Formed in the late 1970s, the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra has established a presence throughout the county. When the spectacular Lesher Center for the Arts opened its doors in Walnut Creek in 1990, the group was invited to become the Center’s resident chamber orchestra. Now celebrating its 20th Anniversary at the Lesher Center, the CCCO continues its tradition of providing high quality performances of varied and dynamic musical works.
The CCCO also maintains its commitment to arts education through a partnership with Saint Mary's College of California, in cooperation with the College's Performing Arts Department.
In addition to the five-concert season at the Lesher Center, the orchestra nurtures its dedication to the community by providing affordable performances to the residents of East Contra Costa County. The CCCO offers the same programs at its second home - the intimate Recital Hall at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg. The CCCO also appears in holiday performances, including annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, sponsored by the City of San Ramon and the First Presbyterian Church of Concord.
The orchestra is comprised of forty-five musicians ranging in age from 15 to 94 who are music teachers, accountants, students, electricians, mechanics, homemakers, lawyers, retirees, dentists, engineers and computer specialists. Primarily Contra Costa residents, their only remuneration is the stimulation and satisfaction of rehearsing and performing together.
• The orchestra’s MISSION is to provide cultural enrichment, education, and entertainment to the community
through their GOALS of
• Presenting professional-quality orchestral, chamber and solo performances at an affordable price.
• Providing opportunities for amateur musicians of all ages to perform in a high caliber community-based
• Encouraging students to participate in or attend performances.
• Supporting contemporary composers by providing a forum in which new works are presented to the
• Showcasing local, established soloists throughout each concert season.
• Performing a wealth of works from all periods in history and various cultures, ranging from well-known
to rarely-heard masterpieces to regional and world premieres.
TIMOTHY M. SMITH
Timothy M. Smith is a seasoned conductor and veteran music educator – an Emeritus Professor of Music who currently serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. Retiring from academia in 2008, his teaching career included a twenty-two year tenure as Professor of Music at California State University East Bay in Hayward.
In addition to his position with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, Professor Smith is in continuous demand as a guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician. He has conducted professional, collegiate and community orchestras and wind bands, as well as nearly 200 high school and junior high school honor orchestras and bands throughout the western, northwestern and mid-western states. As an educational conductor Maestro Smith has conducted the Oregon Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra, appeared three times with the California Orchestra Directors Association All-State High School Honor Orchestra, conducted the California Band Directors Association and California Music Educators Association All-State Bands several times, and worked with nearly every regional, county, and district level honor orchestra and band in California and Nevada.
Professor Smith holds degrees in Horn Performance, Conducting and Music Education, is a former member of the Stockton, Modesto, and Spokane (WA) Symphonies, and was an active freelance horn player in the Bay Area. Involved in music education on several different levels, Maestro Smith was named the California Music Educators Association Bay Section’s “Outstanding Music Educator of 2006” and served for several years as Music Director of the multi-level Youth Orchestra of Southern Alameda County. In the summer of 2012, he will celebrate his 25th year on the La Sierra Fine Arts Camp teaching staff, serves on the professional coaching/performing staff at the Humboldt Brass Chamber Music Workshop, and has been guest conductor of both orchestras and bands at the La Honda Music Camp and the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp.