Civic Orchestra of Tucson

Civic Orchestra of Tucson

Welcome to our 2021–2022 Season

December 2021 concert information

Upcoming Concerts

Saturday, December 4 at  3:00 PM
Valley Presbyterian Church
2800 S Camino Del Sol, Green Valley
Masks required at this concert.

Sunday, December 5 at 3:00 PM
Christ Church United Methodist,
655 N Craycroft Rd. Tucson
Masks required at this concert.

Free Concerts. No Tickets Required.

Featuring music by Leonard Bernstein, Ellsworth Milburn, John Williams, and Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”

Click to read more about these concerts.

“I believe that it was March 10, 2020, when the musicians and board of COT closed the musical doors and crawled into a Covid cave. It has been nearly 18 months now as we emerge. Seems like a very long time, and it has been. We are so grateful to once again be making music and to host such wonderful guest artists! Our hearts will certainly be enriched performing for you. We hope it is the same for you, the listener. Welcome Bach.”  ~ Charles Bontrager, Music Director

Please look on our Concerts page to see our current schedule.

This is the policy for our musicians:

“Thank you for your enthusiasm and dedication to the Civic Orchestra of Tucson. For the time being, if you are not vaccinated, please stay home. If you come, mask when you arrive and when you leave. Strings, please stay properly masked; wind players mask as much as possible. Distance as much as possible with a minimum of three feet (if you can touch the person next to you, you are too close), one person per stand.

This policy was influenced by a survey sent to COT orchestra members. The Board of Directors will revisit and revise this policy regularly as needed.”
(updated August 28, 2021)

Spring 2021: Civic Orchestra of Tucson Presents World Premiere by Bob Atwell

During the pandemic, the Civic Orchestra of Tucson performed and recorded “Soliloquy” by local composer Bob Atwell in memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Click to read more about this piece and view it on YouTube.

A Community Treasure Since 1975

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.

Our Pops concerts are filled with familiar tunes that all ages will enjoy.

Please visit our Concert Schedule page for information about our season. We are hopeful that we will be able to present all concerts as scheduled this year.

Mission Statement

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.

Our Commitment to Youth

The 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.


Rehearsals for the COT are held on Tuesdays from 7:00 to 9:30 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1540 E Linden Street in Tucson. Our season runs from early September through mid-May.

Musicians Welcome

The COT provides local musicians with an opportunity to play in a full symphony orchestra. If you are a musician who enjoys playing symphonic music—and occasionally Pops music—we invite you to join us. We are currently seeking musicians in our first violin, viola, and cello sections. Other vacancies may be posted at a later time. Learn more.

Our 2020–2021 season is supported in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, which receives support from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts.


and also by the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, funded by the City of Tucson and Pima County.


Photos of Charles Bontrager and the orchestra by Photography by Casey James.