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Greetings all and Happy New Year!

Even though it is just a date, there is something comforting about being able to move into a new year. I was just realizing the other day how many grey hairs I've acquired this year, which I have decided can only be blamed on the entity known as 2020.

Still, 2020 showed the resiliency and strength of this orchestra and community – and against all odds, we came together to safely and creatively share music together. Now, more committed than ever, we have an amazing new line-up of concerts for the first half of the New Year. Since the beginning, I have been determined to look at our current circumstances as an opportunity that must be seized: We've reached more people than ever before in our history, we've been able to put the spotlight on our musicians as soloists and speakers, and we've been able to build a vital online presence that will help us thrive into the future. I programmed this new series of performances to build even further on those ideas and truly embrace the full possibilities of a virtual performance. That's why we'll have a world-renowned Artistic Partner joining us this season, bringing us closer to the creative process in a way that simply wouldn't be possible in a traditional concert format. I also am looking forward to several pieces that will embrace and utilize our beautiful concert hall in new ways, taking full advantage of our film crew.

There are so many exciting musical adventures ahead of us. And who knows? Before we know it, we may be getting ready to gather in concert halls once again. I hope that's the gift that 2021 eventually brings us!

SIncerely yours,

SRS @ Home Jan 24
Meet Our Musicians: Roy Zajac, Principal Clarinet
SRS League's Festifval of Parties go virtual - and free

SRS @ Home Jan 24

Start your year off right with another virtual concert from the Symphony! Francesco kicks off 2021 with Mozart's Symphony No. 39. This symphony is one of his last three, all written within a nine-week span in the summer of 1788. In spite of the rapidity of its composition, this Symphony is a triumph. The program begins with a short work by J. S. Bach, which started with a musical challenge. You can read more about that in Elizabeth Schwartz' January Program Notes in the concert program flip book by mid January.

Sandwiched between these two old friends are two pieces from trailblazing women. Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, the Symphony's SRS @ Home Artistic Partner is the first women to win the Pulitzer for composition and Marianne Martines made her living from teaching and composing, without the benefit of a patron in the late 18th and early 19th century. 

Don't forget to tune in to the Symphony's YouTube channel early on January 24, at 2 pm, for the Live pre-talk and stay after the 3 pm concert for the Live Q & A. And invite your friends to watch "with" you, from their homes, whether near or far. 

BACH: Ricercare à 6 from Das Musikalische Opfer [The Musial Offering], Anton Webern, arr
ZWILICH: Concerto Grosso 1985 for Chamber Orchestra [after Handel]
MARTINES: Sinfonia in C major
MOZART: Symphony No. 39 
Learn More

Meet Our Musicians

Roy Zajac,
Principal Clarinet

Principal Clarinet Roy Zajac has played the clarinet since he was 10 years old, when he started on an instrument purchased from a neighbor. The music of his family and their friends, who played guitar and sang, permeated his young life in rural Mexico. Though neither he nor his brother took to the guitar, they both found the instruments they loved. Roy auditioned and won the spot of Principal Clarinet for the Santa Rosa Symphony in 1998, while he was still in the Air Force Band of the Golden West. He also began playing for other orchestras as a substitute. He says that’s the most difficult position, especially with often getting late notice to perform. For this reason, he says he makes a point to be extra nice and welcoming to guest musicians performing with the Symphony. 
Roy, who likes share his passion with young musicians, teaches and mentors and has had the honor of seeing his students achieve positions in California Allstate (first chair), San Francisco Youth Orchestra and the SRS Youth Orchestra. Many have won scholarships based on their musical ability. 
For three years, before the Green Music Center was built, he played for donor recitals to help raise funds for its construction. “Throughout that time, I played for many lovely people. Most memorable was Ray Manzarek of The Doors.” 
In addition to his winning audition for the Air Force Band of the Golden West, Roy says he’s also very proud of winning positions with the Naval Academy in Annapolis, the Filharmonica Del Bajio in Guanajuato, Mexico, and the Grand Teton’s Music Seminar. 
Roy is particularly drawn to the harmonies, folk sounds, instrumentation and rhythms of Russian composers, such as Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky and Shostakovich. One of his career highlights was performing as the guest artist for the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Symphony in 2013. 

SRS League's Festival of Parties goes virtual – and free

As a gift to the music-loving community, the League offers its virtually adapted “Festival of Parties” into the new year. These free programs include a variety of SRS member performances, artistic talks and presentations. In February, SRS Principal Percussionist Allen Biggs, with his wife, SRS violinist Kathryn Marshall, (and his dog!) offer a musical treat on Zoom. We also have author talks, artistic workshops and more in the works. Former League President Jackie Reinhardt and future League President Julia Wilkinson are co-chairs of this committee and will have a schedule to announce in the new year.
It is with gratitude that the League acknowledges the efforts of VP of Special Events Karen Ely, who nurtured the idea of a virtual Sing-Along Messiah into an inspiring historic rendition that can be found on its new YouTube channel: Santa Rosa Symphony League. Ground-breaking work is challenging and Karen rose to the occasion. With the incredible gift of collaboration by Dan Earl and his former student, Ryan Brady, the League was able to celebrate Dan Earl’s 40 anniversary of conducting "SAM."
Santa Rosa Symphony    
50 Santa Rosa Ave, Suite 410, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Patron Services  54-MUSIC (707) 546-8742  
Contact staff, via phone message or email M-F 9 am - 5 pm

Programs, pricing, dates and artists subject to change.
Photos of Francesco by Susan and Neil Silverman. Roy Zajac by Colin Talcroft. 

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

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