Ranch celebrates orchestra’s 25th anniversary

RANCHO SANTA FE — The San Diego Chamber Orchestra celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and Rancho Santa Fe, which is home to one of three venues for the orchestra, is putting together a gala to commemorate the occasion and help raise funds for its community and school programs.
The gala will be held March 28 at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa. There will be a reception, a silent auction and a dinner followed by a live auction and music to “The Heroes.” Bill Menish will serve as auctioneer and local celebrity Kimberly King will serve as emcee.
“It’s going to be a wonderful event,” said Ranch resident Elaine Darwin, who serves on the Executive Committee for the orchestra and is co-chair for the gala assures patrons.
On Feb. 22 the Rancho Santa Fe chapter hosted a “Wine Donation” party at the La Flecha House. The La Flecha House is currently home to the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year as well. Orchestra patrons mingled on the historic home’s patio and were asked to donate a bottle of wine, “Or a check to purchase a nice bottle of wine,” said co-chair Teresa O’Connor. The wine donated will be served at the San Diego Chamber Orchestra before and after performances, which are held at the Del Mar Country Club.
On March 7, Jim Sylvester will host a “Sunset Reception” between 5 and 7 p.m. at his home in The Bridges. “The VIP party is a way to thank patrons, honorary committees, sponsors and past presidents,” Darwin said. “Jim has always been very generous in the past and this will be very special.”
Patrons recently gathered at Del Mar Country Club to hear Haydn’s “The Creation.” More than 60 musicians were involved, including a 28-member choir and three guest artists. Ruben Valenzuela was the guest conductor. “Haydn’s ‘Creation’ isn’t done often,” Darwin said. “But that’s one of the great things about joining the chamber. It exposes us to new music and new experiences.”
Tickets for the remaining three concerts are still available. Tickets at the patron level not only help fund the concerts, but educational outreach programs as well. Through the Frances Hunter Music Memory Program, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra gives local children in the third through sixth grades the opportunity to learn 16 pieces of classical music every year. At a time when there are state budget cutbacks on music programs, the orchestra’s programs are vital to music awareness for today’s youth.
“Tickets at the patron level are tax deductible,” Darwin said. “For tickets at the $300 level, $200 of that is tax deductible. At the $400 level, $300 is tax deductible.”
The next concert event will be March 10 at the Del Mar Country Club. The San Diego Chamber Orchestra will be performing Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
For more information on concerts and tickets, visit the San Diego Chamber Orchestra’s Web site at