About the Philharmonic

Did you know that the Philharmonic:

… Celebrates its 42nd anniversary this year?

… Will be featured on national PBS television this Holiday season, and will be seen by more than 1.7 million households?

… Was ranked among the top nine collegiate orchestras in the nation by the American Prize in 2009?

… Music director, Dr. Kevin Bartram, received the American Prize honoring him among the top nine collegiate conductors in the country?

… Presents scholarships to every student musician in the orchestra, regardless of major?

… Offers two full scholarships covering tuition and expenses to incoming freshmen, making these among the top scholarships awarded at UMW?

… Attracts some 17,000 attendees to concerts each year with increasing numbers of young professionals and families?

… Endows scholarships in excess of $1.3 million, which are used to support student musicians?

… Regularly tours overseas, having performed since 2006 in Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, England, France, and Italy in 2011/12?

… Introduces top celebritites and local stars each year, including Sir James Galway in March 2013, and Itzhak Perlman in 2014? Past artists include Kenny Rogers, Marvin Hamlisch, Judy Collins, the Canadian Brass, Ramsey Lewis Trio, Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart, the Kingston Trio, Lynda Carter, and Miss America Caressa Cameron.

Now, you know!  Call us at (540) 654-1324 to become a part of another exciting season!

About the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra…

In its 42nd year, the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the most successful organizations on campus, boasting approximately 90 members from the student body and the community.

The orchestra is highly respected for its musicianship and its mission to support students and the Fredericksburg community. The orchestra performs six or more concerts annually, including the October Masterworks program, two Holiday Pops concerts (a Fredericksburg “must do”), the Celebrity Series, a Spring concert, and two popular July 4th concerts. The group also performs annually for the UMW Commencement exercises in May.

National Awards

In 2009, the orchestra was honored by the American Prize as being among the top 9 college orchestras in the country. This prestigious honor, based on recordings of the group, was particularly special considering that most of the other honorees were large Division I programs. Maestro Kevin Bartram was at the same time honored with a prize as a top conductor in the college orchestra conductors division.

In 2012, UMW President Richard V. Hurley received a national award from the College Orchestra Directors Association for his support of the orchestra program at UMW. The award was presented to Hurley at the March 2012 concert.


This coming holiday season, the Philharmonic will be featured on a national PBS broadcast, seen by more than 1.7 million households. The Philharmonic’s 2011 Holiday Pops show “A Down Home Christmas” starred renowned fiddle player Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, and the Family Band. With producer and 4-time Emmy Award winner Jim Brown as our partner, PBS will air the concert, entitled “A Fiddler’s Holiday” as a national hour-long pledge show beginning this December. Rounder Records, an internationally-known label who represents Alison Krauss, will be producing a DVD and CD package of the concert for distribution and sale across the country.

Celebrity Series

The Celebrity Series is an annual event that features world-class artists performing with the UMW Philharmonic orchestra. No other college orchestra in the country has such a program. The Celebrity series, now in its 10th year, is the longest running concert celebrity series in the region. In 2004, the first artist was the renowned (and late) Broadway maestro Marvin Hamlisch. Other celebrities have included the Canadian Brass, singer Judy Collins, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, and the Kingston Trio. In May 2009, the Philharmonic shared the stage with the legendary conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, Keith Lockhart. In 2010, they hosted TV’s legendary Wonder Woman, singer Lynda Carter, followed by Miss America Caressa Cameron in 2011, and Kenny Rogers in 2012. The 10th Anniversary Celebrity Series concert, in March 2013, will be “The Man with the Golden Flute”…Sir James Galway. In 2014, the Philharmonic is excited to perform with the legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman.

Touring Program

In May 2006, the UMW Philharmonic kicked off its touring program with a trip to Europe. The group traveled to the Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany on a “Mozart Tour,” which mirrored the travels of the young Mozart as a child prodigy. In May 2008, the orchestra toured England and France, and featured performances of Faure’s Requiem with a French choir in Paris. This past Christmas season 2011/12, the group toured Italy, with performances in Venice, Florence, and Rome. Both students and community musicians in the group, and their families, participate in these tours.

Music for the Community

The orchestra has performed the “Independence Day Spectacular” at Pratt Park for the past six years, kicking off the city’s fireworks display to over 6,000 people. In 2011, the group added a second concert on July 3rd at Fredericksburg’s Historic Market Square. With innovative and creative programming, which Keith Lockhart described as “extraordinary”, the Philharmonic’s concerts are always well-attended.


The Philharmonic enjoys remarkable community support, with a 250-member “Friends of the Philharmonic” and financial support that has generated over $1.3 million in endowments to finance student scholarships.  This past year, the Philharmonic awarded more than $45,000 to orchestra students. The Philharmonic’s Board of Directors are comprised of talented and engaged community citizens who manage the fundraising, advertising, operations, and public relations for the group.


The Philharmonic’s outreach organization, Fiddlestix, sponsors several children’s programs each year, including an “Instrument Petting Zoo,” and other children’s concerts. With the help of the Philharmonic Scholars program, called by the College Orchestra Directors Association as “one of the most progressive scholarship programs in the nation”, our students give back to the community through service projects that they create themselves. This past year, Philharmonic students worked in area schools, performed for city and University events, and organized talent shows at retirement homes, among other activities.

With an established record of excellence, vision for the future, the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic will continue to add prestige to the university and to the Fredericksburg region.