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Wind Bands Events

Wind Bands

Get a 20% discount when purchasing to four or more Music Department events sold through the Cal Poly Ticket Office. Cal Poly faculty and staff receive 20% discount for any Music Department event sold through the ticket office.

Mustang Band in the 2023 parade

Cal Poly Mustang Band in Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
6 p.m., San Francisco

The Cal Poly Mustang Marching Band has been invited for the ninth time to participate in the Alaska Airlines Chinese New Year Parade — named by the International Festivals and Events Association’ as one of the top 10 parades in the world!

The Mustang Band first performed along the 1.3-mile-length of the Chinese New Year Parade in 2014 and was among 15 marching bands that participated. It has been awarded first place in the adult marching bands category multiple times, most recently in 2023. This year’s parade gets underway at 6 p.m.

The band’s more than 220 members, from academic disciplines across the campus and nearly all of Cal Poly’s six colleges, perform at nearly 50 campus events each year, including athletic games and university functions.

Before the parade, starting at 3 p.m., Mustang Band will continue the tradition of performing some of its favorite pep and postgame tunes with the UC Davis Marching Band in front of the landmark 126-year-old Ferry Building, the gateway to San Francisco, which is visited annually by millions of visitors, on The City’s Embarcadero.

The parade began in the 1860s as a means for the Chinese community to educate and share its culture with the greater community. Nothing like it had ever been done in their native China. The parade and festival have grown to be the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia.

The Chinese New Year Parade will celebrate the Year of the Wood Dragon with floats, dragon dancers and other festive entries. The event will be broadcast live on KTVU Fox 2 and streamed live from the parade’s Facebook page.

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Wind Band musiciansCal Poly Band and Orchestra Festival Finale Concert

Friday, March 15, 2024
7:30 p.m., Performing Arts Center

The Cal Poly Band and Orchestra Festival and Concert are being produced in collaboration with the San Luis Obispo County Band Directors Association. Eighteen middle and high school bands and string orchestras will participate in the festival, which will offer performance adjudications and professional clinics.

The capstone for the day’s events is the Cal Poly Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble’s concert of new works for concert band. Student musicians are looking forward to the performance.

“The music on our program is incredibly varied,” said flutist Nathan Coelho, a first-year music major from Lincoln, California. “Each piece is so well-composed, illustrating specific characters and ideas.”

“Lincolnshire Posy” by Percy Grainger presents a bouquet of six tunes collected by the composer from British folk singers. The work has long been considered among the most important works in the wind band canon. The Australian-born Grainger (1882-1961), who became an American citizen, was a megastar of the European, North American and Australian stage, attracting sell-out audiences for his concert piano performances. His most famous work, an arrangement of the folk song “Country Gardens,” broke its publisher’s sales records for 75 consecutive years.

“Sunflower Studies,” a new work by Nicole Piunno, is inspired by the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. The five-movement, symphonic-scale work for wind ensemble premiered in 2023.

“Bugs” by Roger Cichy depicts the unique personalities of five insects and arachnids. 

“It’s been so fun exploring the variety of colors and sounds evoking insects, spiders and flowers,” said first-year music major Gillian Kingery of Rocklin, California. “As a percussionist I’ve been able to work out the techniques of playing all the ‘toys’ called for in these pieces!” 

The concert will be conducted by Director of Bands Christopher J. Woodruff, Associate Director of Bands Nicholas P. Waldron, and student conductor Ari Maman, a third-year music major from Beverly Hills, California.

Tickets ($20 general, $10 students)

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Cal Poly Wind Bands Spring Concert: All Hail, Green and Gold!

Sunday, June 2, 2024
3 p.m., Performing Arts Center

The Cal Poly Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble present a program that will include the return of more than 70 of its Cal Poly alumni musicians. First assembled in 2016, the Alumni Symphonic Band is comprised of Cal Poly alumni spanning the decades. Works programmed for this concert include David Maslanka's "A Child's Garden of Dreams" and Frank Ticheli's "Blue Shades."

Tickets ($15 and $20 general, $10 students)

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