Performance Team

Section Leaders

Section Leaders play an important role in the CSO family. They help create an inviting, relaxed, productive, and most importantly enjoyable atmosphere for all of our players.

As a section leader, you help your section have fun and learn at the same time. You are a role model during rehearsal and the instructor during sectionals. You are the connection between your section and the conductors.

To become a section leader...

Perform an audition and brief interview with the Performance Directors at the start of the semester (these will occur at the same time as an audition for the Philharmonic)

Visit our audition page for more information!


Because CSO is an entirely student-run democratic performance organization, we have exceptional student conductors lead our ensembles! Becoming a conductor for CSO is a wonderful way to better your musical understanding, leadership skills, as well as offer the chance to regularly work with a full symphonic orchestra: truly a rare opportunity!

A student conductor should...

  • Show exemplary leadership skills

    • Strong conducting technique: able to give a steady beat, expressive as appropriate to the music, smooth tempo and style transitions

    • Strong rehearsing skills: recognition of problem spots, give friendly advice to overcome problem areas, and know productive methods to fix the problem before moving on

  • Be encouraging and approachable when working with orchestra

  • Have excellent musicianship

  • Be willing to commit approximately 4 hours to CSO per week

To become a conductor...

  • Perform an audition consisting of a brief rehearsal with the CSO Main Ensemble

    • Current conductors are here to help you with any questions or training you need; no prior experience is necessary!

    • After each audition, the orchestra members will fill out an evaluation of your performance and provide feedback

  • Be selected based on a review of the audition using the orchestra's feedback, Performance Directors' notes, and the Principal Conductor's notes

Please contact Nick Anderson at for further information.

The audition policy is as follows...

  • New CSO conductors must audition before their first semester of conducting, and must audition the subsequent semester as well

  • If this is the conductor’s first semester of conducting, they must conduct for Main

  • All returning conductors must then audition on a yearly basis (1 year from their last audition)

  • When a conductor decides to apply to conduct for Philharmonic the next semester, they must take an audition at the end of that semester, regardless of the once a year rule

To be appointed principal conductor...

  • Principal Conductor nominates successor in the beginning of the fall semester

  • Current and shadowing PDs approve nomination

  • Newly appointed Principal Conductor shadows in the fall

  • Term: Spring-Fall Semesters