The Susanville Symphony’s spectacular 19th season, which begins with the gala outdoor Concert on the Green September 17th, promises to be something special from the first downbeat until the last note of the Pops Concert rings out in May – with world famous trumpeter Wayne Bergeron making an appearance, and a wonderful return to the Methodist Church for the classical concerts.
It has been nearly twenty years since a group of dedicated musicians and organizers came together to create the Susanville Symphony Society, providing not only a sensational musical experience, but also something that Susanville can be proud of. This year the Symphony comes home, in a way, back to where it all started.
Artistic Director and Conductor Ben Wade confirmed that this year’s classical concerts will again be held at the United Methodist Church, including their annual Christmas Concert. If you didn’t get a chance to experience the magic of the early Christmas performances at the church two decades ago, you will have a chance once again. And it is magical.
“Every time I step into that building it brings back memories,” says Wade.
The symphony first performed at the 150-year-old church, as the Lassen Community College Orchestra, in April of 2003. The group spent eight seasons, four as the Susanville Symphony, at the UMC before moving to a different venue.
Wade worked with church Choir Director Dennis Roberts to coordinate the move back to the historic venue.
“They have the best acoustics in Lassen County, and it’s where it all began. I am thrilled to be going back home.”
The season kicks off with one of the most unique outdoor performances you will ever experience. Playing on the steps of Lassen County’s 105-year-old, historic Courthouse, the Concert on the Green features a truly eclectic mix of music – classical, pop, rock, funk, big band – in what has become the most attended concert of the season.
“You name it and most likely we will be playing it!” says Wade.
The concert features a fun, family atmosphere with people bringing picnic lunches, lawn chairs and blankets to watch the show from the courthouse lawn.
To make it a truly special day for families, the symphony is letting all children sixteen and under accompanied by a parent into the concert for free.
“We want to continue to foster the family focus of this concert. Patrons are welcome to come early and set up their camp.”
There will be a raffle and prizes for those who sign up for season tickets at the Concert on the Green, as well as a prize for the best “dressed” table.
Speaking of season tickets. If you buy a season ticket now you will get a discounted price on the five-concert season. General admission to each concert is $30, so if you plan to see them all the $125 season ticket makes sense.
If you are interested in purchasing tickets, you can find out all the essential information by visiting thesusanvillesymphony.com.
Each and every concert is something unique!
On October 28th and 29th, at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall, the Symphony’s second concert of the season will feature a truly incredible musician with more than five hundred movie credits to his name.
“If you have gone to a movie lately, chances are you heard the sizzling trumpet sounds of Wayne Bergeron,” says Wade.
Bergeron, considered to be the number-one studio trumpet player in the world, will be performing at An Evening of Jazz with the newly rejuvenated Susanville City Big Band.
“Bergeron rarely leaves the studio to do solo shows and certainly not to Northern California or Nevada. This is a very special occasion with perhaps the best guest artist the Susanville Symphony has ever brought to town.”
From The Incredibles to West Side Story Bergeron will bring his unique Hollywood style to the shows with silver-screen hits like, “When you wish upon a star.”
Bergeron began his career as lead trumpet player for Maynard Ferguson in 1986.
According to Wade the Symphony has already received calls from people outside the area who want to reserve tickets months ahead of time. Better get these early, or better yet, get those season tickets!
The Susanville City Big Band will return on March 24th, for another appearance, this time on the stage at Susanville’s venerated Elks Lodge.
“This is not your grandfather’s swing band,” says Wade who invites everyone to come hear the new sounds of jazz, blues, funk, and the good old-fashioned swing band.
With guest artists like Danny Sandoval, a legend in the Sacramento jazz scene, and local vocalists, the one-night-only performance at the Elks will take you back to a different time.
And you can dance!
“This is the only venue in Lassen County that has a live big band and dance floor,” says Wade, who adds, “the bar is open an hour before the show to loosen those dance steps.”
The final concert of the season probably needs the least explanation. The fan-favorite finale, May 13th’s Susanville Pops Concert, thrills audiences without fail each year, delivering a variety of popular and light classical works.
For season 19 the Pops Concert will feature popular television and movie music – taking some of the most loved classic films of the last 40 years and performing their soundtracks.
Principal Cellist Peter Lenz will perform Memoirs of a Geisha, and the brass section will be featured on the pulse-pounding theme from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
The season ticket membership drive is currently open for the Susanville Symphony. If you would like more information about season tickets or membership in the Susanville Symphony, you can click here and download the season 19 brochure or drop by Susanville Dental Care at 720 Ash Street.
You can purchase tickets for the season, or individual concerts, online at thesusanvillesymphony.com
Individual tickets for the Outdoor Concert are being sold at Margie’s Book Nook.