If you're a string, wind, brass or percussion player ages 14-20, join us to learn fun and challenging music. You'll play original masterpieces by Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. You'll also play 20th-century music, sometimes including popular classics by Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. The Sinfonia performs winter and spring concerts.

The Sinfonia began in 1993 as a middle school string ensemble directed by the late Arthur Montzka. Linc Smelser became director in 1996. In 1999, the string ensemble became a full orchestra.


Admission to Sinfonia is by audition only. Auditions for the 2021-2022 Sinfonia will be held May 29, 2021 using Zoom, Facetime or in the Music Building, room 155, starting at 11 a.m. 

Audition Sign-up Form

Spring 2021 Rehearsal Schedule

  • For the spring of 2021 we will not have one large ensemble, but rather three smaller ensembles to keep numbers lower for social distancing.
  • Smaller ensembles will also make it easier to suspend rehearsals if anyone in a group becomes ill.
  • Music will be distributed digitally as PDF documents as soon as it is available.

Sinfonia is taking into account industry recommendations and best practices, as well as the risk factors based on the COVID-19 positivity rates in our area.

The following health and safety precautions will be put in place in addition the NIU and CSA safety protocols outlined in the Protecting the Pack website

  • Arrival: staff will be present to ensure entrance into the building is staggered to maintain social distancing. Musicians’ temperatures will be checked before entering.
  • Rehearsal: musicians will be spaced out in a six-by-six-foot square (six by nine-feet for trombones).
  • All musicians must wear masks at all times.


Rehearsals will take place on Wednesday nights with the following schedule:

Rehearsal Time Activity
7-7:45 p.m. Strings only
8-8:35 p.m. Woodwinds only
8:50-9:30 p.m. Brass only

Dates: (14 rehearsals): Wednesdays, Jan. 27 – May 12. (No rehearsals March 10 and March 24)
Location: Music Building, room 155
Fee: $155 per semester
Director: Linc Smelser



May 12, 7:30 p.m., Concert Hall

Other Events

Bring-a-Friend Day: Our second spring rehearsal is open to any interested high school musician, free of charge. Current ensemble members are encouraged to bring a friend, buy anyone may attend. Participants should bring their instruments.

Concerto Competition

The competition will be canceled for 2020. Please check back in with us for competition information in 2021.

Learn more about the Concerto Competition.

Contact Us

College of Visual and Performing Arts
Office of External Programs

Music Building 132

Kristin Sherman

Join Our CSA Mailing List

Online Office Hours

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
(lunch from noon – 1 p.m.)

To protect the safety of our staff, students and families, we will operate remotely until further notice. Our staff will be available at their remote offices during normal NIU business hours and can be contacted via phone or email.

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