An Orange County Composers Circle has been formed under the auspices of Chapman College, according to music deparment chairman Donn Laurence Mills.

“The purpose of the group is to promote new music in the community by providing a clearinghouse for serious composers in the Orange County area,” Mills said in a recent phone interview.

“We would like to bring these composers to the attention of conductors and performing groups through a tape library of their works and invite ballet companies, chamber groups and other interested parties to listen to the tapes.

“We’ll also be lobbying for performances for them--not only within Orange County but outside as well.”


Other goals, according to Mills, include:

-- Direct sponsorship of performances, at Chapman initially and elsewhere later.

-- Forums to bring together composers “who may be operating somewhat in a vacuum at present and who don’t have access to performances or performers.”

-- Workshops “to investigate new electronic instruments and assess what possibilities are there for composers to use.”


Formation of the tape library is the immediate priority, Mills said.

Membership in the group is by invitation only.

“This is a very professional guild of people who are actively composing serious music,” Mills said. “Currently we have 22 members who have accepted the invitation.”

Members range from composers teaching at Cal State Fullerton, Chapman and UC Irvine to private individuals.


Student composers are not eligible to become members but will be advised about contests, commissions and grants, and can be sponsored for performances by members.

Chapman composer-in-residence William Kraft has been named chairman of the organizing committee. He will be assisted by Dr. Leon Stein, former dean of the De Paul School of Music in Chicago.

Chapman College will underwrite expenses for the organization.

Mills characterized the formation of the group as “part of Chapman’s attempt to become an influential voice in Orange County cultural life.”


“We’re trying very hard to become much more visible and important.”

The Crystal Cathedral Symphony Orchestra directed by Joseph Alfuso will open its fall season at 8:15 tonight with a concert designed to give children and parents an alternative to Trick or Treating.

Works scheduled include Dukas’ “Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” Saint-Saens’ “Dance Macabre,” the first movement from Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony and Gottschalk’s Grand Tarantella, with pianist Georgia Ypma.

Pop singers Debbie Smith and Donal White will perform solos and duets.


Refreshments and treats will also be available.

For further information, call (714)-971-4017.

The season will continue:

-- Jan. 23: Tenor Alan Glassman will sing arias from “Carmen” and “Rigoletto”; excerpts from Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances; Strauss’ “On the Beautiful Blue Danube.”


-- May 15: Winners of the Roger Williams piano competition; Roger Williams in selections to be announced.

-- June 26: Tchaikovksy’s “1812" Overture and the Finale from his Symphony No. 3, “Polish”; Gillmont’s Symphony for Organ and Orchestra No. 1, with soloist Frederick Swann; harpischordist Lou Anne Neill in selections to be announced.

The Orange County Philharmonic Society has issued a call for young musicians to audition for the new season of its Musical Encounters Program.

Eligible are piano, voice or instrumental students who are in the first through 12th grades. Also encouraged to audition are music ensembles formed by musicians from these grades.


Auditions will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8 and 15, in the Choral Room of the Music Building at Rancho Santiago College in Santa Ana.

For further information, call (714) 642-8232.