Sponsored primarily by the music departments of Abilene Christian University, Hardin Simmons University, and McMurry University, the Civic Orchestra of Abilene is committed to –
- Providing an excellent orchestral experience for University students (music majors and non-majors) and faculty;
- Being a partner with AISD and other schools in the greater Big Country region through joint projects and concerts, membership in the orchestra, and other efforts;
- an educational mission and focus, reaching and serving the community of Abilene as an artistic ensemble.
Additional efforts between the COA, the Universities, schools, and community include musicals, opera productions, special holiday concerts or similar events, chamber music, and other collaboration.
The COA sponsors a biennial Concerto/Aria competition for students from the three Universities, and the winner(s) perform on a concert with the COA.