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I’ve been interested to hear your reactions to the question I asked yesterday: How have you heard and seen the San Diego Symphony change over the last several years?
The horns have it, at least so far. Our readers are happy with the tooters in the brass section. William Smith, or “dmopbuff,” had his fingers crossed during an exposed horn solo a couple of years ago and found the section played it perfectly.
On Twitter, @mundungus42 said the symphony’s biggest change for the better has been “hiring world-class musicians like Ben Jaber and Kyle Covington.” Jaber sits in the top seat for horn players in the symphony, and Covington is principal trombone.
“(Can you tell I’m a brass player?)” @mundungus42 added.
Reader Chris Braymen knows that arts groups don’t raise enough money just by the cost of the tickets they sell, and was grateful for the chance to see the symphony last winter:
Hearing Mahler’s 2nd last December was extraordinary. I went in understanding I was going to hear a great piece of music by a great composer. I came out dazzled by the quality of the performance as well. Even with great seats, I’m sure that my ticket price didn’t pay the full cost of what I was privileged to hear, but I’m grateful for the experience, and hope to hear more!
Paul Pierpoint wrote me a note to say he wishes every music lover in San Diego could’ve been at the symphony’s recent pops concert with Dennis DeYoung and his band. “The show was a truly first-rate performance by the Symphony, which is playing better than ever,” he wrote.
Erik Hanson, or “hardcover,” said he was glad to see the story we published earlier this week on the symphony’s big gift from Joan and Irwin Jacobs. He said: “It’s a good background for those who were too young or out of town when the Orchestra was at the low point.”
Hanson also asked about the Jacobses’ support of VOSD. My editor Andrew Donohue provided this link to our most recent 990 tax filing, which shows our annual budget and major donations, including the Jacobses’ support under the “Jewish Community Foundation” header.
Also in the comments on that first story, Christian Hertzog, who often writes about arts for SanDiego.com, speculated about downsides that may come when one donor makes such a large donation. What do you think?
Reader Don Wood submitted a suggestion, too, as the symphony tries to broaden its footprint in San Diego:
He thinks the symphony should get on a moving barge and play concerts around the San Diego Bay.
I will say that I am a huge fan of symphonies on barges, having grown up watching musicians I knew in Victoria, B.C., get on a barge in the middle of the downtown harbor and play a free summer concert. My little fiddler nerd friends and I delighted in the opportunity to conduct the 1812 Overture with the glow-ropes the symphony sold as a fundraiser.
Another interesting thing to consider is what a stable orchestra can provide in a community. I’d guess that the more certain it is that a player will have a professional symphony to sit in, the more chances there are to see other ensembles pop up like Art of Élan and Luscious Noise. A self-professed former classical music skeptic, Evan Schumacher, told us about the Art of Élan model in our Meeting of the Minds event a couple of months ago:
So, what about you? Have you been to a San Diego Symphony concert? Or have you heard some of the other ensembles that our local professional musicians play in, like Art of Élan and Luscious Noise?
Or have you never been and wonder when would be a good time to check out the local classical music scene? Look above — we’ve got a good crew of music lovers among us. Leave a comment below or on Facebook with your thoughts, or your questions, or the thing you’ve never understood about this kind of music. If I can’t find the answer, I bet one of your fellow readers can.
I’m Kelly Bennett, the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at email@example.com or 619.325.0531.
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