Pursue Your Passion for Music!

The 65-member Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony (AUCS) performs three full orchestra concerts per season, plus a fall musical and other concerts. The AUCS provides an exciting and rewarding experience to Northern students and community musicians who are interested in performing great orchestral music.


The Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony has been a focal point of musical life in Aberdeen for more than a century. It was founded as the Normal Orchestra before 1910 under J.J. Cason, and became a college/community orchestra in 1920 under Howard Elson Goodsell. Visit AUCS History to learn more.



The nonprofit Friends of the Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony supports the orchestra and strengthens it as a community resource. The orchestra receives an Importation of Musicians Grant from the South Dakota Arts Council.



For information about tickets for orchestra concerts, contact the NSU Fine Arts Office at 605-626-2497.


AUCS Magazine

With Strings Attached 2023-24 Season


Music director and conductor

Christopher Stanichar has been AUCS music director and conductor since 2018.  He is an assistant professor at Northern State University and an active professional conductor throughout the Midwest, also serving as music director of the Worthington Area Symphony Orchestra in Southwest Minnesota since 2010.  He is the former music director of several prestigious ensembles throughout the United States, including the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestra, Orchestra Omaha, and Seven Hills Sinfonietta (Cincinnati).  


AUCS Repertoire



Aberdeen University-Civic Symphony is open to all students and community members by audition only. For Northern students, up to 3 semesters of ensemble credit (MUEN110-310) can be counted toward the Arts & Humanities six-credit requirement for graduation. Please email Christopher Stanichar for more information.