Academics > Ensembles > Symphony Orchestra

Symphony Orchestra

2010 Iowa All-State Music Festival Workshop Brochure (PDF)

"Orchestra has been a really exciting experience for me. It is an amazing way to be involved in the Coe culture and to meet people you may not normally encounter. We're diverse: different majors, different social groups, different ages. It's great to break in the humdrum of classes and homework--to be able to use your brain for something else besides numbers and words. I think the best part is the satisfaction that comes with being part of a professional orchestra. You don't have to be a maestro to join, you just have to love to play."

Amelia J. Vohs, violinist
Fairbault, Minnesota
B.A., English '08

Directed by Dr. Joseph Dangerfield, The Coe College Symphony Orchestra (CCSO) has grown both in size and musical stature. Serving the liberal arts mission of the college, as well as providing a foundation for future music professionals, the CCSO annually performs major works from the symphonic repertoire, works of historical importance, and works from the contemporary menu.

Dr. Dangerfield and the CCSO established an annual residency with Austrian violinist Wolfgang David. For two weeks in the fall term, David works with students in private and group settings and rehearses with the orchestra. The culmination of his residency is the performance of a work for violin and orchestra on the final fall concert.

Recent performances include:

  • Haydn's Symphony #6
  • Adagio by Tomaso Albinoni
  • Nutcracker Suite #1 by Tchaikovsky
  • Crux Orthodoxa by Dangerfield

Student soloists are frequently featured in works such as Glazunov's Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra and Mozart's Piano Concerto #22. Composition majors are encouraged to write works to be performed in concert. The CCSO also serves as an oratorio orchestra, joining with the Coe College Concert Choir in performances of such works as Bach's St. John Passion and Mendelssohn's Die Erste Walpurgisnacht. In June 2009, the CCSO embarked upon a tour of Vienna, Austria, where it performed in the famed Konzerthaus as part of the Celebrate Haydn Festival, following a performance in Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt.

"One of the joys in working with the Coe College Symphony Orchestra is that I'm able to teach students from every discipline. Regardless of where each student's primary interests lie, we all come together twice a week to work on high quality repertoire with a common goal: the presentation of superb concert performances. I often program works that feature student soloists, allowing each student to be artistically involved in shaping the final outcome of the work(s) presented. Such a unique experience can only be offered within the liberal arts environment."

Dr. Dangerfield

"Orchestra is a chance to make music with your peers, which to me is what playing music is all about. An orchestra is a community, and music is the language. Metaphors aside, it's good to belong to a group where we can explore the orchestra repertoire and create beauty."

Nathan Barford
Chicago, Illinois
B.A., Music '08

Click here for Coe College Symphony Orchestra history.