Hello and welcome to the first post on the all-new California Symphony blog!
We should probably stop right there and explain that while this is a new blog account, the symphony has had a blog presence for just over a year. That content still exists and you’ll find links to the old posts on our new profile, however going forward, it will now be badged under its rightful owner, Executive Director Aubrey Bergauer.
Why the switch?
Previously, the blog was focused on the business of running an orchestra and efforts by the California Symphony to buck the trends impacting orchestras and many other arts organizations across the country. — Challenges like how to appeal to a younger demographic, and how to program concerts in a way that is appealing to audiences, that maintains artistic integrity, but which is also rooted in commercial reality. As such, it has been a staple among industry peers and occasionally garnered the interest of local and national media — including the Wall Street Journal.
We still believe in the value of these posts and we’ll continue to share them. However, the vision for this newly relaunched blog is that it should cater to our patrons. We have an active presence on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) — which will also be revamped as we roll out our new content strategy — but there are times when you simply can’t adequately tell a story through a photograph or using 140 characters. The new blog will therefore enable us to go deeper into the work we do and the lives we touch, and to share behind the scenes insights that no one outside the staff usually gets to hear about.
And we really do have some wonderful stories to share! Like the time that a fifth grade student from Downer Elementary School got to be Assistant Orchestra Manager for the day; the exciting and energizing side-by-side rehearsal that our San Pablo Sound Minds kids did with their Dougherty Valley high school mentors and pen pals; the time that one high school senior and aspiring composer was invited to shadow Composer-in-Residence Dan Visconti for the world premiere of Tangle Eye, and so much more…
These and other stories will be coming to the blog soon, so don’t forget to follow California Symphony so you don’t miss a post. We hope to see you back here again soon!
ABOUT CALIFORNIA SYMPHONY
The California Symphony, now in its fifth season under the leadership of Music Director Donato Cabrera, is a world-class, professional orchestra based in Walnut Creek, in the heart of the San Francisco East Bay since 1990. Our vibrant concert series is renowned for featuring classics alongside American repertoire and works by living composers. The Orchestra is comprised of musicians who have performed with the orchestras of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, and others, and many of its musicians have been performing with the California Symphony for nearly all its existence.
Outside of the concert hall, the symphony actively supports music education for social change through its El Sistema-inspired program at Downer Elementary School in San Pablo, CA, which brings intensive music instruction and academic enrichment to Contra Costa County schoolchildren for free, in an area where 94% of students qualify for the federal free or reduced price lunch program.
We also host the highly competitive Young American Composer-in-Residence program, which this year welcomes its first female composer, Katherine Balch.
California Symphony has launched the careers of some of today’s most-performed soloists and composers, including violinists Sarah Chang and Anne Akiko Meyers, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and composers such as Mason Bates, Christopher Theofanidis, and Kevin Puts. The Orchestra performs at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.
For more information, please visit californiasymphony.org.