CWU News

CWU, Yakima Orchestras and Choruses to Perform Mahler's Resurrection Symphony

Gustav Mahler's epic masterpiece, Symphony No. 2, the "Resurrection," will be celebrated in a joint performance by the CWU Symphony Orchestra and members of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, along with the Yakima Symphony Chorus, and CWU Men's and Women's Choruses. The work will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on May 16 in Yakima, and at 4:00 p.m. on May 17 at Central Washington University.

This will be the second time that the YSO and the CWU Symphonies have joined forces. Previously, the two collaborated on Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in 2013.

“It was so great that we decided to continue with the partnership,” said Nikolas Caoile, CWU director of orchestras. YSO conductor Lawrence Golan will lead the Saturday night performance and Caoile will conduct the Sunday afternoon performance.

“This is an extremely challenging piece to conduct,” said Caoile. “Logistically, we are dealing with an extremely large orchestra, soprano and alto soloists, large choir, and off-stage musicians,” adding that there are approximately 120 singers in the chorus, 2 vocal soloists, and 112 orchestra musicians.

“And, musically, we are trying to comprehend five large scale movements of decidedly different styles. For the orchestra this takes physical endurance, but also mental endurance—to be able to sustain the drama over a long period of time, with few breaks.”

The piece can be compared to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony—another symphony that combines instruments and voices, continued Caoile. While Beethoven’s Ninth focuses on the idea that all men are created equal, Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony focuses on the meaning of life. At first it seems meaningless and trivial, but over the course of the work's 70 minutes, it becomes clear that life means more. Some of the final words uttered, "I come from God, to God I return," underline the spiritual content of the piece.

The YSO will perform at 7:30 p.m. on May 16 in The Capitol Theatre. Prior to the concert will be ConcerTalk with Jeffrey Snedeker, CWU associate chair and professor of music, at 6:30 p.m. in the Robertson Room. To purchase individual tickets online for the YSO, please go to and select “Tickets” or call the Capitol Theatre at 509-853-ARTS.

The Central Washington University performance will take place at 4:00 p.m. on May 17, in the McIntyre Music Building Concert Hall. Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students w/ID, seniors, and children. Advanced purchase is recommended. To purchase tickets go to Tickets may also be purchased by calling 509-963-1429, or in person at the Wildcat Shop Customer Service at the Student Union and Recreation Building.

Parking in CWU lots is free after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends, except in residence hall lots and in specifically designated spaces.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

May 8, 2015