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Coronavirus Resources

The ACSO board and staff send support and sympathy to all our members who have cancelled or postponed concerts and other programming. As COVID-19 continues to spread, orchestras and musicians are anticipating financial loss. We join the League of America Orchestras in urging our members to tell Congress that orchestras and musicians need access to federal COVID-19 economic relief! 

March 14, 2020: Paid Leave Provisions Included in Bipartisan Federal COVID-19 Relief Package

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NEA Awards $290,000 in Grants to 9 ACSO Members

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced $27.3 million in grants as part of its first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2020.

“Grants from the NEA truly support ACSO's vision of a California classical music landscape that is vibrant, healthy, diverse, and connected to the communities it serves. The NEA is truly the lifeblood of the arts in our country,” said ACSO Executive Director Sarah Weber.

Eight ACSO organizational members were awarded grants in the Art Works category, the NEA’s largest funding category that supports projects in 13 artistic disciplines and fields ranging from arts education to visual arts. One ACSO organization member was awarded a grant in the Challenge America category.

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Up & Down the Scale: July through September 2019

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made July through September 2019. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected]


Aubrey Bergauer has stepped down from her role as Executive Director of the California Symphony. She plans to to deploy her revenue-generating and audience-building strategies in greater service to the field as an advisor and consultant to other arts organizations.
The Santa Rosa Symphony, as it enters its 92nd season, announced four new appointments to its board of directors. They are Garth Bixler, Pam Chanter, Barb Spangler and Mark Wardlaw. New board officers are as follows: Al Seidenfeld, Chairman of the Board; Corinne Byrd, Vice-Chairman; Sean Pryden, Treasurer; Linda Castiglioni, Secretary; and Jamei Haswell, Immediate Past Chairman.
The Las Vegas Philharmonic announced that Christina Castellanos has been appointed as Principal Flute.  A member of the orchestra since 2001, Castellanos joined the LVP when she was a senior at UNLV.  Castellanos has played with opera legends Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, and Renee Fleming. Castellanos is currently principal flute for both the Salt Lake Symphony and the Nevada POPS and plays flute and piccolo as the first call substitute for Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, Ballet West, Orchestra at Temple Square for The Tabernacle Choir and the Boise Philharmonic. 
Marin Symphony Association announced that with its expansion of Pops programming, Stuart Chafetz has been appointed to the new position of Principal Pops Conductor of the Marin Symphony. Chafetz also serves as the Principal Pops Conductor of the Columbus Symphony and is increasingly in demand with orchestras across the continent. This season he will be on the podium in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Naples, Philly Pops, and Pittsburgh. 

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Up and Down the Scale: April through June 2019

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made April through June 2019. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected]


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ACSO Member Projects Receive Over $400,000 in California Arts Council Grants

The California Arts Council has invested a projected $24.5 million in arts funding for 2019/2020, and it will fund more than 1,300 grants in support of strengthening California’s arts sector. This year's projected total award amount marks an increase of more than $8.1 million over last year's investment and represents the second highest investment in statewide arts programming, surpassed only by the 2000/2001 fiscal year.   

Awarded project designs span the whole of the arts and cultural fields, with funding offered in 14 unique grant program areas. ACSO members have received grants in six categories totaling more than $400,000 for their incredible projects! Please join us in congratulating ACSO members Carmel Bach Festival, Pasadena Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Long Beach Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Music in the Mountains, Pacific Symphony, Redlands Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, California Symphony, Mill Valley Philharmonic, San Diego Youth Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Monica Youth Orchestra, Golden State Youth Orchestra, and Youth Orchestras of Fresno! More on their projects below, courtesy of the California Arts Council.

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Summer Music Festivals Abound in California

Explore Baroque to Contemporary Compositions in Beautiful Settings
Festivals Are a Unique Way to Experience Classical Music

The days are getting warmer and longer, and for classical music fans that means one thing: it's festival season! From June through August, California comes alive with festivals. Each summer, artists from all over the world flock to picturesque California communities to experience a unique blend of music-making, camaraderie, and fun. ACSO is pleased to announce this summer's offerings from our festival members, highlighting a vital and vibrant way for artists and audiences alike to deeply engage in classical music.
No two are exactly alike, yet each shares one common thread: a love and respect for composers, musicians, and the communities in which they are rooted. In every corner of the Golden State, there are opportunities to experience world-class performances and connect with the artists who bring these great works of art to life. The nine festivals below (listed in alphabetical order) showcase a rich and impressive spectrum of live music in delightful destinations. 

Michael Morgan, Bear Valley Music Festival

Bear Valley Music Festival, Bear Valley, July 14-August 4 - Maestro Michael Morgan conducts another dazzling set of concerts in the High Sierra, including Ravel's Tzigane and Florence Price's 2nd violin concerto with soloist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Mozart's Double Piano Concerto with soloists Olga Kern and Vladislav Kern, the Pulitzer-winning musical Of Thee I Sing by George and Ira Gershwin, Beethoven's Fourth Symphony and Fourth Piano Concerto with soloist Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner, and other orchestral favorites. Non-classical concerts include tributes to Carole King and James Taylor, Dolly Parton, Neil Diamond and Billy; (209) 831-0554
Carmel Bach Festival, Carmel-by-the-Sea, July 13-27 - The 82nd season presents more than 40 events, including main concerts and recitals in venues throughout Carmel, Monterey, Seaside, and Pebble Beach. Repertoire includes Haydn's Creation, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, film music including a new work by Mark Mancina, and guest artists Jason Vieaux, guitar, and actress Francesca Faridany who will narrate Mendelssohn's music to A Midsummer Night's Dream.  "The 2019 Carmel Bach Festival celebrates the spirit of creativity with two weeks of concerts centered on artistic and spiritual enrichment, creation and joy!" said Paul Goodwin, artistic director and principal conductor.; (831) 624-1521

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San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra Receives ACSO’s Sinclair Leadership Award

The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) announced today that the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra is the recipient of the 2019 Kris Sinclair Leadership Award for its successful implementation of a new strategic direction, which has led to impressive growth in concert attendance and community engagement over the past three years.
This award is named in honor of Kris Sinclair, ACSO’s longtime former executive director, and is given to an ACSO Organizational Member that demonstrates recent and measurable leadership initiatives by its staff and/or board in one or more of the following areas: finance, governance, staff development, audience development, education, or community engagement.
“The San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra is a great example of how orchestras that have been in operation for decades can still continue to evolve and grow and provide relevant and meaningful art experiences for their diverse audiences,” said Sarah Weber, executive director of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras. “In the last few years, the leadership of the orchestra has programmed innovative concerts, provided music education for thousands of at-risk youth, and increased community awareness and ticket sales through expanded media coverage. They did hard work to make a plan for improvement, and that plan is yielding amazing results."
With the Sinclair Award comes a $5,000 prize, which the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra will use to install new software for ticketing and to train staff to effectively utilize the system.

Your Action Needed to Oppose NEA, NEH, and CPB Budget Cuts!

Call to Action from Americans for the Arts:
For a third straight year, the current administration has proposed to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB). It is time to ask Congress—as it has done in the past two fiscal years—to again reject this short-sighted budget request in a bipartisan, bicameral manner, and increase funding for the Endowments. 
Use this easy tool to contact your member of Congress today to urge them to reject the president's proposal.
Saving the cultural agencies happened because thousands of arts advocates made their voices heard on Capitol Hill. Congress not only dismissed these initial calls for termination, but in fact gave steady increases in funding to several cultural agencies. Check out a brief history of budgetary proposals and final funding for these agencies for the past three years. 
Also, be sure to check out Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch's statement regarding the president's budget proposal.


Meet the ACSO staff

We have some new faces at ACSO, so we thought this was the perfect time to (re)introduce the team working for your professional service organization. We asked each team member to tell us what they like most about working at ACSO and what kind of music, classical or otherwise, is their favorite. 

Sarah Weber, Executive Director Some of you may know Sarah in her previous ACSO role as membership and development manager. She stepped into the executive director role in January and is excited to lead the organization into its 50th year and beyond. Sarah’s favorite thing about ACSO is the passion that our members bring to their work and the camaraderie and support they bring to each other. Sarah’s favorite classical composer is Vivaldi because his fiery red hair matches his music, making it the most fun to play.

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Up and Down the Scale: January through March 2019

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made January through March 2019. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected]


Festival Mozaic named Jeri Corgill, a Festival Mozaic board member, as interim executive director. With a varied background in finance, public policy, city government, travel and tourism and nonprofit consulting, Corgill will lead Festival Mozaic until the board’s search for a permanent executive director is concluded.

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