Fresh Look: The Symphony Exposed

Adult Music Education Classes—This Summer in Lafayette

We’re sorry, we’ve reached capacity for this summer’s in-person Fresh Look: The Symphony Exposed classes.

SOLD OUT—Join the Waitlist

OR… You can still enjoy the wit, wisdom, and wealth of knowledge of award-winning Instructor Scott Foglesong in this five-part online version of the course—all in the comfort of your own home!

Check out Fresh Look: Rewind—On Demand


If you’re “classically curious” and you’d like to increase your enjoyment of classical music and all things orchestra, this four-part introductory course is for you. With award-winning instructor Scott Foglesong as your guide, you’ll explore:

  • How an orchestra works – What a conductor does, plus the instruments that make up the orchestra.
  • Learn about Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, revolutionary composers who took orchestra music to unprecedented heights.
  • Fall in love with the Romantics—Schumann, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and more—and trailblazers like Copland, Dawson, and Gershwin.

Enroll with a friend or come alone and meet other local music-loving adults in class! What people are saying about this course:

“Most enjoyable, very accessible to all, and PACKED with good info and good listening!”

“Scott Foglesong is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic.”

“I love his sense of humor and breadth of knowledge.”

When: Wednesdays, 6:30 to 8:00 PM – July 12, 19, 26, and August 2, 2023.

Where: Don Tatzin Community Hall at Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, Suite 214, Lafayette.  ADA accessible and free parking onsite. Detailed driving directions and parking instructions can be found here.

Who should attend:  Anyone with an interest in learning more about classical music.

Cost: $30 per person for the entire course, which you get back as a voucher towards your first purchase of any adult-price ticket for a 2023-24 season concert.


Check out Fresh Look: Rewind—On Demand

Course Outline

Class 1: Setting the Stage

We begin by asking the big questions: how is an orchestra put together? What is the overall role of the conductor? What impact does the conductor have on a performance? What do the various sections of the orchestra sound like? We’ll cover this, and more, together with plenty of musical (and visual) examples.

Listening Materials:

Class 2: The Revolutionaries

They were a group of composers who took the orchestra and its music to unprecedented heights. Haydn and Mozart gifted posterity with their glorious symphonies, concertos, overtures, and other orchestral works. Then along came Ludwig van Beethoven and nothing would ever again be the same. We’ll find out about these critical figures—along with recently rediscovered creators such as Joseph Bologne—while we exult in their wonderful music.

Listening Materials:

Class 3: The Heroes

The Romantics, individuals all, heroes all, Artists with a Capital A. Schubert, Schumann (both Clara and Robert), Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Bruckner, and more. They expanded and amplified the orchestra, re-thought how it sounds, and gave us a vast heritage of music that to this day forms the backbone of the orchestral repertory.

Listening Materials:

Class 4: The Pathfinders

Starting with the 20th century, far-thinking artists stretched the boundaries even more. We’ll examine such trailblazers as Copland, Dawson, and Gershwin, along with more recent enlightenings that have illuminated formerly marginalized creators—women and minorities—who are now receiving their proper due. This class will conclude with a special treat: a performance by musicians of the California Symphony.

Listening Materials: