Doshisha University Orchestra consists of 160 students mainly from Doshisha University. Doshisha University in Kyoto, one of the prestigious Christian schools in Japan, was established by Jo Niijima in 1875 and has produced men of ability. The orchestra acts mainly in Kyoto city, one of the most historical cities in Japan. The orchestra takes proud in its history, members, skills, and enthusiasm for music. The orchestra always aims for "music that touches people's heartstrings" and "passionate performances.
Doshisha University Orchestra was established by Makizo Nakagawa and gave the first concert in 1925. After the first concert, the orchestra faced many difficulties. However, overcoming such challenges, the Messiah Concert commemorating the 60th anniversary of Doshisha University was televised nationwide. Even the Japanese Imperial Family visited its 14th regular concert. After the W.W.Ⅱ, for its recovery and further growth, the orchestra has steadily developed its ability. The orchestra played Beethoven's ninth symphony at its 50th regular concert and it turned out to be extremely successful.
In 1980, the orchestra visited the United States and gave a concert. Since then, it has held concerts in foreign countries every few years, such as in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. The performances were well received.
With these achievements being highly evaluated, in 2012, the orchestra was invited to perform at the Kanazawa City Stage of La Folle Journe, a prominent international music festival which was first started in France. They were the only student orchestra to perform that year, and conducted by Shigeo Genda, their energetic performance of Tchaikovski's 5th Symphony was met by a thunder of applause.
The orchestra has willingly given concerts in Kyoto and also in other cities both at home and abroad. It has good relationships with other orchestras, especially with Rikkyo University Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. Doshisha University Orchestra and Rikkyo University Symphony Orchestra annually hold a concert together, and the concert alternates between Kyoto and Tokyo every year. The orchestras have had concerts 52 times since the relationship started.
Doshisha University Orchestra gives its regular concert at the highly-reputed concert hall, The Symphony Hall in Osaka, located in the west part of Japan. The orchestra has been surely expanding its scope of activity. The orchestra gives Messiah concert on every Christmas Eve in Kyoto cooperating with choirs. The concert marked 66st anniversary last year, and now it has come to be considered as one of the signature winter events of the region. Doshisha University Orchestra marked its 90th anniversary in 2015, and in total the orchestra has held more than 150 concerts. Doshisha University Orchestra is always highly-motivated and it will continue to develop itself much further both now and in the future.