CWU News

"Ode to Joy" Peace Concert Celebrates Humanity at CWU May 25

An unconventional concert to celebrate all that is good in human hearts will be held at Central Washington University at 2:30 p.m. on May 25. Music department faculty, students and alumni will gather on the SURC lawn to perform Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and other anthems of peace and brotherhood.

“After witnessing some ugly racist behavior  . . . that seems part of the general tenor of this campaign cycle this year, I wanted to shine a little light into our community,” said Denise Dillenbeck, CWU violin instructor and Yakima Symphony Concertmaster.

Nik Caoile, director of Orchestras, will be conducting, and he and Gary Weidenaar, director of choirs have used their orchestra and chamber choir rehearsal time to prepare for the concert. Weidenaar, Gayla and Tor Blaisdel, and Melissa Schiel will sing the solo parts. The Ellensburg Women’s Choir will also participate.

In addition to “Ode,” the blues/rock group Vincent Mark n Jay have signed up to perform songs in the same spirit.

“This is an event by and for the community,” said Dillenbeck. “We hope that this will bring people together in a spirit of hope and optimism.”

The Peace Concert is free and open to the public. The SURC lawn is located on the east side of the Student Union Recreation Center.

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