Department of Music


Orchestra2014-1The Harding University Symphony 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.

HU Orchestra   HU String Quartet



Holberg Suite-Praeludium by Edvard Grieg | HU String Orchestra performance date: 10-25-18

Beethoven Symphony No. 5 Movement 1

Haydn Symphony No. 6

Recent Orchestra Repertoire

April 24, 2018
At the Movies
Dr. Michael Chance, conductor

The Sea Hawk - Suite for Orchestra - Korngold/arr. Brubaker
Highlights from Wicked -
 Stephen Schwarts/arr. Ricketts
Suite from Hamilton - Miranda/arr. Brubaker
Music from Frozen - Anderson-Lopez/arr. Krogstad
Music from Lord of the Dance - Hardiman/arr. Moore
Hymn to the Fallen (Saving Private Ryan) - John Williams
      -Visuals by Hannah Dodson
      -Synthesizer arrangement by Payden Taylor

February 27, 2018
Dr. Michael Chance, conductor

Symphony No. 3 in F Major, op. 90
Allegro con brio
      -Poco Allegretto
Ungarische Tanze fur Orchester Number 5
Ungarische Tanze fur Orchester Number 6

December 5, 2017
String Colors
Dr. Michael Chance, conductor
Mrs. Alicia Walls, coach

Rondeau (Abdelazar Suite) - Pucell
String Quartet in E minor, op. 11, no. 5 - Boccherini
Serenade in D Major for String Orchestra - Antonin Dvorak
      -Tempo de Valse
      - Laraghetto

February 21, 2017
Dr. Michael Chance, conductor

Concerto Grosso for String Orchestra and Piano Obbligato (1924)  -  Ernest Bloch
             Garrison Gerard - piano

Symphonie No. 5 in C minor  -  Beethoven

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



2016-2017 Symphony Orchestra



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.

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Orchestra is a part of the Music Department