Palomar Symphony Orchestra

Course Info

Course Info

MUS 198 Palomar Symphony Orchestra (.5,1)
1½ or 3 hours laboratory
Prerequisite: Enrollment subject to audition
Note: May be taken 4 times
Transfer acceptability: CSU; UC

Study, rehearsal, and performance of a wide variety of orchestral literature from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century styles. Attendance at all scheduled performances is required. Directed by Ellen Weller with Concertmaster Ullricke Reiner-Marcus.

Note from the Director

We are a full symphonic orchestra that meets on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:50PM in room D6 at Palomar College in San Marcos, California.

We are open to community members, professional musicians, and college students. The Palomar Symphony Orchestra is offered as a class through Palomar College and all members are required to register for the class through the college.

The Palomar Symphony Orchestra offers 4 concerts per season at Palomar College, the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, the Poway Center for the Performing Arts and at a variety of performing venues in the greater San Diego community at large. Check our links for registration, audition and concert dates.

Our 2014-2015 season will begin in mid August. We look forward to working with you in our mission to bring symphonic music to the greater San Diego community and students.

2014-2015 Season

Palomar Symphony Orchestra 2014-2015 Season

“Water Music: The Flow of Ideas, People, Spirit and Nature”

Music and water share many common properties: both are made up of single tiny moments or droplets, that combine to create waves, and both encompass the idea of flow. Dedicated to California’s ongoing drought, each concert will present pieces that were inspired by water, either directly or metaphorically.  Other pieces will accentuate music’s own tendencies to float ideas, both drifting and turbulent, from inception to the sea of shared human experience.

October 10-11: Water Music I – Flow of Ideas: Across the English Channel

These pieces were all composed by composers from Germany and Austria who made their way across the English Channel to find a home for their ideas.

Handel, Suite from Water Music

Mendelssohn, Overture, the Hebrides

Haydn, Symphony No. 104 (“London”)

November 21-22 Water Music II – Flow of People: American Waters (with Palomar Chamber Singers)

These pieces were all inspired by the geography of the United States, and the clash of old Native American, European and African cultures producing something entirely new

Sousa, Hands Across the Sea

Grofe, Mississippi Suite

Dvorak, Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”

March 14 Water Music III – Flow of the Spirit: Musical Emotions with special guest, Dr. Peter Gach, piano

Music that features the liquid flow of emotions, the tears of the displaced:  from fierce longing and homesickness, to the deep connections to important waterways under times of cultural repression.

Chopin, Piano Concerto No. 1

Smetana, The Moldau

By the Waters of Babylon/Flow My Tears

May 2015 TBA Water Music IV – Flow of the Wild: Humans living in harmony with Nature

As part of the PAD festival, the PSO is proud to feature the work of its own resident composer, Dr. Madelyn Byrne, and the exquisite performance of Concertmaster Ulli Reiner in an original violin concerto inspired by the Decorah Eagles and conservation efforts to save endangered species.

Giracello, Comet Overture

Byrne, Violin Concerto

Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral”PSO Director, Ellen Weller

Meet the Director and Concertmaster

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Dr. Ellen Weller joined the Palomar Performing Arts Department in 2005, where she teaches classes in music theory, ear-training and music literature and directs the Palomar Symphony Orchestra. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in Music Composition from Queens College of the City University of New York, and completed her PhD studies at UCSD. She has studied conducting with Peter Jaffe, Donald Portnoy, David Chase, Martin Canellakis, Harvey Sollberger, and Kenneth Bell. She was an invited Fellow at the 2012 Conductors Institute of South Carolina, and recently appeared as guest conductor with the Poway Symphonette.

A pianist and multi-winds performer, Weller has two CDs on the Circumvention label: Spirits, Little Dreams and Improvisations (2004) and Point of Contact (2008).  Her compositions include works for solo piano, flute, voice, and chamber ensembles, some exploring improvisation and graphic notation, and have been performed in New York, Detroit, San Diego and Los Angeles. Recent works include Prior’s Waltz for orchestra, 1918: for two pianos and community, incidental music to Angels in America and Pine Apple Rag for piano soloist and orchestra. Websites: and


Ulli Reiner, concertmaster of the Palomar Symphony Orchestra, is an adjunct faculty member of Palomar College and orchestra director with the Poway Unified School District. She is also the manager, founder and concertmaster of the Poway Community Symphony Orchestra and conductor of the Poway Community Symphonette. Ms. Reiner is a co-founder of the San Diego Youth Philharmonic and Civic Youth Orchestras, and she was appointed conductor of the Concert Strings Ensemble with the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory in the fall of 2011.

A graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, Ms. Reiner received a Bachelor of Music Education degree with emphasis in violin and viola performance and continued with graduate study at San Diego State University, the University of Southern California, and the University of San Diego. She has studied violin and viola with Melvin Ritter, Tiberius Klausner, Yukiko Kamei, Noumi Fisher, Milton Thomas and her father, Rudolf Reiner.

As a professional violinist, Ms. Reiner has performed with the San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera, Starlight Opera, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, St. Louis Municipal Opera, the St. Louis Philharmonic, and the Alexandria String Quartet. As a certified private instructor of Suzuki and traditional violin, her students have won numerous awards and scholarships leading to professional careers in music.

Ms. Reiner is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Suzuki Association of San Diego, served on the Board of Directors of the American String Teachers Association and has served as an adjudicator for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. She was recognized in 1991 and again in 1993 by Outstanding Young Women of America and in 2000 was elected to the prestigious Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Since 1995 she has led successful international concert tours of Salzburg, Vienna, London, and Paris conducting the Civic Youth Orchestra Chamber Strings and her “Mostly Mozart Orchestra” comprised of students from the Poway Unified School District. Most recently, she was invited to conduct at the American String Teachers National Convention in Reno, Nevada, and was the guest conductor for the San Diego Unified School District Honor Orchestra.

Ms. Reiner performed a solo with the Maryville University Symphony Orchestra in St. Louis, Missouri in the springs of 2010 and 2012, performs solos regularly with the Poway Community Symphonette .

For more information about Ms. Ulli Reiner, visit her website here.

Meet the Orchestra

Spring 2013

Violin I    
*Ulli Reiner-Concertmaster 
Diane Hunt-Assistant Concertmaster
Rachel Leverenz
Dalia Miguel
Stephanie Snyder
Virginia Thomas
Sam Townsend

Violin II
Fang Fang Li-Principal
Olivia Buscemi
Chenaniah Keshka
Tammy Lam
Gayle McCutchan
Janice McIntire
Alex Pilchowski
Melissa Rexillus

Roger Pine-Principal 
Jan Larson
Jay Lambert
Lina Mendenhall

*Lorie Kirkell-Principal
Joyce Rooks
*Cynthia Torgison

Thomas Torgison-Principal
Nathan Robinson

Kathleen Hamilton-Principal 
Rachel Holtz
Nathaly Loyola

*Gracie Fowler-Principal
Tim Martin

John Lasser-Principal
Nick Vanderschalie

Eleanor Tibbals-Pennington-Principal
Cheryl Knapp

French Horn
*Kenneth Bell-Principal
Judith Barnett
Makeala Latimer

Nicholas Nuss-Principal
Thomas Daily
Zachary Solza

Adam Vickers-Principal
David Burnworth
Andrew Circle
Thomas Yearsley

Austin Lynch

Diego Gutierrez-Principal

*Palomar Faculty Member

Contact the Orchestra

For General orchestra information, string section seating, web site comments or orchestra openings, please contact the music director.

Dr. Ellen Weller (760) 744-1150 X 3949