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We did it! After months of dreaming and planning, of countless breakthroughs and setbacks, your Santa Rosa Symphony is performing once again in the Green Music Center! Of course, we'll miss having our enthusiastic audiences in the hall with us, but know that you will be with us in spirit and we are so excited for the opportunity to bring you the joy, hope and comfort of music, directly to your homes. Not only that, but with these free virtual concerts, we will be reaching thousands of people in our broader community and around the world—introducing them to our talented musicians and our incredible concert hall for the first time.

Now that we have overcome the odds to start our season, the hard work begins as high-level artistry meets vital safety protocols. For the musicians and myself, it is an entirely new reality we face with masks, plexiglass barriers and distance between every performer. We will have to navigate moving around the hall in a way that keeps the smallest possible number of people on site at any given time. And, of course, we'll have an entire video and audio crew capturing every moment!

So, as we dedicate ourselves to creating the most thrilling, unique concert experience for you, I have a request to you, our large Santa Rosa Symphony family: Please be our ambassadors and spread the word!

Our generous subscribers, donors, and sponsors have made these performances possible—and indeed, we will be relying on our appeal of donations from viewers to keep this series going as long as necessary. But one of the most important measures of success will be how many people join these virtual events, and I think the most effective way that will happen is through invitations directly from each of us. That's why this week I will be contacting anyone for whom I have an email address to ask them to join us. I hope you will take some time to do the same!

I look forward to "seeing" you on October 11 at 3pm PDT! What will you be doing to make it special? Perhaps a fancy stay-at-home date with a loved one? Or a family hangout on the couch? Maybe some neighbors in your backyard? Let us know how you'll be celebrating with us—because the music is back!

SRS @ Home Oct 11 
Meet Our Musicians: Principal Trombone Bruce Chrisp
Yes, you'll still have a program book! 
Francesco's video overview of the SRS @ Home Series
Institute moves forward with innovation and imagination 
Tribute to long-time Director of Finance Judy Bruce

Francesco kicks off the SRS @ Home Series with Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 and works by Richard Strauss, Giovanni Gabrieli, George Walker and Gabriela Lena Frank on Sunday, October 11 at 3 pm.

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 1
Experience the progression of Beethoven's work from traditional Mozart and Haydn forms, gradually breaking the rules and striking out to create something all his own that becomes a benchmark for centuries. You'll be able to take them in order, with the next two symphonies in November and December. 

RICHARD STRAUSS: Serenade in E-flat major for winds
Hear the amazing talent amassed within the SRS woodwinds as they shine in this graceful, melodic piece written for thirteen winds. 

GIOVANNI GABRIELLI: Canzoni for brass
Four trumpets, four horns and four trombones play as antiphonal choirs from the balconies surrounding the stage for two canzoni, or songs. The arrangement is courtesy SRS principal trombone Bruce Chrisp (see more about him below). 

GEORGE WALKER: Lyric for Strings
George Walker, in 2000, was the first living composer to enter the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. Four years earlier, he was the first African American to win the Pulizer Prize in Music. Lyric for Strings, written in the 40s, with its beautiful combination of anguish and joy, quickly became an orchestral staple. 

According to the 48-year-old musical anthropologist, her work "is inspired by the kachampa music of Andean Peru." Athletic Inca warriors "convey a triumphant, even joyful spirit" as they dance. 

Make sure to check the event page ahead of time for the digital program book, which includes engaging program notes from the Symphony's new annotator Elizabeth Schwartz, ways to watch on your TV and other smart devices, and more. 
Learn More

Yes, you will have a concert program book! 

The complete program book, in the same format you have enjoyed in the Hall, is available digitally on the event page for each concert. Please take a moment before the concert to access the digital program as a flip book on a separate device (from the one you're watching the concert on) or print out the pdf version at home, to have it in-hand as you watch, or to read ahead of time. 

The Symphony would like to acknowledge its loyal program book advertisers and invite you to support them with your business. 
Accounting on Computers
Barracuda Networks
Black Oaks Asset Management
Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross
Culligan Water
Earthtone Construction
Exchange Bank
Family Law Offices of Carol A Gorenberg
Heather Young Realty
Montgomery Village
Oliver's Market
Petaluma Coffee & Tea
Portola Systems, Inc. 
Rubins Financial Strategies
Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Foundation
Sonoma Clean Power
Sonoma Land Trust
Spaulding McCullough & Tansil
Stanroy Music Center
Stifel Financial Services
Viking Cruises
Willow Creek Wealth Management
World of Carpet One Floor and Home
Francesco's engaging SRS @ Home Series overview. Press play button to watch now! 

Meet Our Musicians

Bruce Chrisp, principal trombone

SRS Principal Trombone Bruce Chrisp has been performing with the Symphony for 29 years. He also performs with seven other area orchestras and the Carmel Bach Festival. He's been playing the trombone since he was ten. When asked why he chose the trombone, he quipped, "It was shiny." He was also enthralled by the slide. 

In a complete departure from his work on orchestral stages, he also plays bluegrass banjo and mused that a "fantastic" gig his band played was at a roadhouse in Santa Maria, outside under a tin roof behind chicken wire. For those who have not seen the Blues Brothers and don't frequent such establishments, the chicken wire is to protect the band from projectiles from the crowd. And payment was mostly drink tickets. But they had fun and want to do it again.

His favorite composer is Mahler, because his music is about real human experiences, from absolute grief to elation, and nature. He's also a big fan of Beethoven's string quartets. When he's not performing, he teaches trombone at UC Davis and mentors for the Muse program in Oakland, making good use of his Music Ed degree. "I am a player who likes teaching, rather than a teacher who likes to play," he said. 

And he's an arranger. The two canzoni in the SRS @ Home October 11 concert, by Gabrieli, were arranged by him. "Gabrieli, to me, is by far the best composer, that we know about at least, from that era. And that's why his music gets played much more than anyone else from that era. He was truly a genius. And even though these pieces were written for the instruments of the day, they work on modern instruments."

Besides forcing him to teach and perform virtually, COVID-19 impacted his family directly a couple days before the shelter in place in March. He's finally recovered from the lingering effects, though his wife still continues to recover. He credits playing his trombone as a respiratory exercise, while he was still sick, for his now healthy lungs. 

Outside of his musical activities, a couple of his crowning achievements were solo cycling trips (camping as he went) from the Canadian border to San Francisco and the following year from San Francisco to the Mexican border. 

Institute moves forward 

With innovation and imagination

The Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education, with innovation and imagination, has made a way forward, through this unusual time, to continue to provide vital programs for young, local musicians. 

The Debut Youth Orchestra, Aspirante Youth Orchestra and the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra have shifted to virtual rehearsals and virtual concerts for the fall.

The String Orchestra Workshop, an entry level group for beginning string players which is also open to adults, will hold in-person, outdoor, socially-distanced rehearsals, thanks to a partnership with the Children's Museum of Sonoma County. 

The Young People's Chamber Orchestra, the advanced, conductor-less ensemble, is also rehearsing, safely, in person and plans a fall recording, which will be distributed through digital music outlets. In the spring, they will have, as their guest artist, Francesco Lecce-Chong! They are also working on an exciting project with local violin maker Andrew Carruthers. 

The Music for Our Schools program supplied recorders and booklets to all It's Elementary program schools, which are being used by students at home, in conjunction with instructional videos provided by the program for students and teachers. 

Simply Strings has also shifted, due to schools being virtual through this calendar year. The reimagined program, Simply Strings Integrated Roseland Program, fills a crucial need for youth who are studying at home, offering music appreciation classes to all third grade students in the Roseland School district. 

Judy Bruce

Gone but not forgotten

The Symphony recently heard of its former Director of Finance Judy Bruce's passing. Judy served the Symphony with dedication, accuracy and efficiency for 16 years, retiring at the end of 2019. Judy laid out a delicious spread on the conference table for finance committee meetings, often reflecting the season or a holiday. And the staff knew where to go with a chocolate craving, as Judy always had a stash she would share. She also put little candies on her colleagues' desks for Halloween. She loved sharing conversations with her fellow staff members in the lunch room and on staff outings. 

Judy left this world in June. The Symphony extends its heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. 
Santa Rosa Symphony    
50 Santa Rosa Ave, Suite 410, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

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

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