Depending on the orchestration, about 40 students from the Orchestral and School Music programs of study play in the Mainz School of Music Orchestra. Wolfram Koloseus took over the direction of the University Orchestra when he assumed his professorship in fall 2007.
Using various methods, he offers the orchestra's members insights and experiences in orchestral practice.
The orchestral work at the JGU School of Music basically consists of two equally important elements: repertoire rehearsals and projects.
In the weekly repertoire rehearsals, well-known works for bigger orchestras are studied prima vista. The ability to "survive" in an orchestra rehearsal, even if you haven't fully mastered the piece yet, the courage to play on despite making mistakes or experiencing a "near catastrophe," and al fresco playing – all this is taught here, in keeping with Richard Strauss' motto "Nehmen Sie einfach eine Handvoll Noten" (Just take a handful of notes).
In this vein, pieces like Strauss’ "Don Juan," interludes from Shostakovich’s opera "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk," and also big symphonies and instrumental concertos are covered in repertoire rehearsals – without making any claim to concert readiness but rather as training on a highly challenging piece.
At the same time, these rehearsals give students an early opportunity to play works from the widest possible range of genres before they come across them in their later playing careers.
The project programs are each studied in a concentrated phase of work. The orchestra spends more time on concentrated rehearsals than would be typical in professional orchestras. Where necessary, the musicians practice separately in individual groups, supervised by lecturers from the respective instrument groups, before the overall rehearsals begin. At the end of each project phase, there is a public performance of a concert, an opera, or an oratorio.
Explorations into the sphere of New Music are one example of things to come in the future as are crossover projects where ensembles work together in areas removed from the usual orchestral pieces.
Conductor and overall manager: Professor Wolfram Koloseus