of Sheba --Handel
Hill Country Suite - Daniels
Serenade for Strings, op. 48 - Tchaikovsky
     Pezza in forma di Sonatina


October 16, 2014
Night Strings
Dr. Michael Chance, Conductor
Mrs. Alicia Walls, String Quartet Coach

Waltz for String Orchestra - Weber
Nocturne, op. 57 - Faure
Toccata - Galilei/Walls
Theme to Schindler's List - Williams/Johnstone
     Cello choir
Sinfonietta in C-dur - JC Bach
    Rondo grazioso


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Orchestra on stage Director, Mike Chance Player Two players Winds Trumpets Director Strings Strings 

Player Players Player

director_chance.jpgAbout our Director

Dr. Chance became the Director of Bands at Harding University in 1996 after a 21-year career directing high school bands in the public schools of Texas. In 1998 he was appointed the director of the University Orchestra as well. He holds the Bachelor of Arts degree in music with teacher certification from Lubbock Christian University and the Master of Music degree in trombone performance from Midwestern State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Memphis. His directing responsibilities at Harding include the University Wind Ensemble, the University/Community Orchestra, and various chamber music and special project groups within the department of music. Teaching responsibilities include advanced instrumental conducting, low brass private lessons and band and orchestra literature and techniques. He also serves as the department's coordinator of instrumental studies.

Chance's 23-year performance career includes posts as a trombonist with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, San Angelo Symphony Orchestra, Red River Lyric Opera Orchestra, San Angelo Community Band, and the Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra. He also has performed with the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra, Big Spring Symphony Orchestra, and South-Ark Symphony Orchestra. He is currently in his eleventh season as principal trombonist with the Little Rock Wind Symphony and was appointed Associate Conductor of that organization in 2010.

Chance is a frequent guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician for band and orchestra festivals and competitions in Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas. He has directed the Searcy Community Band and is a board member of the Searcy Community School of Music. Professional memberships include the Arkansas Bandmasters Association, the College Band Directors National Association and Phi Beta Mu, Texas Music Educators Association and the College Orchestra Directors Association.  He is a past president of the Arkansas unit of the College Band Directors National Association.

Chance and his wife Carla, a Lecturer in Chemistry at Harding University and a violinist, are the parents of three grown sons.

Orchestra and All Choral Groups

Repertoire List

Sept. 20, 2013 Benson Auditorium - Presidential Inauguration

April 22, 2013 Administration Auditorium - University/Community Performance

Feb. 19, 2013 Reynolds Recital Hall - University/Community Performance

Nov. 29, 2012 Administration Auditorium - Holiday Concert:  Orchestra with Harding University Concert Choir

Oct. 4, 2012 Reynolds Recital Hall - University Orchestra, String Quartet, and Wind Ensemble

April 23, 2012 Administration Auditorium - University/Community Performance

Dec. 5, 2011 Reynolds Recital Hall - Orchestra with Harding University Concert Choir

April 21, 2008 Reynolds Recital Hall - Youth Concert

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