In the spirit of the Santa Rosa Symphony’s mission “to inspire and engage the residents of our region with the finest musical performances and educational programs,” the organization is committed to a high level of community involvement. We have a history of special projects, such as the performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem (1999) and the Child of Our Time collaboration with Santa Rosa High School (performance, art exhibit and documentary film). For the Child of Our Time project, Santa Rosa Symphony received the League of American Orchestra’s 2002 Met Life Award for Excellence in Community Engagement. Our orchestra also performed a community concert for Hurricane Katrina Relief in September 2005. This benefit raised more than $65,000.
Community engagement can be subtle and ongoing as well as dramatic. The Symphony serves our residents with music education and outreach programs that ignite and nurture a lifetime love of music and increase the intellectual, social and emotional development of our children. From supporting our classroom teachers to offering a child the chance to learn to play an instrument, from concerts by our Youth Ensembles in retirement homes to the pre-concert conversations with the conductor that educate and inspire audiences of all ages, the Symphony aspires to be relevant in people’s lives.
Following are opportunities for students, educators, families and arts lovers of all kinds.
String Orchestra Workshop
The String Orchestra Workshop provides an entry point for community members age 5-adult to express themselves through music. Participants work directly with string coaches in a hands-on, small group environment that allows for greater personal attention. Beginners learn to play with others in ensemble, and prepare for the full-orchestra experience.
Summer Music Academy
With decades of history, the Summer Music Academy (SMA) is a proven training ground for students just beginning instrumental studies, and for advanced young musicians who aspire to excel. The 3-week immersion format includes classes and ensemble work for all orchestral and band instruments, and a final day of free performances open to the public. In addition to instrumental classes, the SMA offers conducting, music theory, composition and songwriting classes that allow students to become more fully-developed musicians. It’s an ideal way to begin musical training and a wonderful opportunity for students to gain valuable skills and have fun during the summer.
Since 1986 the SRS Youth Orchestra and Young People’s Chamber Orchestra have been invited to perform at Spring Lake Village, a retirement community in Santa Rosa. Concerts in the winter and spring are given to an appreciative audience who might not have the ability to leave their homes to attend concerts. Additional community performance locations include Friends House, the Lodge at Paulin Creek and Oakmont Concert Series.
Free Public Concerts and Benefits
Frequently the Symphony’s young musicians have given free concerts to benefit other organizations and the community at large. Past concerts have included the Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market, Santa Rosa Plaza, First Night, Performance Sonoma, and Coddingtown Center. These additional concerts add to the performance opportunities of Youth Ensembles members and provide great exposure and promotion of music education within the community.
The Human Race is a nationwide community fundraising event for nonprofit organizations. In Sonoma County, it’s the largest collaborative fundraising event and the largest Human Race in the nation. For the third year in a row, the SRS Education Department is participating and will be asking for your support. You can volunteer to help organize, assist in selling sponsorships, gather pledges, participate as a runner, or walk with us as a group. You may also help at the Human Race Marketplace booth following the race. All proceeds from the Human Race will go to the Symphony’s programs which train young musicians: the String Orchestra Workshop, the Preparatory, Repertory, Youth, and Young People’s Chamber orchestras. The next Human Race will be Saturday, May 11, 2013.
Beneath the surface of classical music is a world of fascinating history and detail. Concert goers are invited to come early to join Bruno Ferrandis and guests as they unlock the mysteries of the music on the program and explore the lives and inspiration of the composers.
These 30-minute talks—free to ticket holders—are relaxed, informative, and include time for questions from the audience. Concert Conversations begin Saturdays and Mondays at 7 pm and Sundays at 2 pm in Weill Hall.
Program Notes Online
The pleasure in hearing a piece of music is often enhanced by understanding the factors that influenced its creation and learning about the life and times of the composer. Anyone who visits the Santa Rosa Symphony’s website may download and print program notes from each Classical Series concert event page. Read Program Notes at your leisure before or after the concert and enhance your enjoyment of every performance.
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