Adult Programs

Registration is now open for all of our

Spring 2023 OKCPHIL Society of Strings Ensembles!

Society of Strings (SoS) consists of adult amateur string players of all skill levels. Be the Orchestra introductory courses introduce fundamentals and prepare students to join the SoS performing ensembles. More advanced participants play in the Encore, Sinfonia, and Rubato ensembles that perform two annual concerts. All groups are led by OKCPHIL musicians and educators, emphasize advancing technical and musical skills, and are invited to exclusive educational and social activities with OKCPHIL musicians and guest artists.

Click to Read Announcement: New Chamber Program – Rubato
(Scroll down for Audition Excerpts and Registration Information)

All classes/ensembles meet once a week on Monday evenings, 6:30-8:00, at First Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City. Registration fees include all materials necessary for class. You will need to provide your own instrument – we can help you connect with a local music store to rent an instrument. Semester dates are listed below in each program description.

Society of Strings charges a registration fee to contribute to program costs and special events. Fees/tuition are listed below in each program description. However, to relieve financial burden as a potential barrier to participation, members donate to a fund that covers partial and full scholarships for their fellow musicians. Donations exceeding scholarship needs are applied to operating costs of the program and exclusive Society of Strings experiences with OKCPHIL musicians and guest artists. Please email to donate or request a scholarship.


To join our mailing list to receive registration notices and program updates, please submit the Society of Strings Interest Form. Participants ages 18 and up are welcome. Beginners are free to register for the Be the Orchestra – Beginner course during Fall open registration. New participants with any prior playing experience should register now and list prior training/experience in the form. Society of Strings Coordinator, Dr. Rob Bradshaw, will later reach out to discuss ensemble placement.

COVID-19 Safety Requirements (as of 9.30.22)

Masking and testing requirements will depend upon whether a member is fully vaccinated (including all boosters), as defined by the CDC and has provided this documentation to Society of Strings.

Required vaccination documentation: valid driver’s license or comparable ID that includes the member’s birthday AND records of all vaccination doses (including boosters). Records may be the member’s vaccination card or records from the vaccination site or healthcare provider. Members may submit scans/photos of documentation online during registration, via email to, or brought in person to rehearsal.

For members who have submitted adequate vaccination documentation, masks during rehearsal are optional, and no other action is needed as long as boosters are kept up-to-date and they are not exposed to COVID-19. *

For members who have not submitted adequate vaccination documentation, masks covering both nose and mouth are required at all times indoors at SoS activities. Additionally, upon their arrival to the event, these members will be required to provide documentation of negative COVID-19 test results. Testing options include:

  • COVID-19 PCR test taken within the four days before the SoS activity. Free, convenient PCR tests at locations across the OKC Metro Area by IMMY Labs can be scheduled via, but tests from any institution are acceptable.

  • An at-home COVID-19 antigen rapid test taken the day of the event. A photo of the test result should be taken at the end of the 15-minute wait period to serve as documentation.

  • If member has neither of the options above upon arrival to rehearsal, they will be required to take a self-test antigen rapid test on site and will not be allowed into rehearsal until the 15- minute wait time has passed. Members can only use this last-result option up to 3 times in a semester.


*Members who experience a known COVID-19 exposure should wear a mask for 10 days following the last exposure. It is recommended to follow additional CDC guidelines for exposures.

The Oklahoma City Philharmonic takes the health and safety of our OKCPHIL family very seriously, including musicians, staff, volunteers, and Society of Strings members. We will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 in the area, and decisions regarding safety protocol may require reevaluation throughout the season in order to protect our community. For more information, contact or

Be the Orchestra

“Be the Orchestra” is the beginning cohort in the OKCPHIL Society of Strings program, led by Lacie Bowlware. Its goal is to teach the fundamentals of string playing in a heterogeneous string class for adult beginners. Students in this course need no prerequisite skill or knowledge in string playing or music. Classes meet for 10 weeks in the fall and spring semesters, one time per week. Upon completion of two semesters of Be the Orchestra, students advance into Encore, a performance-based intermediate ensemble. Click the link below before choosing an instrument to aid in your decision!

Be the Orchestra – Intermediate classes are every Monday evening 6:30–8:00 from February 13th – April 24th, and tuition is $200/semester. A new Beginner class will begin in the fall – please submit an Interest Form above to receive registration information when it opens in late summer.


Encore is an intermediate-level performance ensemble. Encore members generally have one or two year’s playing experience or have completed the Be the Orchestra program. Led by Dr. Rob Bradshaw, this ensemble performs in public concerts twice each year while also improving their technical, musical, and ensemble skills. Players in the ensemble should be comfortable playing in first position on their instrument on all four strings. Skills which will develop with participation in Encore include: solid tone production, focused intonation, advanced rhythms, vibrato, shifting to third position (violins/violas), shifting to third and fourth positions (cellos/basses), and more.

The spring SoS semester for performing ensembles is January 23rd – April 24th, and fees are $150/semester.


Sinfonia is the upper-level large performance ensemble of Society of Strings. This ensemble performs a wide range of repertoire, and students should be comfortable playing in multiple positions on their instrument. Repertoire requires advanced musical knowledge and skill with challenging rhythms, a developed tone, solid vibrato, and the ability to play in keys up to three sharps and three flats. Led by Jean Statham, this ensemble performs twice each year. Students will continue to develop a tonal palette, play in both simple and compound meters, develop an expressive vibrato, and develop their orchestral ensemble skills.

The spring SoS semester for performing ensembles is January 23rd – April 24th, and fees are $150/semester.


Rubato is a new chamber performance ensemble, considered the most advanced level of the OKCPHIL Society of Strings, focused on developing skills necessary to perform small ensemble music (music written for 3-18 players). Players in small chamber groups must possess solid technical and musical skills, as well as a willingness to play individual parts and lead their own rehearsals with the help of instructor/coach, Steve Waddell. Players must successfully complete an audition to be placed in this program but need no prior chamber experience. Students will be coached in weekly sessions on repertoire for their ensemble and present performances twice throughout the year on Society of Strings concerts, as well as additional performance opportunities as they arise.

The spring SoS semester for performing ensembles is January 23rd – April 24th, and fees are $150/semester.

Video auditions should be submitted within the SoS registration form. Videos may be recorded on a phone or laptop – no special equipment is necessary. All auditionees not selected for Rubato will be offered a spot in another SoS performance ensemble that fits their skill level.

Click the button below to register!