Sometimes, when one grows up surrounded by greatness, it is easy to take it for granted – or not to recognize it for what it truly is.
Take, for example, the Folsom Symphony.
Eight years ago a “little local orchestra” was formed — the Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestra, as it was called at the time.
Composed of volunteer musicians and an all-volunteer board, the symphony began performances at the Jill Solberg Performing Arts auditorium on the Folsom High School campus. It was a humble, if exciting, beginning.
Sacramento musical luminary and music director Michael Neumann carefully selected the musical selections for the concerts he conducted. Bruce Woodbury, president of the symphony, coordinated with the fledgling organization’s board for venues, fundraising, publicity, volunteers and more. Both men met with community groups to promote the symphony.
The Folsom Lake community quickly embraced “their” symphony and, as word got out about the great value of the symphony, audiences grew – extending to the greater Sacramento and foothills areas.
It is no secret that in tough economic times like these arts programs have a hard time across the board. Only the very best will survive, and the state of that “survival” is often dubious.
So it is all the more remarkable that this season the Folsom Symphony has played to sold-out houses at Three Stages. The most recent concert, “Glorious Beethoven,” was in such demand that additional tickets were sold at the last minute … for the rehearsal.
The Folsom Symphony is so popular, in fact, that an additional formal performance — not a rehearsal — has been added to the final concert, “Summer Symphony at the Movies.”
This concert to close out the season will feature “pops” from the silver screen, including works by John Williams (“Star Wars Suite,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Jurassic Park”), John Barry (“Dances with Wolves”), Hans Zimmer (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) and others (“James Bond medley”).
Classical masters from the silver screen will also be featured, including the second movement from Ludwig van Beethoven’s “7th Symphony” that is at the climax of “The King’s Speech,” and Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” from “Platoon.”
The Folsom Symphony is a testament to William Hazlitt’s saying, “Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is greater.”
Neumann and Woodbury have become virtual fixtures in the Folsom and El Dorado Hills communities. They have put together musical and volunteer teams of amazing magnitude for the Folsom Symphony. Together, they have raised the bar and are showing the Sacramento region what can be done even in a down economy. They, and the leadership team they have developed, are the foundation upon which the symphony stands.
Yet, for all this, this group has never lost its focus: to bring affordable, beautiful music to the region at large.
“The community’s response to our concerts has been fabulous,” Woodbury said. “Under Maestro Neumann’s leadership we bring beautiful music to the Folsom Lake region, and we are pleased so many people want to hear it. We will do everything we can to make our concerts available to everyone.”
Music speaks to the soul, and can give the listener that boost to keep going when the going is tough. To have people creating such success in our community is a tremendous encouragement. We are blessed to have the entire Folsom Symphony in our midst.
“Summer Symphony at the Movies” will be presented June 1 and June 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Three Stages main theater on the Folsom Lake College campus. Limited seating is available for the June 2 program. For tickets visit folsomsymphony.com or call (916) 608-6888.
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