PHC Chamber Orchestra

Music at Patrick Henry College


PHC Chamber Orchestra

Qualified instrumentalists of any major are invited to participate in the Chamber Orchestra and keep their musical skills sharp through an active performance schedule.

The Chamber Orchestra will collaborate on occasion with the PHC College Chorale. Together, the programs have performed classic masterpieces such as Vivaldi’s Gloria, built Christmas traditions in the Lessons & Carols service, and present concerts of instrumental, vocal, and ensemble pieces.

Under the leadership of Dr. Scott McCormick, the PHC Chamber Orchestra has grown from an occasional student organization with volunteer directors to a regularly performing ensemble offered for academic credit.  The program has a substantial and varied repertoire including “Albinoni” Adagio, folk tunes, and sophisticated soundtrack pieces.

The ensemble’s recent performances include a recital of Baroque music, the Gloria, and pieces for the Now Is The Month of Maying spring program. PHC faculty, professional musicians from the D.C. area, and select soloists from the PHC student body have collaborated with the ensemble for many of these performances.

Participants in the Chamber Orchestra are eligible to apply for the J. S. Bach Musical Leadership Scholarship.


Auditions and Rehearsal Time

Students may schedule an audition with Dr. McCormick through the J.S. Bach Musical Leadership Scholarship application process each spring. The purpose of the audition is to become familiar with a performer’s technical abilities, musical background, and potential placement within the ensemble. Chamber Orchestra is offered for major credit to CLA: Music Track majors, and as elective credit for all other students (MUS 201). It also fulfills the requirements for eligibility for the J.S. Bach Musical Leadership Scholarship.

Participation in the ensemble includes weekly rehearsals, personal practice time, participation at performances, and sharing in the practical needs of the organization. Students are encouraged, and J.S. Bach Scholars required, to commit to a full academic year in the Chamber Orchestra; teamwork is integral to accomplishing the goals of the ensemble, and each semester builds upon the accomplishments of the previous one.



The purpose of all the programs in the Music Department is to make a musical offering in the spirit of I Thessalonians 5:18: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

In addition, we integrate the concepts of musical ministry with the highest degree of applied musical artistry and professionalism possible. We seek to represent Christ to a skeptical world by holding our ensemble and its members to levels of spiritual and musical accountability to equal any of our musical colleagues.

We hope to speak of Christ both by our standard of excellence, “striving to do all to the glory of God,” and “by our love for one another,” the evidence of Christ’s work in our lives individually and corporately.



The PHC Chamber Music Ensemble performs at college-sponsored dinners, formal events, community events, and at the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies.

  • Fall Concert. Among other works, the ensemble has performed a substantial collection of Baroque classics, including the “Albinoni” Adagio, a concerto for viola d’amore, and a flute concerto by J.S. Bach, and it has also performed works from musicals and movie soundtracks. Smaller ensembles will sometimes prepare specialty works, such as a virtuosic rendition of “Pop Goes the Weasel.” 

  • Spring Concert. The ensemble has performed such works as “Sing, Sing, Sing,” excerpts from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack, and Lord of the Dance. The ensemble also performs at the baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies in May. 

  • Lessons and Carols. Presented in cooperation with the Chorale, this is a traditional service derived from the service at King's College, Cambridge, and the culmination of the campus community’s celebration of Advent. The student body and the local community are invited to hear Christmas songs and hymns with readings of Scripture and prayers. Many residents of Loudoun County have come to regard it as an indispensable holiday tradition, and it is a pinnacle event for ensemble members. This is webcast live; watch for information in late November. 

Patrick Henry College Music Department

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