Orchestral Career Studies
The OCS graduate program includes the following:
- Students receive weekly private lessons and perform two graduate solo recitals.
- Students attend a weekly orchestra excerpt class which includes several "mock" auditions per semester.
- Students receive weekly quartet coaching and perform four quartet recitals during the two years.
- Students receive coaching's from invited guest artists:
- Each semester, an outstanding Guest Artist Coach is invited to conduct a two-day workshop comprising a 30-minute "mock" audition, a private lesson and chamber music coaching for each graduate student. Artist Coaches have included Frank Almond (Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony) and Ellen de Pasquale (former Associate Concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra). This audition serves as the final exam (40% of the grade) in the orchestra excerpt portion of the OCS program.
- Students are guaranteed principal positions in the University Symphony Orchestra.
- Students will also find opportunities to perform with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Reno Chamber Orchestra, thus offering additional professional experience as well as additional income.
- Students in the Program are required to teach privately and to assist the department in a minimal number of graduate assistantship responsibilities.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships
Four Graduate Teaching Assistantships of $14,000 each will be awarded each year of the two-year program to two violinists, a violist and a cellist. The four OCS Graduate Assistants form UNR's resident quartet, the Nightingale String Quartet, which gives public performances on campus, in public schools and throughout Nevada. These Assistantships also include reduction of the graduate fees per semester credit and a non-residency fee waiver for out-of-state or foreign students.
Two Year Program Positions
- 2 Violins
- 1 Viola
- 1 Cello
Individual string players and pre-formed string quartets are encouraged to apply as early as possible for first consideration.
Additional Scholarship Assistance
String Scholarship assistance is also available for other qualified OCS students who do not receive a Graduate Teaching Assistantship.
Faculty for Strings
- Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio - Director, Orchestral Career Studies Graduate Program; Associate Professor, Violin / Viola
- Dmitri Atapine, D.M.A. - Associate Professor, Cello
- Hans Halt – String Bass
- Marina Roznitovsky Oster – Harp
History of the Orchestral Career Studies Program at UNR
The Orchestral Career Studies (OCS) graduate program was created in 1999 by the former Concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Phillip Ruder. This special, two-year graduate program for violinists, violists and cellists culminates with a Master of Music degree and is designed to train young string players for successful careers in American symphony orchestras. Special emphasis is placed on training musicians for the rigorous audition process necessary to win an orchestra job.
In 2007, Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio, former Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony (1994-2007) and Assistant Principal Second of The Cleveland Orchestra (1985-1992) was appointed Director of the OCS program and is currently the Professor of Violin and Viola and member of the Argenta Trio at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Besides her distinguished orchestral background, Ms. Sant'Ambrogio is an active chamber music artist and founder and artistic director of the nationally-acclaimed Cactus Pear Music Festival.
Applying to the Orchestral Career Studies Program
If interested in applying, please send a resume and recent CD or DVD of your playing to Ms. Sant'Ambrogio at the address below. The recording should include a movement or two of solo Bach, a first movement from a Mozart Concerto (violinists) or a Haydn Concerto (cellists) or a standard concerto (violists) and another piece of your choice. Materials are due by February 1. Only applicants with an undergraduate degree from a recognized school in the US or abroad will be considered for this program.
Send application materials to:
- Professor Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio
- OCS Director
- University of Nevada, Reno
- Department of Music /226
- Reno, Nevada 89557
For questions or more information about the Program, you can call Ms. Sant'Ambrogio at (775) 682-9024, the Department of Music Office at (775) 784-6145 or email Ms. Sant'Ambrogio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Degree Details & Requirements
- Master of Music Degree in Orchestral Career Studies
- Graduate Admissions Information
- Read the Orchestral Career Studies Brochure
Music Performances at UNR
Faculty and student ensemble performances occur frequently througout each semester. Check the Department of Music Events Calendar for upcoming recitals and concerts.