Based at North Carolina State University (NCSU), and co-sponsored by the Department of Music and the non-profit organization Raleigh Civic Symphony Association (RCSA), the Raleigh Civic Symphony and Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra are amateur orchestras comprised almost equally of volunteer community musicians and college students. The orchestras are unique in their ongoing commitment to perform contemporary and traditional classical music presented in a thematic context, connecting orchestral repertoire to larger ideas in creative ways.

The Raleigh Civic Symphony

The Raleigh Civic Symphony is a 75-member full symphony orchestra performing two concerts yearly. Area professionals serve as principal strings and section coaches, providing high-level instruction and leadership to community and student players.


Recent concerts have included: “Be Kind, Rewind…” featuring works by Clyne, Copland, and Dvorak; and “Dance, Dance…Revolution!” featuring works by Stravinsky, Janacek, Glass, Sibelius, and Strauss, Jr.

Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra

Founded in 2000, the Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra explores repertoire for a smaller orchestral force. The Chamber has the same high artistic standards as the Symphony, performs two programs yearly, and uses professional leaders as coaches for the ensemble.


Recent concert have included: “London, Argentina, Infinity… and Beyond!” featuring works by Hayden, Jalbert, and Ginastera; and “Once Upon a Time: Legends, Fairy Tales, and Fantasies” featuring works by Dvorak, Askim, and Ravel.

Our Conductor

Dr. Peter Askim

Active as a composer, conductor and bassist, Peter Askim is the Artistic Director of the Next Festival of Emerging Artists and the newly appointed conductor of the Raleigh Civic Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, as well as Director of Orchestral Activities at North Carolina State University. He was previously Music Director and Composer-in-Residence of the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra. He has also been a member of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and served on the faculty of the University of Hawaii-Manoa, where he directed the Contemporary Music Ensemble and taught theory and composition.

Visit his website www.peteraskim.com and follow him on Twitter @PeterAskim


  • Sun
    4:00 pmStewart Theatre, NCSU Student Center, 2610 Cates Ave, Raleigh, NC 27607

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    Funded by a generous grant from the NC State Sustainability Fund, the music of the Great Animal Orchestra Symphony combines the sounds of wild animals in the natural environment with the musicians of a live symphony orchestra. Touching on themes of sustainability and animal/human interaction, the Great Animal Orchestra Symphony is at once touching, thought provoking and great fun!

    Tickets: $10 Adults, $8 Seniors, $5 Students, Children Under 12 Free. Available for purchase at the door or in advance through Ticket Central
    Parking Information: http://www.ncsu.edu/arts/mapsanddirections.html

  • Sun
    4:00 pmStewart Theatre, NCSU Student Center, 2610 Cates Ave, Raleigh, NC 27607

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    Join the Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra for an afternoon of compelling storytelling, laughter and great music, featuring the myriad voices of Guest Narrator Harry Shearer. Mr. Shearer is the voice of 23 of the characters on The Simpsons, including Mr. Burns, Smithers and Ned Flanders. Featuring Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf in a special version unique to NC State, the concert is perfect for the whole family and for children of all ages!

    Tickets: $10 Adults, $8 Seniors, $5 Students, Children Under 12 Free. Available for purchase at the door or in advance through Ticket Central 
    Parking Information: http://www.ncsu.edu/arts/mapsanddirections.html

'Bright lights on the music scene in Raleigh.'
- Spectator,
'Askim has a fine podium manner, devoid of histrionics: he clearly knows what he is seeking, musically, and how to obtain it from his players.'
- John W. Lambert,
'... this energetic young conductor and the committed musicians are all set to carry on in the first-rate tradition set by their honored predecessors'
- Paul D. Williams,



Your tax-deductible contributions to the Raleigh Civic Symphony Association help support the orchestra programs and their educational mission through music purchase and rental, compensation for coaches and guest artists, marketing, and administrative support.

Contributions from individuals and business are welcomed. If you would like to make a donation to the RSCA in support of the orchestras, you can send a check, or donate through PayPal.

Checks can be made payable to: RCSA

Mail to:
Box 7311, NCSU – Music
Raleigh, NC 27695

For PayPal or credit card donations:



The Raleigh Civic Symphony Association is supported by the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County with funds from the Grassroots Arts Council, a state agency, Wake County and the United Arts Campaign.

This project is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on recommendation of the Raleigh Arts Commission.



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Price Music Center
NC State University
Raleigh, NC