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Community, Engagement & Resources

In the spirit of the Santa Rosa Symphony’s mission “to inspire and engage the residents of our region with the finest musical performances and educational programs,” the organization is committed to a high level of community involvement. We have a history of special projects, such as the performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem (1999) and the Child of Our Time collaboration with Santa Rosa High School (performance, art exhibit and documentary film). For the Child of Our Time project, Santa Rosa Symphony received the League of American Orchestra’s 2002 Met Life Award for Excellence in Community Engagement. Our orchestra also performed a community concert for Hurricane Katrina Relief in September 2005. This benefit raised more than $65,000.

Community engagement can be subtle and ongoing as well as dramatic. The Symphony serves our residents with music education and outreach programs that ignite and nurture a lifetime love of music and increase the intellectual, social and emotional development of our children. From supporting our classroom teachers to offering a child the chance to learn to play an instrument, from concerts by our Youth Ensembles in retirement homes to the pre-concert conversations with the conductor that educate and inspire audiences of all ages, the Symphony aspires to be relevant in people’s lives.

Following are opportunities for students, educators, families and arts lovers of all kinds.

String Orchestra Workshop

The String Orchestra Workshop provides an entry point for community members ages five through adult to express themselves through music. Participants work directly with string coaches in a hands-on, small group environment that allows for greater personal attention. Beginners learn to play with others in ensemble, and prepare for the full-orchestra experience. 

Summer Music Academy

With decades of history, the Summer Music Academy (SMA) is a proven training ground for students just beginning instrumental studies, and for advanced young musicians who aspire to excel. The three-week immersion format includes classes and ensemble work for all orchestral and band instruments, and a final day of free performances open to the public. In addition to instrumental classes, SMA offers conducting, music theory, composition and songwriting classes that allow students to become more fully-developed musicians. It’s an ideal way to begin musical training and a wonderful opportunity for students to gain valuable skills and have fun during the summer.

Community Performances

Retirement/Care Facilities

Since 1986 the SRS Youth Orchestra and Young People’s Chamber Orchestra have been invited to perform at Spring Lake Village, a retirement community in Santa Rosa. Concerts in the winter and spring are given to an appreciative audience who might not have the ability to leave their homes to attend concerts. Additional community performance locations include Friends House, the Lodge at Paulin Creek and Oakmont Concert Series. In the time of Covid 19 while visitors are not permitted at these facilities, the youth orchestras are sharing their music virtually with these residents.

Free Public Concerts and Benefits

Frequently the Symphony’s young musicians have given free concerts to benefit other organizations and the community at large. Past concerts have included the Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market, Santa Rosa Plaza, First Night, Performance Sonoma, and Coddingtown Center. The annual Music Around Town event brings our young musicians into the community, playing at local businesses and sites within a walkable area in Sonoma County. These additional concerts add to the performance opportunities of Youth Ensembles members and provide great exposure and promotion of music education within the community.

Concert Conversations 

Beneath the surface of classical music is a world of fascinating history and detail. Concert goers are invited to come early to join Francesco Lecce-Chong and guests as they unlock the mysteries of the music on the program and explore the lives and inspiration of the composers. 

These 30-minute talks—free to ticket holders—are relaxed, informative, and include time for questions from the audience. Concert Conversations begin Saturdays and Mondays at 6:30 PM and Sundays at 2 PM in Weill Hall.

Program Notes Online

The pleasure in hearing a piece of music is often enhanced by understanding the factors that influenced its creation and learning about the life and times of the composer. Anyone who visits the Santa Rosa Symphony’s website may download and print program notes from each Classical Series concert event page. Read Program Notes at your leisure before or after the concert and enhance your enjoyment of every performance.


Sign up for the Symphony’s email list for up-to-the-minute information on all special events and performances, as well as insider news. Enroll here.

All photos by Susan and Neil Silverman Photography

Contact Us

Administrative Office:
50 Santa Rosa Ave
Suite 410
Santa Rosa CA 95404
Phone:  (707) 546-7097

Patron Services | Box Office:
Phone: (707) 546-8742


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