New York City Guitar Orchestra

Phil Goldenberg, Director

Sign up for the New York City Guitar Orchestra

Click here for New York City Guitar Orchestra concert videos.

The New York City Guitar Orchestra was established in 2010 by the New York City Classical Guitar Society. Directed by Jason Sagebiel from then until 2022, and now directed by Phil Goldenberg, the orchestra is committed to providing a valuable ensemble experience for guitarists of diverse backgrounds, while maintaining musical excellence and a commitment to fostering the creation of new music. Through its new music project, made possible by the generous support of The Augustine Foundation, the Orchestra has comissioned the following new works:

  • Landloper by Gyan Riley
  • Two of a Kind by Marco Oppedisano
  • Opening by Eleonor Sandresky
  • Bachirvanas by Jason Sagebiel
  • Notes for a Concerto Grosso by Frank Brickle
  • Guitar Brigade by Joseph Parisi
  • Concerto for Four Guitars and Guitar Orchestra by David Loeb
  • Three Brazilian Pieces for Guitar Orchestra by João Luiz
  • Catwalk by Andrew York
  • Magnetic Trance by Clarice Assad
  • Inner Voices by Richard Charlton (commissioned for the NYCGO by Jillann Farmer)
  • Chorale by Frederic Hand
  • Unsung Hymn for a Friend by Pat Irwin
  • How Slowly, All of a Sudden by Joshua Eustis
  • Folksongs by William Anderson
  • Ambienspheres by Jonathan Pieslak
  • Granada by Dave Hart
  • Mist by Tanikawa Takuma

For past Orchestra concert programs, see the archive page. For video, visit the Orchestra’s YouTube channel.

Becoming a member of the New York City Guitar Orchestra

If you are ready to join, please visit sign up here.

If you have any questions that are not answered below, email us at info [at] nyccgs [dot] com.

Who can be a New York City Guitar Orchestra member?

Membership is open to qualified guitarists who meet audition requirements and are members of the New York City Classical Guitar Society. We also welcome non-playing members who wish to be involved by volunteering to support the orchestra’s many technical and administrative tasks. If you would like to join in any capacity, please contact us at info [at] nyccgs [dot] com

What can you expect at your audition?

The Orchestra Director will hear you play. You may be asked to play a short prepared piece and sight-read some music to show that you’ll be able to learn the music. Don’t be discouraged by the sight-reading — good tone, good memory, and enthusiastic attitude are usually all that’s required.

What costs are involved?

The season is split into two sessions, the first running from September to December, the second from January to May. For each session, orchestra dues are $150, $50 for full-time students.

What is expected of orchestra members?

Members are expected to practice, to attend weekly rehearsals, and to be prepared for rehearsal each week. We have prominent composers write music for our orchestra, and we expect to perform the music to the highest standards. Members are expected to spend time at home to learn their parts securely, to reinforce the work done in rehearsals, and to attend sectional rehearsals. For the more difficult music, we’ll provide recordings and schedule extra sectional rehearsals as needed.

What are the attendance policies?

Unless otherwise noted, rehearsals are held each week on Monday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Members are expected to attend all rehearsals.

There is one dress rehearsal for each concert during the season, for which attendance is especially critical, and which will be held before each concert. Attendance at all rehearsals, sectionals, and dress rehearsals is required. If you are unable to attend a rehearsal, you must notify your Section Leader and the Orchestra Director in advance.

What other work is required?

The administration of the orchestra is handled by the Director, the President of the Guitar Society, and by volunteers. We rely not only on the musical talents of the members, but also on their efforts to sell tickets, publicize performances, recruit new members, serve on committees, and take on special projects of all sorts. For concerts, our members help set up our chairs, stands, and other equipment, and load it all back up when the concert is over. It’s easy when everyone helps. We’re an organization of volunteers, and so each member is expected to help in some way.

Please check the season schedule for rehearsal and concert dates, and please contact us if you have any questions.