23rd Annual PLU Festival for High School Orchestras - Friday, October 11, 2019

Reservations are now open for the 2019 PLU Orchestra Festival.
PLEASE NOTE: Only a limited number of orchestras can be accommodated.

We hope that you will consider making a reservation for the 2019 festival. Reservations are open, and being taken through an online service, OpusEvents. You may make your reservation using the Reservation Form button below. This is a third-party service that will ask you to sign up for a free account. It’s quick and easy to do so, and it should streamline your future reservation process as well as making nominations for the PLU Honor orchestra for Strings in January.

Let us welcome your orchestra to Lagerquist Concert Hall!
Welcome, from Jeffrey Bell-Hanson, Director of Pacific Lutheran University Orchestras

For over twenty years, the PLU Orchestras have hosted up to a dozen of the finest high school orchestras from around the region to Lagerquist Hall for a day of music making and sharing. The Annual PLU Orchestra Festival offers your ensemble an opportunity early in the year to hone their performance skills and get great feedback both from our guest clinicians and from our warm, generous acoustic.

The PLU Orchestra Festival offers high school orchestras and chamber orchestras the opportunity to play in the world class Lagerquist Concert Hall at Pacific Lutheran University and to receive feedback from some of the most distinguished musicians and orchestral educators in the Puget Sound.

Our guest clinician this year, Anna Edwards, is the conductor, founder, and music director of the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, Music Director of the Saratoga Orchestra, and current interim Music Advisor and conductor of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra. An experienced orchestral pedagogue, Dr. Edwards was director of the Roosevelt High School Orchestra program in Seattle for years.

Anna Edwards has made a significant impact to the Seattle music scene as a performing artist, music instructor, and orchestra conductor. After performing as a professional violinist and music educator for over 25 years, Anna shifted her focus from instrumentalist to conductor. After training with Michael Jinbo at the renowned Pierre Monteux School for three seasons, she received her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Washington. She currently balances her time between conducting in the Pacific Northwest, serving as a guest conductor/clinician across the country, and developing young musicians through instruction and collaborating with professionals in concert settings.

Anna is the conductor, founder, and music director of the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, Music Director of the Saratoga Orchestra, and current interim Music Advisor and conductor of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra. Anna is dedicated to nurturing young talent and creating musical diversity through innovative approaches to music education through creative programming and audience engagement in her role as Music Director in these ensembles.

The PLU Orchestra Festival offers high school orchestras and chamber orchestras...

  • A chance to perform in one of the best concert venues in Washington, Lagerquist Concert Hall
  • Positive feedback from an expert guest clinician, and some of the most distinguished musicians and orchestral educators in the Puget Sound
  • An audio recording made in the rich acoustic of our hall
  • A downloadable video of your performance*
  • A day of fellowship with players and conductors from around the region in a non-competitive atmosphere
  • A low entry fee

*The video is available for a small extra cost.

Past Clinicians have included...

  • Jerry Kracht, Prof. Emeritus at Pacific Lutheran University
  • Don Thulean, former Music Director of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra
  • Roger Briggs, Conductor Emeritus of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra
  • Huw Edwards, Music Director of the Olympia Symphony
  • Paul Eliot Cobbs, Music Director of the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association
  • George Shangrow, Former Music Director of Orchestra Seattle
  • Roupen Shakarian, Music Director of Philharmonia Northwest
  • Harvey Felder, Music Director of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra
  • Stewart Kershaw, Music Director of the Auburn Symphony Orchestra
  • David Waltham, Former Music Director of the Rainier Symphony Orchestra
  • Wesley Schulz, Orchestra Director at the University of Puget Sound
  • Marcus Tsutakawa, Conductor Emeritus of the Garfield Symphony Orchestra

Host and Conductor of the PLUSO

Maestro Bell-Hanson begins his eighteenth season as Music Director of the Pacific Lutheran University Symphony Orchestra and Professor of Music in 2019. Since his arrival in the Pacific Northwest in 2002, he has become a familiar presence as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator and orchestral educator. Each year he works with school orchestras at all levels throughout the region and beyond, bringing to them the perspective of his thirty-eight year career as a conductor and as a scholar.

Dr. Bell-Hanson has conducted orchestras and wind ensembles throughout the United States and in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, including the West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra, the Olympia Symphony, the Marquette Symphony Orchestra, the Vratza Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Bulgarica. His long career on the podium and as a teacher has also included faculty appointments in Kansas, Louisiana and Michigan, where he won recognition for excellence in teaching both from Michigan Technological University and the State of Michigan. He has served as music director of both the Hutchinson Symphony Orchestra in Kansas and, for fourteen years, the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra in Michigan.

Other teaching duties at Pacific Lutheran University include Music History from the early nineteenth century to the present, Aural Skills and the supervision of research capstones in music. His own resent research and writing focuses on the formation of vocation for musicians.