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A Brief History

First Symphony

Symphony of the Redwoods has been bringing live classical music to the Mendocino Coast since 1983. During this time, the Symphony has evolved from a small community ensemble into the outstanding orchestra it is today, attracting fabulous musicians and world-class soloists. With his commitment to musical excellence, Conductor Allan Pollack has energized musicians and audiences alike and has played a significant role in developing and sustaining musical life on the North Coast.

Symphony of the Redwoods

1983: The Symphony begins as a College of the Redwoods course entitled Redwoods Chamber Orchestra, taught by Tyler Lincoln and Marcia Sloane. Renamed Symphony of the Redwoods in 1984.

1983–1988: 2-4 concert sets per season conducted by Tyler Lincoln, Walter Green, and Allan Pollack, including collaborations with the College of the Redwoods Chorus, directed by Carolyn Steinbuck.

1989: Allan Pollack becomes Music Director; SoR acquires 501(c)3 nonprofit status. 1989–present: 3-4 concert sets per season, including holiday and pops concerts, Sing-Along Messiahs, collaborations with College of the Redwoods and Redwood Community Choruses, and performances at South Coast and Anderson Valley locations.

Opus Chamber Music Series

1988–2018: The Symphony's Opus Chamber Music Series commences, offering 4 concerts per season and providing local and visiting musicians with opportunities for small-ensemble performance.

2018–present: Opus merges with Fort Bragg Center for the Arts, offering 8 concerts per season with a performer roster including nationally known soloists and ensembles. Coordinator Eva von Bahr.

Programs for Youth

2001- present: Children's Concerts – annual orchestral and chamber music performances at Fort Bragg and Mendocino elementary and middle schools.

2002–2010: Symphony of the Redwoods Youth Programs for young musicians throughout Mendocino County:

  • Redwood Youth Orchestra
  • After-School String Classes
  • Inland Youth String Ensemble
  • Jughandle Summer String Camp
  • Redwood Youth Summer String Camp
  • 2018-present: Bring-a-Parent Program encourages parents to bring their children to Symphony concerts, with every adult accompanied by a student 18 years or under admitted at no charge.

    Adult Education Programs

    1991–2009: Symphony-sponsored Chamber Music Workshops offering coaching and performance opportunities for Symphony and other musicians.

    2013-2017: Symphony becomes the non-profit fiscal sponsor of Navarro River String Camp, a residential music workshop in Sonoma County for adult players of violin, viola, and cello.

    2019-present – Symphony pre-concert lectures commence, continuing online during the pandemic.







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