Our mission is to create an engaging, entertaining, and challenging concert-going experience that brings the newest chamber music to all audiences.

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Address: 6335 McMahon Drive
Sacramento, CA 95824
County or Parish: Sacramento
Executive Director: Dan Sackheim
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 916-799-8733
Citywater new music ensemble is a group of talented professional musicians, including flutist Cathie Apple, clarinetist Milun Doskovic, cellist Timothy Stanley, pianist Jennifer Reason, violinist Amy Lindsey, and percussionist Ben Prima, who contribute their broad experience as Sacramento-based freelance musicians. Members of the ensemble hold music degrees from Sac State and other well-known universities, and have played with key Sacramento ensembles such as Sacramento Baroque Soloists, Sacramento Choral Society, and the Sacramento Philharmonic.

This combination of instruments became popular for composers, which then inspired musicians to form ensembles to perform the new works, which in turn inspired more works to be written and commissioned. The vast repertoire and widely varying styles that this instrumentation inspires is one of the things that drew the members of Citywater together. In our first exciting season we introduced Citywater with performances at the Festival of New American Music and the New Millennium Series. We also collaborated with Princeton Music Department Chair Steven Mackey in a concert of his works at UC Berkeley, featuring the work Heavy Light, with Mackey himself on electric guitar. During the next two seasons we brought new music to Sacramento audiences by establishing the bi-monthly Furlough Friday Concert Series. Our Furlough Friday Concert Series was inspired by the furloughs of state and local government employees. We offered deeply discounted tickets to government employees, hoping to reach out to a new audience.

To reach out to audiences that might not have otherwise attended a "classical" concert, we sought out works that were inspired by hip-hop, jazz, rock, or dance forms like tango and flamenco. This concert series featured works by local composers, such as Sunny Knable, Stephen Blumberg, Bill Clark, Garrett Shatzer, and Richard Cionco; new works by composers such as Nico Muhly, Alexandra Gardener, Alex Shapiro, and Kenji Bunch; and modern "classics" by composers such as John Cage and George Crumb. In 2010, Citywater was recognized for its artistry and contributions to the community by being invited to perform at the opening gala for the Crocker Museum. Very recently, Citywater was invited to be the "ensemble-in-residence" at Sac State, where we will work with student composers and performers developing new chamber music.
Citywater is planning a phenomenal year. In 2018-19, we plan to offer three distinct programs of the newest, best modern classical chamber music. We're commissioning new works, engaging with very special guest artists, and planning our first studio recording! We're looking to our donors for help with concert costs, and some advertising for those concerts in nearby areas that are new for Citywater. After all, Sacramento can't keep us for itself all the time! We also need help to cover recording and mastering costs of the upcoming CD. Once finished, we'll have some of the only recordings of any of these pieces on earth. We can't wait, and know you want to be a part of the action.
Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Unrestricted - Renting the hall, renting/moving/tuning the piano and percussion equipment. This is a pivotal part of this season. We're heading into bigger, more prestigious (and more expensive to rent) venues.
  2. Funding: Unrestricted - Printing posters and programs. In-kind donations would be great too! Also volunteers to run around hanging posters and getting our name out there!
  3. Funding: Unrestricted - Recording the concert and recording sessions of each program's bigger works. We intend to use the terrific Living Sound engineers. Grammy, maybe?
  4. Funding: Unrestricted - Paying the member artists and guest artists. We have a great set of players lined up, but they don't come cheap. We will be putting most of our budget towards supporting our artists.
  5. Funding: Unrestricted - More money, please!
Our board President, Dan Sackheim, participated in multiple planning meetings leading to the formal organization of Citywater in 2008 and has served as president of the board of directors from the time that status was attained. His vision for Citywater continues to be to support the development and continuing strong and active presence of a professional music ensemble focused on the performance of contemporary classical music in the Sacramento area. It is also to provide local composers, as well those from outside the region, access to a highly skilled ensemble of musicians dedicated to performing such music. Finally, it is for Citywater to serve an educational role, performing for students in schools, and also educating the general public about contemporary classical music through carefully planned concerts featuring varying combinations of instruments, melodic and tonal qualities, with discussion of these features incorporated into the concerts. Dan currently serves on the advisory boards of the Sacramento Baroque Soloists and the New Millenium Concert Series at California State University, Sacramento, as well as Citywater. He also serves on the board of directors of a statewide professional organization and as a member of two appointed state boards related to public education. Over the past 35 years he has held leadership roles in a number of other non-profit organizations. For the past 14 years he has been an educational program consultant for the California Department of Education, focusing on developing public schools for at-risk/at-promise youth. He has also previously served as the lead policy analyst, legislative representative, public information officer, and lead writer for several other state agencies, as well as a public school teacher. He intends to continue to provide structural support for Citywater, publicity, and fundraising. Dan will also continue to serve as liaison between Citywater and other arts and educational organizations.