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Raymond Burkhart to Conduct New College of the Canyons Symphonic Band

Posted: November 28, 2012 12:23 p.m.
Updated: November 28, 2012 12:23 p.m.

SANTA CLARITA—When conductor and professor Raymond Burkhart walked into class to meet the new members of the College of the Canyons Symphonic Band, he was greeted by one student.

But Burkhart wasn’t worried about his band of one. Since that first day of class, the college’s new Symphonic Band has grown in size and includes an eclectic array of members such as dog-groomers, Civil War re-enactors, music teachers and COC students and staff members.

Pivoting around the idea of “firsts,” Burkhart will be conducting the COC Symphonic Band’s first concert aptly titled “Firsts” at 8 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 in the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center lobby, located on the college’s Valencia campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

“I’m thrilled to be leading the new COC Symphonic Band as we build from literally one student to a mighty future band that is part of a comprehensive music program and will amplify the Santa Clarita Valley’s important musical resources,” said Burkhart, who is also a composer and musicologist.

Among the pieces to be performed will be several original compositions and arrangements made by Burkhart, which includes a piece from the late Renaissance, mid-19th century band pieces from the Civil War era, a late-19th century piece for dancing, three early-20th century fanfares and two mid-20th century avant-garde compositions. To mark the holiday season, the band will close with a Christmas carol.

Burkhart comes to College of the Canyons with many years of experience conducting professional, collegiate, community and youth ensembles. An Ohio native, Burkhart composed his first song at the age of four. His compositions have been performed across the United States, Europe and Africa. Burkhart earned his PhD in Musicology from Claremont Graduate University. The recipient of many ASCAP awards, Burkhart is also a two-time First Prize winner of the Humboldt State University Brass Chamber Music Workshop Composition Contest.

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