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Issue 96 | June 2018
What an amazing farewell to Bruno at the beginning of May, with Mahler’s 9th symphony, the US premiere of Temporis and the Merci Beaucoup, Maestro! post-concert receptions. The outpouring of love from and for Santa Rosa Symphony’s maestro of 12 years was very moving.  And Mahler’s 9th! What a special concert, which will be remembered long after Bruno’s departure.
The Symphony looks forward with delight to the coming season with Francesco leading the orchestra for the October, November and the January concert weekends. The most often-heard comments from renewing subscribers are in praise of the upcoming programming and the new, earlier start times on Saturday and Monday (7:30 pm). Many four-concert subscribers have opted to upgrade because they simply can’t miss any of the 2018-2019 concerts. 
If you are not a subscriber, this is a good time to join the family and “Be here from the beginning.”


From President and CEO

Alan Silow

As the Chinese proverb goes – may we live in interesting times. And so we have as our 90th season comes to a close.

It was a time, as our board chair Jamei Haswell eloquently said, of great fires, great auditions and great farewells, and I would add – great new beginnings for the future. The tragic wildfires of last October brought innumerable challenges for us all, and yet it led to an unparalleled response on the part of the Santa Rosa Symphony. The Symphony presented a free fire-relief concert, raising more than $115,000, which went entirely to fire relief agencies in Sonoma County, provided free concert tickets all season long to first responders and those who lost their homes, and new instruments to young musicians who lost theirs in the fires. 

Our patrons and orchestra musicians also experienced a rare event– the public auditioning and conducting of our top five candidates for the next music director position, only the fifth in our 90-year history. The season ended with a heartfelt bon voyage to our beloved music director Bruno Ferrandis after 12 enormously gratifying seasons of great music-making. Soon to come is the joyous bon voyage to our Youth Orchestra, led by our departing conductor Richard Loheyde, as they prepare for a life-changing concert tour of Salzburg, Vienna and Budapest in late June.

And yet we end the season looking forward to truly great new beginnings. Our 2018-2019 season will open in October with our exuberant and multi-talented new music director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conducting no less than Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and bringing a passion and commitment to both our artistic vibrancy and music education offerings. Next season will also see the return of our Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane and now Conductor Laureate Bruno Ferrandis as guest conductors. Our extensive music education programs are now grouped under the SRS Institute for Music Education brand, and will install three new youth orchestra conductors and an expand the El Sistema Simply Strings program.

No one will want to miss what will surely be one of our most magical seasons of music-making in our 91 years of service. As you can tell, we have so much to be thankful for, including  those of you who have contributed by your attendance and donations which allow us to make a meaningful contribution to this wonderful community we all call home. Though we cannot build houses, with your support, we can build hope and inspiration that will serve us all for generations to come.

Join us for the
2018-2019 season!


Get the whole package – at 25% off

New subscribers enjoy the benefits of being a 7-Concert Classical Season subscriber at 25% off the full price. This is the season to secure your seats to all seven programs, October through May, and enjoy the many additional benefits of a season subscription, which include: 20% savings over single tickets, free ticket exchanges, restaurant discounts and two complimentary tickets to any SRS Youth Orchestra concert at Weill Hall. In addition, NEW subscribers are invited to a special reception with a back stage tour. Call 54-MUSIC and take advantage of the many benefits of being part of our subscriber family. Santa Rosa Symphony’s Patron Services staff is ready to help you become a subscriber.


Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education

New branding and conductors

The (SRS) Board, recognizing the enormity of its education programs' impact on the community, rebranded its Music Education Department’s activities under the new umbrella - the Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education. The Institute is an integrated approach to music education in the broadest sense of the term, coordinating all aspects of SRS music education for young people and adults.

The Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education consists of five component programs:
  • Music for our Schools programs include free concerts for youth, It’s Elementary and Primarily Classical
  • Training Young Musicians comprises five youth ensembles and Summer Music Academy
  • Simply Strings, an El Sistema-inspired afterschool program, provides fully-funded instruction to underserved children at Sheppard Elementary School
  • Family-oriented programs include a family concert series, discovery dress rehearsals and ensembles at library and other community events
  • Adult Education is provided through open dress rehearsals, pre-concert talks, String Orchestra Workshop, master classes, select SMA classes and library events
In order to better communicate the progressive levels of instruction available, the Institute has renamed two of its three youth ensembles.

Preparatory Orchestra becomes Santa Rosa SymphonyDebut Youth Orchestra
Repertory Orchestra becomes Santa Rosa Symphony Aspirante Youth Orchestra

Alan Anibal

Dana Sadava
Together with the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra, which keeps its name, all three will have new conductors in the 2018-2019 season, with the hiring of Alan Aníbal for SRS Debut Youth Orchestra and Dana Sadava for the SRS Aspirante Youth Orchestra. Robert Rogers, who has been leading the latter since 2011, will now conduct the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra. Learn more about all of these orchestras and other Institute programs at

Preparatory Orchestra concertmaster Kai Watanabe presents flowers to retiring conductor Tristan Arnold at Spring Bounty Concert April 29, 2018, as conductors Alan Aníbal, Dana Sadava and Bobby Rogers look on.

SRSYO musicians play the Wednesday Night Market

On June 6, musicians from the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra perform at the Wednesday Night Market from 4:40-5:00 pm on the Square.


SRSYO Bon Voyage Concert

Enjoy the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra's Bon Voyage Concert on June 16 at 3 pm at the Green Music Center as the Orchestra prepares for its tour in Salzburg, Vienna and Budapest! In addition to the tour repertoire, Chloe Watson, winner of the Concerto Competition, performs a bassoon concerto by Hector Villa-Lobos. Hear the world premiere of Star Dust and Dark Matter by acclaimed composer Gloria Coates, commissioned for SRSYO for this tour.  



Summer Music Academy - registration closes June 12

Summer Music Academy, an amazing three weeks of intensive music instruction, is July 9-27 at Sonoma Country Day School. Registration forms and $50 deposit must be received by June 12, 2018. The public is invited to a free concert by Performance Academy participants on July 28 at 10 am.

Sophia's new bass

Sophia Martin has a beautiful new bass thanks to support from the Stults Family Instrument Scholarship, which first paid for a new oboe for Nathan Garcia-Diaz earlier this year. The double bass was found on consignment at Stanroy's. Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra member, Sophia looks forward to the European tour in June. Sophia also plays jazz and rock, and plans to study music in college in two years.

Spend your ad dollars at the Symphony

Three ways to advertise your brand

The 2018-2019 program books are distributed at Weill Hall at four performances (including Discovery Rehearsal) for seven concert programs per season. Remember that saying about people having to see something seven times before they act? Seven concert weekends per season in a 1400-seat hall.

In addition, we are still seeking a sponsor for the backs of the season tickets and another for the back of the will-call envelopes. Support the Symphony while gaining more customers or clients. Contact Ann Hutchinson at 707-546-7097 x 222 to learn more.


Students, musicians band together in
collaborative concerts

Providing access to inspirational, collaborative performances for 2,265 children, the Clover Sonoma IGNITE! Concerts on May 3 at the Green Music Center were the joyous culmination of another successful Free Concerts for Youth season, serving a total of 5,917 students and teachers this year.

IGNITE! provides curricular materials to non-music teachers, at no cost, that help fulfill English, music and science state standards. These lessons culminate in an emboldening concert that invites students to join in the creation of music by playing recorders or singing from their seats. Both Free Concerts for Youth and IGNITE! seek to foster a connection to classical music and live performance in our young people, empowering their engagement with an art form to which they might otherwise not be exposed.

Support for the 2017–2018 season came from Clover Sonoma, sponsor of the Clover Sonoma Free Concerts for Youth on February 8 and Clover Sonoma IGNITE! Concerts on May 3, with additional support from Kiwanis Club of Santa Rosa, the Safeway Foundation and Macy’s. The IGNITE! initiative is made possible by a grant from the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation.

Photo by Dennis Paul Bolt


Thank you to all who supported the Human Race!

Approximately 20 Santa Rosa Symphony runners and walkers joined thousands for the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County’s 2018 Human Race on April 28. The Symphony thanks the following sponsors, who led the community effort to raise approximately $14,000 to benefit the Symphony’s 400 Training Young Musicians students:

Fred & Susan David
Marie McBride of McBride Realty
Redwood Credit Union
Rubins Financial Strategies
The Santa Rosa Symphony League
Jane & Nelson Weller

Photo: (L to R): Chris Parr-Feldman, President, Santa Rosa West Rotary Club; David McDonald and William Dodson, 2018 Crab Feed Fundraiser Co-Chairs.


Local Rotary increases support of Simply Strings

Rotary Club of Santa Rosa West has provided generous support of the Symphony's free after-school music and social development program, Simply Strings, with a $21,550 gift, representing the Club's deep commitment to Simply Strings' since its pilot year in 2013, and strong dedication to the Symphony’s ongoing mission to provide equal access to music education in Sonoma County.

Inspired by Venezuela’s transformative El Sistema initiative, Simply Strings recently completed its fifth year at Sheppard Accelerated Elementary in Roseland and is projected to reach 100 underserved students in the 2018–2019 school year. With a seven-year commitment to each child, from grades 2–8, the Symphony uses music to foster academic success, emotional health and prosocial skills. Students receive free instruments and instruction two hours a day, five days a week, for 24 weeks—supported by healthy snacks and peer mentorship.

The help of community leaders like Santa Rosa West Rotary has been essential to Simply Strings’ rapid evolution from a pilot program to a permanent one that enjoys the unwavering support of Symphony leadership, participants’ families, school staff and the broader community.

Wine cave concert

On Thursday, June 21, SRS Concertmaster Joseph Edelberg and SRS Flutist Stacey Pelinka will play a mixed program of duets from the German and French baroque to Mozart and Rossini opera melodies with some Irish music thrown in. Imagine the magic of these two amazing musicians in the unique acoustical setting in the cave of the Deerfield Ranch Winery.

You are invited to enjoy fine wine, exceptional music and an array of delicious appetizers. The program begins at 6 pm.

$50 General admission; $45 Symphony League members. Reserve online at or send a check to 50 Santa Rosa Avenue, Suite 410, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.

Photo by Darcie Burrell

Alumna in the news

Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Ensemble alumna Aja Gabel released a novel in May entitled The Ensemble. Her coast to coast tour includes a stop at Thumbprint Cellars Tasting Room in Healdsburg on July 12 at 6:30 pm.

The blurb reads, "The addictive debut novel about four young friends navigating the cutthroat world of music and their complex relationships with one another, as ambition, passion, and love intertwine over the course of their lives."
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Santa Rosa Symphony
50 Santa Rosa Ave, Suite 410, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Patron Services  54-MUSIC  (707) 546-8742  Hours: M - F 9 am - 5 pm; W 10:30 am - 5 pm

Programs, pricing, dates and artists subject to change.
Orchestra and musician photos by Susan and Neil Silverman Photography unless otherwise noted. 

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Santa Rosa Symphony
Administrative Office:
50 Santa Rosa Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Administration: (707) 546-7097

Patron Services Hours: 
M-F - 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
W – 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Closed Saturdays & Sundays
Patron Services: (707) 546-8742