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2020-2021 Season

October 14, 2020: Santa Rosa Symphony presents SRS @ Home with Beethoven’s Second Symphony

Santa Rosa Symphony, October 14, 2020

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony presents an enhanced concert experience on Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 3 PM on its YouTube channel. This virtual concert, conducted by Francesco Lecce-Chong, the second in the Symphony's SRS @ Home series, features Beethoven's Second Symphony and works by Scott Joplin, Chen Yi, Gabriela Lena Frank and Max Bruch.
 
This concert will premiere on November 15 at 3 PM, preceded by a live pre-concert talk at 2 PM and followed by a live post-concert Q&A with Lecce-Chong—all on YouTube. All three elements of this event will be free, though donations to support the ongoing music and outreach programs of the Symphony will be gratefully received during the event.
 
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong says, "I am delighted to showcase several of our own musicians as soloists on this program, violinists Jay Zhong and Michelle Maruyama, and cellist Adelle-Akiko Kearns. Our concert features a selection of colorful dances from a diverse group of American composers - Gabriella Lena Frank, Chen Yi, and Scott Joplin. We also continue our Beethoven journey with his second symphony - full of dazzling virtuosity and comedic wit!"
 
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2, which anchors the November program, is replete with the full gamut of emotions that the composer wrestled with at the onset of his increasing deafness. Already pushing the envelope, Beethoven begins to rewrite the rules and forge new musical territories with his then unconventional nuances, showing himself to be a master composer.
 
The shorter works offered in this concert comprise a vibrant variety of works, many of which are too seldom heard in modern orchestral settings.
 
The program opens with “Coqueteos” from Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout by Gabriela Lena Frank, a composer whose high-energy Escaramuza, based on an Incan Warrior dance, delighted SRS @ Home viewers in October.  This piece blends Andean folk music traditions with western Classical and, Frank says, “is direct in its harmonic expression, bold and festive.”
 
In addition to Frank’s three-minute work, Francesco will conduct a subset of the orchestra for two rags by the “The King of Ragtime," Scott Joplin. The Entertainer gained increased fame in popular culture as the theme song for The Sting, a feature film starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman. Maple Leaf Rag, composed in 1899, is the most famous and most imitated rag ever written. 
 
Chen Yi’s Romance and Dance for Two Violins and String Orchestra, together invite listeners into a realm where Chinese and Western Classical music blend to become more than the sum of their parts. In Romance, western instruments imitate the sound of the Chinese ch’in, a 2000-year-old seven-string zither. Dance evokes the “dancing ink on paper in Chinese calligraphy and the fiery moving gestures of ancient Chinese women dancers,” says Yi. SRS associate concertmaster Jay Zhong and assistant principal second violin Michelle Maruyama are the violin soloists.
 
The spotlight shines on SRS Principal Cellist Adelle-Akiko Kearns in Max Bruch’s lyrical Canzone in B-flat major for Cello and Orchestra. Critics praise Kearns as an “impressive” cellist exhibiting “beautifully sensuous cello playing.” The San Francisco native is a recipient of the prestigious Artists International Award. Kearns made her New York recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall in November of 2008. Read her full bio here.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "SRS @ Home Nov 15"  
 
WHO: Santa Rosa Symphony
 
WHEN: Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 3:00 PM
Pre-concert Talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM
 
WHERE:  Santa Rosa Symphony’s YouTube Channel (access also from event page)
 
COST: Free, with donations gratefully accepted
 
INFORMATION: Leave message at (707) 546-8742  (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
 
ENHANCEMENTS:
Program book (online flipbook and printable version) available on concert event page
Overview video with Lecce-Chong on event page and YouTube Channel
Informative, engaging, 30-minute pre-concert talk on YouTube with Lecce-Chong at 2 PM concert day
Post-concert Q&A on YouTube with Lecce-Chong. immediately following the performance
 
Sponsors
Classical Concert Series underwritten by Sara and Edward Kozel, in memory of Laura Tietz
SRS @ Home Lead Sponsor: Anderman Family Foundation
SRS @ Home Supporting Sponsor: The Stare Foundation and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard
Nov 15 Concert Sponsored by Peggy Anne Covington
Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by David and Corinne Byrd
Pre-concert talks sponsors: Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Media Sponsor: 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 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.
 
The Symphony is 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

 

September 22, 2020: Santa Rosa Symphony presents SRS @ Home with Beethoven’s First Symphony

Santa Rosa Symphony, September 22, 2020

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony presents the first virtual concert in its new and dynamic SRS @ Home series on Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 3 PM. At a time when many California regional orchestras are going dark, the Santa Rosa Symphony presents a virtual series, featuring the largest number of musicians on stage for an orchestral concert in the state, with up to 32 socially-distanced musicians for some of the works. Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong conducts unique configurations of the orchestra, recorded live on the Weill Hall stage. This free, virtual event, featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1, will stream on the Symphony's YouTube channel. This historic concert will be preceded by a live pre-concert talk at 2 PM and immediately followed by a live post-concert Q&A with Lecce-Chong—all on YouTube. All three elements of this event will be free, though donations to support the ongoing music and outreach programs of the Symphony will be gratefully received, during the event.
 
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong says, "This program is a celebration of the orchestra and our musicians through a diverse array of works spanning 400 years of composition. Individual sections of the orchestra will be featured, from percussion to strings, in unique configurations in the Green Music Center before we conclude with Beethoven's first symphony."
 
"I am thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to be back on stage with my colleagues,” added Lecce-Chong. “Being able to share the hope, joy, and comfort of music is vital in times like this and these free virtual events will reach more people in our community than ever before."
 
"We have taken a bold artistic step forward," commented President and CEO Alan Silow, "by producing, for free, the largest virtual orchestral program by any orchestra in the state of California, inspiring all lovers of classical music and providing meaningful employment to our fine musicians.”
 
The program opens with Lyric for Strings by George Walker (1922-2018), a highly successful pianist, composer and teacher with a dizzying list of “firsts.” Walker was the first African American instrumentalist to obtain professional concert management, the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize in Music (for his Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra) and he was the first living composer inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame (2000). 
 
The brass section will then will have their due as they perform two canzoni by 16th century Venitian composer Giovanni Gabrieli, arranged by the Santa Rosa Symphony’s principal trombone, Bruce Chrisp.
 
The program continues with Escaramuza for percussion, harp, piano, and strings by Gabriela Lena Frank, which draws on Peruvian influences for a lively tribute to the kachampa dance of the Incan warrior. Woodwinds and brass take the stage for Richard Strauss’ Serenade in E-flat major for Thirteen Wind Instruments, Op. 7. The piece, written when the composer was 17, features graceful, elegant melodies, owing to Strauss’ affinity for Mozart.
 
The program concludes with Beethoven’s First Symphony, written when he was 29. His first symphony, which bears the influences of Haydn and Mozart, was praised at its premiere as a masterpiece.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "SRS @ Home Oct 11"  
 
WHO: Santa Rosa Symphony
 
WHEN: Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 3:00 PM
Pre-concert talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM
 
WHERE:  Santa Rosa Symphony’s YouTube Channel (access also from event page)
 
COST: Free, with donations gratefully accepted
 
INFORMATION: Leave message at (707) 546-8742  (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
 
ENHANCEMENTS:
Program book (online flipbook and printable version) available on concert event page
Overview video with Lecce-Chong on event page and YouTube Channel
Informative, engaging, 30-minute pre-concert talk on YouTube with Lecce-Chong at 2 PM concert day
Post-concert Q&A on YouTube with Lecce-Chong. immediately following the performance
 
Sponsors
Classical Concert Series underwritten by Sara and Edward Kozel, in memory of Laura Tietz
SRS @ Home Lead Sponsor: Anderman Family Foundation
SRS @ Home Supporting Sponsor: The Stare Foundation and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard
Oct 11 Concert Sponsored by Marcia Wagner, in memory of Hap Wagner
Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust
Pre-concert talks sponsors: Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Media Sponsor: 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 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.
 
The Symphony is 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

September 3, 2020: Santa Rosa Symphony streams redesigned fall concerts from Weill Hall, Green Music Center

Santa Rosa Symphony, September 3, 2020

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS), with government approval for private recording sessions, will perform, record and stream its redesigned Fall concerts, making them safely accessible online for subscribers, patrons and new audiences around the globe. In early October, November and December, on the Green Music Center's Weill Hall stage, a socially-distanced subset of the orchestra and Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong will record three concerts to replace the originally planned live concerts. SRS @ Home Virtual Fall Concert Series will be streamed live on YouTube on October 11, November 15 and December 13 at 3:00 PM. Additional performances by soloists are reserved exclusively for SRS subscribers.
 
Lecce-Chong says, "In the face of the difficulties behind us and the struggles ahead, the Symphony will share uplifting musical experiences, as it has during past crises from 9/11 to the Tubbs fire. This is truly a historic moment in our Symphony's long history, and we are so excited to present our first concerts, specifically programmed, directed and filmed for you to enjoy in your homes. We come together to celebrate the power of music to connect us—bringing joy, hope and comfort to our lives. We may not be in the Green Music Center in person, but imagine that across our community, we will all be gathered for a performance—in living rooms and backyards, on phones and TVs, with family or maybe some neighbors."
 
Working with Diversified Stages, a professional video production company, and implementing approved health and safety protocols, the Symphony is recording concert events that will include close-ups and a variety of angles of the musicians performing, along with a virtual peek backstage, short interviews, commentary, a post-concert Q & A with the Music Director and more.  
 
President and CEO Alan Silow said, "This orchestra has long focused on serving our community, from free post-wildfire concerts to free educational training for those underserved. As we all shelter safely in place, the Symphony now has an opportunity to reach more people than ever before by providing these virtual Fall concerts free and open to all."
 
The concerts in this SRS@Home Virtual Concert Series, curated by Lecce-Chong, will include one each of Beethoven's Symphonies No. 1, 2 and 3, leading up to the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth in December. Given the smaller number of musicians necessary to maintain social distancing, Lecce-Chong has the unique opportunity to present works originally intended for concerts performed in homes and other works rarely heard in a symphony performance, like: Gabriela Lena Frank's Escaramuza for Strings, Percussion, Harp and Piano; Richard Strauss' Serenade for Thirteen Wind Instruments; Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer; and Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Greensleeves. Francesco will share details about these special virtual performances during a short LIVE YouTube video on September 27 at 3:00 PM on the Santa Rosa Symphony YouTube channel. Francesco conveys his enthusiasm and vision for the series in this short YouTube video.
 
Viewers are encouraged to explore the Symphony's "Ways to Watch" page, several days prior to the first premiere, to learn how to access the videos on their smart TVs, older TVs connected to app-ready devices, computers, tablets, phones and other devices. While these concerts are free, a donation will be requested during the event.
 
Subscribers, who have paid in advance for these concerts, will have access to exclusive, additional virtual music programming featuring the season's guest artists Van Cliburn gold medal pianist Olga Kern, critically acclaimed violinist Elina Vähälä and SRS' own superbly talented principal violist Elizabeth Prior.
 
SRS @ HOME Virtual Concert Series
Conducted by Francesco Lecce-Chong
 
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11 at 3:00 PM on YouTube
 
GEORGE WALKER: Lyric for Strings
GABRIELI: Canzoni for Brass
GABRIELA LENA FRANK: Escaramuza for Strings, Percussion, Harp and Piano
R. STRAUSS: Serenade for Thirteen Wind Instruments
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 1            
 
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15 at 3:00 PM on YouTube
 
Adelle-Akiko Kearns, cello
 
GABRIELA LENA FRANK: Coqueteos from Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout
CHEN YI: Romance and Dance for Two Violins and String Orchestra
JOPLIN: The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag
BRUCH: Canzone for Cello and Orchestra
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 2
           
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13 at 3:00 PM on YouTube
 
JESSIE MONTGOMERY: Source Code for String Orchestra
VIVALDI: Concerto Grosso for Violin, Two Oboes and Two Horns
BEETHOVEN:  Symphony No. 3, Eroica
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia on Greensleeves
 
 
only subscribers have access to the following performances
Sunday, October 18 at 3 PM on YouTube
Olga Kern, piano—in recital with interview by Francesco Lecce-Chong
 
RACHMANINOFFMusical Moments for Piano, Opus 16, No. 4
TCHAIKOVSKY: Meditation for Piano, Opus 72, No. 5
SCRIABIN: Etudes for Piano Opus 42, No. 4 and No. 5
PROKOFIEV: Etude for Piano, Opus 2, No. 4
LIADOV: The Musical Snuffbox for Piano
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV / RACHMANINOFF: Flight of the Bumblebee
 
Sunday, November 22 at 3 PM on YouTube
Elina Vähälä, violin—in recital with interview by Francesco Lecce-Chong
 
BACH: Partita No. 2, Allemande and Chaconne
 
Sunday, December 20 at 3 PM on YouTube
Elizabeth Prior, viola—in recital with interview by Francesco Lecce-Chong
 
PAUL HINDEMITH: Trauermusik [Music of Mourning]
Additional selections to be announced
 
SPONSORS for October SRS@Home concerts
Classical Concert Series underwritten by Sara and Edward Kozel, in memory of Laura Tietz
 
OCTOBER concert sponsored by Marcia Wagner, in memory of Hap Wagner
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust
 
NOVEMBER concert sponsored by the Peggy Anne Covington Fund
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by David and Corinne Byrd
Elina Vähälä (subscriber virtual performance) underwritten by Linda Castiglioni
 
DECEMBER concert sponsored by Donald and Maureen Green
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by David and Corinne Byrd
Elizabeth Prior (subscriber virtual performance) underwritten by Ava and Sam Guerrera
 
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

 
 
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

August 11, 2020: Virtual gala honoring Symphony icons Norma and Corrick Brown Features recital by award-winning pianist Olga Kern

Santa Rosa Symphony, August 11, 2020

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony will host its first virtual gala honoring long-time Symphony icons Norma and Corrick Brown. Unlike prior seasons, this fundraising celebration is a free event that is open to the public. The event will stream online on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 6:30 PM. Viewing instructions will be posted to the Symphony website closer to the event. The evening will include tributes from long-time friends of the Browns, presentations by prominent community luminaries, a brief recital by Van Cliburn gold medal winner Olga Kern, as well as an opportunity to support the Symphony.
 
Conductor Emeritus Corrick Brown served as the Symphony's second music director and conductor from 1957 to 1995. He added many programs to the Symphony's offerings and enriched the orchestra with an influx of talented, professional musicians. His wife Norma worked behind the scenes with myriad tasks and projects and was a gracious host to guest artists who stayed in their home. The couple's involvement with the Symphony did not end in 1995; they hosted Conductor Laureate Bruno Ferrandis when he was in the country, played piano duets for Symphony fundraisers and continue to support the Symphony they helped establish.
 
Funds raised through this event will help support the Symphony's many music education programs, which include:  in-school music curriculum and presentations, interactive performances at the Green Music Center for elementary school students and afterschool social action programs for underserved elementary school students. (In-person elements of these programs are temporarily paused or virtual, but will resume when pandemic restrictions have been lifted.)  
 
Russian-American pianist Olga Kern was born into a family of musicians with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff and began studying piano at the age of five. She jumpstarted her United States career with her historic Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, as the first woman to do so in more than thirty years. Read Olga's bio at srsymphony.org/Artists/Olga-Kern.
 
Detailed instructions for where and how to watch will be posted to the Symphony's website.
 
High res photos available upon request
 
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
 
EVENT LISTING
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony Virtual Gala, honoring Norma & Corrick Brown
 
WHO:
Luminaries: TBA
Olga Kern, piano  
 
WHEN: Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 6:30 PM
 
WHERE:  Viewing link to be posted on the SRS website at srsymphony.org
 
COST: Free, but donations encouraged
 
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

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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