NIU Community School of the Arts - CSA Sinfonia



  • Ages 14 - 20
  • 28 Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Room 155, Music Building
  • Schedule:  August 27 - May 6.  No rehearsals October 29 and November 26, December 10 - 31, February 25, March 25, and Aprl 1.  Final rehearsal in fall is December 3; rehearsals resume in 2015 on January 7.
  • Come to the first-night picnic on August 27 at 6 p.m. in Annie's Woods, weather permitting, or in the Concert Hall lobby. 
  • Admission is by audition only.
  • Concerts: November 19, February 18, May 13, 7:30 p.m., Concert Hall
    Note:  On concert nights, the parking sign in the lot south of the Music Building (Lot 3) will be adjusted to allow free parking without a pass.
  • Director: Linc Smelser
  • Fee: $290 (annual)
  • Concerto Competition
  • Auditions - Current Year and Next Year
  • Bring A Friend Day - Sinfonia
  • Hear CSA Sinfonia in performance

String, wind, brass, and percussion players! Here's your chance to play original masterpieces by Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven, as well as music from the 20th century, including popular music classics by Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. The music is fun and challenging.

A brief history of CSA Sinfonia:  Now in its 16th year, CSA Sinfonia began as a middle school string ensemble, CMS Strings, in 1993, and was directed by the late Arthur Montzka. Linc Smelser became director in 1996 and in 1999, the ensemble became a full orchestra. CSA Sinfonia's reunion concert in December 2013 attracted 100 performers.

BRING A FRIEND DAY - JANUARY 14: The second rehearsal in spring is open to any high school musician who would like to experience the orchestra – for free! Members of the group are encouraged to bring a friend that day, but anyone is welcome to attend this rehearsal. There’s no fee and no obligation. 


NIU CSA Sinfonia Concert 2012-10-24

NIU CSA Sinfonia Concert 2013-02-20

NIU CSA Sinfonia Concert 2013-05-08 

NIU CSA Sinfonia Reunion Concert 2013-12-22

NIU CSA Sinfonia Concert 2014-03-05

NIU CSA Sinfonia Concert 2014-05-07

CSA Sinfonia Concerto Competition

This annual competition is for musicians who are 18 years old or younger and who live within a 75-mile radius of DeKalb. Players are expected to perform one memorized movement of a standard concerto or work with orchestral accompaniment. Competitors need not be in the CSA Sinfonia. Winners may not compete again on the same instrument. Details and application forms are available online and in the office. The winner receives a prize of $200 and performs the concerto with the orchestra at the February concert. Applications are due October 20; auditions are November 10.

AUDITIONS for the 2015-2016 season: June 1, 2015, beginning at 4 p.m. Contact the office at (815) 753-1450 by May 15 for a timeslot. Be prepared to play two pieces in contrasting styles (e.g., slow and fast). Auditions are required every year for brass, woodwind, percussion, and new string players. String players who were members last year do not need to audition.

AUDITIONS for the current season. Auditions were held in May 2014.  If you missed them and are interested in joining the orchestra, contact the office at (815) 753-1450 to request an audition.