Winds and Percussion
Consisting of two trumpets, a French horn, a trombone, and a tuba, the Brass Quintet performs music ranging from the Baroque period to contemporary pieces. "It’s exciting to hear great brass arrangements done with just a single instrument on each part," said Donavon Gray, DMA, director.
Under the direction of Teri Mason Christian, this group performs a varied repertoire with a concentration in classical music. Their high level of performance draws and blends talented students desiring to build their education and experience. Believing that performance is essential to building musicianship, the Flute Choir performs at schools, civic organizations, and special events.
One of the West Coast’s finest handbell ensembles, APU’s Handbell Choir utilizes six octaves of handbells and three octaves of choir chimes to perform a variety of handbell music appropriate for many different occasions. Under the direction of Donavon Gray, DMA, the Handbell Choir ministers to and serves the community through performance at churches, schools, and other organizations throughout the year, as well as touring in May.
One of the finest jazz ensembles in the country, this 18-piece band performs the best of big band jazz literature. Under the direction of David Beatty, M.M., the ensemble acquires professional jazz skills and competes in high-level competitions, including the very popular Battle of the Big Bands held each spring. Believing that performance is essential to building musicianship, the Jazz Ensemble also performs for civic organizations, the Reno Jazz Festival, and many other venues throughout the year. Placement in this group is by audition only.
The Jazz Workshop is APU’s second big band jazz orchestra and provides students a great opportunity to gain more experience in jazz performance, improvisation, and big band literature, both new and old. Along with this and the Jazz Ensemble, the School of Music sponsors several jazz combos each year that offer a more focused jazz improvisation environment and valuable small group experience. Participation in both Jazz Workshop and jazz combos involves frequent off-campus performance opportunities throughout the year.
Under the direction of Thomas Philips, this group of 60 dedicated musicians performs a variety of marching band literature in their field shows. Talented music students from across the country comprise this popular band. The Marching Band performs at every home game, travels as a guest band for high schools in the Los Angeles area, participates regularly in the annual Azusa Golden Days Parade, and makes appearances at the L.A. County Fair.
Under the direction of Bill Schlitt, this group of dedicated musicians performs a variety of chamber music works composed and arranged solely for percussion instruments. Styles range from traditional to contemporary, using a wide range of percussion sounds. Believing that performance is essential to building musicianship, the Percussion Ensemble performs for school concerts and recitals.
Under the direction of Alexander Koops, DMA, this group of 50 dedicated musicians performs a widely varied band repertoire. Classical literature ranges from the Baroque period to the 20th century and includes performances of such works as Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 5, Saint-Saëns’ Symphony no. 3 (Organ), and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. Believing that performance is essential to building musicianship, the Symphonic Band performs regularly at Azusa Pacific University and local schools.
Each year, more than 100 students audition to be a part of the growing instrumental ensembles at Azusa Pacific University. Of these applicants, 45 instrumentalists receive invitations to participate in the Wind Ensemble. Under the direction of Donavon Gray, DMA, this group of dedicated young adults performs a variety of musical literature with a concentration in classical music. Their high level of performance draws and blends talented students desiring to build their education and experience through regular performances at APU as well as in local schools and churches.
Under the direction of Jennifer Showalter, M.M., five instrumentalists, playing flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and French horn, perform a variety of literature with a concentration in classical music. Gifted musicians seeking the highest level of education and experience find both in the Woodwind Quartet. To hone their skills and build musicianship, the Woodwind Quintet performs regularly at APU concerts as well as at churches, schools, and various other organizations throughout the year.
Tapes and CDs are available through the School of Music for many of these ensembles.