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University Orchestra

The KU University Orchestra is an ensemble open to all enrolled students at the University of Kansas regardless of major. The UO meets once weekly during the Fall semester on Tuesday evenings from 6–7:50pm and once weekly during the Spring semester on Wednesday evenings from 6-7:50pm. The UO rehearses in Murphy Hall, Room 118, and typically presents 1-2 concerts per semester.

The University Orchestra is open to all players without audition. If you play a wind instrument and would like to get some orchestral experience, this is a great starting place. If you played an instrument in high school and want to keep playing, this is the ensemble for you! The atmosphere is fun and friendly, and a great opportunity to meet new friends on campus.

The orchestra is conducted and run by the graduate students in orchestral conducting for whom the ensemble doubles as a repertory orchestra. Repertoire performed includes standard symphonic literature, concertos and new music alongside more popular selections and arrangements.

The University Orchestra, founded in Fall 2020, had its origins in a student-led group, the Bravura Chamber Orchestra, established by a former KU student and conductor, Kris Hilding.

To register your interest and to find out more, please email leandro@ku.edu

Conductors 2020-2021

Leandro Cardoso

Leandro Cardoso with conductor wand in front of white backgroundLeandro Cardoso is a Brazilian conductor living in the United States. He is the Assistant Conductor of the Kansas University Symphony Orchestra, works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, and also pursues the Master's Degree in Music under the tutelage of Dr. Carolyn Watson.

He is the founder and conductor of the Athos Chamber Orchestra and also works as an arranger. Maestro Cardoso, previously studied with the renowned Brazilian Conductor Marcos Arakaki, and with the professors Lincoln Andrade, Arnon Oliveira, and Iara Fricke Matte in the Orchestral Direction Course at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG).

Always seeking to improve himself, he has been doing courses and workshops in orchestral direction with renowned conductors of the Brazilian and international music scene, such as Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Sarah Ioannides, Fábio Mechetti, Luis Clemente, and Roberto Fiori. 

Joseph Chan

Joseph Chan conducting orchestraJoseph Shing Him Chan is a first-year graduate student at The University of Kansas completing his Master of Music majoring in Orchestral Conducting with Dr. Carolyn Watson. Previous teachers include Dr. Warwick Potter who allowed him to regularly conduct The University of Queensland’s Symphony Orchestra (UQSO). With the UQSO, Joseph made his debut as a conductor performing Baber’s Adagio for Strings at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre last year of which Australia’s premier music publication wrote:

“He managed to produce a cool yet affecting reading of this all-too-familiar work. With an economy of gesture and command of its slow crescendo and release, this was a performance to admire and savor.” Limelight 2019.

Joseph was one of eleven young conductors selected to participate in the 2018 Australian Conducting Academy Summer School held in Tasmania, working with the principal guest conductor of the orchestra Johannes Fritzsch. Joseph also completed the Scholar Conductor course sponsored by the Symphony Services International under the tutelage of Christopher Seaman.


School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA