Course Syllabus

Click the links below to jump to specific sections:

  1. General Course Information
  2. Contact Information
  3. Credits & Prerequisites
  4. Course Materials
  5. Course Description
  6. Student Learning Outcomes
  7. Expectations & Resources
  8. Course Management & Policies
  9. Assignments & Assessment Methods
  10. Course Grading
  11. Course Schedule



I. General Course Information

Course Title: CSO Online

Semester/Year: Spring 2021

Department, Course Number, Section: 3621

Meeting Time(s) and Location(s): Hybrid Mode in 3 phases
Phase 1: Online Guest Speaker Series
February 10- March 3 Zoom or equivalent sessions on Wednesdays from 4:55 - 6:25 pm

Phase 2: Online Score Analysis and sectionals

Fri 3/12
4:45 - 5:45 Score Study of Mahler Zoom session

5:45 - 6:45 sectional Zoom Session

Wed 3/17
4:45 - 5:45 Score Study of Vivaldi Zoom session

5:45 - 6:45 sectional Zoom Session

Fri 3/19
4:45 - 5:45 Score Study of Bernstein Zoom session

5:45 - 6:45 sectional Zoom Session

Wed 3/24
4:45 - 5:45 Score Study of Price and Bologne Zoom session

5:45 - 6:45 sectional Zoom Session

Fri 3/26
4:45 - 5:45 Score Study of Copland Zoom session

5:45 - 6:45 sectional Zoom Session

Phase 4: In-Person rehearsals and performances [TBC]
Mondays and Fridays 4:55 - 6:45 PM In Bailey Hall or B20 of Lincoln Hall (Location TBC)

Course Website Link:

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II. Contact Information


Chris Kim, Director of Orchestras, Associate Professor of Music


Course Staff/Teaching Assistants:

None for the Spring semester


Office hours:

(face-to-face or online), please make an appointment with me with an email request.


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III. Credits and Prerequisites

NYSED Requirement

Credits and credit hour options:

Either 0 credits, S-U, or 1 credit,  letter grade, each semester. Auditors are welcome
If Synchronous participation is not possible either due to time zone or conflicting course, an asynchronous option is available by taking an independent study.

independent study with me via MUSIC 4901 - 605   Independent Study in Music for 1 credit.

You can submit the Independent Study form from this website:


Prerequisite: complete audition form. For Spring semester participation there will be an audition via video submission by February 5 deadline. More details will be posted on the orchestra website.

Major/minor requirements:

For Music majors; Two semesters of Collaborative Performance in a musical organization or ensemble is required. If the organization or ensemble is not sponsored by the Department of Music, participation must be registered and overseen via a 1-credit independent study with a faculty member. (Courses are typically numbered 3601-3660 and 4601-4651.)

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IV. Course Materials

Reading list or viewing list from our guests will be added to this list;

Please review videos of our speaker series from the fall semester (optional but very helpful to be up to date in the discussion)

9/2 Daniel Bernard Roumain


9/9 Rachel Barton Pine


9/16 Carlos Simon


9/23 Jeri Lynne Johnson


9/30 Aaron Flagg


10/7 Afa S. Dworkin


10/20 Jessie Montgomery


10/28 Edwin Outwater


10/28 Aaron Dworkin


11/4 Lawrence Loh


11/4 Steven Banks


11/11   Heather Buchman


11/11 Robert Deemer

11/18 Anthony McGill

12/16 Wynton Marsalis


Links to videos will be available on the orchestra website a day after their appearance.


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V. Course Description

NYSED Requirement

The goal of this music performance course is to provide the opportunity for you as an orchestral performer to come together with other like-minded musicians in an ensemble setting to rehearse and perform the highest quality literature from the symphonic orchestra repertoire. In this course, we will focus on the overall concepts of self and ensemble expression, engagement, participation, and performance. We will also address musical concepts of ensemble and individual balance, blend, intonation, phrasing, dynamics, articulation, tone, rhythmic precision, color, and ensemble clarity. We are going to listen to ourselves, to each other, and to the composer’s voice. This semester we will be engaged with 12 speakers with the topic of confronting racism in the Orchestra. We will strive to gain a better understanding of the current state of inequities and to form a constructive path to improving the state of the orchestra.

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VI. Student Learning Outcomes

NYSED Requirement

Identify and devise solutions to a musical problem.

Compare all the possibilities of interpretation to a musical passage.

Critique one’s own performance as well as their peers through verbal reflection and performance.

Gain a better understanding of self in the wider world with empathy towards another person from a different background, 

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VII. Expectations and Resources for Student Success

You expected to treat each member of our orchestra, course, guests, and instructors with respect and humility. Be present at all our sessions. If possible turn the video on so that our guests and your fellow classmates can connect with you. Be on time for our sessions. When readings or videos are posted in advance of the guest's appearance, read and view them so you can interact and engage with our speakers.

Inclusivity Statement

Cornell University (as an institution) and I (as a human being and instructor of this course) am committed to full inclusion in education for all persons. Services and reasonable accommodations are available to persons with temporary and permanent disabilities, to students with DACA or undocumented status, to students facing mental health or other personal challenges, and to students with other kinds of learning challenges. Please feel free to let me know if there are circumstances affecting your ability to participate in class. Some resources that might be of use include:

 If you are feeling overwhelmed, or are worrying about a friend, please reach out to one of your instructors or your academic adviser. We can try to help or we can put you in touch with someone who can help. Cornell has trained counselors available to listen and help: Empathy, Assistance, and Referral Service (213 Willard Straight Hall, 607-255-3277), Cornell Health's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS, 607-255- 5155), and Let’s Talk. The Learning Strategies Center offers a range of academic resources.


Actively participate. To succeed in this class, you must be focused and involved, offering your comments, questions, feedback, and answers. Your participation grade will be derived from in-class activities you will hand in.

Take steps to avoid distractions. During class discussions, please turn off your cell phone and other electronic devices so you can focus on discussion.

Be respectful. In this course, we will be exposed to a variety of viewpoints, values, and opinions that may differ from our own. All students in this class should feel comfortable expressing their viewpoints and concerns. We are each an important part of creating the atmosphere that makes this possible.

Act with integrity. Your instructors and fellow students expect you to choose to act with integrity in all your classes, including this one. For clarification, see the Essential Guide to Academic Integrity.


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VIII. Course Management and Policies

If you are unable to participate in the weekly sessions please let me know of your situation or concern in advance.

Academic Integrity

Students at Cornell have communicated a need for transparency about academic integrity and specific expectations for your class assignments in your syllabus. Having clear rules, talking about what is written in the syllabus, reinforcing your expectations in class when assignments come up, and breaking up longer assignments into short pieces due throughout the term with feedback on drafts, reduces student cheating. Explicit communication about what is permissible offsets students fending for themselves. Students are more likely to ask a peer than ask the instructor if there are no articulated rules. Three areas students at Cornell suggest faculty address are: setting forth your rules regarding whether students may use answer keys or consult with others on problem setsindicating whether students may get editorial or other assistance on written work; and providing parameters for acceptable collaboration when you assign group work.   

The Cornell faculty senate strongly encourages all faculty to include the following statement about academic integrity in their syllabus:

"Each student in this course is expected to abide by the Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity. Any work submitted by a student in this course for academic credit will be the student's own work."

Consider expanding on this to express your expectations and guide students to be successful. For example, include tips about the types of issues that may come up in relation to your teaching strategies (e.g., specifying if collaboration is allowed or discussing assignments with peers; aspects of group projects that should be completed independently versus jointly; whether students are permitted to get help with editing their papers, and if so, whether they are required to acknowledge the help they received; utilizing course materials that may be online; utilizing course materials produced by students who have taken the course in prior semesters; bringing course material with them into exam rooms; expectations for citing all sources). Research on academic integrity shows that talking about academic integrity policy with students is important. Consider asking students to take the Arts & Sciences Recognizing and Avoiding Plagiarism quiz; read the university statement on Commitment to Academic Integrity, Equitable Instruction, Trust, and Respect; and discuss them in class. See also the academic integrity code.

Since students are reluctant to ask an instructor to clarify their rules, it is best to include a note letting students know you are open to inquiry.

Circulating or Selling Class Materials

You may want to add copyright information to your syllabus and your Canvas site to inform students that the course material is your intellectual property. For more information, see the Cornell Faculty Handbook. 

Sample: All materials of this course are copyrighted and it is prohibited to circulate or sell to commercial vendors the course materials, including syllabus, exams, lecture notes, images, presentations, and student papers. Such unauthorized behavior constitutes academic misconduct. Video and/or audio recording of class lectures and review sessions without my permission in advance is prohibited. If you have an accommodation letter from Student Disability Services or if you are interested in recording for your personal use as a study aid, please make an appointment, via youcanbookme, to meet in office hours before you record anything.


Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Students with Disabilities: Your access in this course is important to me. Please request your accommodation letter early in the semester, or as soon as you become registered with SDS, so that we have adequate time to arrange your approved academic accommodations.


Attendance and Absences

In this course, the main focus of each class session will involve continuing discussions with your colleagues. Therefore, attendance in this class is mandatory. We will be doing many in-class activities, so a missed class is an inconvenience to your fellow classmates. Please come to class on time. You have three “free pass” absences during the semester. If you have special circumstances (i.e. illness, family emergency), please come talk to me or e-mail me. If you have more than three absences from class your final grade for the discussion will be dropped by 5 points for each additional unexcused absence.

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IX. Assignments and Assessment Methods

NYSED Requirement

Weekly assignments/Homework 

Each guest will be sending an article or a video for you to read and absorb before their appearance.  You should look up the bio so that you know who they are and what work they have done.


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X. Course Grading

Grading Practices and Policies 

  • Grading is based on participation in the discussion module for each guest. It won't be possible to get to everyone in the live conversation sessions with our guests. Thus participation in the discussion session, as well as your attendance of the live session, will be factored in your grade. Each guest will send an article or a chapter of a book or a video for you to respond, reflect and engage with. In the discussion module, you can ask a question that will be incorporated into the interview portion with the guest or a reflection or response to the materials for each speaker.


Grade Distribution 

Grades will be based on participation and engagement with the speaker throughout the semester.


Grading Rubrics 

Participation Rubric
Always Contributes (A)  Sometimes Contributes (B)  Rarely Contributes (C)  Never Contributes (D) 

Criteria for Frequency and Quality of Participation 

Always contributes to the discussion by raising thoughtful questions, analyzing relevant issues, building on others’ ideas, synthesizing across readings and discussions, expanding the class’ perspective, and appropriately challenging assumptions and perspectives.  Sometimes contributes to the discussion in the aforementioned ways.  Rarely contributes to the discussion in the aforementioned ways.  Never contributes to the discussion in the aforementioned ways. 

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XI.  Course Schedule

February 10 - Titus Underwood, Principal oboist of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra [Confirmed]


February 17 - Garrett McQueen, Former radio host of MPR radio [Confirmed]


February 24 - Angelica Cortez, Juilliard School [Confirmed]


March 3 - Edward Yim, President of WQXR 

During the Spring Semester of 2021, the Cornell Symphony Orchestra and Cornell Chamber Orchestra will be offered in the following hybrid format. Much of the following is subject to change due to changing conditions. However, if Cornell is meeting in-person during the spring semester with the calendar proposed as in his document []


There will be three periods of activity in the spring semester.


3621 CSO and 4621 CCO will be merged from February 8 - March 4, 2021, with four guest speakers expanding our 12 fall speakers to 16 addressing inequities and racism in classical music and orchestra.  We will be engaged with Titus Underwood (2/10), Garrett McQueen (2/17), Angelica Cortez (2/24), and Edward Yim on March 3. Both orchestras would meet online during the Wednesday 455-625 pm time slot. Here is a link to all the videos of our Fall speakers

On March 7, 2021, will be our Festival of Solo Works by Underrepresented Composers, which will replace our usual concerto competition. The deadline to choose a composition and submit the intent to participate is December 11. The application form which is free and open to all is at this link []. All students are encouraged to use the resources link to find the composition to be played at the festival - All participants will have a chance to be coached by an international panel. Students will make a rehearsal video to be sent to one of the panel faculty by February 8. During February they will receive written or video comments on their rehearsal video. Participants have the option of performing the composition on March 7 in a live stream or making a final performance video by March 1 to be included in the live stream on March 7.


The second phase will be from March 8 - 26, 2021

CCO and CSO will have three weeks of online sectional rehearsals. Sectionals will be held during normal rehearsal times of

Mondays 445-645 pm, Fridays 445-645 pm for CSO 
in Bailey Hall (TBC)

Tuesdays 445-645 pm, Thursdays 445-645 pm for CCO

in Klarman Hall (TBC)

Not everyone would attend all sessions.


Phase three would be in-person rehearsals and performances

from  March 29 to May 9

Given that guidance, the following repertoire is planned. Each member will be assigned to a specific piece based on their ability and audition results. Each piece will have the following specific number of players. Pay attention to the number of string players allowed for each piece. It will be in this format 4,4,2,2,1 means 4 first violins, 4 second violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, and 1 bass. Next to the composer will be in parenthesis the total number of personnel assigned to that piece. For example, Florence Price (13) means there are a total of 13 players assigned to the work by Florence Price.



If you are assigned to either Mahler or Copland register for 4621

Adoration arranged by CK [4 min]

Strings - 4, 4, 4, 2, 2 

2 cellists, 2 bass needs to be on stage among the string players

Harmonium, 2 pianos, percussion needs to be on stage

Violins (8) violas (4), winds flute, oboe clarinet, bass clarinet can be in the auditorium


Symphony No. 4 arranged by Erwin Stein [46 min] [only first three mvts]

fl/picc, ob/Eh, cl,, perc, harmonium, pno[4 hands], Strings [4,4,4,2,2] =24 total


Appalachian Spring [23 min] 

Fl, cl, bsn, pno, Strings [4,4,4,2,1]= 19 total


If you are assigned to Vivaldi, Bernstein or Chevalier de Saint-George register for 3621


Chamber Concerto in D Major, RV 93 with Alex Bonilla [10 min]
Strings - 4,4, 4, 2, 1=15+guitar



Ouverture de L’amant Anonyme [8 min] 

2 obs, 2 hns Strings - 4, 4, 4, 2, 1=19 


Halil for Solo flute, percussion, piano and String Orchestra [16 min] - 3 fls, 5 perc, harp, Strings -4,4,4,2,1 =24 total

Solo flute, piccolo, alto flute (3 flutes) 5 percussionists, piano, harp strings

All of the above has been proposed to facilities and is pending. We will know by February 8, 2021 (hopefully this will be soon).


Typical rehearsal indoors

Monday and Friday schedule for CSO

Tuesday and Thursday schedule for CCO

For Bailey Hall

430-450 pm Setup Bailey Hall

450-520 pm Rehearsal of CCO in Bailey Hall

520 pm transition to Lower Lobby of Bailey Hall

520-550 pm sectional in Lower Lobby of Bailey Hall

545 pm transition back to Stage

550-620 pm Rehearsal of CSO in Bailey Hall

620-645 pm Strike stage


In Klarman Hall

4-430 pm Setup Klarman Hall

430-5 pm Rehearsal of CCO in Klarman Hall

5 pm transition to sectional room TBA

5-530 pm sectional in room TBA break for rest of orchestra

530 pm transition back to Klarman Hall

530-6 pm rehearsal of CCO in Klarman Hall

600-610 pm Strike Klarman Hall

Cornell Symphony Orchestra Spring 2021 Rehearsal schedule (as of Feburary 7, 2021)

This schedule is subject to change please confirm actual schedule via listserv email on Sunday evenings


Day Reh # Time Repertoire Location

Phase #1 Speaker Series with both CCO and CSO members

Wed 2/10 1 4:55 - 6:25 Titus Underwood [Confirmed] Zoom session

Wed 2/17 2 4:55 - 6:25 Garrett McQueen [Confirmed] Zoom session

Wed 2/24 3 4:55 - 5:55 Angelica Cortez [Confirmed] Zoom session

Wed 3/3 4 4:45 - 6:25 Edward Yim [Confirmed] Zoom session

Sun 3/7 Special event 1:00 - 4:00 Festival of Solo works by Underrepresented composers B20 or Bailey Hall TBC


Phase #2 Online score analysis with both CCO and CSO

Monday, March 8, 4:45 - 5:45 session with Er-Gene Kahng, Music of Florence Price

Tues & Wed 3/9-10 - No classes Cornell Wellness day

Friday, March 12, 4:45 - 5:45 Score Study of Bologne with CK Zoom session

Monday, March 15, 4:45 - 5:45 Score Study of Bernstein Zoom session

Friday, March 19, 4:45 - 5:45 Masterclass on Vivaldi with Adam Cockham [confirmed] Zoom session

Monday, March 22 combined CSO/CCO session with 4:45 - 5:45 Guest speaker Carl St.Clair [confirmed] Zoom session

Friday, March 26, 4:45 - 5:45 Score Study of Bernstein with CK Zoom session

Friday, March 26, 5:45 - 6:45 flute sectional on Bernstein Zoom session


Phase #3

Phase 3 rehearsals in-person begins in Bailey Hall with the following protocol

Mondays and Fridays in Bailey Hall 4:30 - 6:30 pm

430-450 pm Setup Bailey Hall

450-520 pm Rehearsal of CSO in Bailey Hall

520 pm transition to Lower Lobby of Bailey Hall

520-545 pm sectional in Lower Lobby of Bailey Hall

545 pm transition back to Stage

550-620 pm Rehearsal of CSO in Bailey Hall

620-630 pm Strike stage


Mon 3/29, 4:30 - 6:30 Bernstein Bailey Hall

Fri 4/2,  4:30 - 6:30 Vivaldi/Bologne/Price Bailey Hall

Mon 4/5,  4:30 - 6:30 Bernstein Bailey Hall

Fri 4/9, 4:30 - 6:30 Vivaldi/Bologne/Price Bailey Hall

Mon 4/12, 4:30 - 6:30 Bernstein Bailey Hall

Fri 4/16, 4:30 - 6:30 Vivaldi/Bologne Bailey Hall

Mon 4/19, 4:30 - 6:30 Bernstein Bailey Hall

April 23-26 Cornell wellness days no classes

Fri 4/30, 4:30 - 6:30   Vivaldi/Price/Bologne Bailey Hall 

Sat 5/1, CSO recording session 1:30 - 3:30 Bernstein Bailey Hall

Sun 5/2, CSO recording session 3:00 - 5 PM Vivaldi/Bologne/Price Bailey Hall

Mon 5/3 CSO recording session 4:30 - 6:30 TBC (if needed) Bailey Hall

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Course Summary:

Date Details Due