The Hillcrest Wind Ensemble, one of Southern California's finest adult musical organizations, celebrates over 35 years of providing quality musical programs for the greater San Diego community. Originally called San Diego's Finest City Freedom Band, the group was formed in 1985 to bring music to the LGBT community as a marching band that also played concerts. With the turn of the new century, the band has evolved into an elite wind ensemble, playing more advanced music with a new mission to entertain the ideal of diversity within our ranks as well as promoting quality music to all of San Diego.
The Hillcrest Wind Ensemble is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. We exist on income from concert ticket sales and donations from patrons and sponsors.
The purpose of this Band shall be to promote general harmony through music performance.
The Hillcrest Wind Ensemble is one of Southern California’s finest adult musical organizations. We provide quality musical programs for the greater San Diego community. We strive to perform innovative and more advanced music in order to educate and entertain, reflecting the ideal of diversity within our ranks as well as promoting quality music to all of San Diego.
This organization, in all facets, shall oppose discrimination and brutality through peaceful means and shall be co-sexual and non-sexist in its goals, membership, objectives and organization, and shall always foster pride in its unity and achievements.
In order to achieve and maintain a high level of musical integrity, the Band shall adhere to the guidelines of a contemporary wind ensemble. The contemporary wind ensemble shall be structured as to allow one musician per part (with the exception of two or three musicians to a part for flutes and clarinets at the Artistic Director’s discretion). This instrumentation encourages each player to raise their standards of musicianship and confidence as individuals, and as an ensemble. The simplistic nature of the wind ensemble requires each musician to excel in their skill, demanding a performance of precision and accuracy. It is our hope to set an example as an elite wind ensemble, and thereby inspire future musical organizations to continue in true wind ensemble tradition.
The artistic director and conductor of the Hillcrest Wind Ensemble is Christian Tordahl.
Christian is a native of Tappan, New York. He began playing trumpet at the age of 9, and studied throughout high school with Dick San Filippo, himself a student of William Vacchiano. At age 17, Christian was featured soloist with the Rockland Suburban Symphony Orchestra, playing Purcell’s Sonata for Trumpet and Orchestra and Leroy Anderson’s Trumpeter’s Lullaby. He continued his music studies at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education. While at Bucknell, he travelled bi-monthly to Eastman School of Music to take trumpet lessons with Barbara Butler. Christian earned a Master of Music degree in Wind Ensemble and Band Conducting from the University of South Florida where he studied with Dr. Mallory B. Thompson. Other renowned wind conductors he has worked with include Donald Hunsberger, H. Robert Reynolds, John Paynter, Eugene Corporon, Tom Lee, Larry Rachleff, and Alan MacMurray.
Christian has been an instrumental music educator since 1989. He has taught in a diverse array of schools and programs, including string orchestra at Rochelle School of the Arts in Florida, wind ensemble at Kathleen Senior High School in Florida, concert band at Harry B. Thompson Middle School in New York, and concert band at Hilltop High School in Chula Vista, California. While living in New York, Christian conducted the Wind Ensemble of the New York City Catholic Schools Honor Band Festival for the years 1999-2001. He also conducted the San Diego Young Artists Symphony Winds ‘n’ Brass at San Diego’s Copley Symphony Hall in 2011. Christian received the “Elementary Music Specialist Award” from California Music Educators Association – Southern Border Section in 2021. He received the state-wide “Peripole General Music Educator Award” from California Music Educators Association in 2022.
Christian is currently a Central Office Resource Teacher with the Arts Education Project in San Diego Unified School District. In addition to conducting the Hillcrest Wind Ensemble, he plays trumpet with the Pomerado Brass Quintet and for various musical theater productions throughout the year.
Board of Directors
President: Janine Donston
Vice President: Gary Poirier
Secretary: Keith Schooler
Treasurer: Miranda Osguthorpe
Member-At-Large: Lori Calabrese
Concert Producers: Janine Donston, Gary Poirier, Keith Schooler, Miranda Osguthorpe, Lori Calabrese
Ticket Sales: Miranda Osguthorpe
Graphic Design: Scott San Martin
Recording: Oscar Green, Keith Schooler
Librarian: Eddie Blough
Website Manager: Keith Schooler
Composition Contest Coordinator: Sara Baird
"Queen" Eddie Conlon
Benjamin E. Moore
Edward L. Tiedman