UMW Philharmonic Orchestra

The Mary Washington College and Community Orchestra was founded by Dr. James Baker in 1970, and has served as a vital public face for the university and for the music department.  From the start, the ensemble brought together student, faculty, and community musicians in order to perform orchestral repertoire together–on campus and elsewhere (in Carnegie Hall, in various cities in the United States, and on several international tours).  Dr. Baker and his successor, Dr. Kevin Bartram (under whom the name of the ensemble changed to the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra), developed substantial community support for the orchestra, providing each year scholarship awards to every student in the group and enabling partnerships with a wide variety of artists over the years–from violinists Itzhak Perlman, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (both of whom have returned to perform with the orchestra a second time) and Joshua Bell, to Kenny Rogers, Judy Collins, Kristin Chenoweth, and Marvin Hamlisch–and many more.

Starting in 2020, the Philharmonic welcomes the versatile Glenn Quader to the podium.

COVID-19 Status

Like every performing organization, the UMW Philharmonic has had to forego our usual routines during the coronavirus crisis:  we do not expect to be able to perform before an in-house audience anytime during the fall semester, if not the whole 2020-21 academic year–which would have been our fiftieth season.  Currently UMW policies during the pandemic do not allow for more than 30 people together in the same room, so even full rehearsals are impossible for the time being.  We will update this webpage as more information becomes available; in the meantime, questions can be directed to