Season 2019-2020 2020-01-08T13:53:02+00:00

CRYSTAL ZIMMERMAN grew up in Wichita, Kansas and earned dual Bachelor of Music degrees in piano performance and piano pedagogy from Wichita State University. She moved to Eugene, Oregon where she continued her studies at the University of Oregon, completing a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance, and another Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy. In 2010 she completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree, with an emphasis in Piano Performance and a supporting area in Musicology from the University of Oregon.

Throughout her studies she has been the recipient of several awards and scholarships, receiving the University of Oregon Outstanding Scholar in Musicology and the University Outstanding Scholar in Music in 2010. At the University of Oregon Crystal was a graduate teaching fellow in piano pedagogy, where she taught class piano and individual piano instruction. She was also a graduate teaching fellow in piano accompanying, working weekly with several studios and performing regularly in studio classes, masterclasses, and recitals.

Dr. Zimmerman is currently teaches class piano and individual piano lessons as well as courses in music technology at Willamette University. She is also staff accompanist and the coordinator of the accompanying program. She maintains an active performance schedule, frequently performing in collaborative, chamber music, and solo recitals. Zimmerman is in demand as a lecturer – regularly providing preconcert lectures for the Oregon Symphony and lectures for Oregon Music Teachers Association. Her articles have been featured in American Music Teacher magazine and she is currently working on a six book series with FJH music company, entitled Succeeding with Sonatinas (books 1-3 are already in publication). Her greatest success is her beautiful family – her perfect sons Emmett and Riley, her supportive husband Matthew, and cat Mini.

Sunday, March 15  3 pm Walczyk: Symphony No. 5 – Freedom From Fear

Sunday, May 17  3 pm  de Meij: Symphony No. 3 – Planet Earth


 Music has the power to transport us to magical places! This concert explores music that has ignited the imagination of audiences for generations.

The Piano Concerto in A Minor, Opus 16 by Edvard Grieg is one of his most popular works and among the most popular piano concerti ever written. Its power and lyricism transport audiences to the fjords of Norway through folk dances of his native country. Our piano soloist, Crystal Zimmerman, thrilled the audience in our performance of Tolga Kashif’s The Queen Symphony. She is back to bring the magic of Edvard Grieg’s concerto to its full potential. Buckle your seatbelts for a life changing performance of this beautiful piano concerto!

French composer Paul Dukas brought to life the story of a young apprentice to a powerful sorcerer in his programmatic work, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Based on a poem by Goethe, this vivid musical depiction of the story attracted the attention of Walt Disney, who cast Mickey Mouse in the role of the young apprentice in his 1940 cartoon masterpiece Fantasia.

For his musical inspiration, Michael Colgrass looked to the writings of Carlos Casteneda, who wrote of his studies with a Yaqui Indian shaman to learn mystical powers that had descended from the Toltecs. Winds of Nagual, A Musical Fable for Wind Ensemble on the Writings of Carlos Castaneda is an inventive suite of eight movements of some of the most creative musical scoring of the 20th century.


We are pleased to bring to Oregon Freedom From Fear, a new symphony by local composer Kevin Walczyk, which was premiered by The University of Kansas Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble in performances in Kansas and at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. In a rare fusion of wind and jazz ensembles, this four-movement piece flows among varied musical styles, including classical, Delta blues, jazz improvisation, Syrian folk music and the voices of soprano and boy soprano. Salem Symphonic Winds will be joined for the performance by the Salem Big Band and soprano soloist Clare Hudkins.

The work pursues a programmatic idea that centers on displaced peoples and the global concept of Freedom from Fear — one of the Four Freedoms Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke of in his 1941 United Nations inaugural address. FDR’s Four Freedoms became so emblematic of the United Nations that they were added to its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This symphony is unified by the concept of Freedom from Fear as it impacts displaced peoples. The focus of the symphony’s four movements range from the experience of adoptees represented by the biblical story of Moses to the beacon of hope the Statue of Liberty offers the displaced: the Courage and Freedom from Fear to relinquish their homeland and start again, adopted by their new country.

Martin Ellerby’s Cane River Murals were inspired by the spirituality of the African House Murals by Clementine Hunter. Her nine murals depict the colorfully rich daily life of the Cane River Country’s Creole inhabitants in the early 20th century, near the Melrose Plantation in Louisiana.

This five-movement suite comes alive in a celebration of dance and color, but also encompasses a darker and more spiritual truth that their initial innocence somewhat shrouds. The five movements are:

Springtime Planting (Spiritual)

Wash Day (Scherzo)

Baptism, Wedding and Funeral (Triptych)

Honky Tonk (Blues)

Pecan Harvest (Celebration)



Featuring Bella Voce, The Premier Women’s Choir at Oregon State University, Sandra Babb Director

Johan de Meij’s Symphony #3 – Planet Earth was written as a sequel to Gustav Holst’s The Planets. De Meij’s symphony is an ode to Mother Earth in all its miraculous beauty and, like Holst’s work, it employs a full symphony and female choir.

The Symphony begins with a view of the ‘Lonely Planet’ from space, with angelic voices from the women’s choir and the dramatic sounds of planets and comets whirling around Earth. The fragility of the Earth’s natural beauty inspires poignant themes culminating in a hymn to Mother Earth (Gaia in Greek). Bella Voce, the premier women’s choir at Oregon State University, will join the Salem Symphonic Winds to bring this symphony to Salem.

The daily newspaper Trouw wrote: “On Thursday evening De Meij’s première was grandly performed by the North Netherlands Orchestra (NNO) and the North Netherlands Concert Choir, conducted by Otto Tausk. The NNO has a reputation in this field…. De Meij knows how to compose, and he knows how to produce an effect. The audience in De Doelen gave him an enthusiastic applause afterward… To quote the Dutch writer Annie M.G. Schmidt: ‘What a planet!’”

De Meij’s wife, Dyan Machan, has created a film to accompany the symphony that takes the audience from earth’s creation to the present day. The film utilizes breathtaking images of our planet and all of its treasures, combined with those of a beautiful young dancer representing Gaia, to intensify the dramatic power of the symphony.

When the film and symphony premiered together for the first time in 2018 in Visp, Switzerland, concertgoers wept and came back to see it again.

“The film gives the orchestral score a whole new dimension. The interaction between music and film make the concert an intense and unforgettable experience.”

— Anthony Fiumara – Composer, Professor of Composition, Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Tilburg, Music Journalist

Salem Symphonic Winds receive support from the Oregon Arts Commission,
a state agency funded by the State of Oregon.