August 6, 2010

New website coming next week!

It is only fitting for our 100th blog entry that we announce a new, redesigned website. Starting Monday, our homepage will look a bit more like this:

Loyal blog readers: Please be aware that our blog will also be shifting to this new site. Updates to this blog will cease at the end of August.

What I did on my summer vacation: Pt. 1

'What have your musicians and singers have been up to all summer?' you ask? Well, let's find out!

In June, Music Librarian and violist David Daniel Bowes (left) went on vacation with his partner Brian to the Pacific Northwest, where Brian was sick with flu the entire time! When David started to get sick too, “we paid the piper and came home early.” However, after all that, “bliss!” They planted heirloom tomatoes and the dahlias came up in full force and beauty. As he has for nearly 25 years, David played under George Cleve in the Midsummer Mozart Festvial. He is often working from home this summer since he is painting the walls of their Santa Rosa house, with Brian on “food and errand duty.” David says he is “looking very much forward to the start of the Philharmonia Baroque season!”

Angela Arnold, a soprano joining the Chorale this fall, made her first appearance with Open Opera in June, in a free, open-air concert of popular arias at Berkeley's Live Oak Park and has been preparing for a number of recitals in September. She has had a few brief getaways this summer: the Texas Panhandle, where she met some in-laws for the first time (!); her hometown Chicago, where she enjoyed “real summer weather,” including beautiful thunderstorms; and Washington, D.C., where she “baked for hours in the sun” for the chance to catch Gladys Knight and Reba McIntyre performing live on the Capitol's West Lawn for the 4th of July.

Violinist Carla Moore (left) performed with her chamber group, Music's Re-creation, and her new string band, Archetti Baroque Strings, at the Berkeley Festival. Soon after, she went camping in Canyonlands National Park, southeastern Utah with her family. “It was pure bliss-red rocks and hot sun!” After that she actually had to get back to work – performing J.S. Bach's Orchestral Suites at the Oregon Bach Festival with Monica Huggett and the Portland Baroque Orchestra and teaching at the Amherst Early Music Festival on the East Coast. She’s looking forward to her second camping trip to the Sierras in August, but first she is teaching the “wee ones” violin at the SFEMS Music Discovery Workshop in Berkeley.

Also new to the chorale, alto Jean-Paul Jones worked at a summer camp in the Mendocino Mountains for about three weeks with troubled youth from the Bay Area. “It was an interesting and rewarding experience, but also exhausting.” He is back in San Francisco playing viola with Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (and seeking employment as a bartender).

After what violinist Kati Kyme calls the “whirl-wind of Berkfest concerts,” she took a few days to unwind at Stinson Beach. Her family rented a house, where they were “spoiled to have only a few steps to the beautiful views of Stinson.” Since then, she’s been back working for upcoming performances of Don Giovanni with Open Opera and preparing two weeks of youth orchestra camps. “I am able to sneak in only a little pre-season practicing, but I'm almost ready, psychologically, for the new season to start.”

August 2, 2010

Meet Courtney

This past July, we were lucky to be joined by Courtney Stredder, who interned for us through Career Explorations. Soon to be a senior at Nampa High School in Idaho, Courtney helped us prepare for the upcoming 30th Anniversary Season. While with us, she wrote press releases, dove into the archives to research our history, helped with the season ticket mailing, and attended the Association of California Symphony Orchestra's Conference. Last year's #1 state finalist in the Keyboard Percussion category for marimba and also an alto saxophone player, Courtney is looking forward to her last year in high school and excited about pursuing music in college. Good luck Courtney and thank you for all of your hard work!

July 27, 2010

Many thanks!

We would like to thank all the volunteers who offered their time last week to help with the ticket mailings. Because of them, we were able to send out all the subscription orders by the end of the week! Many thanks to the following volunteers, we couldn't have done it without them:

Al and Natalie Davis
Luce Denney
Jubillee Gee
Ellen Thiel
Marcia Wire
Pat Wolf

July 21, 2010

A needed change of perspective

Most of our staff will be attending the Association of California Symphony Orchestras 42nd Annual Conference this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Much like the League of American Orchestras earlier this summer, ACSO is sounding notes of a minor key: "Orchestras and choruses are struggling. Slashed funding, declining attendance, and increased costs are just a few of the problems we have to wrestle with as a community. Join your colleagues... to learn new techniques and acquire new tools that are necessary to remain competitive and viable in this ever-changing world."

We recently read two articles that suggest that we need to shift our perspective a bit to realize just how vital classical music is to our world today.

In 66 days...

... we'll get to see our Nic conduct Mozart here in the Bay Area. For now, we'll just have to read about him conducting Mozart elsewhere.

For you impatient fans out there, subscribers will begin to receive their tickets this week(!) and single tickets go on sale in 15 days on August 5.