Treasure in the Foothills

Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestra strikes chord with region’s music lovers
By: Don Chaddock, The Telegraph
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Sell-out crowds have been a hallmark of the Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestra since its formation five years ago and organizers expect more of the same as they plan this season’s concerts, which kick off on Saturday, Sept. 27. “We perform at the Jill Solberg Performing Arts Theater at Folsom High School and capacity at that hall is right about 700 people,” said Carol Hoge, executive director of the symphony. “All of the concerts have had a full house since the first concert. That’s quite a feat and we’re very proud of that.” With the new performing arts center planned for construction at Folsom Lake College, the future looks bright. “While it’s not a done deal, we are looking forward to calling that our new home,” Hoge said. The orchestra is a nonprofit organization with ticket sales accounting for more than half of its revenue. The rest of their funding comes from individual and business contributions, she said. An earlier start time for concerts, now 7:30 p.m., should encourage attendees to explore Folsom and be a boon for tourism, according to Hoge. “We regard ourselves as a regional orchestra,” she said. “We have patrons come from Auburn, Grass Valley, Placerville, Roseville and Sacramento. Folsom is such a lovely place to visit. We hope our patrons enjoy dining and some of the (other) things Folsom has to offer.” The first concert will feature violinist Anita Felix performing Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G Minor with the orchestra under the direction of Maestro Michael Neumann. “We have a true treasure in the foothills,” Hoge said. “The performances are (of) a professional level. (Neumann) has been our conductor since the first concert and he is of exquisite caliber.” Folsom Mayor Eric King sees the orchestra as a real benefit for the community. “The Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestra enriches Folsom’s cultural arts scene through top quality performances of beautiful instrumental music,” King said. “Several months ago I had the pleasure of serving as the orchestra’s guest conductor as the musicians played ‘Stars and Stripes Forever.’ I’ve attended several performances and like all the other music lovers in the audience, I appreciate the opportunity to enjoy a symphony experience so close to home.” The Telegraph’s Don Chaddock can be reached at or post a comment at === Saturday, Sept. 27 Max Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 Anita Felix, Violinist Saturday, Dec. 20 Also special matinee on Sunday, Dec. 21 Holiday Concert Valley Choral Society and the Folsom Civic Ballet Saturday, April 4 Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 Natsuki Fukasawa, Pianist Saturday, May 23 “Great Treasures from the Opera” Maureen Mette, soprano; Brielle Morgan, mezzo-soprano; Jaeho Lee, tenor; Stephen Janzen, bass All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., except for the matinee. Info: