Office: Gallagher-Bluedorn PAC #17, Cedar Falls, IA 50614
Performance Site: Great Hall, Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls
Artistic Director/Conductor: Jason Weinberger (15 seasons)
|The Great Hall, Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls|
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony has a long history serving the cultural community of the Cedar Valley. Initially performing in Waterloo high school auditoria, in 2000 the ensemble most to the stunning Gallagher Bluedorn PAC on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa. All has not always been smooth sailing in the "captain's seat" Following the departure of 17-year veteran Joseph Giunta (1974-92), the orchestra had four conductors in the ensuing ten years, with some tenures lasting months instead of years. With the arrival of Mr. Weinberger in 2002, WCF has become a leader in innovative programming. The orchestra's "history page" notes that "we are also uniquely devoted to living American music – nearly a third of our repertoire over the past 10 years has consisted of new or recent music from Iowa and across the country."
No one could ever accuse WCF of the Overture-Concerto-Symphony format in its concert program; each seems to intentionally deviate from the tried and not-so-true. There is one "traditional" piece on its season opener (Appalachian Spring) as well as a piece so deserving of more performances, The White Peacock by the American impressionist, Charles Tomlinson Griffes.
The performances I have always appreciated the most have been the actual chamber concerts at Waterloo's Brown Derby Ballroom. These are user-friendly, briefer than a typical full symphony concert (hence, two concerts in one day), and performed in the round in a more intimate space. This year's offerings include:
- W. A. Mozart – Overture, Abduction from the Seraglio (Harmoniemusik)
- Franz Schubert – Minuet and Finale
- Franz Krommer – Partita in F major
- Ludwig van Beethoven – Rondino in E-flat
- W. A. Mozart – Serenade no. 11 in E-flat (I only wish they were performing the C-minor serenade. What a piece!)
- J. S. Bach – D major Harpsichord Concerto with Jason Weinberger
- Johann Friedrich Fasch – Chalumeau Concerto with Daniel Friberg
- C. P. E. Bach – A minor Cello Concerto with Isaac Pastor-Chermak
- George Frideric Handel – Concerto Grosso Op. 3 no. 4
|The Brown Derby Ballroom, Waterloo|
Another item of particular interest (for me, at least) is
The Hungarian Project, with Anima Musicae and violinist László G. Horváth. (May)
- Johannes Brahms – Hungarian Dances 1,3 & 10
- Béla Bartók – Divertimento
- Béla Bartók – Rhapsody no. 1 with László G. Horváth
- Zoltán Kodály – Dances of Galanta
WCF has also made youth education a significant part of its mission. Rather than simply sponsoring a tuition-driven youth ensemble program, its offerings include
YOUTH CONCERTS, which inspire 4,000 4th-6th graders each April and serve schools from an 8-county radius. These free concerts at the Gallagher-Bluedorn feature the full orchestra in creative and interactive programs. Local educators work with wcfsymphony to create materials that help teachers integrate the concert experience into their classroom curriculum.
LOLLIPOP CONCERTS are free Saturday morning performances that have delighted children and their families for over 30 years. This season’s series will feature the three unique, engaging performances listed below. Our legendary – and often gleefully loud – Instrument Petting Zoo is available for musical fun immediately after each concert.
One thing can always be said of WCF seasons: they are never bland.