San Luis Obispo Symphony looks ahead to 2016 concert season

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

SLO SymphonyMini subscription packages for Classics in the Cohan on-sale

–The San Luis Obispo Symphony ends 2015 with some proud accomplishments to share. Concert audience numbers are strong: After a sellout at the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center for the October season debut, the symphony followed in November with another packed house.

“I am so excited about 2016,” said San Luis Obispo General Manager Francie Levy. “We have three incredible concerts awaiting our audience, including one conducted by my former colleague at the Tulare County Symphony, Bruce Kiesling. I am also looking forward to the summer with our brand new Paso POPS concert on July 2, 2016 sponsored by the Wine Alliance. It will be exciting to bring the SLO Symphony to a North County audience, and we will have fireworks following the concert. Stay tuned for more summer news from your San Luis Obispo Symphony!”

There are three remaining Classics in the Cohan concerts in the 2015-2016 season. On Feb. 6 the symphony features, for the first time in the 60-year history of the SLO Symphony, a woman conductor and featured soloist. Music Director of the Reno Philharmonic Laura Jackson will take the baton and lead the orchestra through Maurice Ravel/Mother Goose–Five Children’s Pieces: Suite, Zhou Tian/Violin Concerto: The Infinite Dance with soloist Caroline Goulding and Beethoven/Symphony No. 7, op. 92 in A Major (many will recognize this piece as the seminal music that paces King George’s first war-time speech in the Academy Award winning film, The King’s Speech).

On Saturday, March 12, Music Director of the Tulare County Symphony Bruce Anthony Kiesling will conduct the popular Saint-Saëns Bacchanale, Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Stephen Lin is the piano soloist.

For the final concert on May 7, local Cal Poly professor and conductor Thomas Davies will lead the Cuesta Master Chorale and Cal Poly Choirs in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, C Minor, “Resurrection.”

For the first time, the SLO Symphony is offering a three-concert mini-package for the remaining events. Series ticket price ranges from $54-$216 and can be purchased through the PAC box office or by calling (805) 756-4849.

The final season chamber concert, Music on the Coast, will be Sunday, April 3rd. This concert will feature the exceptional wind players of the San Luis Obispo Symphony. The concert will start out with a spirited woodwind quintet that will be followed by the glorious sound of French horn quartets. After intermission, Clifton Swanson will conduct Dvorak Serenade for Wind Instruments, Op. 44. Tickets are available on the SLO Symphony website.

The Youth Symphony and music education continues to grow. The sold out Youth Symphony concert in the Clark Center on Dec. 13 spoke loudly of the power of the SLO Symphony mission. More than 200 young musicians performed to an audience of 600 in this amazing event. The Youth Music Education numbers continue to grow with four of five programs increasing participation since last year. The Strings in Schools program has touched thousands of lives and inspired new generations of musicians. The Symphony has much to celebrate when the program turns 30 in 2016. There are currently 82 students participating in the program. The next Youth Symphony concert is Feb. 28, 2016 at the PAC.

The Symphony Ball will be held Saturday, April 23 and, for the first time ever, take place on the stage at the PAC. A champagne reception, fine dining, spirited dancing, a silent and live auction and, of course, exceptional music will highlight the theme “A Night Among the Stars.” Tickets and tables for the ball will go on sale mid-January on the SLO Symphony website.

The SLO Symphony marketing director, Lisa Nauful, has accepted a position at Cal Poly, but will continue to be a member of the orchestra. Well-known local marketing professional Heather Hellman has been retained to provide marketing services. Hellman owns her own public relations firm and co-founded the SLO Marathon. She will help market the symphony while the search is underway for a permanent marketing director.

In December, the symphony initiated a nationwide search for a new musical director who will guide the next generation of the symphony. A job posting has been sent to the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, the California Arts Council, as well as eight artistic management companies around the country. After the first of the year, they will be sending the job posting to the League of American Orchestras.

The deadline for musical director resume submission is February 15, 2016. A selection committee has been formed that consists of six Symphony musicians, four board members and two community members. More details regarding the selection committee will be forth coming. The selection committee will choose five qualified candidates to guest conduct the Classics in the Cohan during the 2016-17 season. The orchestra and public will be able to vote for their favorite. The symphony hopes to have a new musical director on board for the 2017-18 season.


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