Folsom Lake Symphony
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Organization Details


For residents at senior and assisted living facilities, experiencing live classical music can be challenging. To increase access to our senior community, we bring our music to seniors through small ensemble performances at these facilities. We also hold craft activities such as flower arrangement classes with our symphony recordings. In addition, the symphony sponsors tickets for seniors to attend our matinee concerts.
Program Successes
The feedback from the seniors who participate has been consistently favorable, as they share their symphony experiences with friends, visiting relatives and symphony personnel. The joy of having classical music in their lives (some for the first time) is clearly happening. In addition, resident management report higher energy levels among seniors who attend our events.
During the pandemic, we shifted our efforts to provide musical content and engagement through social media. We successfully implemented our "Meet Our Musicians" and "Folsom Lake Symphony at Home" video series for YouTube and Facebook. The "Meet Our Musicians" series focused on individual musicians discussing their background and performing a short piece. The "Folsom Lake Symphony at Home" series featured musician performances. These "mosaic" videos ranged from small ensembles to full symphony performances. In addition, we created our first virtual holiday concert.
Program Successes
For our video presentations, we produced over thirty "Meet Our Musicians" and "Folsom Lake Symphony at Home" videos to provide comfort to our community during the uncertain times of the pandemic. Community feedback on our videos continues to be very positive. For our virtual holiday concert we had over 4000 views after 3 weeks of our December 2020 release.
To increase access to classical music among the youth in our community, we bring in our concert guest artists to perform and hold Q & A sessions with local high school students. We also bring in small ensembles of symphony musicians to perform at elementary schools. Visits by both our guest artists and symphony musicians are highly interactive, educational and rewarding.
Program Successes
Our school program continues to receive positive feedback from students. Here is just a sampling of notes from 2nd and 3rd graders from Theodore Judah Elementary School in November, 2019:

Thank you for performing for us. The music felt so calm. When I first heard it, I felt like I was in paradise, smiling, being happy in the morning, walking down the streets joyfully saying hello to everybody, and having a very good time in Europe. I especially like Carol of the Bells. It was so fun.
Achintya, 3rd grade

Thank you for performing in our school. I liked the way you played Jupiter. I liked it when you asked us to imagine us flying in space. I loved your songs.
Varenya, 3rd grade

I like having you played the National Anthem. The way you played was so good. The videos you would find on the internet of the National Anthem would not be as good as your music.
Ryan, 3rd grade

Thank you for performing at our school. I like the way you played Jupiter, Beauty and the Beast, and Carol of the Bells. My favorite part is when my teacher rang the bells in Carol of the Bells.
Mantra, 3rd grade

Thank you for performing at our school. I liked the way you played Ode to Joy. It was funny when our teacher rang the bell with you! Will you come again?
Melody, 3rd grade

Thank you for performing at our school. I like the way you played Beauty and the Beast, the National Anthem, and Carol of the Bells. Thank you for preparing a game for us. The instruments sounded beautiful. It was fun spending time with you.
Mythri, 3rd grade

Thank you for performing at our school. I like the way you played the National Anthem. It made me feel proud, victorious, and triumphant.
Charlotte, 3rd grade

You were nice when you came here to Theodore Judah. I liked it when you played the guessing game. It was fun. I felt happy when you played the songs. My favorite part was when the teachers came up, and you guys played a song. In 4th grade, I want to play the cello.
Anjali, 3rd grade

I LOVED Ode to Joy! I hum it all the time. But my mom hates it when I hum. I play piano.
Rieger, 2nd grade

I liked it when the teachers came on stage and rang the bells when the Christmas carol was playing.
Sachi, 2nd grade

Thank you for coming the Theodore Judah. I liked everything about it. You guys are very talented at music.
Akshara, 2nd grade

I liked the music, and I liked [the Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso, or] the Cuddle My Teddy Bear song. It was amazing. You guys are so good. I was surprised when I heard how young you were when you first started playing. Thank you for the music.
Samrith, 2nd grade
The Folsom Lake Symphony's mission to inspire and create community through the power of symphonic music starts with the children in the Folsom Lake Region. The Symphony holds a special family concert tailored for children . This enables new audiences to experience the joy of live, classical music and plants the seeds for future generations of classical music lovers. This concert is lighthearted, interactive, highly educational, and fun. An integral part of the experience is an instrumental "petting zoo" where children have the opportunity to touch and play the instruments of an orchestra with the guidance of symphony musicians.

In addition to the general youth population, we make special efforts to promote the family concert to underserved groups in Sacramento and El Dorado counties. The symphony sponsors tickets for students at Title 1 schools and other community service organizations. Groups that have been sponsored include El Dorado County Foster Care Program, Center for Violence Free Relationships, CASA (court advocate program for kids), El Dorado Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Boys and Girls Club, Theodore Judah Elementary School, Camino Elementary School, and Markham Middle School, among others.
Program Successes
- Our Family Concert has become an annual sell out event from a combination of general public tickets sales and symphony sponsored tickets for underserved groups.
- Feedback from children and adults alike continues to be extremely positive.
- In addition, the joy on the children's faces at the instrument petting zoo and their participation during the concert continues to motivate the musicians and volunteers in their community service efforts.
In addition to our five concert programs (seven performances) and our annual Family concert at the Harris Center, we perform two free outdoor community concerts a season to make live, symphonic music accessible to members of our community. Over 3,000 people attend our outdoor concerts each season. We perform at the Steven Young Amphitheater at the El Dorado Hills Town Center in the Fall and at the Folsom Historic District Amphitheater in the Spring.
Program Successes
- Our outdoor family concerts continue to be a fan favorite.
- Attendance continues to grow and attract new audiences.
- For a significant part of the audience, this was the first live, symphonic performance they attended.
- The goal of the program to make classical music more accessible to families and the general community is being realized.
The Folsom Lake Symphony presents five concert programs per year. Two of our programs (Holiday and Pops programs) are performed twice, bringing the total number of performances to seven per year. Music Director and Conductor Peter Jaffe designs varied programs that include great symphonic and orchestral works, concertos with soloists, music from opera and ballet, themed and seasonal celebrations, authentic stage and movie scores. Maestro Jaffe often engages the audience with presentations about the musical and historical significance of compositions performed.
Program Successes
Since the Folsom Lake Symphony's first performance in 2004, the quality of the orchestra and the positive impact on the community has continued to grow each year. Our program successes over the past few years include securing the services of Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Jon Nakamatsu, who performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 during his two engagements; shipping in an organ to the Harris Center and performing Saint Saens' "Organ" Symphony No. 3 with guest organist Elizabeth Forsyth; collaborating with the drama department at Folsom Lake College and presenting Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet; bringing in a young rising star, Canadian violinist Kerson Leong, who performed the Khachaturian Violin Concerto and Bruch's Scottish Fantasy in a return performance; presenting Broadway stars soprano Lisa Vroman and tenor Doug LaBrecque; several engagements of internationally acclaimed tenor Pasquale Esposito and performing with Grammy-nominated composer and bass trombonist, Chris Brubeck.

Indicative of our program success is the strong community involvement and support as evidenced by our record audience levels; concerts often sell out with our average attendance exceeding 95% of capacity.