If you were to walk through the music building around noon, you’ll hear the bold and powerful sounds of trumpets, clarinets and percussion from the Fullerton College Symphonic Winds.
Under the direction of Dr. Tony Mazzaferro, who is celebrating his 26th year of teaching and directing music at Fullerton, the group will be performing their first concert of the semester on Oct. 30.
Apart from directing the Symphonic Winds at FC, Mazzaferro, who is referred to as “Doc” by his students and colleagues, also teaches music history and music theory.
Outside of campus, Mazzaferro directs the Symphonic Winds of the Pacific, a premier Southern California wind band.
In the past, Symphonic Winds has traveled to perform at many festivals and concerts throughout the state. Trips have included festivals in San Francisco and at Fresno State University for the Western States College Band Festival.
One of the most rewarding for the students was for the World Project Festival at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, where the Los Angeles Philharmonic performs.
Mazzaferro explains how traveling benefits his student’s progression.
“They get to hear different groups and ensembles,” Mezzaferro said. “They get a better idea of where they are in terms of other groups that come from different parts of the state or even different parts of the country.”
The Kappa Kappa Psi of the FC Chapter is a coed fraternity that provides services to the college band. They provide the band with equipment, organize the music library and set up master classes for music majors. They also offer support for local high schools.
Since the formation of KKPsi in 2007, the chapter has been able to send the band on annual retreats. Last year they were able to take the Symphonic Winds to the Wester States College Band Festival at FSU.
Mazzaferro believes that all music majors need to have a thorough understanding of music theory and music history.
“I think the problem with history is that we don’t look at these people as individuals, we look at them as completely out of context,” Mazzaferro said. “How can Mozart write happy music when one of his sick children was dying next door. Only two of his six children survived infancy, yet he was still expected to write happy music. How do you wrap your head around that?”
Matthew Pueblos, vice president of KKPsi, makes it clear that the students in Symphonic Winds have a deep respect for Mazzaferro.
“He is the most passionate professor I’ve had,” Pueblos said. “He always has something new for us and always pushes me that extra mile.”
Alexis Amaya, tenor sax player, described Mazzaferro’s motivation as, “He has so much energy and enthusiasm. He simply brings out the best in all of us”
Mazzaferro expressed his love for teaching as giving a gift to someone, being able to give people the opportunity to play music together and to play music they have never played before.
The Symphonic Winds will present their first concert of the semester on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
The performance will be held at the Fullerton College Campus Theatre. Tickets are $10 for Adults, $7 for seniors/students and $5 for children.