• Baylor named nation’s top collegiate orchestra for second straight year

    Baylor Symphony Orchestra

    For the second year in a row, the nation’s top collegiate orchestra hails from right here at Baylor.

    The Baylor University Symphony Orchestra, directed by Stephen Heyde, once again beat out bigger, better known programs to win first place in The American Prize competition’s orchestra division for universities and colleges. Founded in 2009, The American Prize is an annual series of national competitions designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States.

    And the Baylor Symphony wasn’t the only group to excel at this year’s competition. The Baylor Wind Ensemble, led by Dr. Eric Wilson, placed second in the university/college wind competition in its first time to enter the event.

    Former Baylor Symphony and Wind Ensemble members have gone on to perform with many of the world’s top orchestras, from Los Angeles and Philadelphia to Hong Kong and Shanghai.

    “Our student musicians do not play it ‘safe,’ but rather aggressively go after the music by pouring their hearts and souls into the performances,” says Dr. Gary Mortenson, dean of the School of Music. “I leave every performance here at Baylor with a smile on my face and with great music ringing in my ears.”

    Sic ’em, Baylor School of Music!