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The Olin Conductorless Orchestra to Perform an Ann Schaffner Concert May 10

The Olin Conductorless Orchestra (OCO) will perform works by Mozart, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Arturo Marquez, as well as a medley from Pirates of the Caribbean, at Olin College on Friday, May 10, at 1:30pm. 

As an ensemble, minus conductor, OCO features instrumentalists in leadership and collaborative roles.  Dedicated to orchestral performance in the concerted spirit of chamber music, the orchestra forges individual participation, active listening, and group-motivation into performances that have established it as the only conductorless orchestra composed of engineers—in the world!  

Recent performances outside Olin include The Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York City and Powers Hall at the Needham Town Hall, both of which received standing ovations.  In April 2019, OCO performed an invited concert for the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Zone 1 Conference in Niagara Falls, NY.  OCO’s performance was the first time the ASEE had ever hosted an orchestra composed of student engineers; the concert received a standing ovation.

Since its fall 2002 inception, OCO has been a Project-Based Learning (PBL) course where students operate the classroom, and the professor contributes as guide-on-the-side, coach, and re-orchestrator of works chosen by the group.  In helping to run rehearsals, students develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills in a large team environment.  With an essentially flat hierarchy that incorporates an ever-evolving sense of culture and cooperation as a working ensemble, OCO functions as a team of musicians—regardless of position—comprising students, faculty, and external guests, all dedicated to making good music with intensity, camaraderie, excitement, and humor. 

This concert is the seventh in the Ann Schaffner Concert Series, named in memory of former Olin staff member Ann Schaffner and made possible through a generous gift by Stu Schaffner. The concert will take place in the Milas Hall mezzanine at Olin College, 1000 Olin Way, Needham, Massachusetts.

If you have any questions, please contact Paul Coveney here.