Philharmonia History

Historically, members of the Philharmonia have toured with the Houghton College Choir, have accompanied Opera Workshop and Lyric Theatre productions, have performed concertos with several faculty and student soloists, and have presented portions of Händel’s Messiah with the Houghton Choral Union. The orchestra’s roles in the Christmas PRISM gala events and the ensemble’s service to the College through its roles in chapel worship are worthy of note.

In the spring of 2010, the Philharmonia embarked on two one-day trips for performances: first, at Attica Central School in a program sponsored by the Arts Council of Wyoming County; and second, in Kleinhans Hall, Buffalo, as part of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Community Nights series. Below are detailed lists of conductors and repertoire, with links to photos and 30 years of repertoire history.

Music Directors since 1979

  • Justin Davis: Spring 2013-
  • Mark Hijleh:  Fall 2013
  • Brian Casey:  2007-2012
  • Ken Brown:  Spring 2007
  • Gregory Magie:  2005-2006
  • Mark Hijleh:  1995-2005
  • Steven Bird:  1991-1995
  • William Allen:  1990-1991
  • Hermon Dilmore:  1982-1990
  • William Hayden:  1979-1981

Recent Graduate/Student Conductors

  • Jeffrey Clark 2013-2014
  • Ethan Hall 2011-2013
  • Rachel Smith 2010-2013
  • Bridgette Lyon 2010-2011
  • Heather Wilson 2008-2009
  • Jonathan Vogan 2008-2009
  • Diana Geiger 2006-2008

Houghton Philharmonia Performed Repertoire Since 1979

The 2011-2012 orchestral season started with a bang:  three weeks into the fall semester, the orchestra was featured on stage in fourteen songs with the classic/progressive rock band KANSAS.  This landmark concert was a fund-raiser for our instrumental music program, and the KANSAS musicians and staff were magnanimous and easy to work with.  The November “Classics and Neoclassics” concert included more standard fare, with outstanding soloists on movements of Mozart wind concerti, a dramatic Weber overture, and the Prokofiev Classical Symphony.  The 5th annual gala Christmas PRISM music was almost entirely choral and orchestral, offering special musical and seasonal, spiritual experiences.

February brought the opportunity for playing the music of composers whose last names begin with “B,” but not any Bach, Beethoven or Brahms this time.  Living composer Margaret Brouwer’s work Pulse is a key feature of this program, along with music of Bela Bartok, Wayne Barlow, and Elmer Bernstein’s theme from movie “The Magnificent Seven.”  The season-ending program was marked by Rimsky-Korsakov’s landmark Scheherazade,another faculty soloist, and the Mexican Marquez’s Danzon No. 2.

Orchestra officer-servants for 2011-12 were Emily Dunn, Janelle Conklin, Megan Tennant, Tyler Reynolds, Rachel Meier, Isabel Sanders, Hannah Yanega, and Brandon Bennett.  Graduate Assistant Conductor was Rachel Smith, and other graduate student workers and performers were Ethan Hall, conductor and clarinet; Stephanie Stabley, clarinet; Jamie Zirkle, librarian and horn; and Dustin Woodward, percussion.

Performed Repertoire History Since 1979

Chapel Preludes and Accompaniments (2008-2012)

  • Bancroft/Cook/Casey:  Before the Throne of God Above
  • Dearman/Dearman/Casey:  Instruments of Your Peace
  • Edwards/Brymer/Campbell/Hall:  You Won’t Relent
  • Furler/Taylor/Casey:  He Reigns
  • Getty/Casey: Across the Lands
  • Getty/Townend/Casey:  In Christ Alone
  • Getty/Casey:  Speak, O Lord
  • Hughes/Casey:  Here I Am To Worship
  • Part:  Sanctus and Agnus Dei from Berliner Messe
  • Schutte/Pope/Weissrock/Casey:  Here I Am, Lord
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