The mission of the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra is to provide high-quality, admission-free concerts from the classical and contemporary symphony repertoire to Santa Monica and West Lost Angeles. The Symphony also extends its reach into the community by performing at local schools and community arts events, assisting the community in introducing young people to classical music and enhancing lifelong learning opportunities by providing enrichment information to adults. All of the Symphony's programming is planned to target a multi-cultural, multi-generational audience.
The Santa Monica Symphony has been a major cultural asset for the Southern California Westside community since its debut in 1945. It has grown from a fledging local orchestra into a highly acclaimed symphony orchestra which attracts music lovers from all parts of the greater Los Angeles area. Each season the Santa Monica Symphony presents four free concerts to an audience of 5,000 persons of all ages. Its repertoire of classical and contemporary music provides well-rounded programs of wide appeal. Talented community musicians and college music students form the nucleus of the orchestra, augmented by a small group of professional musicians. Many weeks of rigorous rehearsals precede each concert, resulting in the highest artistic standards.
The Santa Monica Symphony has grown to its present excellence under the batons of six outstanding conductors/music directors: founding conductor Jacques Rachmilovich, composer Arthur Lange, Peter Meremblum, former CBS Symphony director Victor Bay, USC School of Music faculty member Yehuda Gilad, and its current conductor Dr. Allen Robert Gross of the Occidental College Music faculty. Guest soloists are a regular program feature of the symphony season. Among artists performing with the orchestra have been Sydney and Jeanne Weiss, Nathaniel Rosen, Ronald Leonard and such noted composers and guest conductors as Nelson Riddle, Miklos Rosza, David Rose, Alfred Newman, John Green, and Elmer Bernstein. The Santa Monica Symphony also has made multiple recordings and was the first orchestra in the United States to record the First and Second Symphonies of Tchaikovsky. Among its other contributions have been the Young Musicians Concerts which provide performance opportunities for aspiring young musicians.
The Santa Monica Symphony is a member of the Association of California Symphony Orchestra (ASCO), The American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL), and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. This music is sponsored as a public service by the City of Santa Monica and made possible in part by the Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division. Instrumental Music for these performances funded in part by the Recording Industries Music Performance Trust Funds as arranged by Local 47 of the American Federation of Musicians, William Peterson, President. These performances are made possible in part through sponsorship of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles County Music and Performing Arts Commission.
David Bendett, President
Nathaniel Trives, Vice-President
Reverand William A. Wood III, Secretary
Dr. Brian Mark, Treasurer
Allen Robert Gross (ex officio)
Dr. Michael Gruning
Dr. Lisa Takeuchi Kohorn
Karen Gross, Administrative Director
Marisa Ynez Foegan, Adminstrative Coordinator
Natalie A. Suarez, Graphic Designer
Dr. Henry Levenson
Robert Thomas See
Dr. d'Lynn Waldron
The Symphony is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors which maintains status with the State of California as a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization and oversees the fiduciary responsibilities of the Symphony Association, i.e., to maintain financial integrity and to assure fidelity in the usage of public and charitably donated funds.
Although Santa Monica Symphony concerts are presented without charge, they are not "free". The Association pays the conductor, soloists, musicians, and the auditorium stage hands. We also pay for music rental, instrument cartage, insurance, and mailings to make sure the community knows about our concert schedule.
The Symphony is privileged and grateful to receive grants from the City of Santa Monica and the County of Los Angeles, which, this season, will cover one third of the orchestra's costs. However, the remaining two thirds of our season's budget must come from funds raised by the Association. In addition to our grant from the Recording Industries Music Performance Trust Fund, our Board of Directors diligently pursues all avenues of fundraising, including special event benefits, small business donations, corporate contributions, and foundation grants. Nevertheless, individual membership donations are vital in order to provide these outstanding admission-free concerts to our community.
Friends of the Santa Monica Symphony is the premier support group that shows its loyalty to one of the best community orchestras in America. Its mission is to promote the concerts of the Santa Monica Symphony as cultural community events, to raise concert attendance, and to be the social fundraising arm of the Symphony.
This is a group of individual donors who contribute $250 or more each year. It is the foundation of support for our orchestra. Since its inception in early 2002, Friends contributions have resulted in tripling individual donations to the Symphony and giving the orchestra a closer grasp of its ideals. The warm response to the Friends effort has been very encouraging. It shows that the strong work of the orchestra under the masterful hand of music director Allen Robert Gross is recognized and appreciated.
The Friends social events have offered supporters a chance to get to know the orchestra members, soloists, board members and our music director personally. In October 2002, the Beethoven Benefit Bash kicked off the season and provided the orchestra with a nice financial boost. The Friends post concert receptions established in the 2001-2002, continued in 2002-2003 hosted by the Fairmont, the Doubletree and twice by Le Merigot and the Loews Hotels. The May 25th lavish post-reception at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel provided a happy conclusion to the 2002-2003 season. The "Conductor's Choices" event for Friends, hosted beautifully by board members Maynard and Sheila Ostrow in their home, gave Friends a chance to hear a very interesting and illuminating talk on how our music director puts our programs together.
This orchestra never sacrifices quality. But it can do much more if it receives the resources it needs and deserves. Considering the reality of our environment the orchestra needs your support now more than ever. We can also benefit from your ideas, energy and talents. Volunteer time is of great value to us. Please contact Mahnaz Newman with your suggestions and tell me how we can work together to promote and support Santa Monica Symphony.
The Santa Monica Symphony is pleased to acknowledge the following individuals who have become Friends since the organization was established in early 2002:
Mahnaz and David Newman
Ida and Nathaniel Rives
Karen and Allen Gross
Gail and John Miron
Sherril and Bill Wood
Sheila and Maynard Ostrow
Diane and John Petring
Carol and Carl Selkin
Mary Elizabeth Booth
Dorothy and Charles Green
Marjorie and Edward Lux
The Cannon Family
Elizabeth and John Dunkelberger
Rhoda and Howard Coleman
Sheelagh Boyd and Larry Lane
Margaret and Tom Keene
Mahroon Navai Gastaldi
Jan and Howard Baetz
Claude and Nancy Friedman
Larry and Lisa Kohorn
Glenn and Judy Weirick
Richard and Judith Stiehm
Jim and Jeanne Cherry
Roger Goodman and Monica White
Michael and Devrie Intrilligator
Harry and Ellen Levitt
Bertram and Raquel Lewitt
Mitch and Sue Mirkin
Dave and Anne Rimer
Jack and Patti Schwellenback
Robert and Jeanne Segal
Elizabeth and Michael Steinfeld
Contacting and Supporting the Santa Monica Symphony
In order for the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra to continue existing programs and expand artistic efforts in our community, we are committed to handling our finances in a prudent manner. Over 85% of the Symphony's revenue is used to directly support the performances and out-reach programs offered by the orchestra. The remaining portion of the Symphony's budget is used for such expenses as fundraising, accounting services, insurance and part time administrative support.
Please be generous in helping to support your symphony. Contributions are deductible and will be used only for your enjoyment. Checks may be made to:
Santa Monica Symphony Association
Post Office Box 3101
Santa Monica, CA 90408-3101
(310)996-3260, or fax (310)395-1014
The orchestra rehearses every Wednesday at 7:30pm (2003-2004 rehearsal schedule). Interested non-professional musicians, please contact David Bendett at the Santa Monica Symphony Association.
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