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Together, we did it! We completed an entire season of eight virtual concerts that included many, many firsts for us. To name just a few:

Mini-cycle of the first three Beethoven symphonies

9 of our own SRS musicians featured as soloists

collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, as our first ever "Artistic Partner"

41 of our own SRS musicians introduced the works on programs or participated in post-concert discussions

14 works by composers still active today and 18 works by American composers, for a comprehensive look at our art form here and now

Truly, none of this would have been possible without the brilliant, intense effort by my colleagues onstage making music under incredibly difficult circumstances. And that would not have been possible without the tireless effort by our staff to create the safe framework for us to return to stage and provide the virtual environment to connect with our community. And even that would not have been possible without the committed support from donors, sponsors and subscribers who believed in the importance of keeping our orchestra together and music in our community. And finally, in a year where we didn't sell a single ticket, our community stepped up by the thousands to create a festive and supportive environment around our virtual concerts, helping us reach more people than ever before in our 93-year history.

We have one final virtual event, and then we hope to see you next time IN PERSON! Our final event is a free family concert on this Saturday, May 29, at 3pm. It will be streamed on our YouTube Channel just like the others this season. This hour-long program will feature highlights from our entire virtual season. Our final virtual concert of the season will include introductions to the instruments from our musicians and Artistic Partner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich speaking about composition. I'll even teach you how to conduct some Rossini with me! I'm so excited to have an opportunity for audiences of all ages to have some fun with us, so please help spread the word!

Thank you, as always, for being a part of our musical family!

Sincerely yours,
SRS @ Home Family Concert May 29
Watch the April and May SRS @ Home concerts on TV! 
A pillar of the Symphony was lost last week
Learn cello or bass at Summer Music Academy 
YPCO Concert with the Redwood Violin on YouTube
Simply Strings Roseland Integrated Program continues in person next season!
Simply Strings year-end recital a triumph
All youth ensembles have openings!

SRS @ Home Family Concert May 29

Spend an hour with the family enjoying and learning about the instruments in the orchestra! Francesco curated excerpts from the SRS @ Home concerts to highlight the various sections of the orchestra. Orchestra members join Francesco to introduce their instruments. Young audience members will get a close look at the members of the orchestra, the conductor and even a composer, as Artistic Partner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich speaks about composing before the final piece. Invite family and friends to this delightful concert and relive moments from the Symphony's most unique season.
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, artistic partner
Elizabeth Dorman, piano

Program includes the excerpts from: 

JESSIE MONTGOMERY: Starburst for String Orchestra
JOHANNES BRAHMS: Serenade No. 2 for Small Orchestra
MICHAEL DAUGHERTY: Asclepius, Fanfare for Brass and Percussion
ARTURO MÁRQUEZ: Danzón No. 4 for Chamber Orchestra
WILLIAM GRANT STILL: Serenade for Small Orchestra
GIOACHINO ROSSINI: Overture to Il signor Bruschino
ELLEN TAAFFE ZWILICH: Peanuts® Gallery for Piano and Orchestra
ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK: Czech Suite for Small Orchestra  
Learn More

Watch the April and May SRS @ Home concerts on TV! 

Watch the last two SRS @ Home concerts on TV with "Santa Rosa Symphony Presents" on PBS channels KRCB 22 and KPJK 60. 
On Sunday, May 30, at 8:00 pm, enjoy the SRS @ Home April 25 concert that featured Tchaikovsky's Serenade for String orchestra and shone the spotlight on Concertmaster Joseph Edelberg for Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's Romance for Violin and Orchestra.

On Sunday, June 20, at 8:00 pm, you can relive the magical season finale, featuring Elizabeth Dorman performing Zwilich's Peanuts Gallery, a reprise (this time for Chamber Orchestra) of Paul Dooley's Sonoma Strong, a lively fanfare by Michael Daugherty and more.

The concerts also air the following Mondays (May 31 and June 21) at 7:30 pm on NorCal Public Media channel KPJK 60 (for Bay Area and South Bay viewers).
Learn more, plus cable / satellite channels

A pillar of the Symphony was lost last week

Norma Brown (August 27, 1931 – May 13, 2021) 

The Symphony and the community will miss one of its greatest and longest supporters. Norma Brown, concert pianist, educator, mentor, hostess extraordinaire and wife of Conductor Emeritus Corrick Brown, passed away on Thursday after a long illness. She contributed her time and talents to the Symphony for 30 years. She hosted guest artists, worked behind the scenes and founded the Symphony League. It is no exaggeration to say that the Symphony would not be what it is today without her unwavering dedication, contribution and vision. 

Everyone at the Symphony sends their heartfelt condolences and will miss her so very much. 

SRS member Elizabeth Vandervennet
SMA Cello Instructor

SRS member Karen Zimmerman
SMA Bass Instructor

Learn cello or bass at Summer Music Academy 

Jazz Ensemble has openings, too. Register by June 1!

The music intensive program happening July 12-30, 2021, Mon-Fri 9 AM-3 PM at Sonoma Country Day School still has openings for cello and bass in workshops, and for Jazz Ensemble. If you want to learn more about the cello and bass classes, watch the short introductory videos above. The cello and bass teachers talk briefly about their instrument and what the musicians will learn this summer.

While following all state and county COVID-19 health and safety protocols, kids age 7-23 have fun while they learn to play an instrument for the first time or enrich their music studies. Three weeks of music immersion feature classes in movement, theory, rhythm, and composition and conducting for more advanced students. Faculty are professional musicians, including members of the Santa Rosa Symphony. Financial aid is available. Applications are due June 1. 
Register now!


YPCO Concert with the Redwood Violin on YouTube

Young People's Chamber Orchestra concert recorded at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma. 

Four Reasons to watch this diverse and lively concert

1) Debut performance of the Redwood Violin, made by local luthier Andrew Carruthers from local materials
2) Composers who were overlooked for their gender or race are championed
3) A 17-year-old SRS youth ensembles member wrote Concertina for Violin and Strings for the Redwood Violin
4) Guest artist on harpsichord is SRS Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong 

Young People's Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Aaron Westman, perform, sans conductor, works by "Underrepresented . . . but great!" composers who include Marianne von Martinez (featuring Francesco on harpsichord), Johan Helmich Roman, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Scott Joplin and William Grant Still. Co-concertmaster Aedan Seaver performs on the Redwood Violin. At the end of the concert, enjoy a video created by the luthier about the making of the Redwood Violin. 
Watch on the SRS Education YouTube channel now!

Simply Strings Roseland Integrated Program
continues in person next season!

The Roseland School District found the virtual music appreciation classes for third graders to be so beneficial that they have engaged the SRS Institute for Music Education to continue the Simply Strings Roseland Integrated Program in person next season! All nine third grade classes will receive two twenty-minute sessions per week, taught by three of our Simply Strings faculty visiting all three elementary schools.


Simply Strings year-end recital a triumph

Simply Strings completed a successful in-person spring session with a well-attended final recital held at Bayer Farm, an urban garden in the Roseland neighborhood. Nineteen students in grades four through eight performed for family, friends and Sheppard Elementary teachers outside, surrounded by the beautiful gardens at the farm. The Institute extends its gratitude to LandPaths and Jonathan Bravo, director of Bayer Farm, for welcoming the Simply Strings students into such a conducive space for music education for this season and the next. 

All youth ensembles have openings!

The Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education is accepting new members for all of its Training Young Musicians youth ensembles! Musicians who have been playing an instrument for a year or more will find audition materials at the registration link below. Auditions will be conducted virtually for placement in an ensemble that most fits the musician's ability. The advanced level Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra is looking forward to a tour to Spain, tentatively set for June 2022, based on enrollment. Young musicians who like to travel have all the more reason to sign up.  

In addition, beginning musicians with no previous experience may register for String Orchestra Workshop, which does not require an audition to join. Visit the registration page for more details.  
Learn more and join a youth ensemble!
Santa Rosa Symphony    
50 Santa Rosa Ave, Suite 410, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Though the Patron Services office is closed during the pandemic, 
staff, working remotely, respond to 
mail, voicemails and emails M-F 9 am - 5 pm. 

54-MUSIC (707) 546-8742 

Programs, dates and artists subject to change.
Photos of Francesco by Susan and Neil Silverman Photography. Simply Strings by Kate Matwychuk.

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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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