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Santa Rosa Symphony - Bruno Ferrandis, Music Director
Issue 80
December 2016

Don Green’s memoir  - 
Get yours at the Box Office

Don Green’s biography, Defining Moments, will be available for sale in the box office. We are so grateful to Don Green for our beautiful, acoustically exquisite concert hall, and for his long-time and ongoing support of the Symphony. He has truly been a huge part of the Symphony’s entire journey. Proceeds from sales support the Symphony’s four youth orchestras. The book, which is beautifully hardbound with many supporting photos, sells for $43.50. 

"People who write memoirs write history... It is a real-life adventure story with plenty of drama and humor and suspense." — Gaye Lebaron, Columnist for The Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Yum-raising for Young Musicians 
 – Act before Dec 2!

The sweetest fundraiser of the year is almost over! Who doesn’t want some chocolate?  See’s Candies calls its on-line fundraising “Yum-raising.” Shop at the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Ensembles candy shop for holiday or just-because sweets and support our youth education programs! It’s easy! Just click here, make your selections and check out with a credit card. Your candies will be delivered to you in time for the holidays! The on-line shop will close December 2, and the candies will arrive at our office for distribution within two weeks of that date.  

Musical Mondays with Kayleen Asbo!

Kayleen Asbo, who has been presenting excellent pre-concert talks for the Symphony (make sure to come to Poetic Bells an hour early to hear her!), is offering a museum series called Musical Mondays: Myth, Music and Philosophy Through the Ages at the Petaluma Historical Museum. The series began on Nov. 28, but includes three more lectures, all at the museum, which is at 40 Fourth Street. Her Fall Quarter is entitled From Antiquity to the Baroque and talks are from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on four consecutive Mondays. The remaining lectures are as follows: 

Dec. 5: Monks, Mysteries and Merriment in the Middle Ages

Dec. 12: The Renaissance and the Birth of Opera

Dec. 19: The Brilliance of the High Baroque

Tickets are available at the door as space allows, for $30 per lecture. See for more information. 

Wine Shout Out!

Grey Stack, Hook & Ladder Winery, Mazzocco Sonoma, Deerfield Ranch Winery, Rodney Strong Vineyards and Korbel will be graciously providing libations for our Private Reserve Club.
November was a busy month at the Symphony. The Symphony announced the conductor candidates, who will each lead the orchestra for one concert set next season, Don Green’s memoir was available at the Keyboard Brilliance concerts, along with Don Green himself and Kayleen Asbo returned for pre-concert talks. The Symphony also announced another record-breaking year and the expansion of the It’s Elementary program to six schools per year. 

For "Poetic Bells," our annual holiday concert, Bruno Ferrandis combines compositions derived from or influenced by works of Edgar Allen Poe and features a wide range of every manner of tolling bells, without the bells.

The SSU Symphonic Chorus joins the orchestra, along with local favorite, soprano Jenni Samuelson, tenor Christopher Bengochea and baritone Philip Skinner.

Kayleen Asbo, who will be on hand for the pre-concert talks, describes Rachmaninoff’s The Bells as "a program about angels, demons and mysteries, [which begins with] the celestial realms with a premiere of Prayer Bells. Our musical voyage will take us next through Elgar's gorgeous Enigma Variations, a cherished masterpiece which contains at its heart a cipher that has enticed and maddened generations of scholars. After intermission, we will go on a harrowing journey of heaven and hell with Rachmaninoff: the choral masterpiece The Bells will summon us to Edgar Allen Poe's dark underworld, while Vocalise will lift us up in a wordless cloud of angelic bliss.”


A Charlie Brown Christmas!

This year’s Pops Series Christmas concert features Sonoma County’s favorite icon, Charles Shultz’ Charlie Brown. You are invited to indulge nostalgia and gain a deeper appreciation of the theme music from the famous Peanuts Christmas special. Pianist and Steinway artist Jim Martinez and his quartet help bring these famous songs, written and arranged by Vince Guaraldi, to life on Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m. Maestro Michael Berkowitz will give a pre-concert talk prior to the performance. Tickets for this concert, held at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts are only available at, the LBC box office and by calling the LBC box office at (707) 546-3600. 


Invest in Music Education

The Symphony believes that, through music education, we not only cultivate a love of music among youth, we help students achieve academic success, emotional health and positive social skills. We strive to create real change in our community by providing all children and youth equal access to music education.

The Santa Rosa Symphony relies on the generosity of audience members and supporters to bring the highest quality music education to our schools and help our young musicians thrive through free or low-cost music programs

Invest in music education and the wellbeing and success of future generations today!


Conductor Candidates Film 

If you missed the viewings of the conductor candidates film on the big screen in November, you can still view the film in the comfort of your home. Visit our website to see and hear the five talented candidates you will be seeing next season. Each candidate will conduct one of the first five concert sets of the 2017-2018 season. One of them will become our new music director in the 2018-2019 season. 

The chosen five finalists, in chronological order of their appearances next season: 

Francesco Lecce-Chong, Oct. 7-9, 2017
Mei-Ann Chen, Nov. 4-6, 2017
Andrew Grams, Dec. 2-4, 2017
Graeme Jenkins, Jan. 13-15, 2018
Michael Christie, Feb. 10-12, 2018

If you are part of an organization whose members would enjoy a 45-minute presentation of “In Search of the Next Music Director for the Santa Rosa Symphony,” please email Heather Ahsan. The presentation would include this 15-minute film and insight into the candidate selection process by a member of the music director search committee.



Family Foundation awards grant to Simply Strings

The Santa Rosa Symphony recently received a grant award from the Hansen Family Foundation in support of our Simply Strings music education program. Inspired by El Sistema, Venezuela’s social action music network, Simply Strings provides children with string instruments and daily intensive ensemble instruction that develops music excellence and promotes social engagement. Simply Strings is fully supported by the Symphony and is free to its students. The Symphony thanks the Hansen Family Foundation for its incredible generosity and ongoing support of Simply Strings for the past three seasons


13th record-breaking year!

The Santa Rosa Symphony, for the thirteenth consecutive fiscal year, finished in the black and then some. The Symphony achieved record-level ticket sales and donations. The Fiscal Year End audit also sang with accomplishments, which included the most successful season-opening fundraising event to date, record Family Concert Series ticket sales, record high Foundation and Government grants, SRS’ four youth ensemble orchestras exceeding enrollment and revenue goals, and the endowment fund value exceeding $11 million for the first time. This year, our Simply Strings program was awarded the 2016 Merit Award for Cultural Enrichment by the City of Santa Rosa. In addition, the Symphony digitally preserved more than 35 years of Music Director Emeritus Corrick Brown’s 280 concerts.

“Now in our 89th season, we look to sustain our vision to be one of the leading regional symphony orchestras in America, locally acclaimed and nationally recognized for community engagement, artistic vibrancy and fiscal sustainability,” said Alan Silow, SRS Executive Director.


Sing-along Messiah – a Sunday afternoon treat

The Santa Rosa Symphony League invites you to the long-running Redwood Empire Sing-along Messiah, Sunday, December 18 at 3 p.m. The event breaks with tradition this year with a new day and time – a Sunday afternoon. The location is the same -- Jackson Theater, Sonoma Country Day School, 4400 Day School Place in Santa Rosa.

This popular holiday tradition, which benefits the Santa Rosa Symphony’s youth education programs, features the Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus and Santa Rosa Junior College choirs on stage with the Santa Rosa Chamber Orchestra led by Director Nicholas Xenelis. Dan Earl marks his 36th year as conductor.

Audience members will have musical scores to join in the singing of such classics as Joy to the World, Silent Night and the Hallelujah Chorus. Listeners are warmly welcomed as well.

Ticket are $20 at the door, in advance at Stanroy Music Center, 850 4th Street, Santa Rosa and online at For ticket information, call (707) 522-8786.

Copyright © 2016 Santa Rosa Symphony, All rights reserved.

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