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Here we are in the homestretch of our 2020-2021 season with one more major performance and a special family concert presentation in May. All told, we will have performed eight complete programs (even one more than our typical seven classical subscription concerts) in a season where most orchestras either went partially dark or were reduced to small chamber groups. It really is impossible to overstate what this orchestra and community have achieved this season, and each of you reading this has played an integral role in our success. Relying on your belief that music is of greater necessity in a difficult time, the musicians and staff, with commitment and dedication, worked hard to make these concerts happen. Together, we proved that, while nothing can replace experiencing live music, we could find new ways to keep our musical community together, actually grow our community(!), and, perhaps, find an even deeper meaning to the music we love.

In all honesty, there were times last summer when I felt alone and crushed under the weight of responsibility to find ways to keep our orchestra together and active. But now I realize that I never had to fear. Just as this orchestra and community have been resilient and overcome difficult times in the past, we rallied together in the face of a pandemic to find meaning, comfort and joy. So, it seems appropriate that our final concert celebrates us, here and now. From a work inspired by the recovery from the 2017 Tubbs fire to one inspired by "Peanuts," we're finishing our season with gratitude and a few chuckles. But I have no doubt that my colleagues and I will also be performing with the fervent hope that this will be our last performance in an empty hall without you, our beloved audience!

With much admiration and gratitude to my colleagues and our community,


SRS @ Home May 16 celebrates Sonoma County! 
Dinner is served . . . for pickup or delivery on May 16!
Did you miss SRS @ Home Apr 25? Watch on TV! 
Summer Music Academy is almost full!
Young Musicians Learning Outdoors
SRSYO presents "Wanderlust" May 11
"Underrepresented . . . and great!" Featuring the Redwood Violin May 15
SMA gains memorial sponsorship
All youth ensembles have openings!


SRS @ Home May 16 celebrates Sonoma County

Celebrate Sonoma County with us! On May 16 at 3 pm on YouTube, Francesco leads the season finale with SRS Artistic Partner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's Peanuts® Gallery for Piano and Orchestra. Each movement highlights one of Charles Schulz' beloved Peanuts® characters. Critically acclaimed Bay Area pianist Elizabeth Dorman, who will perform Peanuts® Gallery on stage with the orchestra, has performed with the Louisville Orchestra, the Leipzig Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and Symphony Parnassus, as well as for interdisciplinary projects at the New World Symphony. 
Continuing with the local theme, the orchestra will perform a new arrangement by Paul Dooley of his Sonoma Strong to accommodate the smaller orchestra necessitated by COVID restrictions. 
Also included in the program are Gioachino Rossini's Overture to Il signor Bruschino and multiple Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty's Asclepius, Fanfare for Brass and Percussion.
Fittingly capping this final 2020-2021 SRS @ Home Season concert is Franz Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 45, Farewell. Through humor, Haydn makes a statement to his patron, in the last movement, that it was time to leave. The orchestra members gradually peel off the stage, leaving just two musicians on stage to finish the piece.

This concert is sponsored by Viking Cruises, who have generously committed to matching all donations during the concert, dollar for dollar. 
Learn More


Dinner is served . . . for pickup or delivery May 16!

Celebrate the final SRS @ Home concert of the season with a delicious, catered three-course meal on Sunday, May 16. Longtime Sonoma County favorite, Park Avenue Catering, is partnering with the Santa Rosa Symphony League to support SRS music education. The meal includes a fresh spring salad, choice of bistro filet, roasted salmon, or chanterelle tart, plus lemon shortbread and fresh strawberries for dessert.

Entrees come with simple final cooking instructions for a professionally created hot meal at your table. Each meal is $60, with 25% going toward SRS music education. Order for pick up in Cotati (591 Mercantile Dr.) or delivery (within their delivery radius, for an extra fee). Orders may be placed on the League website or directly from Park Avenue by clicking its dine and donate link below. 
Park Avenue Catering - Dine and Donate

Did you miss SRS @ Home Apr 25? Watch on TV! 

Through the Symphony's partnership with NorCal Public Media, you can watch the concert on two of its public channels. Watch Santa Rosa Symphony Presents on PBS channel KRCB 22, Sunday, May 30, at 8:00 pm. The concert also airs on Monday, May 31, at 7:30 pm on NorCal Public Media channel KPJK 60 (for Bay Area and South Bay viewers). Tell your friends!
Learn more, plus cable / satellite channels


Summer Music Academy is almost full!

The music intensive program that takes place 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. With strict 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, and rhythm. Violin, viola, cello, bass and guitar workshops are offered. Advanced students enjoy Chamber or Jazz Ensembles, with classes in composition, conducting and improvisation. Faculty are professional musicians, including members of the Santa Rosa Symphony. 
Register now!

Young musicians learning outdoors 

Mother's Day Treat

You are invited to stop by the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County on Saturday, May 8, at 9:30 am to enjoy the String Orchestra Workshop’s Mother’s Day Concert. The Children’s Museum is located at 1835 W Steele Lane in Santa Rosa.

Simply Strings at Bayer Farm

Monday through Thursday afternoons, the sound of music merges with birdsong as Simply Strings students play their instruments and study music theory at Bayer Farm Community Garden in the Roseland neighborhood. The young musicians will share what they have learned with parents and friends at the end of May in the Garden. 

SRSYO presents "Wanderlust" May 11

Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra presents its final virtual concert of the season, "Wanderlust." Designed as a transition back to performing together as a full orchestra in the fall, the concert features the first movement of Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony (a work for strings) and March from Gustav Holst’s Suite in Eb Major (a work for winds/brass/percussion). For the finale, the entire orchestra will perform an arrangement of Leonard Bernstein’s Mambo from West Side Story. Enjoy the concert on May 11 at 7 pm on the SRS Education YouTube channel. 
SRS Education YouTube Channel


"Underrepresented . . . and great!"

May 15 with live extras on Zoom

Featuring the debut of the Redwood Violin 

For this once-in-a-lifetime concert, Young People’s Chamber Orchestra will be live on Zoom, discussing the program and introducing the music, which they pre-recorded at The Phoenix Theater in Petaluma in April. This history-making concert features the premiere performance of the Redwood Violin, built by local luthier Andrew Carruthers and played by Co-concertmaster Aeden Seaver (16), who will perform Concertino for Violin and Strings by fellow YPCO member Gwendolyn Przyjazna (17), who composed the piece specifically for this event. 

In another stand-out first for the ensemble, Santa Rosa Symphony Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong makes a guest appearance as harpsichordist in the Overture in C by Marianne von Martinez. In addition to Martinez, other underrepresented composers highlighted on the concert are Johan Helmich Roman, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Scott Joplin and William Grant Still.

This free concert will be presented on Zoom and available a week later on the SRS Education YouTube channel. To get the most out of the experience, please register for the Zoom event before Friday, May 14, 2021 at noon for the May 15, 7 pm concert. You will receive a Zoom link via email, giving you access to the live presentation. 
Register for Underrepresented . . . and great!


SMA gains memorial sponsorship

This year's Summer Music Academy is sponsored, in part, by a generous gift in memory of Sonja Coyman-Myklebust, an alumna of the Symphony’s Training Young Musicians ensembles, who passed away a year and a half ago. Sonja's passion for music and education led her back to the Symphony in 2019, when she joined the SRS Institute for Music Education staff as the manager of the Summer Music Academy and Simply Strings. The Family and Friends of Sonja Coyman-Myklebust proudly offers its sponsorship of Summer Music Academy as a testament to Sonja and her incredible life.

Sonja grew up in Sonoma County and played the cello since she was in third grade. Sonja built her life around music. She enjoyed playing music, performing music as a chamber musician, recording music, teaching music, dancing to music, and sharing the power of music through advocacy and the programs she created. 

This memorial gift, together with other donations and grants, are vital in the sustaining of Summer Music Academy, the Institute's innovative music education summer camp for new and continuing students, ages 7-23, from all socio-economic backgrounds. This sponsorship also includes the donation of a cello. One of the several noon concerts for participants, during Summer Music Academy, will be a memorial concert, including inspiring stories from Sonja's life.

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, orchestra members by Susan and Neil Silverman Photography. Young musician photos (except YPCO) by Kate Matwychuk, YPCO by JurGita Mazeika.  

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

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Phone: (707) 546-8742


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