The 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 each Monday night for an extended rehearsal, in order to accommodate the schedules of its diverse membership.
In addition to performing regular concerts on campus, members of the orchestra serve as the core players for the homecoming musical orchestra each fall. Highly talented orchestra members may audition for positions in the University String Quartet. 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 may contact the music department office to arrange for an audition time during the spring semester or the first week of fall classes.
Dr. Michael 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 seventh season as principal trombonist with the Little Rock Wind Symphony and was appointed Assistant 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 directs 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 Assosication 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 chemistry/physical science teacher at Searcy High School and a violinist, are the parents of three grown sons.
Sample Repertoire List
Sept. 20, 2013 Benson Auditorium - Presidental 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