Mercury Orchestra


Who may join the orchestra?
The Mercury Orchestra is a community effort involving approximately one hundred advanced instrumentalists of all ages from the greater Cambridge/Boston (Massachusetts) area. Programming from prior years is available on our Concerts page. All orchestra positions are volunteer/no-pay/no-fee.

What orchestra positions are open?
The orchestra has several open positions in violin, viola, violoncello, contrabass, oboe, English horn, French horn, trombone, and harp.

Rehearsal substitute positions are open for piccolo, clarinet, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, trumpet, tenor trombone, and percussion.

How do I audition?
The next auditions for new members and substitute members will be held in May 2022. Audition candidates should prepare two contrasting selections of 3-5 minutes each, preferably including the first movement of a romantic concerto or sonata, and 2-3 orchestral excerpts (which may but need not be selected from this season's repertoire). There will also be a short sight-reading. All auditions are by appointment and will be heard by an audition committee. To schedule an audition, please complete our form here.

To be notified of auditions in future seasons, please consider joining our auditions information list here.

When does the orchestra play?
The orchestra rehearses twice a week in the 4 to 5 weeks preceding each concert. The orchestra plays only during the summer. In 2019 the orchestra performed three different programs, in Sanders Theatre at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA; at the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Boston Esplanade; and at Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory in Boston, MA. Members typically play in one or more concerts depending upon instrumentation and availability.

In 2021, the orchestra rehearses primarily at the Center for Arts at the Armory in Somerville. Rehearsals take place typically Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings from mid-July to late August.

How can I find out more information?
Please contact our auditions coordinator at