NIU Community School of the Arts - CSA Sinfonia



CSA Sinfonia does not meet in the summer. Auditions for the 2014-2015 group are on May 20 beginning at 4 p.m.  Call the office at (815) 753-1450 for an audition time.

  • Ages 14 - 20
  • 31 Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Room 155, Music Building
  • Schedule:  September 4 - May 7.  No rehearsals October 30, November 27, December 25 - January 1, March 12 and 26.  The last rehearsal in fall is December 21; rehearsals resume in 2014 on January 8.
  • Come to the first-night picnic on September 4 at 6 p.m. in Annie's Woods. 
  • Admission is by audition only.
  • Concerts:
    Spring Concerts:  March 5 and May 7, 7:30 p.m., Concert Hall
    Note:  On concert nights, the parking sign in the lot south of the Music Building (Lot 3) will be adjusted to allow free parking without a pass.
  • Director: Linc Smelser
  • Fee: $300 (annual)
  • Concerto Competition
  • Auditions - Current Year and Next Year
  • Bring A Friend Day - Sinfonia
  • Hear CSA Sinfonia in performance

String, wind, brass, and percussion players! Here's your chance to play original masterpieces by Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven, as well as music from the 20th century, including popular music classics by Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. The music is fun and challenging.

A brief history of CSA Sinfonia:  Now in its 15th year, CSA Sinfonia began as a middle school string ensemble, CMS Strings, in 1993, and was directed by the late Arthur Montzka. Linc Smelser took over as director in 1996 and in 1999, the ensemble became a full orchestra.  

BRING A FRIEND DAY - JANUARY 15: The second rehearsal in spring is open to any high school musician who would like to experience the orchestra – for free! Members of the group are encouraged to bring a friend that day, but anyone is welcome to attend this rehearsal. There’s no fee and no obligation. 

Performances from 2013  

NIU CSA Sinfonia Concert 2012-10-24

NIU CSA Sinfonia Concert 2013-02-20

NIU CSA Sinfonia Concert 2013-05-08 

CSA Sinfonia Concerto Competition

This annual competition is for musicians who are 18 years old or younger and who live within a 75-mile radius of DeKalb. Players are expected to perform one memorized movement of a standard concerto or work with orchestral accompaniment. Competitors need not be in the CSA Sinfonia. Winners may not compete again on the same instrument. Details and application forms are available online and in the office. The winner receives a prize of $200 and performs the concerto with the orchestra at the March concert. Applications are due October 21; auditions are November 11.

Congratulations to 14-year old Karisa Chiu, winner of the 2013-2014 CSA Concerto Competition! She will perform Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Mvt. 1, by Prokofiev, with the CSA Sinfonia on March 5. Karisa attends Fremd High School and is a violin student of Almita Vamos. All the auditions were wonderful; it was a great competition this year!

Auditions for the 2014-2015 season: May 20, 2014, beginning at 4 p.m. Contact the office at (815) 753-1450 by May 16 for a timeslot. Be prepared to play two pieces in contrasting styles (e.g., slow and fast). Auditions are required every year for brass, woodwind, percussion, and new string players. String players who were members last year do not need to audition.

Auditions for the current season. Auditions were held in May 2013.  If you missed them and are interested in joining the orchestra, contact the office at (815) 753-1450 to request an audition.