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San Bernardino Symphony 2017-18 Season to Have Audiences Seeing Stars

San Bernardino Symphony
“The San Bernardino Symphony fosters a love of music, excites the spirit, and enriches our diverse community and region through live orchestral performances and music education.”

San Bernardino Symphony 2017-18 Season to Have Audiences Seeing Stars

San Bernardino, CA – The region’s longest-running professional symphony is preparing to open their 89th season at the California Theatre of the Performing Arts. The brochures are now ready and the box office is open for season ticket sales.

Themed “Vistas and Horizons,” the music chosen this season will celebrate the broad landscape of orchestral music – from classical to contemporary – with a star-studded line-up of featured performers from Broadway and Opera stages, along with amazing dancers, premiere music, and a few special surprises.  In addition, this season the Symphony is offering an exciting sixth Special Event evening, Patricia Ward Kelly’s one-woman show, “Gene Kelly: The Legacy.”


An additional bit of star power will originate on the podium as the Symphony welcomes five dynamic guest conductors to lead concerts uniquely suited to their individual styles.

“After nearly two decades, we are holding a formal music director search as part of a number of significant changes being considered at the Symphony,” said San Bernardino Symphony Board of Directors President Dean McVay. “We have loved and appreciated our time with Maestro Fetta, and look forward to many future concerts with him at the Redlands Bowl. As we look forward to our 90th season and its contribution to the renaissance of our entire community, we are doing all we can to engage both current and new audiences. We believe this season does just that.”

The Symphony’s diverse search committee, which includes arts and community leaders, orchestra members, and the Symphony Board, will be looking at conductors from throughout the US and abroad, and will make the final selection with input from members of the audience and community.

“We are searching for a new music director who can both challenge the Symphony’s outstanding orchestra and connect with our rapidly evolving audience,” said McVay. “For this reason, we are including season ticket holders in the final decision. They are among our greatest supporters and their opinions mean a great deal to us.”

Season ticket holders will be provided with an opportunity to complete a survey following each concert performance, then at the end of the season, each will be given an additional opportunity to rank their selections. McVay believes the up-coming season will inspire the best possible talent, leading to the unveiling of the new music director in time for the opening of the Symphony’s 90th season.


The Symphony’s 2017-18 season opening actually spans two days. It will begin Friday, October 6 at the Clara and Allen Gresham Gallery with a pre-concert event featuring nine works by internationally acclaimed artist Simon Bull inspired by the premiere piece the orchestra will perform to begin its 89th season.

The following evening, October 7, the orchestra will perform “Musical Horizons,” featuring the Southern California premiere of three-time Emmy award-winning composer John Wineglass’s Big Sur: The Night Sun.

“Last season, we presented our first regional premiere, and this year, we’re incredibly fortunate to be able to do it again,” said McVay.

“John’s music is as evocative as it is cutting edge, conjuring images of beautiful natural landscapes. We were extremely excited when he agreed to bring his ensemble to San Bernardino. This is going to be an unforgettable evening!”

Wineglass characterizes the piece as a “symphonic tone poem” inspired by the poetry of Robinson Jeffers. This piece will include four special guest artists including Marcie Chapa, world percussionist; Emiliano Campobello, native flute; Jayson Fann, world percussionist who will be playing a 6-foot redwood tree drum that he constructed for this program; and Kanyon Sayers-Rood, Native American singer from the Costanoan Ohlone and Chumash Tribes.

In addition to Wineglass’s new composition, the opening concert will include Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, and Stravinsky’s The Firebird.

On December 2, 2017, the Symphony will update its traditional winter fare with “Holiday Scenes,” featuring Andrew Lloyd Weber protégés Bill Hutton and Dale Kristen and outstanding local choir, Pro Musica, from Loma Linda Academy. Special pre-concert activities, including strolling carolers, will begin at 6:30 p.m. to lend a little extra sparkle to the evening’s festivities.

“Symphonic Landscapes” will be presented on February 10, 2018, featuring acclaimed saxophonist Michael Couper performing Tomasi’s Saxophone Concerto. Also on the concert playbill are Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances.

The second half of the February 10 show will feature a musical tribute to Gene Kelly with music by Herman, Brown, Gershwin, and Bernstein and special remarks by Patricia Ward Kelly, the iconic dancer/choreographer’s wife and biographer. Two back-to-back abbreviated versions of this concert will be performed February 9 for over 3,400 local students.

On March 24, 2018, audiences will enjoy a “View from the Stage” featuring operas and overtures from Mozart performed by the incomparable internationally-renowned Grammy-nominated baritone, Rod Gilfry. Also on the playbill is Ibert’s Homage a Mozart.

Then on April 21, the Symphony will present their first Season Extra, “Gene Kelly – The Legacy: An Evening with Patricia Ward Kelly.” Legendary dancer, director and choreographer Gene Kelly brought astonishing grace and athleticism to the movies. His engaging onscreen personality is so accessible we feel like we know him. In fact, we know very little about the man who created some of the most iconic moments in film history.

Patricia Ward Kelly will take us behind the scenes in this unique one-woman performance and share a deeply moving and intimate portrait of the innovative artist, with rare and familiar film clips, previously unreleased audio recordings, personal memorabilia, and insights culled from her hours of interviews and conversations with her husband.

On May 5, 2017, the Symphony willl close the season with a “Cinco de Mayo Celebration” with special guest conductor Sonia Marie De Leon de Vega. The concert will also include a special dance element vis a vis the Inland Pacific Ballet’s modernistic interpretation of Copland’s Appalachian Spring. In addition, the winner of the Symphony’s inaugural Concerto Competition will perform at the closing concert.

All these concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-concert “Meet the Composers” lecture at 6:30 p.m. provided by actors from the Inland Valley Repertory Theatre Company.

“We are proud to offer our valued audience such a beautiful and diverse season which, and we encourage patrons to secure their tickets as soon as possible to ensure seat availability,” said McVay. “The mission of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra is to foster a love of music, excite the spirit, and enrich our diverse community and region, so this special season our concerts will, indeed, be more thrilling, our guest artists more exciting, and, we sincerely hope, your concert experience will be more meaningful than ever before!”


Season and single tickets are available now and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at (909) 381-5388, and, with extremely limited availability at the Theatre on the date of each event. As noted, 2017-18 Season Ticket Holders will  participate in the final selection of the artistic director.

“Buy a season ticket if you want to be assured of a seat. We are sure to sell out this year,” McVay added.

Single ticket prices range from $25 to $60; students and military with ID are always $10.  Contact the box office to obtain a new season brochure. All regular season concerts are performed at the historic California Theatre of the Performing Arts, 562 W. 4th Street, San Bernardino.

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