The Berkshire Symphony is a 75-member symphonic orchestra comprising, in roughly equal proportions, Williams College music students, Williams music faculty members, and area professionals. The Symphony performs music by a range of composers, including Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and Wagner. Students are paired with their teachers and mentors throughout the rehearsal period and throughout the performance season. Seated this way, the students are exposed to a level of professionalism and discipline that is rare in an educational setting. At the same time, the students’ infectious enthusiasm contributes to the Berkshire Symphony’s remarkable energy and rich sound. Four concerts are presented each season. The goal is to expose students to a broad range of symphonic repertory, while maintaining a commitment to perform music by living and American composers.
Each of the five rehearsals before a concert allows students to perfect their ensemble and listening skills. Intonation, accurate rhythm, balance, and period style are all developed as students become familiar with important stylistic elements and performance practices associated with each composer.
Students compete in the Berkshire Symphony Soloist Competition for a chance to perform a solo in the Berkshire Symphony’s final concert of the season. This final concert also features new compositions by student composers.
The Berkshire Symphony was founded in 1946 and is directed by Ronald Feldman.
Membership in the Berkshire Symphony is by audition only.
The Berkshire Symphony generally has five rehearsals in the two weeks preceding each concert