Orchestra Overview

The Minnesota Saints Orchestra provides opportunities for musicians in the Twin Cities area to use their instrument in the service of the Lord, increase their talents, and enjoy the camaraderie of making music together.  Membership is open to competent and responsible musicians of high school age or older.  We welcome people of different faiths and backgrounds; you do not need to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to play in the orchestra.

Learn more about how to prepare for orchestra auditions.

How do you know if you are ready to play in the orchestra?

The following table describes the range of characteristics between professional players and high school players just reaching proficiency; we try to make room for all players whose skill meets the demands of our repertoire.  Tier 1 players are often our section leaders.  The bulk of our orchestra can be categorized as Tier 2 players.  From time to time we offer training experiences for Tier 3 players to join the orchestra for particular programs or pieces within a program. 

Skills & Attributes

Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
Plays accurately by self; can adjust quickly and appropriately in an ensemble,
Can hear and adjust by self or in ensemble when directed to,
May have difficulty identifying intonation problems but can match pitches when directed to
Comfort across entire range of instrument in all keys. (Strings play all three octave scales). Can control dynamics despite difficult range. General mastery of instrument’s technique
Comfort in all keys within a modest range on instrument (strings play all two octave scales). Has experience with advanced technique on instrument (for example double tonguing for winds; thumb position for celli and basses)
Can play all chromatic notes in a limited range but less comfortable with some keys. Strings play in first position with occasional shifts
Can play with a variety of vibratos. Can both project or blend in ensemble. Plays with intent
Can play with vibrato; has ability to produce different tones with bow control/air support
Can vary dynamics and general playing styles: smooth; accented; staccato


Attendance at rehearsals is extremely important, for your presence not only benefits yourself  but also every other musician and conductor involved.  Each orchestra is built around an expected rehearsal schedule, and you will be required to commit to the rehearsals as well as the performances to be in the ensemble.  If you must miss a rehearsal, it is preferred that you find a sub.  Missed rehearsals must also be cleared with the directors, who may choose to invite another performer to participate instead.

All orchestra staffing needs should be determined 6-8 weeks before the concert date.  After this time your place in the ensemble may given to someone else on the waiting list.

Current Season Needs

We have room for more strings, particularly violins, violas, and string bass.  We are also in need of a bass clarinet.  We have an opening for an oboe player starting fall 2023.