By Dr. Mark Elfont
The Santa Clarita Philharmonic, a community orchestra comprised of amateur, retired, professional, semi-professional, and student musicians, is now in its fifth year of presenting concerts. The mission of the Santa Clarita Philharmonic is to preserve the art of orchestral music while providing the opportunity for musicians to have a rewarding outlet for their talent. The Santa Clarita Philharmonic is dedicated to the enhanced appreciation and understanding of orchestral music in the Santa Clarita Valley and the surrounding communities. The orchestra maintains an open-door policy for musicians to play, learn and perform for others. Through this shared experience musicians realize self-potential, a spirit of generosity and the potential for growth. The orchestra is committed to ensuring that the younger population of the community has the opportunity to experience classical music by scheduling concerts on Sunday afternoons so that families are able to attend.
The Santa Clarita Philharmonic started rehearsing with 20 or so musicians in February 2013. By February 2014 the orchestra presented its first concert with 38 volunteer musicians on stage and an audience of over 275. As word of the orchestra spread through the community, we continued to attract volunteer musicians who provided the orchestra with a fuller sound. Donations and grants have permitted the orchestra to expand by offering stipends to local professional musicians to “fill in” missing parts. At our most recent concert on December 10, 2017, the orchestra had 60 musicians on stage. That concert also featured the 75-voice award-winning Valencia High School Choir.
After four years of concerts at the Hart High School Auditorium, the Santa Clarita Philharmonic moved to the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons. The move to the PAC has provided the orchestra with a marvelous venue to showcase its presentation of orchestral music.
One of the most rewarding features of the Santa Clarita Philharmonic is our annual Student Concerto Competition. Each season, students from all junior and senior high schools in the Santa Clarita Valley are invited to audition for the opportunity to perform with the orchestra at its spring concert. Over the past three years, four talented young musicians have wowed audiences with beautiful performances. Two students will be featured as winners of the Student Concerto Competition at our concert on June 3, 2018.
The community is welcome to join us for our final concert of the 2017-2018 season on Sunday afternoon, June 3, 2018. The concert will feature works by Reznicek, Sullivan, and Schumann, as well as our Student Concerto Competition winners, Samantha Anderson performing the Fantasie Flute Concerto by Hue, and Samea Derrick performing the Cello Concerto by Elgar. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. For tickets, go to www.CanyonsPAC.com or call (661) 362-5304. For more information, check our website at www.scphilharmonic.org.