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I am delighted to be writing to you from my new home in Santa Rosa! It's been a long, winding road this summer to get here from Miami, but Chloe and I could not be happier to have our first place together. With my normal life on the road, I have never had a chance to appreciate where I live. In fact, I have always moved with plastic containers so that I can reuse them when I inevitably pick up and move again. This is a new and wonderful experience to create a living space with someone else. And while I never thought I'd have opinions on drapes, I am enjoying putting some creative energy into something besides the scores on my desk. Even just walking around our neighborhood in the evenings has brought a sense of calm largely absent since February.

Despite our happiness being here, I know it's a difficult time right now for our community with another round of evacuations, power outages and poor air quality. Chloe and I send our best wishes and hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well.

We look forward to connecting with you all as I continue my Thursday Night Live events on Facebook and YouTube (7 pm). This week, I'll be introducing you to David Krakauer and Kathleen Tagg, who are writing a one-of-its-kind Klezmer Clarinet Concerto, which the Santa Rosa Symphony commissioned. David Krakauer is one of the most versatile musicians I have ever worked with and a world renowned clarinetist in nearly every genre. He was one of my teachers in college, and I have always admired his work. It's a dream come true to bring a new work to life with him. Be the first to get an inside look at this commission, even as it's still being written!

Stay tuned for big news coming from the Symphony regarding this fall! We can't wait to share with you our plans, and how we will be able to safely and creatively keep the music alive!

With all my best wishes,
Francesco
IN THIS ISSUE
Join us for our Virtual Gala
Summer Music Academy - a resounding success!
Bidding ends Friday for Farmhouse Inn Auction
Stay Connected!

Join us for our Virtual Gala!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Streaming at 6:30 pm

Celebrate Norma and Corrick’s generosity and extraordinary 62-year commitment to the Symphony on Saturday, September 12, at 6:30 pm, with Francesco and his fiancé Chloe Tula, concertmaster Joseph Edelberg, Gaye LeBaron and other special guests in a virtual extravaganza in their honor. The evening will also include a brief recital by pianist Olga Kern. This virtual event is free and open to all, though donations will be encouraged. 

The Symphony gratefully acknowledges the following event sponsors: 
Lead Sponsor: Donald and Maureen Green 
Supporting sponsors: Anonymous; Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust; Faye Smith; Sandra Jordan; Norma Person; Prosource of Santa Rosa and World of Carpet One, Gayle & Arnie Carston; Santa Rosa Symphony League; The Press Democrat; Green Music Center
Learn More

 

Summer Music Academy - a resounding success!

Recognizing the tremendous need for socialization and engagement for isolated children, Program Manager Kate Matwychuk and Institute staff developed a plan to move Summer Music Academy forward, in spite of the rising cases of COVID-19 in Sonoma County. Informed by the evolving science and available data on COVID-19 transmission, they created a plan for a safe in-person experience.  

All brass, woodwind, choir and kinder classes were eliminated from camp as those activities posed the greatest risk. Staff reduced enrollment to 50 students (instead of the usual 165), created a waitlist, and assigned students to self-contained pods of 12, based on their instrument. Both the Workshop and Performance Academy continued with adapted offerings. Though many former SMA students weren’t able to attend, 53 eager students enjoyed safely learning and playing together.
One of these students, Danielle, had originally signed up for camp as a flute player and decided to learn the cello when all woodwind classes were cancelled. She worked with instructor Joyce Tsunekawa, learned to read a new clef, how to hold a bow, as well as different fingerings. By the end of camp, she performed a medley of songs from “Frozen II” alongside her teacher.
One mother said of her son, “My kid had never picked up a violin before and was actually hesitant about it before going to camp. He came home excited to practice every night, and can play three songs!”
Kate said, "One of our concerns, before camp began, was not knowing how hard it would be to enforce the safety protocols. 'Would kids wear a mask nearly all day? Would they remember to sanitize their hands often, and could they remain six feet apart, even when on break?' On the first day, our concerns were alleviated: kids wore their masks, and hand sanitizing became habit. The kids were thrilled to be together, and their parents were excited their children were learning again."

Students enjoyed daily lunchtime concerts, in Sonoma Academy's amphitheater, listening to their teachers play guitar, ukulele, drums and even the digeridoo, and playing for each other, some for the first time on a stage, and some playing brand new instruments.
On the last day of camp, the Performance Academy students performed a concert for their parents, who sat, physically distanced, in lawn chairs across the parking lot. "While the Chamber Ensembles and Jazz students played for their families under the clear blue sky, with the golden hills of Sonoma as a backdrop," said Kate, "it was easy to forget all the troubles plaguing the world and simply enjoy the music."

The responses to a post-camp survey confirmed the value of the endeavor, beyond the happiness evinced by the campers. One parent declared the program "offers high level, unique music education in a safe, beautiful environment with supportive staff and teachers that are passionate about music education.” Other parent responses echoed this, citing their relief and gratitude that their children were engaging with music, making new friends and learning from passionate teachers.
 

 

Bidding ends Friday for Farmhouse Inn Auction

Dinner with Francesco & Chloe and an overnight stay

Slip away to the scenic Russian River Valley, and enjoy a Michelin-starred restaurant dinner and wine pairing at the Farmhouse Inn with Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong and his fiancé, Chloe Tula. After a scrumptious dinner, you’ll enjoy spending the night in your spacious, quiet junior suite with a fireplace, curated wine refrigerator and feather bed and perhaps a soak in the tub with the jets on. 

In addition to the farm-to-table restaurant, this rustic chic resort in Forestville includes a full-service spa, picturesque gardens and scenic views. This - and so much more - is why Farmhouse Inn ranks among the most highly rated hotels in the world. 

“What rockets the Inn to the top of Sonoma’s hotels is the truly thoughtful service and attention to food and wine.”  Sunset Magazine

The package includes: Dinner and wine pairing (with Francesco and Chloe!) and one overnight stay for two in a junior suite. Total value for this package is $3,222! Sharing an intimate dinner with Francesco and Chloe – priceless.  Bidding starts at $2,000. 
Gift Certificate Good from August 31, 2020 through September 13, 2021
Stay Sunday – Thursday; not valid on Fridays, Saturdays or holidays.
Reservation required and based on availability. Blackout dates apply.
Not redeemable for cash. See website for more information. 
Place your bid now. Bidding ends at 2 pm, Friday, Aug 28!
 

Stay Connected!

Visit the Symphony's Stay Connected page often for fresh content from Francesco and SRS musicians. There are new music videos added every week. You'll also find Francesco's Spotify playlist, which he updates weekly and his archived Thursday Night Live videos. Watch also, for exciting news about the upcoming season. 

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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.
Photo of Francesco Lecce-Chong by Susan and Neil Silverman Photography
SMA photos by Kate Matwychuk


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Contact Us

ATTENTION: Symphony offices are currently closed due to COVID-19. Symphony staff, working from home, continue to monitor voicemails, email and mail.

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

Patron Services:
Phone: (707) 546-8742
E-mail: tickets@srsymphony.org

 

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