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2019-2020 Season

November 11, 2019: New date set for Santa Rosa Symphony Family Concert

Santa Rosa Symphony, November 11, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony's postponed Family Concert, "Halloween with Harry Potter," will be performed at Weill Hall, Green Music Center on Sunday, January 5, 2020. The October 27 concert had been cancelled due to PG&E's Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).
 
Francesco Lecce-Chong will conduct "Halloween in January with Harry Potter," which features music from two Harry Potter movies, Beauty and the Beast and more. The Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy under the direction of Carol Menke, will join the orchestra for two pieces, including Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz. Children are encouraged to come at 2:00 PM, wearing their Halloween costumes, to enjoy the free photo booth. A free Instrument Petting Zoo, also available at 2:00 PM, provides an opportunity for children (and curious adults) to handle and play various orchestral instruments.
 
Lecce-Chong said, "I am thrilled to lead a program exploring the magic of orchestral music through the eyes of Harry Potter. As a lifelong fan of John Williams' music, I cannot wait for our youngest audience members to experience his music live and some of the great orchestral classics about magical creatures, like Stravinsky's ballet, The Firebird. The interactive program will give our audience a chance to meet some of the musicians in our orchestra and even learn how to conduct."
 
Lecce-Chong's entertaining and educational concert program will also include Mozart's The Magic Flute, Ravel's Beauty and the Beast and Strauss' Thunder and Lightning Polka.
 
Ideal for introducing small children to classical music, these affordable concerts ($20/adult, $10/child) make for a memorable afternoon outing for families.
 
"Halloween with Harry Potter" ticket holders have been notified of the new date and ticketing options.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Carol Menke
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony Family Concert "Halloween in January with Harry Potter"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy, Carol Menke, director
 
WHEN:
Sunday, January 5, 2020 at 3:00 PM (Photo booth and Instrument Petting Zoo at 2:00 PM)
 
WHERE:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND TICKETS:
Season Packages: $54 per adult and $27 per child (age 12 and younger)
Family packages: start at $144 and must include two child subscriptions
Single tickets: $20 for adults and $10 for children.
Seating is reserved for this concert and every patron, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Subscriptions and tickets are available at (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)

ENHANCEMENTS:
Free Instrument Petting Zoo and FREE photo booth (costumes encouraged)

Sponsors
Family Concert Series sponsored by:
 The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust and Victor and Karen Trione
Supporting sponsor for "Halloween with Harry Potter": Donald and Maureen Green
Additional support provided by the The Press Democrat

-High-res photos available upon request-
 
About the Santa Rosa Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony, the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third-oldest professional orchestra in California, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Symphony's fifth music director in its 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
Currently in its 92nd season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, serving nearly 30,000 youths annually.
 
Collaborations with schools and organizations across Sonoma County have gained the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

November 4, 2019: Santa Rosa Symphony ratifies new 5-year collective bargaining agreement with musicians' union

Santa Rosa Symphony, November 4, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony Board of Directors has ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the Musicians Union Local 6 of the American Federation of Musicians. The new agreement covers a period of five years, up to June 30, 2024. It was ratified by the Musicians Union on October 21 and the Symphony's Board of Directors on October 22. The new contract calls for increases ranging from 2-3% annually in the base scale for rehearsals and concerts, and increases in minimum guaranteed number of services, pension and other areas of musician compensation.
 
"I deeply appreciated that our negotiations with the Union leadership were collaborative, professional and respectful, resulting in a five-year contract that will benefit both our musicians and the organization overall," said Symphony President & CEO Alan Silow.
 
"Beginning my first full season here, I am delighted that we have a contract settled for another five years, allowing us to focus solely on creating great music that matters for our audiences,” said Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Alan Silow
 
-High-res photos available upon request-
 
About the Santa Rosa Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony, the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third-oldest professional orchestra in California, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Symphony's fifth music director in its 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
Currently in its 92nd season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, serving nearly 30,000 youths annually.
 
Collaborations with schools and organizations across Sonoma County have gained the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

October 23, 2019: SSU Symphonic Chorus joins Santa Rosa Symphony for Mozart's Requiem Dec 7-9

Santa Rosa Symphony, October 23, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) —The Santa Rosa Symphony welcomes the return of Sonoma State University Symphonic Chorus for the orchestra's performance of Mozart's Requiem in D minor, conducted by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong on December 7-9 at Weill Hall, Green Music Center. "Mozart's Swan Song" also includes Haydn's Symphony No. 39, which Lecce-Chong will conduct from the fortepiano, and award-winning composer Jessie Montgomery's Records from a Vanishing City.
 
Lecce-Chong said, "With Mozart's beloved Requiem, I look forward to my first opportunity to work with the SSU Symphonic Chorus. Although Mozart completed less than half of the work before his death, it has always been the standard by which all other Requiems have been held—musically, emotionally and spiritually. This performance is particularly special as it is based on the meticulous research and immense knowledge of one of the greatest Mozart scholars of our time, Robert Levin, who crafted this completed edition of the Requiem in 1996."
 
For Mozart's Requiem, the SSU Symphonic Chorus, led by SRS Choral Director Jenny Bent, will be augmented by the Santa Rosa Junior College Chamber Singers (Jody Benecke, director) for a combined choir of 80 voices. The performance of Mozart's masterpiece also features four guest vocalists: Shawnette Sulker, soprano; Laura Krumm, alto; Benjamin Brecher, tenor; and Philip Skinner, bass. The Hall will resonate with Mozart's anguish, strong will and passion.
 
Classical music annotator Steven Ledbetter describes Mozart’s Requiem as a work of somber and impressive beauty, darker in color, but rising to great heights of power and drama . . . ."
 
Haydn's Symphony No. 39 in G minor opens the program. Haydn, in his works beginning in the late 1760s, leaned heavily on minor keys, which evoke strong emotion. He also employed additional horns in a complimentary key in order to achieve the desired notes from the valve-less horns of his time. Mozart and others later benefited from Haydn's innovation. The complimentary effect, now produced with modern horns, is evident in this symphony, nicknamed Tempesta di mare (Storm at Sea).    
 
Montgomery's tone poem, Records from a Vanishing City is, she says, "based on my recollections of the music that surrounded me as I grew up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1980s and 1990s." Montgomery, who turns 38 on the day of the December 8th performance, adds, "Artists, truth seekers and cultures of all kinds defined our vibrant community. The embracing diversity burst out with an effortless everydayness in block parties, festivals and shindigs of every sort."
 
Northern California Public Media will broadcast this concert on KRCB FM Radio 91. Listeners may tune in to 91.1 or 90.9 on January 5, 2020 at 3:30 pm. 

Interesting facts about "Mozart's Swan Song":

*Levin's version of the Requiem is considered to be truer to Mozart's intentions

*Francesco Lecce-Chong will direct the Haydn's Symphony No. 39 from the fortepiano

*Montgomery received the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation

Described by critics as a “fast rising talent in the music world” with “the real gift,” American conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong has appeared with orchestras around the world including the National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic, while collaborating with renowned soloists such as Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman.
 
In the 2018-2019 season, Lecce-Chong debuted in subscription concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic and Xi’An Symphony in China among others. The 2019-2020 season marks his debut with the New York Philharmonic. Read full bio.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Jenny Bent
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Mozart's Swan Song"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
SSU Symphonic Chorus, Jenny Bent, director
 
WHEN:
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, December 7, at 2:00 PM – Doors at 1:00 PM, no talk)
Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 3:00 PM (Doors at 1:30 PM, Pre-concert talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM)
Monday, December 9, 2019 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
 
WHERE:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
COST:  $24-$87
FREE tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request (by phone or in person) ONE FREE ticket for a youth (7-17 years of age) with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert.
 
TICKETS: (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
ENHANCEMENTS:
Program notes, a Spotify playlist of the works and an overview video with SRS Cultural Historian Kayleen Asbo PhD are available on the concert event page. Informative, engaging, 30-minute pre-concert talks by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, begin one hour prior to each performance.
 
Sponsors
Concert sponsored by Donald and Maureen Green
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by Corinne and David Byrd
Guest Artist Shawnette Sulker underwritten by Amy and Joel Levine
Guest Artist Phil Skinner underwritten by Irene Sohm
            SRS Chorus Director Jenny Bent underwritten by Linda and David  Hanes
Discovery Open Rehearsal Series sponsored by The Stare Foundation
and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard
Pre-concert talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Media sponsors: The Press Democrat and Northern California Public Media
 
-High-res photos of Lecce-Chong, Chorus and Orchestra available upon request-
 
About the Santa Rosa Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony, the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third-oldest professional orchestra in California, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Symphony's fifth music director in its 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
The Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, serving nearly 30,000 youths annually.
 
Collaborations with schools and organizations across Sonoma County have gained the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

October 9, 2019: SRS Youth Orchestra turns 60 with State Senate proclamation at Nov 17 concert

Santa Rosa Symphony, October 9, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) Youth Orchestra, which began as the Sonoma County Junior Symphony in 1959, celebrates its 60th season. The Junior Symphony, under the direction of Eugene Shepherd, held its first concert in May of 1960. Senator Mike McGuire will present a proclamation detailing the many accomplishments of the orchestra prior to its concert entitled "Great Composers Revisited" on November 17, 2019 at Weill Hall, Green Music Center.
 
This 3:00 PM concert, conducted by Bobby Rogers, features guest piano soloist Jana Olvera, who hails from Woodland, where she performs and teaches, performing Eclogue for Piano and String Orchestra by Gerald Finzi. The concert will also include Kaiser-Walzer by Johann Strauss, Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich, Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns and Symphony No. 1 by Robert Schumann. The program opens with Prelude to Die Meistersinger by Richard Wagner.  
 
More immediately, the SRS Youth Orchestra will share the stage with Mobility, the high-energy rock band of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West at 7:00 PM on Saturday, October 12 at Jackson Theater on the Sonoma Country Day School campus to honor first responders.
 
In addition to the usual concert cycle, this season will include celebratory chamber music events and an alumni concert in the Spring.  
 
The award-winning Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra is the highest level of performing youth orchestras within the Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education's Training Young Musicians program.
 
Training Young Musicians
Additional performance orchestras within the Training Young Musicians program include Young People's Chamber Orchestra (YPCO), Aspirante Orchestra and Debut Orchestra. YPCO, under the direction of Aaron Westman, performs without a conductor. Their next concert is "From Folk to Fugue" at Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, November 10 at 7:00 PM. Debut Youth Orchestra is an entry-level performing orchestra. Aspirante Youth Orchestra is a mid-level ensemble that works on building repertoire and mastering their instruments. The next performance of Debut and Aspirante orchestras will be a joint concert on November 24 at 3:00 PM at Jackson Theater at Sonoma Country Day School.
 
From Junior Symphony to Institute
Other components of the SRS Institute for Music Education include:

Music for our Schools provide free concerts, assemblies and listening programs for elementary school children through the It’s Elementary and Primarily Classical programs.

Simply Strings, an El Sistema-inspired afterschool program, provides fully-funded instruction to underserved children at Sheppard Elementary School

Family-oriented programs include a family concert series, discovery dress rehearsals and ensembles at library and other community events

Adult Education is offered through open dress rehearsals, pre-concert talks, String Orchestra Workshop, master classes, select SMA classes and library events  

INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Wendy Cilman, Alan Silow, Bobby Rogers
 
-High-res photos available upon request-
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: SRS Youth Orchestra 60th Anniversary concert "Great Composers Revisited"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra
Bobby Rogers, conductor
Jana Olvera, piano
 
WHEN: Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 3:00 PM
 
WHERE:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
COST:  $15/adult, $5/youth in advance (before 11:00 AM November 15); $20/adult, $10/youth at the door. Group discounts for 10 or more also available.
 
TICKETS: (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
About the Santa Rosa Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony, the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third-oldest professional orchestra in California, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Symphony's fifth music director in its 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
The Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, serving nearly 30,000 youths annually.
 
Collaborations with schools and organizations across Sonoma County have gained the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

September 30, 2019: Santa Rosa Symphony partners with Northern California Public Media

Santa Rosa Symphony, September 30, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Renewing a partnership that brought Sonoma County's premier music organization to radio listeners, the Santa Rosa Symphony and Northern California Public Media, today announce plans to present the orchestra's Classical Series concerts on Sunday afternoons on KRCB FM Radio 91. With this partnership, listeners unable to attend the concerts, or those who want to experience them a second time, will be able to enjoy the first full season led by Music Director and Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong.
 
According to Darren LaShelle, Content Manager of Northern California Public Media, "KRCB FM is thrilled to be a media partner with SRS for the 2019-2020 season. Our shared missions to build community and bring creativity and learning into people’s lives will be enhanced through this broadcast partnership. We hope to introduce new fans to classical music, who will make the transition from on-air listeners to concert-goers."

"We are delighted," said Santa Rosa Symphony President and CEO Alan Silow, "to be reinstating this valuable, mutually beneficial partnership, which we were privileged to enjoy in years past."  
 
Listeners may tune in to KRCB radio at 91.1 FM and 90.9 FM at 3:30 pm on the dates below to hear the Classical Series concerts in their entirety.
 
Unmasking the Stars (Oct. 5-7): October 27 
Master of the Modern Banjo (Nov. 2-4): December 1
Mozart's Swan Song (Dec. 7-9): January 5 
Shadows and Sunshine (Jan. 11-13): February 2 
Riveting Rachmaninoff (Feb. 8-10): March 15 
Showcasing Contemporary Women (Mar. 21-23): April 26 
Visions of Hope (May 2-4): May 31
 
-High-res photos available upon request-
 
About the Santa Rosa Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony, the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third-oldest professional orchestra in California, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Symphony's fifth music director in its 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
The Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, serving nearly 30,000 youths annually.
 
Collaborations with schools and organizations across Sonoma County have gained the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
 
About Northern California Public Media
In order to encourage full participation in society and community, Northern California Public Media provides educational, informational and cultural telecommunication services in partnership with our community. Our motto “Telling Our Stories - Connecting our Communities,” embodies our mission to bring people together, through educational media and digital experiences, to discuss issues and gain understanding. Northern California Public Media consists of KRCB TV in the North Bay, KPJK TV in the South Bay, KRCB FM Radio 91 in Sonoma County, norcalpublicmedia.org, and the Northern California Public Media free digital app.

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

September 23, 2019: Francesco Lecce-Chong conducts "Halloween with Harry Potter," Sunday, Oct. 27, Green Music Center

Santa Rosa Symphony, September 23, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong conducts the first concert in its popular and affordable Family Concert Series, which features John Williams' music from two "Harry Potter" soundtracks. "Halloween with Harry Potter," performed by the Symphony's award-winning orchestra on October 27, also features the Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy, directed by Carol Menke. Pre-concert fun includes a photo booth (costumes encouraged) and Instrument Petting Zoo, both free to ticket holders.
 
Lecce-Chong said, "I am thrilled to lead a program exploring the magic of orchestral music through the eyes of Harry Potter. As a lifelong fan of John Williams' music, I cannot wait for our youngest audience members to experience his music live and some of the great orchestral classics about magical creatures like Stravinsky's ballet, The Firebird. The interactive program will give our audience a chance to meet some of the musicians in our orchestra and even learn how to conduct."
 
Lecce-Chong's entertaining and educational concert program will include two pieces from Williams' "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" score and Williams' Double Trouble from "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."  The orchestra will also play Over the Rainbow from "The Wizard of Oz," selections from Stravinsky's The Firebird, Mozart's The Magic Flute, Ravel's Beauty and the Beast and Strauss' Thunder and Lightning Polka. The Choral Academy will join the orchestra for Williams' Double Trouble, and Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg's Over the Rainbow, from "The Wizard of Oz."
Founded as The Santa Rosa Children's Chorus in 1984, the chorus changed its name to Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy in 2017. Its mission is to provide rich musical education and professional performance opportunities to local, musically-oriented youth. In addition to past appearances with the Symphony, the chorus has performed with the Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus, Opera Santa Rosa, Sonoma Bach Choir and as part of Ballet California's production of The Nutcracker. Choral Director Carol Menke's early training was at the Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien, Austria. Menke, who holds a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance, maintains a full teaching schedule in addition to solo engagements. Read her full bio.

The Instrument Petting Zoo, at 2:00 PM, provided at no extra cost to ticket holders, allows children (and curious adults) to handle and play various orchestral instruments. Ideal for introducing small children to classical music, these affordable concerts ($20/adult, $10/child) make for a memorable afternoon outing for families.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Carol Menke
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony Family concert "Halloween with Harry Potter"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy, Carol Menke, director
 
WHEN:
Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 3:00 PM (Photo booth and Instrument Petting Zoo at 2:00 PM)
 
WHERE:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND TICKETS:
Season Packages: $54 per adult and $27 per child (age 12 and younger)
Family packages: start at $144 and must include two child subscriptions
Single tickets: $20 for adults and $10 for children.
Seating is reserved for this concert and every patron, regardless of age, must have a ticket.
 
Subscriptions and tickets are available at (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
ENHANCEMENTS:
Free Instrument Petting Zoo and FREE photo booth (costumes encouraged)
 
Sponsors
Family Concert Series sponsored by:
 The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust and Victor and Karen Trione
Supporting sponsor for "Halloween with Harry Potter": Donald and Maureen Green

Additional support provided by the The Press Democrat     
 
-High-res photos of Lecce-Chong, orchestra, chorus and Menke available upon request-
 
About the Santa Rosa Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony, the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third-oldest professional orchestra in California, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Symphony's fifth music director in its 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
The Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. Recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, the Symphony's Institute for Music Education serves nearly 30,000 youths annually.
 
Collaborations with schools and organizations across Sonoma County have gained the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

September 17, 2019: Banjo master Béla Fleck plays his Juno Concerto with the Symphony Nov 2-4

Santa Rosa Symphony, September 17, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Sixteen-time Grammy® winner Béla Fleck has earned nominations in more categories than anyone in Grammy® history – all on a banjo! Fleck will join the Santa Rosa Symphony on November 2-4 at Weill Hall in the Green Music Center for another dynamic program created and conducted by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong. Fleck will play his own Juno Concerto, inspired by his son, Juno. The program also includes Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, arranged by Maurice Ravel, and opens with Aaron Copland's Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo.  
 
"I look forward to welcoming one of the great musicians of our time, Béla Fleck, to our orchestra to showcase not only his incredible virtuosity on the banjo, but his creative vision in his own concerto. The whole program will be a colorful and lively journey from the Wild West of Copland's Rodeo to the mystical landscapes of Russia in Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition."
 
World premier banjo player Béla Fleck has virtually reinvented the image and sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations.
 
His groundbreaking quartet Béla Fleck & The Flecktones celebrated 30 years with a North American tour in the summer of 2018.  Fleck and his wife Abigail Washburn took home the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album, and released the acclaimed follow-up LP Echo in the Valley in 2017.  Read Fleck's full bio.
 
Lecce-Chong has appeared with orchestras around the world including the National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic while collaborating with renowned soloists such as Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman. He also serves as Music Director for the Eugene Symphony. He is dedicated to innovative programming, commissioning new music and engaging in community outreach. Read full bio.

Interesting facts about "Master of the Modern Banjo":
In addition to his 16 Grammy® awards, Fleck has earned 30 nominations, and has been nominated in more categories than any instrumentalist in Grammy® history.

Fleck was originally drawn to the banjo by Earl Scruggs' playing of "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," while watching the Beverly Hillbillies as a boy. 

Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, originally a suite of ten pieces for piano, is his most famous work for piano. Ravel's orchestral arrangement, published in 1922, takes some artistic license with dynamics and notation, but adds rich color. Ravel's arrangement has become a favorite in concert halls worldwide.  

ENHANCEMENTS:
Program notes, a Spotify playlist of the works and an overview video with SRS Cultural Historian Kayleen Asbo PhD are available on the concert event page. Informative, engaging, 30-minute pre-concert talks by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, which will include Ohlsson and Browne, begin one hour prior to each performance and will conclude with Q&A.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Fleck, Lecce-Chong
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Master of the Modern Banjo"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Béla Fleck, banjo
 
WHEN:
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, November 2, at 2:00 PM – Doors at 1:00 PM, no talk)
Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 3:00 PM (Doors at 1:30 PM, Pre-concert talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM)
Monday, November 4, 2019 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
 
WHERE:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
COST:  $24-$87
FREE tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request (by phone or in person) ONE FREE ticket for a youth 7-17 with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert.
 
TICKETS: (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
Sponsors
Concert sponsored by Joseph A. and Judith M. Gappa
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by David and Corinne Byrd
Béla Fleck underwritten by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard
Discovery Open Rehearsal Series sponsored by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard
Pre-concert talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Additional support provided by the The Press Democrat and Northern California Public Media.    
 
-High-res photos of Fleck, Lecce-Chong and orchestra available upon request-
 
About the Santa Rosa Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony, the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third-oldest professional orchestra in California, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Symphony's fifth music director in its 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
Currently in its 92nd season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, serving nearly 30,000 youths annually.
 
Collaborations with schools and organizations across Sonoma County have gained the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

September 3, 2019: SRS Family Concert Series in its 8th year with affordable, entertaining, educational Sunday afternoon concerts

Santa Rosa Symphony, September 3, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony's Family Series is back for its eighth year, with three performances at Weill Hall, Green Music Center throughout the 2019-2020 season. These affordable, entertaining and educational concerts are a great way to spend an afternoon with the family, introducing youngsters to classical orchestral music and creating memories to last a lifetime. The Instrument Petting Zoo, provided at no extra cost before each of the performances allows children (and curious adults) to handle and play various orchestral instruments. Subscriptions for the series are available now.
 
"Our Family Series," said Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, "is one of my passion projects with the Symphony and I cannot wait to welcome our audiences of all ages this season. Each program is designed to be interactive and fun while also giving insights into the orchestra and its instruments. And, most importantly, everyone will have a chance to experience some of the greatest music ever written for orchestra by Mozart, Beethoven, Prokofiev, and so many others!"
 
Lecce-Chong conducts the first concert, which features music from Harry Potter. "Halloween with Harry Potter," performed by the Symphony's award-winning orchestra on Sunday, October 27, also features the Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy. Pre-concert fun includes a photo booth (costumes encouraged) and Instrument Petting Zoo, free to ticket holders.
 
On January 26, the Symphony presents "Peter and the Wolf." In addition to Sergei Prokofiev's timeless classic, this concert, conducted by SRS Youth Orchestra conductor Bobby Rogers, will include Camille Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals. The antics of Roustabout Theater will help bring the delightful animals to life.
 
For the final 2019-2020 concert, on April 19, 2020, the Symphony is joined by Classical Kids Live! for "Beethoven Lives Upstairs." With the help of this theatrical troupe, the all-age audience will learn of Beethoven's genius, the torment of his deafness and the beauty of his music in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth. Rogers will conduct this concert.
 
Subscriptions and Tickets
$54 per adult and $27 per child (age 12 and younger). Family packages are also available and start at $144. The family packages must include two child subscriptions. By comparison, single tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children. Seating is reserved for this concert and every patron, regardless of age, must have a ticket.
 
Subscriptions and tickets are available at (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays).
 
ENHANCEMENTS:
Oct. 27: Free Instrument Petting Zoo and photo booth (costumes encouraged)
Jan. 26: Free Instrument Petting Zoo
Apr. 19: Free Instrument Petting Zoo
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Alan Silow
 
Sponsors
Family Concert Series sponsored by:
 The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust and Victor and Karen Trione
Supporting sponsor for "Halloween with Harry Potter": Donald and Maureen Green
Additional support provided by the The Press Democrat
 
-High-res photos of Lecce-Chong, the orchestra and guest artists available upon request-
 
About the Santa Rosa Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony, the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third-oldest professional orchestra in California, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Symphony's fifth music director in its 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
Currently in its 92nd season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, serving nearly 30,000 youths annually.
 
Collaborations with schools and organizations across Sonoma County have gained the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

August 26, 2019: Francesco Lecce-Chong's first full season begins with Garrick Ohlssohn plays Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 and nods to 2001: A Space Odyssey

Santa Rosa Symphony, August 26, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Award-winning pianist Garrick Ohlsson will play Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in the first concert of the Santa Rosa Symphony's 92nd season on October 5, 6 & 7 at the Green Music Center, in another dynamic season opener from Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong.
 
Also included in "Unmasking the Stars," First Symphony Project Composer-in-Residence Matt Browne will give audiences a taste of his talents, before unveiling his first symphony in February, with How the Solar System Was Won, an homage to Stanley Kubrick's classic cinematic masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. Lecce-Chong's program ends with Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra, which was made famous in the same movie. Anna Clyne's Masquerade begins the program with a piece that puts listeners in mind of masked merriment in days gone by.
 
Lecce-Chong said, "I look forward to welcoming two incredible guest artists for the opening of the 2019-2020 season. Garrick Ohlsson is one of the greatest pianists of our time and his legendary Chopin recordings made a significant impression on me as a young pianist. Our Composer-in-Residence, Matt Browne, is one of the most imaginative composers I have had the opportunity to work with and I look forward to introducing his work to our orchestra and community."
 
Virtuoso pianist Garrick Ohlsson, recognized worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess, expertly performs more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, many commissioned for him. Ohlsson is a frequent guest with orchestras around the world and has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson and Tokyo string quartets and, in the spring of 2019, toured with the Takacs Quartet and the Boston Chamber Players in Istanbul, Berlin, Munich, Warsaw, Luxembourg and Prague. With violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier, he is a founding member of the San Francisco-based FOG Trio.
 
A native of White Plains, N.Y., Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of eight, at the Westchester Conservatory of Music and, at 13, entered The Juilliard School. His awards include the Gold Medal in the 1970 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, first prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and the 1968 Montréal Piano Competition, the 1994 Avery Fisher Prize, the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, Mich. and the 2014 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music. Ohlsson is a Steinway Artist and lives in San Francisco. Read Ohlsson's full bio.
 
The Symphony's 2019-2020 Classical Series is the first season programmed by Lecce-Chong and the first in which he will conduct the customary six of seven concert weekends. Before earning his post as Music Director in the Spring of 2018, he was signed by IMG Artists and has made his debut as guest conductor for a subscription concert with the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony. San Francisco Chronical reviewer Joshua Kosman declared Lecce-Chong a "resourceful and imaginative programmer and "there was no mistaking the vitality and brilliance of the music-making he drew from members of the San Francisco Symphony. He’s got a firm but flexible rhythmic control that allows him to shepherd an orchestra at top speed without losing a bit of precision, and he can shape big instrumental textures with a robustness and grace that is inspiring to behold."
 
Lecce-Chong has appeared with orchestras around the world and has collaborated with renowned soloists such as Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman. He also serves as Music Director for the Eugene Symphony. Read full bio.

Interesting facts about "Unmasking the Stars:"
Ohlsson can play a vast repertoire for memory and quipped in a MassLive interview, "You could wake me up at four in the morning and I could play [Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto]."

The public premiere of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, on December 22, 1808, occurred as part of a benefit concert that lasted four hours, with Beethoven at the piano throughout, in a very cold hall in Vienna. It would be his last public performance.

Strauss' symphonic poem, Also sprach Zarathustra was inspired by Nietzsche’s famous essay of the same name. Strauss wanted “to convey in music an idea of the evolution of the human race from its origin, through the various phases of development, religious as well as scientific."

ENHANCEMENTS:
Program notes, a Spotify playlist of the works and an overview video with SRS Cultural Historian Kayleen Asbo PhD are available on the concert event page. Informative, engaging, 30-minute pre-concert talks with Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong begin one hour prior to each performance and conclude with Q&A.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Garrick Ohlsson, Francesco Lecce-Chong, Matt Browne
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Unmasking the Stars"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano
 
WHEN:
Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, October 5, at 2:00 PM – Doors at 1:00 PM, no talk)
Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 3:00 PM (Doors at 1:30 PM, Pre-concert talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM)
Monday, October 7, 2019 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
 
WHERE:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
COST:  $24-$87
FREE tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request (by phone or in person) ONE FREE ticket for a youth 7-17 with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert.
 
TICKETS: (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
Sponsors
Concert sponsored by Jim Lamb
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by Norma Person, in memory of Evert Person
Garrick Ohlsson underwritten by Marcia Wagner, in memory of Hap Wagner
Discovery Open Rehearsal Series sponsored by The Stare Foundation
and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard
Pre-concert talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Additional support provided by the The Press Democrat
 
-High-res photos of Ohlsson, Lecce-Chong, Browne and orchestra available upon request-
 
About the Santa Rosa Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony, the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third-oldest professional orchestra in California, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Symphony's fifth music director in its 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
Currently in its 92nd season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, serving nearly 30,000 youths annually.
 
Collaborations with schools and organizations across Sonoma County have gained the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

July 5, 2019: Santa Rosa Symphony welcomes new Board Members July 1, 2019

Santa Rosa Symphony, July 5, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony, as it enters its 92nd season, announced four new appointments to its board of directors. They are Garth Bixler, Pam Chanter, Barb Spangler and Mark Wardlaw. New board officers are as follows: Al Seidenfeld, Chairman of the Board; Corinne Byrd, Vice-Chairman; Sean Pryden, Treasurer; Linda Castiglioni, Secretary; Jamei Haswell, Immediate Past Chairman. 
 
SRS Chairman of the Board Al Seidenfeld said, "It is with great pleasure that we make this announcement of all of the Officers of the Santa Rosa Symphony Association. I look forward to serving with all of them as their new Chairman of the Board."
 
Garth Bixler, after a career in painting and design, did volunteer counseling during the AIDS epidemic for ten years, then returned to school for a degree in Counseling. In addition to serving on the Symphony Board, he has been volunteering with the Petaluma Arts Center, with a focus on enhancing music education in the schools.
 
Pam Chanter previously served on the Board (1997 to 2009), was Chairman of the Board for two of those years, and contributed to fundraising efforts and served on committees. Her international travel inspired her to create opportunities for women and a clean drinking water project in Peru.
 
Barb Spangler’s career in Healthcare Technology Research and Development gave her many opportunities to travel, live abroad and experience the world’s economic and cultural diversity. After retiring, she joined a Rotary Club and is now District Governor for Rotary District 5130, responsible for the community and global impact of the 47 Rotary Clubs between Petaluma and Crescent City.
 
Santa Rosa Symphony principal clarinetist (and saxophonist) Mark Wardlaw brings 35 years of music-making and 30 years of music instruction to the Board. He recently retired as Director of Instrumental Music at Santa Rosa High School. 

-High-res photos available upon request-
 
Garth Bixler was raised in a household with a meager selection of classical records. Sibelius’ Finlandia and Copland’s Rodeo were outnumbered by Bing Crosby, Tommy Dorsey and Carmen Miranda. But as an undergraduate in Southern California, his friends in the music department took him along to concerts of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the visiting San Francisco Opera and new music recitals. After many years and many concerts, he still finds that listening to a live performance of an orchestra is a fresh and transcendent experience.

Bixler moved to Petaluma in 1976, while finishing graduate school in Fine Arts. He made a career of painting and design in the Bay Area. This work could be quite solitary. So, in 1985 he began to volunteer as a peer counselor at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. This began his love for being part of a group of individuals who are committed to making a difference in the community. The ten years of AIDS work led him to return to university for a Masters’ degree in Counseling. Bixler's interest in building a strong collaboration with local schools to enhance their arts programs inspired his involvement with the Petaluma Arts Center for the last three years.

Today, Bixler is mostly retired and lives quietly in Petaluma with his two wirehaired Dachshunds. His daughter Sara resides in Sonoma County with her husband and their three children. Bixler loves his Monday night seats for the Santa Rosa Symphony's Classical Series. He feels that the Symphony continues to gain in strength and subtlety. Bixler is passionate about the music and acknowledging the teamwork necessary to keep the Symphony strong and growing. (photo credit: Sara Bixler)

Raised in Portland, Oregon, Pam Chanter discovered her interest in music at age six, when she began piano lessons and attended her first Symphony. Chanter previously served on the Santa Rosa Symphony Board (1997 to 2009) and was its President from 2002-2004. She also served on the first Green Music Center Steering Committee, the GMC Inaugural Year Committee and helped fundraise for the Symphony for over 15 years.

Chanter's business career began with Aetna Casualty & Surety, where she was recruited after college. In 1982, a promotion and transfer to Sacramento made her Aetna’s first female Bond Manager. She worked with over 120 brokerages in Northern California and Nevada. In 1992, she and her husband Tim, who she met while Bond Manager with Aetna, became partners in an insurance brokerage in Santa Rosa, which was recently sold to Acrisure out of Michigan. In addition to her professional career, Chanter has served her community for decades. Currently, she is the Chairman of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board and also the Chairman of the SRJC Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee, reviewing all expenditures of the $410 Million Bond. Chanter has Chaired the County’s Oral Health Task Force and served on the City of Santa Rosa’s Charter Review and the Mayor’s Pension Reform Task Force. She has been Chairman of the SRJC Foundation Board and Co-Chaired its 100th Anniversary Campaign, among many other civic responsibilities.
 
Chanter's love for international travel began with a summer backpacking trip through Europe as a teenager. Her travels led her, in 2003, to support a Peruvian women’s alpaca weaving cooperative and the creation of an import/export company. She also facilitated a clean drinking water project in the Peruvian Amazon rain forest, which is still going strong today through a partnership with Engineers Without Borders and the NGO Amazon Promise, serving 20,000 indigenous people. (low-res photo from Facebook profile)
 
Growing up in Boston, young Barb Spangler believed the whole world was all about rich history, great schools, medical innovation, intellectual curiosity, broad cultural opportunities in music and art, sports and lobsters. Spangler says, “The world is about all of those things, actually. It’s just that they’re not always available in one single place as is the case with Boston.”
 
Spangler earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in the sciences and business from schools in the Boston area. Many field trips to Boston Symphony Hall and Tanglewood led to her long lasting love of music and affirmed her belief in the importance of music as a source of community engagement. 
 
Spangler’s career in Healthcare Technology Research and Development gave her many opportunities to travel, live abroad, and experience the world’s economic and cultural diversity. After retirement from GE Healthcare, she joined the Rotary Club of the Valley of the Moon in Santa Rosa. She is the District Governor for Rotary District 5130, responsible for the community and global impact of the 47 Rotary Clubs between Petaluma and Crescent City in 2018-2019. She is also the Chair of the International Grants Committee for the Rotary District and a member Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisors in healthcare.
 
Spangler and her husband Jim have been Santa Rosa Symphony season ticket holders for many years and love the time they spend with the Symphony. They live in Santa Rosa with their dog, Buddy, affectionately known as Puppyzilla. (Portrait by Lisa Johnson)
 
Active in Sonoma County’s music scene for 35 years, Mark Wardlaw has been the second clarinetist (and saxophonist) in the Santa Rosa Symphony since 1984 and just retired as the Director of Instrumental Music at Santa Rosa High School after 30 years. He has also been the jazz band instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College, and he has been a woodwind artist with Transcendence Theater Company (“Broadway Under the Stars”) for five years.

Wardlaw earned a Master’s Degree in Clarinet Performance and Literature from the University of Washington in Seattle and studied privately with clarinetist David Glazer in New York City from 1978 through 1979.
He has performed with musicians and entertainers such as Mel Torme, Yo-Yo Ma, Jeffrey Kahane, Ute Lemper, Andre Watts, Steve Allen, Fred Hersch, David Benoit, Frankie Avalon, Josh Groban, Kathy Mattea, Fabian, Lou Christie, Joan Rivers, Olivia Newton John, Neil Sedaka, Judy Collins, Nnenna Freelon, Mariachi Sol de Mexico, and the rock group Yes.  He has also played lead alto and clarinet in the Gene Krupa Big Band.
In his real life, he and his wife are travel addicts who have been to over 30 countries and all 50 states. (low-res photo from Mark – hi-res photos available in The Press Democrat archives)
 
About the Santa Rosa Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony, the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third-oldest professional orchestra in California, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Symphony's fifth music director in its 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
The Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, serving nearly 30,000 youths annually.
 
Collaborations with schools and organizations across Sonoma County have gained the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

Contact Us

Santa Rosa Symphony
Administrative Office:
Hours: M-F 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
50 Santa Rosa Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Administration: (707) 546-7097

Patron Services Hours: 
M-F - 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
W – 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Closed Saturdays & Sundays
Patron Services: (707) 546-8742