Fresh Look: The Symphony Exposed

Fresh Look: The Symphony Exposed

All new four-part course coming soon—LIVE & IN-PERSON

Scott Foglesong

All new four-part course coming soon—LIVE & IN-PERSON

Register today!

Fresh Look—The Symphony Exposed is back—live and in-person—Tuesday evenings in July at Lafayette Library.

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

  • How does an orchestra work? – What a conductor does, plus the instruments that make up the orchestra.
  • What happens when it takes a starring role in symphonies (think Beethoven, Brahms, and more), and how it makes soloists shine in concertos.
  • How orchestra music can tell a story—and how to listen so you know just what it’s saying…

Enroll with a friend or come alone and meet other local music-loving adults in class!

Proof of full vaccination and masks required—thank you!

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: Tuesdays – July 5, 12, 19, 26, 2022, 6:30 pm. Each class runs approximately 90 mins.

Where: Don Tatzin Community Hall at Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, Suite 214, Lafayette.  ADA accessible and free parking onsite.

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 2022-23 season concert.


Course Outline

Class 1: How an Orchestra Works

Orchestras are complex organisms. They require a conductor, an administration and staff, and most of all, players for all the necessary instruments. We’ll go over the role of the conductor, the history of the orchestra down the years, the impact the players themselves have on the orchestra, and just general info about the way an orchestra is put together—including an introduction to the various instruments.

Class 2: The Orchestra as Hero

Once upon a time, orchestras were small affairs that provided background music or stayed out of sight in a theater. But with the evolution of the symphony, the orchestra became a hero, and this ambitious musical genre provided an appropriately heroic vehicle. We’ll cover the symphony’s origins, its development, and its overall makeup, then exult in some of its many memorable landmarks.

Class 3: The Orchestra as Collaborator

Sometimes orchestras perform in partnership with soloists. We call some of those collaborations concertos, but partnerships abound throughout the repertory. We’ll listen to plenty of collaborative music, from the early days of the orchestra to its modern incarnation, some of it by composers who are only now receiving their proper attention.

Class 4: The Orchestra as Storyteller

To symphonies and concertos we can add program music—music that tells a story, paints a picture, describes a landscape, or the like. From the earliest days to the present, the orchestral repertory offers a variety of pieces that can elicit all kinds of associations. We’ll go over some wonderful examples, some very famous, some not so well known.