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2020-2021 Season

July 7, 2020: Santa Rosa Symphony 2019-2020 Season (and Fiscal Year) Review

Santa Rosa Symphony, July 7, 2020

Santa Rosa, Calif.) —The Santa Rosa Symphony's 2019-2020 fiscal year began with expanded program offerings, another record-beating, season-opening fundraiser and strong ticket sales. Then the Kincaid Fire and the pandemic caused an unprecedented number of concert postponements in a single season. The organization met the challenges, adapted and ended the fiscal year, once again, in the black.  

Top organizational highlights:
Two summer co-productions with the Green Music Center: free multimedia concert "Four Seasons of Sonoma County" with Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and photos curated by Museum of Sonoma County; and "Raiders of the Lost Ark in concert"

Most successful gala fundraiser of its kind in 17 years, honoring Gaye LeBaron

Negotiation of new five-year contracts with Musicians and Stagehands Unions

Critically-acclaimed, first full season of conducting and programming by music director Francesco Lecce-Chong

Inaugural First Symphony Project performance and launch of SRS Institute for Music Education's First Opus Project

Strong overall enrollment in youth orchestras, exceeding budgeted goal

Ticket sales for Classical Series and Family Series on record pace

High levels of individual donations, board giving, government grants and League support

Positive bottom line for seventeenth consecutive year
 
The pandemic caused the postponement of the last eight weeks of the season’s performances and three performances in the Green Music Center's summer season, and the temporary closing of the SRS administrative and patron services offices. The fourteen-member staff continues to work from home. Since the beginning of the sheltering in place, the organization accomplished the following:
 
All eight Classical Series and Family concerts rescheduled

Continued engagement through:
Music Director hosted Facebook "Watch Parties"
Virtual concert featuring 14 youth ensemble groups
Online videos/classes for youth ensembles and Simply Strings
NorCal Public Media radio broadcasts of past SRS performances
Sharing of individual SRS musician music performance videos
Video conversations with donors and the Music Director
 
“For 92 years, the Santa Rosa Symphony has valued its role in making a difference in the life of its community. The success of our organization has not been accidental or haphazard. It has been based on artistic and educational excellence, fiscal ingenuity and community engagement. Intangible assets like trust, good decision-making, artistic and managerial expertise, reputation and relationships, a positive organizational culture, and the quality of the board, staff and orchestra all have influenced our performance,” said SRS President and CEO Alan Silow.
 
INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Alan Silow
 
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 93 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 2019.
 
In its 93rd season, the Symphony’s performance schedule will include 21 Classical Series concerts, 6 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 4-concert Family Series and a 5-concert Pops Series. 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 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 1, 2020: Santa Rosa Symphony welcomes new Board Members July 1, 2020

Santa Rosa Symphony, July 1, 2020

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony, as it enters its 93rd season, announced five new appointments to its board of directors. They are Corinne Antipa (Musician Representative), Liz Bippart (League Representative), Mark Dierkhising, Jack Dupre and Joe Smith. In addition, board member Garth Bixler has been elected as Secretary. Continuing board officers are as follows: Al Seidenfeld, Chairman of the Board; Corinne Byrd, Vice-Chairman; Sean Pryden, Treasurer; and Jamei Haswell, Immediate Past Chairman. 
 
SRS Chairman of the Board Al Seidenfeld said, "The board welcomes these fine new additions to our roster. I know that, as we work together, they will inspire us with their dedication and enrich us with their diverse backgrounds, knowledge and contributions."
 
Mark Dierkhising, sometimes called Dierk, is a renowned, award-winning chef and restauranteur. He has been working and living in Sonoma and Napa counties since the mid 70s. Dierkhising, along with his wife Karen Brodsky, is the owner of Dierk’s Parkside and Midtown Cafes, both in Santa Rosa.
 
Jack Dupre was first appointed to the Board in 1975 and co-chaired, with Yale Abrams, the Major Gifts Committee, which was the Symphony’s initial attempt to garner support from local businesses. Dupre served as president from 1981 to 1983, when the Symphony moved its performances to the Luther Burbank Center. Before his transition to emeritus status in 2005, he chaired the Personnel Committee and was a member of the 2004-2005 Music Director Selection Committee, which hired Bruno Ferrandis.
 
Joe N. Smith Jr. is the Senior Vice President and Manager of the Small Business Administration Department at Exchange Bank. Smith has been a career SBA lender and held both National and Regional Sales Management positions for SBA lending banks coast to coast. Prior to moving to northern California in 2008, Smith was co-founder and President of American Business Lending in Dallas. He has served for the last 11 years on the Board of The Sonoma County Family YMCA and has been a two-term Chairman and currently serves as the Treasure and Finance committee.
 
Corinne Antipa is a longtime member of the Santa Rosa Symphony cello section, has an active private studio and is a freelance performer in northern California. She had the great good fortune of studying with Bonnie Hampton and then with Colin Hampton before going to college, where the siren song drew her back to dance. Antipa holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in dance from Mills College and, until this last school year, spent forty years on the faculty of Santa Rosa Junior College teaching dance technique, dance history and choreography.
 
Liz Bippart moved from Estes Park, Colorado, just in time for the opening of the Green Music Center. Her parents, John and Betsy Bippart, were longtime supporters of the Santa Rosa Symphony. Soon after moving to California, Bippart joined the Santa Rosa Symphony League. She chaired Dinner is Served, one of the major fundraising events for its first six years. She served as liaison to the Music Education committee of Santa Rosa Symphony for three years and is now President of the League.
 
-High-res photos of Bippart, Smith and Dupre available upon request-
 
FULL BIOS, in alphabetical order
 
Corinne Antipa
Corinne Antipa is a longtime member of the Santa Rosa Symphony cello section, has an active private studio and is a freelance performer in northern California. She had the great good fortune of studying with Bonnie Hampton and then with Colin Hampton before going to college, where the siren song drew her back to dance. Antipa holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in dance from Mills College and, until this last school year, spent forty years on the faculty of Santa Rosa Junior College teaching dance technique, dance history and choreography. She also has worked in the field of historical dance in reconstruction and performance. The cellist in her, as well as the dancer, led her to be trained in the Feldenkrais Method in 1994.
 
Antipa lives in Santa Rosa with a variety of four-footed companions and “without the guidance of parental good sense, she might have chucked it all for a horse, a saddle and the open range!”

Liz Bippart
Liz Bippart has resided in Healdsburg since 2012, having arrived from Estes Park, Colorado, just in time for the opening of the Green Music Center. Her parents, John and Betsy Bippart, were longtime supporters of Santa Rosa Symphony. Her love of classical music started early on with piano lessons and trips to Los Angeles to hear Zuben Mehta conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Soon after moving back to California, Bippart joined the Santa Rosa Symphony League. She chaired Dinner is Served, one of the major fundraising events for its first six years. She served as liaison to the Music Education committee of the Santa Rosa Symphony for three years and is now President of the League.

Bippart is a life-long swimmer and has enjoyed swim vacations to the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, Lake Powell, St. John and, most recently, to the Galapagos. Her sister, Carolyn lives abroad and they travelled to Lebanon, Thailand and Cambodia, where they volunteered at an elephant sanctuary. “Chopping and stripping sugar cane with machetes for elephant snacks is strenuous,” she says. “Bathing and feeding an eighty-eight year old elephant is a priceless experience.”

Having a nursing background, Bippart was trained and volunteered at Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco. She can be seen very briefly in the Oscar nominated documentary, End Game.

Her biggest thrill now is being a new grandmother of identical twin boys who live in Bodega Bay.
,
Mark Dierkhising
Mark Dierkhising, sometimes called Dierk, is a renowned, award-winning chef and restauranteur. He has been working and living in Sonoma and Napa counties since the mid 70s. Dierkhising, along with his wife Karen Brodsky, is the owner of Dierk’s Parkside and Midtown Cafes, both in Santa Rosa.

Dierkhising graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. After graduation, he headed straight for the Bay Area, winding up in Calistoga, where he and his brother bought their first restaurant in 1976. Before venturing out on their own in the mid 90s, the brothers were celebrated in multiple publications such as Gourmet, Bon Appetite and awarded the Grand Spectator’s “Greatest Wine List” 13 years straight.

After consulting for numerous hotels and businesses throughout the world, Dierkhising became the first Executive Chef for the Green Music Center and Sonoma State University in 2001. This was back when the music center was just a twinkle in people’s eyes. It was during this time Dierkhising met his wife Karen Brodsky, an emeritus SSU librarian. The two opened Dierk’s Parkside Café in 2006 and it has been food, family and fun ever since.

A key element of the couple’s business plan is a commitment to working with the community.  Through the restaurants, Mark and Karen are able to donate and participate with numerous community organizations, nonprofits and local businesses. Dierkhising’s heavy involvement with Social Advocates for Youth (SAY), for example, was acknowledged in 2014, when he was awarded the North Bay Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy Award.

Dierkhising is honored to be joining the Santa Rosa Symphony Board of Directors. While not a musician himself, music has always been an important part of his life. One of his fondest memories of music is as a boy on Saturday mornings, when he and his grandmother would make bread while listening to opera and polkas from her kitchen radio. Dierkhising remembers that old radio could only receive a few stations—music or baseball.

Jack Dupre
Jack Dupre was appointed to the Symphony Board in 1975 by Dr. Ambrose Nichols, Board President and founding president of Sonoma State University. His first committee assignment was to co-chair, with Yale Abrams, the Major Gifts Committee, which was the Symphony’s initial attempt to garner support from local businesses. Dupre served as president from 1981 to 1983, moved its performances to the Luther Burbank Center. Before his transition to emeritus status in 2005, he was chair of the Personnel Committee and a member of the 2004-2005 Music Director Selection Committee, which resulted in the hiring of Bruno Ferrandis.

Dupre joined Hewlett-Packard Co. in 1964 as a microwave development engineer and subsequently managed the development of RF (Radio Frequency) and microwave sweep oscillators, spectrum analyzers, and lightwave instruments for both Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies. After retiring from Hewlett-Packard/Agilent in 2002, he continues to work as a consultant in the area of fiber-optic test and standards.

He holds a BSEL from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and an MSEE from Stanford University.

Dupre’s wife is Marsha Vas Dupre, an active Symphony League member and a former Santa Rosa City Council and SRJC Board of Directors member. They each have two grandchildren, Jack’s in Potomac, Maryland and Marsha’s in Sebastopol. They share their time between homes in Santa Rosa and The Sea Ranch and travel extensively.

Joe N. Smith
Joe N. Smith Jr. is the Senior Vice President and Manager of the Small Business Administration Department at Exchange Bank. Exchange Bank has been the largest lender of SBA loans in Sonoma County since 2018. Smith has been a career SBA lender and held both National and Regional Sales Management positions for SBA lending banks coast to coast. Prior to moving to northern California in 2008, Smith was co-founder and President of American Business Lending in Dallas. He has served for the last 11 years on the Board of The Sonoma County Family YMCA and has been a two-term Chairman and currently serves as the Treasure and Finance committee.

Smith and his two sons have lived in Windsor since 2008. His sons graduated from Windsor High School in 2019 and 2020, and live with him. Smith grew up in Nashville, where his love of all types of music began. From a young age, he played in his Boy Scout Drum and Bugle Corp and later was First Chair trumpet all four years in his high school marching band as well as jazz band. He still plays his trumpet, although he considers it more noise that he makes than music.

He attended the University of Tennessee and graduated with a degree in Finance. While at UT, Smith played four years of lacrosse and was a Student Athletic Representative. Smith is an avid golfer, enjoys riding his motorcycle, fishing, camping and boating with his sons. Smith is extremely excited to learn and serve with the Santa Rosa Symphony, as well as meeting all of the quality people associated with the Symphony.

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 93 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 2019.

In its 93rd season, the Symphony’s performance schedule will include 21 Classical Series concerts, 6 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 4-concert Family Series and a 5-concert Pops Series. 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 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

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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