Dr. Montes directing the orchestra in concert

The Orchestral Studies and String Area at Loyola University offers several opportunities for anyone interested in an excellent orchestral experience through our ensembles. All students must contact Dr. Jean Montes to be considered for membership in one of the ensembles.

Making music during a pandemic is both challenging and rewarding. Loyola conducts its rehearsals and performances in accordances with all regulations for indoor performance.


Loyola Symphony Orchestra

The Symphony Orchestra is the premiere orchestral ensemble at Loyola University. It is primarily staffed by 60-70 music majors. Full-scale orchestral works are frequently performed in this ensemble (i.e., Stravinsky’s Fire Bird, Dvorak’s New World Symphony) The Symphony Orchestra (LSO) performs at least two concerts each semester and collaborates with Loyola Ballet and Opera Theatre in the production of a full ballet and an opera.


The Loyola Strings

This smaller orchestra is staffed primarily by music majors. The Loyola Strings performs 1 to 2 concerts each semester. Repertoire varies form baroque-to contemporary with mostly strings and limited winds and percussion. Upperclassmen are also given the opportunity to perform as soloist.

The Loyola Strings Video


All Loyola String Orchestra

The ALSO is designed specifically for String Music Education majors to become proficient on a secondary string instrument and to develop pedagogical techniques. Music or non-music majors who wish to continue playing a string instrument while studying at the University as well as community members and beginners are welcome and encouraged to join as well. No audition is necessary. “You are much too young to retire as a string player yet…” Simply register and show up with your instrument. If you do not have an instrument, show up anyway and we will help you find an instrument.


Small String Ensembles

These small string ensembles are staffed primarily by students in the Music Department. The Small String Ensembles perform 1 concert each semester along with various community outreach projects depending on the interest of the ensemble and the need of the music department. Each semester’s repertoire is taken from the large chamber music repertoire from baroque to contemporary works while focusing on a particular period each semester. No Audition is required but non-music majors must contact Dr. Montès prior to registering for the class.


Chamber Ensembles

Chamber Ensembles provide students with the opportunity to perform a broad selection of repertoire including Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary. Membership is open to all university students.

Chamber Ensemble Video

Orchestra Competitions

Concerto and Aria Competition

The Concerto and Aria competition aims to nurture young performers and award them the opportunity to perform as a soloist with the symphony orchestra. The competition is open to all Loyola students in the College of Music and Media. Preliminary rounds were held within studio areas, keyboard, guitar, strings, voice, woodwinds, brass and percussion. The finalists performed for a panel of judges from the greater New Orleans community in late November.


Composition Competition

The Composition Competition is open to all Loyola students aims to cultivate, promote new works from our student composer and premier them annually.

Composers should plan to submit their pieces to Dr. Janna Saslaw by the end of the semester.


High School Programs

Loyola University New Orleans expresses it commitment to excellent music education by sponsoring programs for developing young musicians including the Honor Orchestra Festival and Summer String Camp.


Honor Orchestra Festival (Open to High School Students only) 
Sponsored by the Loyola University New Orleans College of Music and Media, the Honor Orchestra Festival is designed to provide advanced High School age string players the unique opportunity to experience an intense, day long, workshop. Talented youth from several states perform and are coached by our outstanding faculty. A special session on conducting and performance practice will be scheduled for high school directors during the festival. 


Summer String Camp (Open to ages 7-19)
In Collaboration with the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra we offer a unique summer music orchestral experience. Visit gnoyo.org to sign up.


Loyola International Music Institute (Open to all Levels of Students) 
For more information and to sign up please visit limi-nola.org