Concordia Wind Orchestra
California Hymn Festival
Jeff Held, music director
In 2005, Jeff Held joined the faculty of Concordia University Irvine as its first full-time professor of instrumental music. Upon arrival at the university, he transformed the university wind ensemble from a group of 10-15 students that performed one or two concerts per semester into a major ensemble that performs more than 25 times per semester. The Concordia Wind Orchestra is one of the premiere musical ensembles on campus. It has performed for major events such as the Christmas concerts, the Lessons and Carols Service, President Krueger's installation service, Opening Convocations and Baccalaureate services, a Sept. 11 Remembrance event, festival chapel services, and its own concert series. Recent major performance repertoire included Sparke Dance Variations, Reed Symphony No. 1, Vaughan Williams English Folk Song Suite, McBeth Of Sailors and Whales, and Gould Symphony No. 3 "West Point." In addition, the ensemble performs frequently off-campus, especially for Lutheran congregations and high schools. In recent years, the CWO has traveled to Texas, Arizona, and Northern California to present concerts, hymn festivals (with local choirs), and to lead worship services. The current tour marks the first performances of the CWO in the Midwest (Missouri, Indiana, and Michigan). The mission of the CWO extends well-beyond that of the typical college wind band. Like most others, the CWO strives to expose its students and audiences to the finest in wind band literature, including new music (some of which is commissioned by the CWO). In addition, the CWO is a musical service to the Church through its role in enhancing worship.
Students in the Concordia Wind Orchestra come from a wide range of majors and most are not music majors. Their dedication to music is obvious, thanks to a commitment to not only perform a heavy amount of repertoire throughout the year, but also to rehearse 3 ½ hours per week. All students in the CWO, regardless of major, take private lessons (or have passed the requirement) from Concordia's music faculty. This involves a commitment to personal practice time and public solo performance through Concordia's noon recital series and juries at the end of each semester.
Students in Concordia's music ensembles form a very close, supportive community of friends who each have diverse backgrounds in academic interest and musical experience. Concordia University can successfully prepare music students for graduate-level study, while at the same time it provides a unique opportunity for dedicated non-majors to perform at the highest level, side-by-side with musicians preparing for careers in the profession. For students who are not ready to perform in one of the university's major ensembles, there are many opportunities to get involved musically. Concordia currently offers 24 performance ensembles, an impressive array for a university that has 1400 traditional undergraduate students.
Beyond the Concordia Wind Orchestra
Instrumentalists at Concordia University keep a very full performance schedule. Participation in the Concordia Wind Orchestra is only one part of many students' performance portfolios, which include handbells, choirs, worship bands, and additional instrumental ensembles. Many CWO members perform in a chamber ensemble such as Concordia Brass, Percussion Ensemble, Clarinet Ensemble, or Flute Choir. Also, many wind players are assigned to the newly-formed Concordia Sinfonietta as well as the wind orchestra. The 46-member Sinfonietta is Concordia's newest major ensemble. It performs major orchestral repertoire. In its first two concerts, it has performed Haydn's Oxford Symphony, Hovhaness' And God Created Great Whales, Copland's Rodeo Suite, Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien, and Walton's Crown Imperial.
Concordia's music majors and some non-majors perform solo recitals. Select students are allowed to perform half recitals in their sophomore year, and many music majors choose to perform a half recital in their junior year and a full recital in their senior year. Solo recitals are tremendous culminating projects that require long-term planning, focus, close work with a studio teacher mentor, musical collaboration, and recital production. In addition to recitals, Concordia instrumentalists are active as solo accompanists for choirs, chapel performers, and performers at local congregations and other musical organizations.
Midwest TourConcerts / Repertoire 2010-2011
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The Concordia Wind Orchestra rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3:30-5:15. Most members of the ensemble take private lessons with one of Concordia's excellent studio teachers. CWO members are eligible for music scholarships. The Wind Orchestra represents a diverse population of Concordia's student body, encompassing non-music majors as well as music majors, undergraduate students as well as graduate students.
Recent activities of the Concordia Wind Orchestra:
- A 2007 tour with Richard Gehrke, German organist, where we played an incredibly moving work composed by Brendan Anderson for us: The Gift and the Wise Men. This tour took us to fabulous cathedrals, including Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix and the world-famous St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco.
- An annual family concert. A themed-concert (past themes: Cartoon Capers, Dragon Fight, SuperMusic for Superheroes), this event is very popular with young children and has been very fun to produce in conjunction with Concordia's drama students. The 2010 concert is themed "Gold Medal Music."
- Performances with tremendous guest artists. In 2007, we played the neoclassical work, Concerto Grosso (Fisher Tull) with the Concordia Faculty Brass Quintet. Later that year, our saxophone instructor, Jay Mason performed music from the film Catch Me If You Can and a very impressive suite for solo flute, clarinet, and saxophone, all of which were played by Jay (who plays in the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band and is one of the first-call woodwind players in Southern California). In 2008, we collaborated with trumpeter Steve Charpie on several keyed-bugle solos by early 19th century American composer Francis Johnson.
- Concordia Christmas Concerts. The CWO is a featured ensemble in one of Orange County's most beloved traditions, the Concordia Christmas concert. Each year, we play five sold-out concerts in the CU Center.
- Music ministry in worship. The CWO is a leader in the creation and implementation of music for symphonic winds in worship settings. Each year, we commission new hymn arrangements and bring our music to a number of congregations. Each time, the experience is unforgettable and a tremendously effective ministry.
- Educational events. The CWO promotes the enjoyment of music for children of all ages through school performances and special learning experiences with grade school bands.
- Scholarship. In a 2008 concert, we shared the stage with trumpeter and band historian, Steve Charpie, in a tribute to an unheralded pioneer of music in America, Francis Johnson. Johnson played a critical role in the cultivation of our nation in the years after it won its independence. The concert included a multimedia lecture about Johnson's life, led by Steve Charpie. In 2009, the CWO presented a cross-curricular concert full of music based on the visual arts.
- Great repertoire. The CWO presents challenging repertoire for collegiate symphonic winds, combining a focus on classics by composers like Holst, Grainger, and Reed, and groundbreaking new works by composers like Gillingham, Whitacre, Sparke, and Stucky.
- Concert attendance subsidy request - In an attempt to support student concert attendance, you may now request to have up to $10 of your ticket cost to off-campus classical music concerts reimbursed. There are limited funds and these are only available to CWO members. Fill out the form by clicking this link to reserve your subsidy, which will be given to you in cash only after you attend the concert and provide proof of attendance. Subsidy will not be granted for concerts required by classes.
- Mileage Reimbursement Form - If you were a driver for an official CWO function, complete this form for mileage reimbursement. Reimbursement will be processed at the end of each semester.