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Our Story

Founded in 1976, Concordia University Irvine today is one of the region’s leading private nonprofit Christian Lutheran universities. Preparing students for their vocations - their calling in life - Concordia’s Lutheran heritage provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of “Grace alone. Faith alone.”

The Music Department at Concordia University shares premium music experience with students and large audiences. Preparing students for the stage and the studio - we perform at outstanding concert venues (including Segerstrom Concert Hall), and engage in professional recording sessions with equipment and recording studio facilities that are among the best in Southern California.

Fast Facts

  • Concordia University Irvine is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
  • Concordia has a wind orchestra, symphony orchestra, small orchestra, jazz orchestra, small jazz ensembles, four choirs, five worship bands, handbell ensembles, commercial music ensembles, an Americana Ensemble (traditional American folk music), and many classical chamber ensembles.
  • Concordia's ensembles are filled by a pool of students consisting of 65 music majors and many students from other majors.  The schedule is devised in a way to accommodate students participating in multiple ensembles, so that our students are trained to be well-rounded musicians.
  • Nearly every student that participates in an ensemble receives a music scholarship. 
  • One of Southern California's premium music learning centers, the new Borland-Manske Center features ensemble rehearsal rooms, recital space, private lesson studios, classrooms, practice rooms, and a recording studio suite.  It opened in Fall 2019. 
  • Concordia's main performance center, the CU Center for Worship and the Arts will soon undergo major remodeling to keep it as one of the finest performance and worship venues in Southern California.  Our outdoor performance venue, the Nelson Amphitheatre will also receive a multi-million dollar remodel, making it a premiere venue for outdoor concerts in Irvine.
  • The following ensembles regularly tour throughout the United States, including Hawaii:  The Concordia Choir, Donne di Canto, Men's Chorus, Concordia Wind Orchestra, Concordia Sinfonietta, Concert Handbells, Spirit Bells.
  • Concordia sends a music ensemble on an international tour every other year. In summer 2019, the Concordia Wind Orchestra toured to Paris and Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day ceremonies, and played in cathedrals in the Netherlands.  In 2017, the Concordia Choir and Concordia Sinfonietta toured major sites in Germany as part of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  International tours will resume in May 2023, with the Concordia Choir touring to Spain and Portugal.  Future tour announcements are coming soon.
  • The Concordia Christmas concerts are one of the largest draws in Southern California. The concerts will be held in Segerstrom Concert Hall in December 2022.
  • Concordia has developed a made-for-TV Christmas special that airs on PBS.  The special is filmed each year and now reaches most of the PBS affiliates across the United States.  The 2022 special, "Repeat the Sounding Joy! A Concordia Christmas" won four Telly Awards, including a prestigious Gold medal for "Television Craft: Use of Music."
  • Concordia's music majors study in the following areas: commercial music, music education (pre-teacher certification), instrumental performance, keyboard performance, vocal performance, church music, and composition.  All music majors are extensively prepared for excellence in leadership/collaboration, music contextualization, performance musicianship, practical musicianship, and critical listening.

The Arts play a vital role in the mission of a Christian University. An artist can depict our human frailty and need for God, an actor can draw us into the complexities of human relationships with which God has blessed us, and a band of musicians can lead us to glimpses of heavenly beauty.

At Concordia, we experience this every day. I invite you to be a regular part of this special community of creativity and praise.
Jeff Held

Dr. Jeff Held
Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

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