The Civic Orchestra of Tucson (COT), an all-volunteer symphony orchestra, is dedicated to enriching the cultural life of the greater Tucson area through its free* concerts at various sites and using innovative ideas to provide music education opportunities for students. The Civic Orchestra of Tucson sponsors guest artists representing talented elementary, secondary, college-age and other musicians. COT is also committed to providing opportunities for adult avocational symphonic instrumentalists to utilize and improve their skills through performance in a symphonic group. * Concerts presented as fundraisers to benefit the Civic Orchestra of Tucson or those sponsored by other organizations may have an admission charge.
Founded in 1975, the Civic Orchestra of Tucson is a 75-piece community orchestra presenting free concerts to residents of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Our accessible concerts enrich the cultural life of the greater Tucson area. Soloists are well-known musicians from Tucson and across the country as well as winners of our Young Artists’ Competition. Each year we partner with Dancing in the Streets Arizona by providing live orchestral music for one of their productions. In December 2019 we once again collaborated with them in two performances of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet. COT is dedicated to encouraging young musicians through innovative educational programs. At our Instrument Petting Zoos, children enjoy a hands-on musical experience as they hold and play a variety of instruments. COT also plays a critical role in cultivating local and statewide musical talent by sponsoring an annual Young Artists’ Competition. Now in its 36th year, the competition has expanded to four categories: winds and percussion, piano, strings, and ensembles. Each category is judged separately with both a junior and a senior division. The competition offers students a good introduction to the audition process and some winners are featured soloists in a COT concert.
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