Testimonials & Press



Refugee Orchestra Project Names New Team Members

A few weeks back, we let our community know that we made two new additions to the ROP team! Derek J. Weagle is our new Director of Development and Zachary Goodman has taken the role as Associate Conductor. Please join us in welcoming Derek and Zachary to the team!!

PREMIERE|Project Summer Festival 2019 Fellows Announced

IRVINE, CA - Sixteen talented composers from across the United States, Canada, and from as far away as Hong Kong have been accepted as Fellows for Choral Arts Initiative's second annual PREMIERE|Project Summer Festival this June. Over three intensive days, the Fellows will have the opportunity to attend in-depth seminars, explore the business side of living as a composer, experience one-on-one mentoring sessions with renowned composition faculty, collaborate in interactive rehearsals with the Choral Artists, gain exposure to the latest music out there, and build a family network of likeminded composers.



"I had the pleasure of working with Derek as a conductor in several ensembles at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium with the opportunity to premiere one of his own compositions he conducted himself. During rehearsals for every ensemble, Derek gave useful suggestions and was very considerate to hear the input of the players in his own work. I appreciated how efficiently Derek ran rehearsals with clarity and expressive conducting in our limited time together. Truly a great artist I hope to continue working with."

— Kacee Dugas, cellist


"It was an absolutely wonderful experience to collaborate with Derek on his work for my band, Three Wilson Portraits. He put in a substantial amount of time into researching Henry Wilson, a historical figure that is extremely important to our community but little known outside of it. That research inspired his multi-movement work for my band and he worked with me to tailor the piece to their strengths and weaknesses. Throughout the process he was always responsive to any questions or concerns and was always seeking feedback on how the process was going. It was great to have him come in and work and share his craft with our students. He is an absolutely passionate musician and it shines through in his composing and conducting. I would highly recommend Derek to any ensemble looking commission a work." 

— Scott Morrill, Band & Instrumental Music Teacher


Natick: Wilson musicians honor school’s namesake

The Wilson Winds, an auditioned ensemble, is practicing a piece titled “Three Wilson Portraits,” which composer Derek Weagle wrote to celebrate the life of the country’s 18th vice president.On Tuesday, Weagle visited Wilson Middle School and worked with the ensemble, offering feedback on [...] the piece.

“The best thing about working with kids and doing this is they get to write the piece with you,” Weagle said.

— Brian Benson, Metrowest Daily News


"Derek has the rare gift of transmitting pure vibration through the music he composes. He is in essence a clear channel for the healing powers of music. Derek is also a composer/musician who is in tune with the pulse of the times. Highly intuitive and technically skilled, he possesses the ability to touch the hearts of those that are lucky to hear his music!" 

— Meg Ruby, The Heart of Sound