The Rhodes College Orchestra serves to create bonds of shared understanding through instrumental music performances. The two groups perform music written for various combinations of woodwind, brass, percussion and strings, and perform together in full orchestral works. Repertoire ranges from the Renaissance to the 21st century, and is designed to give students and audiences a wide range of historical and musical experiences with the highest quality of music. All students are welcomed to audition for the orchestra and do not need to be a music major or minor to participate.
The Rhodes College Orchestra often tours the United States, performing in a variety of professional and academic settings. Highlights from previous seasons include collaborations with the Memphis Boy Choir, the Rhodes Singers, faculty members, and performances with the winner of the annual Cauthen Soloist Competition. The Wind Ensemble has performed modern works written specifically for winds, including Dello Joio′s Variants on a Medieval Tune, Del Tredici′s Acrostic Song, and W.A. Mozart′s Suite from Don Giovanni, while the orchestral strings have performed works including Tchaikovsky′s Serenade and the Corelli "Christmas" Concerto. Full orchestral works have included music from Prokofiev′s Love for Three Oranges, Saint Saens′ Danse Macabre, and Mendelssohn′s "Italian" Symphony.