Andrews University Symphony Orchestra


The Andrews University Symphony Orchestra is an advanced symphonic orchestra half comprised of students majoring in music, as well as students with other majors, alumni, and additional members of our local community. Therefore, all musicians in and around Andrews University are encouraged to audition for membership in the AUSO. Our musicians encompass all of the string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments found in a professional symphony orchestra. More information can be found below and also on the Auditions webpage, and you can also contact the orchestra's conductor, Dr. Chris Wild, at

The orchestra rehearses from 7-9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week that classes are in session, unless notified otherwise by the conductor (sometimes rehearsals may finish before the final week of classes). For members of the orchestra that demonstrate exceptional skill in their auditions, selected  orchestra "performance scholarships" are also available. For first priority consideration of an orchestra scholarship, make sure you submit your application (found at this link) by April 1 of the year you are applying for (early!). In addition to submitting your completed application, you will need to schedule an audition with Andrews' Director of Orchestra, Dr. Claudio Gonzalez, at If you are unable to audition in person, you may submit a video audition instead with repertoire of your choice. Additional questions may be sent to Dr. Chris Wild.

The majority of the orchestra's content is orchestral repertoire written between 1700 and the present, valuing a diversity of styles, perspectives, and skill development (as demonstrated in the video above). In addition to "standard" symphonic repertoire (most of which is secular), the orchestra also collaborates with vocalists on sacred vocal music, accompanies faculty and student soloists (students are selected via the Young Artist Competition), and offers occasional treats such as popular music during the Christmas season.

In addition to their current series at the Howard Performance Arts Center, the AUSO travels within the Great Lakes region as well as internationally. Since 2006 the orchestra has performed in Hungary, Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Philippines and Costa Rica.

Recent Orchestra Tours

European Tour 2018

European Tour 2006

1st International Adventist Youth Music Festival, Philippines, May/2009

2nd International Adventist Youth Music Festival, Costa Rica, Dec/2011

North Shore SDA Church,  March/2012


Beginning with the 2018-19 season, the AUSO's conductor is Dr. Chris Wild

Dr. Wild also teaches private cello lessons to students majoring in music and also to non-music majors.
Office Location: Hamel Hall 209
Education: D.M.A., Northwestern University; M.M & B.M., University of Michigan
Biography: Available at Dr. Wild's personal website



Director of Orchestras -

Claudio Gonzalez

Title: Associate Professor of Music; Conductor, University Orchestra
Office Location: Hamel Hall 206
Phone: (269) 471-3556
Education: D.M.A., Michigan State University



Claudio Gonzalez began his studies in his native Venezuela. Between 1978 and 1981, he continued violin studies at the Royal College of Music in London, receiving a degree in violin performance. In 1992, under the auspices of the Fulbright Foundation of the government of the United States and the Ayacucho Foundation of Venezuela, he studied at the post-graduate level in violin and orchestral conducting at Michigan State University, where he received a Masters degree in Violin Performance in 1994 and a doctoral degree in Orchestral Conducting in 2003.

Claudio Gonzalez participated in many activities that influenced and developed his training. In 1974, he attended the World Orchestra of the International Federation of Young Musicians as a delegate from Venezuela where he had the opportunity of playing under Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson-Thomas and Seiji Ozawa. In 1975, under the guidance of Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu, he formed part of the group that founded the National Youth Symphony of Venezuela. At the Royal College of Music, he was part of the Chamber Orchestra of that institution where he had the opportunity of playing under Lorin Maazel and George Solti.

As a professor, he taught in important music schools in Venezuela. Dr. Gonzalez was very active as a chamber musician with the Cuarteto Rios Reyna of Caracas as well as guest conductor of important orchestras in Venezuela. From 1995 to 1999, he was assistant conductor of the Chacao Youth Symphony in Caracas and music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Universidad de Carabobo in Valencia, Venezuela.