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The Folsom Symphony and music director Peter Jaffe are planning an extraordinary benefit gala this year. An Evening Under the Stars will be held Saturday, Sept. 27, on a hilltop in El Dorado Hills surrounded by rolling terrain, lush vineyards and sweeping vistas. Guests will enjoy a gourmet dinner, the area’s finest wines, dancing to a live band, performances by symphony musicians and the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind auction items.
Marie Mitchell, who is opening her Italian-style estate, Palazzo di Migianella, for this event, and Tony Mansour, owner of the Mansour Co., the developer of El Dorado Hills Town Center, are the evening’s co-hosts. Roger Niello, president and CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber and a former state assemblyman, and Cristina Mendonsa, news anchor for KXTV News 10, will emcee.
Most important, the funds raised by this gala — the orchestra’s most elegant ever — will enable the symphony to expand its music outreach to children. As school districts have dealt with budget cuts, funds for teaching the arts have diminished. Yet studies show that engaging children in a variety of music experiences heightens their motivation to learn and enhances their creativity and critical thinking skills.
To expose more children to the joys and benefits of music, especially classical music, the symphony wants to step in where the schools have been forced to step out. The funds raised at this gala will help the symphony expand its outreach in five areas:
- Family concerts: The symphony now plays one free concert each season, and it hopes to perform another free or low-cost concert.
- Student Night at the Symphony: Students in third through 12th grades can now attend one dress rehearsal each season for a small cost. Besides hearing a full performance of classical music, the youngsters interact with the maestro and musicians and are introduced to the instruments. The symphony will expand this popular program.
- Music in the schools: As budget cuts have decreased or eliminated arts education, the symphony is looking to bring music back into the schools by funding small ensembles to acquaint students with orchestra instruments and excite them about classical music.
- Student performers: Each year, the symphony offers talented young musicians the opportunity to perform with the orchestra for a full season, and we invite music groups from local schools to partner for some concerts. The symphony will increase these opportunities to nurture promising young musicians.
- STARS program: In partnership with the Folsom Cordova Unified School District, the symphony hosts underprivileged kids to a free night at the symphony. This opportunity, and others, will be available to more school children.
Sponsorship opportunities ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 are available. For information about sponsorships, call Anson Wong at (916) 716-7670 or e-mail him at [email protected].
The gala begins at 6 p.m. General tickets are $250, which includes valet parking. Premium tickets, for the best seating and a pre-gala VIP reception featuring Maestro Jaffe, are $500 each. Seating is limited. Black tie is optional. Tickets can be purchased online at folsomsymphony.com or a pdf form can be downloaded from the website and mailed with a check to Folsom Symphony, P.O. Box 794, Folsom 95763.
The Folsom Symphony begins its 11th season in September under the baton of Maestro Jaffe, who will be opening his first full season with the symphony. For more information about the symphony or benefit gala call (916) 357-6718 or email [email protected].
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