College’s band, orchestra play themed concerts each semester

Photo by Peter Floess | Rodney Mueller conducts the Parkland Orchestra on March 5 at the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre.

Photo by Peter Floess | Rodney Mueller conducts the Parkland Orchestra on March 5 at the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre.

Peter Floess

Staff Writer

Every school year, Parkland’s Concert Band and Orchestra put on four theme concerts, two each semester.

When picking the theme for the concert, the directors look at what these two ensembles are going to play at the concerts.

“Generally our titles are chosen by what music is programmed,” says Larry Stoner, director of the Concert Band.

Director of the Parkland Orchestra Rodney Mueller and Stoner together decided on “An International Flair” for the title for the concert on March5 because of the variety of music they will be playing. Some works chosen include “Homage March, Opus 56, Number 3” by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, “Andante Festivo” by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, and “Midsummer’s Vigil” by Swede Hugo Alfven.

Mueller also chose the piece “Gabriel’s Oboe” from the movie “The Mission” by Italian composer Ennio Morricone. Stoner picked some “selections with a Spanish flair” from “Espana Cani” by Pascual Marquina.

The members of the Concert Band and Orchestra enjoy these themed concerts.

Parkland music student Justin Franklin, who plays orchestra percussion, says he enjoys the Christmas concerts. He likes playing and experiencing the different music as part of the Orchestra. He says it is different than just “reading about the music in the textbook.”

Jenny Johnson, a cellist, is particularly fond of a concert from several semesters ago based on pieces about the night sky, which included a medley of tunes from “Star Trek.” Johnson believes that every concert the Orchestra plays a nice mixture of standard and popular classical pieces.

Members of the Orchestra enjoy many aspects from said membership, including what Johnson says is a sense of community.

“I like the people part of it, as much as I like the music part of it,” says Johnson “Every semester, there is one or two new community members and they are welcomed whole heartily.”

For example, there is a “new cellist” in the Orchestra this semester. “He fits right in,” says Johnson.

Parkland music major and flutist in the Concert Band Olivia Dimangondayao also plays piano in one of the ensembles and is looking forward to playing the “Symphony No. 3” by composer Robert W. Smith entitled the “Don Quixote” at a future concert.

“There are two movements that require piano, and I will be playing for those parts. I enjoy doubling the main theme in the bass as well as the gentle accompaniment for the oboe solo later on. I also love the different ‘personalities’ each movement has,” Dimangondayao says.

The Concert Band is currently looking for new members, which can be either Parkland students or community members.

“[The Concert Band is] currently interested in attracting 3 percussion players to participate for the rest of this semester,” says Stoner. “I have certainly enjoyed conducting this fine ensemble. I look forward to continue making great music at Parkland. The musicians want to be a part of the group, and their efforts to be the best are very inspiring.”

Non-music students and community members can join the Parkland ensembles.

Mueller says if a non-music Parkland student or a community member wants to join one of the ensembles they should contact one of the directors of the ensemble that they want to join for an audition. If they pass the audition, the person should sign up for the 400 version of the symphony class. It costs $25 to join the ensemble.

Stoner and Mueller are also planning a concert on May 7 involving celebratory music to honor 50th anniversary of Parkland College. For more information regarding concerts go to