Bach Society Orchestra

From HODP Wiki

Bach Society Orchestra
Members 40-50
Fall Comp? Yes
Spring Comp? No

The Bach Society Orchestra, popularly known as BachSoc, is Harvard’s premiere undergraduate chamber orchestra. Staffed, managed, and conducted entirely by students, BachSoc is committed to cultivating strong community through musical excellence and to expanding the accessibility of classical music on Harvard’s campus. The orchestra prides itself on diverse programming and our inclusive, egalitarian ethos. BSO holds bi-weekly rehearsals in Paine Hall and perform four concerts every year, which are free and open to the public.

Comp Process

BSO holds auditions every fall during shopping week. BSO asks everyone, including returning members, to prepare two selections from their instrument’s standard repertoire for about 5-7 minutes of music total. These relaxed auditions typically occur in front of the music director and assistant music director, who then decide which musicians would be the best fit for the orchestra.

Organizational Structure

Since BSO is an entirely student-run organization, there are ample ways for members to get involved with the management of the orchestra. The orchestra is led by student conductors who are selected every year by the orchestra members. There are also four general management positions that take care of logistical issues and an extensive staff who oversee publicity, ticket sales, social functions, and more. These positions are open to everyone, including freshmen, and we encourage as many members as possible to get involved.


One of the advantages of being a chamber orchestra is that every member of the orchestra is an integral member of the ensemble, musically and socially. Outside of BSO's bi-weekly rehearsals, the orchestra organizes frequent social events, like game nights and parties, to foster a strong community within the orchestra. BSO also has a reception at the beginning and end of each year as well as a day-long retreat in the fall. Every year, BSO holds a concerto competition and a composition competition, which gives the orchestra an opportunity to bring in and collaborate with musicians from around campus.