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School of the Arts

Symphonic Winds: Classically Bands

The Symphonic Winds Ensemble Takes the Audience on a Walk through Time in the Concert, “Classically Bands”

Chris Navarrete

CSU, Chico’s School of the Arts presents the Symphonic Winds Ensemble in their fall concert Classically Bands, featuring band music of the 20th century. The concert takes place Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Harlen Adams Theatre. Tickets are available at the University Box Office, 530-898-6333.

“We can learn a lot from what people have done in the past, musically and emotionally,” said Chris Navarrete, director of bands and Department of Music and Theatre faculty member.

Throughout the 20th century, there was a drastic change from wind bands serving a marching/military purpose to their more modern role in an orchestral setting. Compositions for this concert were chosen from the past 100 years, with the earliest selection being Stravinsky’s Firebird Ballet (1909).

A great deal of research had to be conducted by Navarrete to select the best compositions to be performed in this concert.

“I focused on the necessities of the students first, and found compositions that targeted their musical needs within the theme of the concert,” said Navarrete. 

As the audience is taken on this walk through time via music, they will discover one component of band music that remained the same – the way it has an ability to resonate with people.

“Music focuses on the feelings of people,” said Navarrete. “This allows us to connect regardless of when the piece was written.”

Tickets for the concert are priced at $18 adults, $16 seniors, and $6 students and youth, and are available to purchase at CSU, Chico’s University Box Office, 530-898-6333.

For those who need special seating accommodations, please call 530-898-6333. More information is available online at the School of the Arts website and Facebook page.

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Story by Shelby Casey, School of the Arts publicity assistant


Introducing the New Director of the Symphonic Winds Ensemble, Chris Navarrete

Chris Navarrete
Chris Navarrete, director

Chris Navarrete is the new director of bands and director of the Symphonic Winds Ensemble at California State University, Chico. His position follows the retirement of Royce Tevis in the spring.

“Being the director of bands is an incredible honor at Chico State,” said Navarrete. “Previous directors Dr. Tevis and Mr. Hiestand have left an ever-lasting impact on the music community and have inspired many through music. I wish to be able to do the same.”

Navarrete is a former Chico State student, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in music and single subject teaching credential. During his time at Chico State, he directed the Concert Band and Pep Band. He was also a member of several ensembles, performing in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz X-Press, North State Symphony, Brass Quintet, Jazz Combo, Choir and Low Brass Ensemble.

He went on to receive two Master of Music degrees in music performance and jazz studies. He is currently working on completing the Doctor of Arts program in jazz studies with a secondary in jazz composition. 

Navarrete’s accomplishments also include: performing with the University of Northern Colorado Orchestra from 2014–17, premiering and touring the Alice and Wonderland Project with the University of Northern Colorado “Lab I” in China in 2016, serving as an honor band director for Jazz Aspen Snowmass from 2017–present, and guest lecturing at the University of Northern Colorado and Chico State from 2018–19. He will be presenting research on The Comparative Analysis of Musical and Rhythmic Vocabulary of Fats Navarro and Clifford Brown at the Jazz Education Network in New Orleans in 2020.

When the opportunity arose to become a director at Chico State, Navarrete took the chance to return to the place that has always felt like home to him.

“The relationships I developed with my professors during my undergrad program left a significant impact on me, both as an individual and educator,” said Navarrete.

In addition to being director of bands and the director of the Symphonic Winds Ensemble, Navarrete will be teaching Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Pep Band and Mixed Ensembles. He will also be assisting with the Jazz X-Press and Jazz II.

“I feel very grateful and privileged to be teaching at Chico State,” said Navarrete. “I am looking forward to continuing the excellence Dr. Tevis has established with growing music performance and education in the North State.”

The first Symphonic Winds concert, Classically Bands, takes place Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Harlen Adams Theatre. Tickets for the concert are priced at $18 adults, $16 seniors, and $6 students and youth, and are available to purchase at CSU, Chico’s University Box Office, 530-898-6333.

For those who need special seating accommodations, please call 530-898-6333. More information is available online at the School of the Arts website and Facebook page.

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Story by Shelby Casey, School of the Arts publicity assistant


About the Symphonic Winds Ensemble

The Symphonic Winds Ensemble is a highly select, auditioned band that has its roots in university bands that have been around since the early 1900s. It officially became the Symphonic Winds Ensemble in 2000. It is directed by Christopher Navarrete, Department of Music and Theatre faculty member. Members of this ensemble are CSU, Chico students of any major who play flute, clarinet, saxophone, low woodwind, horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, or a percussion instrument. The band plays a variety of traditional and contemporary music for wind ensembles. Performances during the semester include a series of on-campus and off-campus concerts as well as tours and performances at professional music conventions.