January 2021 eNotes
Dear Friend,

Welcome to January 2021 and a fresh new page in our Auburn Symphony season! Our resilience over more than 30 years has always given us perspective and an ability to bend as needed. With the New Year, I have taken a deep breath to reflect on the progress we have made in this season so far, and then to look forward on our plans to wrap up the last months of the 2020/2021 season.

You have only to read the recent flurry of emails in your inbox to tally up all the ambitious projects completed and important announcements made this season, particularly in the last month. Did you and your family enjoy our signature documentary, Auburn Symphony: Scaling the Heights during the holidays? It's a rich, intimate story that we are so proud to share, and we hope you will too. Many thanks to the sponsors who made it possible: Neva Kesselring & Gerald Rico, Auburn Symphony League, and Reese Browning & Old Town Pizza! Related to that story, have you purchased your CD of An Alpine Symphony from our live performance recorded at Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, in May 2017? You can easily order them online and all copies are personally signed by Maestro Peter Jaffe. A special shout-out to Victor and Jeanne Pietrzak for their loving care with that project. A video of the performance is currently in the works and will be released in the not-too-distant future . . . look for it!
Winding down our look at the calendar year, I would be remiss to not thank each and every one of you for your year-end generosity. It certainly looks to be a record of November-December giving from donations made through Circle of Friends, Giving Tuesday, our "Sign the Card" campaign, CD sales, and simply gifts from the heart that joyfully showed up in the mail between Christmas and New Year's Day! I promise you we continue to be careful guardians of these treasures for the Symphony's current and future needs as we further the mission to "enrich and engage our community, across all generations."
Speaking of all generations, we are pleased to report that we have risen to the challenge of continuing to safely serve our youngest musicians. We are accepting applications through January 7th from youth aged 8 to 18 years for the annual Young Artists Competition. The competition is set to take place with safety protocols in the Auburn State Theatre on February 7th. Following our highly successful video of the winners' recital last August, we plan to video this year's recital on April 11th. Once again, you will be invited to relax in your own home to enjoy the talents of these dedicated and hardworking young people who want only to share their music with us!
Our "Symphony Goes to Preschool" program has historically introduced toddlers to basic concepts and sound through music, and this year's limitations have not held us back. Instead of in-person visits, we are pivoting to a script of curriculum-rich short video segments that will be rolled out in conjunction with the Placer County Office of Education in a few months. It is most exciting that this new opportunity will allow us to increase our reach (and assist local teachers) in a way we could not previously have imagined. The "Mr. Rogers" style of storytelling has been praised by teachers, and video recording will begin this month with our own Maestro Jaffe in the key role! Stay tuned for progress reports and plans for reaching out to our older "Symphony Goes to School" audiences. It will look dramatically different, but it's still happening.
And, speaking of longstanding institutions that are still happening, there WILL be a Gala this year! Plan on it at the end of March--exact date will be announced soon. It will be a virtual Gala, so you can be completely comfortable attending and there will be . . . wait for it . . . MUSIC! Our largest fundraiser of the year will bring us all together again in a completely safe way, and deliver fun and MUSIC! Yes, indeed, the future looks bright. Remember - end of March!
Kicking off this January message with a focus on the future, our Board member spotlight resumes this month and introduces you to our very own rocket scientist, Kurt Simon. Kurt and his wife Betty moved to Auburn in 1998 when they retired from the aerospace industry in Los Angeles where he first worked on rocket engines, then computer-based satellite data systems, and finally led a division of 3,000 engineers. He is a self-described "mostly left-brained analytic type with an undying love for the beauty of serious and jazz music." As a young man, while his friends were listening to rock and roll, Kurt's first records were by Errol Garner, Stravinsky, and Debussy.
He tells people that he and Betty (now a member of the Symphony League) have "gone to heaven without having to die first" because one of the most spectacular aspects of living here is the Auburn Symphony. Kurt also tells us that the Music Director and musicians of the Auburn Symphony frequently bring him to tears of joy. He considers them as talented and inspiring as the years he attended the LA Philharmonic under the direction of Zubin Mehta (and even welcomed the renowned Maestro to his workplace!) Kurt has served on our Board of Directors the last three years, and is terrifically excited about the future of Auburn Symphony. We consider ourselves fortunate to have both sides of his brain and his undying love of music working hard for the Symphony!

I leave you with this thought for 2021: acclaimed international musician and Nobel Prize-winning composer Wynton Marsalis recently said that music unites us, "it makes us feel less alone . . . that is its power and it is deep inside of us." It is comforting to know that together we have guided the Auburn Symphony through the challenges of the past year, and we will begin to write exciting expectations on this new page. We can feel the power of community deep inside of us as we go about our 2021 journey. We are here if you want to know more about what we are doing, and always able to help with your gifts whenever you are moved.
Thank you so very much for being here with us. Stay well!

Stephanie Snyder, President
Auburn Symphony Board of Directors

2020/2021 Season Signature Sponsors

Dr. Dwight & Mary Odom
Bob & Stephanie Snyder

2020/2021 Concertmaster Sponsors

Bud & LaRaine Beadles
Dean Prigmore & Patrice Taylor
Kurt & Betty Simon

2020/2021 Educational Outreach Sponsors

Auburn Symphony
Box 74, Auburn 95604
985 Lincoln Way, #102, Auburn 95603

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