University High School has one of the most successful and comprehensive music programs in West Virginia.  The orchestra was formed in 2003 under founding director Joel Cotter.  From 2003-2018, the UHS Orchestra performed as part of the combined Morgantown High School / University High School orchestra and received WV Music Educators Association Honor Ensemble recognition in 2009, 2015, & 2017.

Recently, the UHS Music Department founded the school's first Symphony Orchestra made up entirely of students from University High School.  The Symphony Orchestra was named a 2020 WVMEA Honor Ensemble and performed at the state music educators conference in Charleston, WV.

The University High School Orchestra performs several times throughout the year - from the annual "Ghost-Notes!" concert in October to the UHS Spring Band and Orchestra concert in May.  The UHS Instrumental Music Department prides itself on diversifying the performance opportunities for students.  There are several ways students can get involved in the orchestra program:

String Orchestra

A traditional string orchestra that performs literature based on the ability level of the ensemble.  Our string orchestra is available to all string players who were in orchestra in middle/elementary school and/or who take private lessons.  All students in the UHS Orchestra perform in the String Orchestra.

Symphony Orchestra

An advanced performing ensemble that combines the school’s string orchestra and symphonic winds.  Students in this ensemble will study and perform orchestral masterworks from various musical periods and cultures.  This ensemble is only available on a year-by-year basis.

Musical Pit Orchestra

Each year, the UHS Theatre Department puts on a musical production during the spring semester.  Students from the orchestra who volunteer to perform in the musical's pit orchestra will have the opportunity to be a part of this great experience and perform with several professional musicians.  This ensemble rehearses after-school throughout the spring.


Are you an elementary school student interested in joining your school's orchestra?


Interested in learning more about the benefits of music education?


2020 UHS Symphony Orchestra

WVMEA Honor Ensemble

Corey Orban, director

2017 UHS-MHS Combined Orchestra

WVMEA Honor Ensemble

Joel Cotter, director

2015 UHS-MHS Combined Orchestra

WVMEA Honor Ensemble

Joel Cotter, director

2009 UHS-MHS Combined Orchestra

WVMEA Honor Ensemble

Joel Cotter, director