From the early days of the school to the present, Maranatha has placed a high priority on music education for its students. Believing that a variety of musical opportunities are important for both musical academics and extracurricular activities, Maranatha has provided the opportunity for students to sing in several choirs, take music lessons, and play in a band or in an orchestra. The Symphony Orchestra has traditionally been the most important medium of instrumental classical composers, and Maranatha’s desire is that any student who wishes to receive a complete and well-rounded education (music major or otherwise) would have the ability to experience that vital form of music.
Because a solid knowledge of classical music is essential for any instrumentalist, classical music forms the basis of the orchestra’s repertoire. The winter and spring concerts form the foundation for the orchestra’s rehearsal hours—four hours a week. At these concerts the orchestra has performed great symphonic works such as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite, Tschaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, George Chadwick’s Jubilee, several Haydn symphonies, Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, Smetana’s “The Moldau” from Ma Vlast, and Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony. During these concerts the orchestra has also performed lighter works such as Leroy Anderson’s Plink, Plank, Plunk, and The Typewriter and Mozart’s humorous duet Papagena, Papageno.
The Symphony Orchestra is concerned that the next generation of young people grow up hearing excellent music, so the orchestra performs the annual Classical Kids Concert for the community schools, playing classics such as Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, and Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals.
The orchestra also performs on-campus several times a year, providing special music for the fall Missions Conference and various Christmas and patriotic services. These opportunities prepare the students for a lifetime of ministry, playing the best of sacred music “To the Praise of His Glory.”