Category: Reviews

In Nature’s Realm Review


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Orchestral Color at SoCo Phil’s Season Opener
by Terry McNeill for Classical Sonoma
Saturday, September 30, 2017

A concert with curious repertoire and splashy orchestral color launched the 19th season of the Sonoma County Philharmonic Sept. 30 in Santa Rosa High School’s Auditorium.

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Dreamers & Titans Review


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Mahler “Titan” at SoCo Phil’s Season Finale
by Terry McNeill for Classical Sonoma
Saturday, April 8, 2017

Playing before an audience of 300 in the Santa Rosa High School Auditorium, the orchestra under conductor Norman Gamboa’s baton took moderate tempos throughout, aiming for sonic balance in the score that runs well over 50 minutes. In a departure from local symphonic custom Mr. Gamboa directed from memory, and clearly the Mahler 1 is a special piece for him.

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Overtures & Arias Review


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Sensual Operatic Bon Bons at SoCo Phil Concert
by Alan Bloom for Classical Sonoma
Saturday, November 19, 2016

Music Director Norman Gamboa never fails to come up with interesting programs for his Sonoma County Philharmonic concerts. It was all opera music for the second concert set of the 2016-2017 season Nov. 19 in the Santa Rosa High School Auditorium. From the romantic opening swells of the Berlioz’ Overture to Benvenuto Cellini, the well-rehearsed volunteer musicians gave a thrilling evening of theatrical entertainment.

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Pranksters and Heroes Review


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of ‘Overtures & Arias’


Pranksters & Heroes in SoCo Phil’s Season Opener
by Alan Bloom for Classical Sonoma
Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Sonoma County Philharmonic orchestra prides itself on its informality. There is no dress code for concerts, as you could easily see at their “Pranksters and Heroes” concert Saturday.

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Spanish Gardens Review


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Spanish Splendor in SoCo Phil’s Season Finale
by Terry McNeill for Classical Sonoma
Sunday, April 10, 2016

Two program staples for the Sonoma County Philharmonic have been works of a Latin flavor, and spotlighting local soloists. Conductor Norman Gamboa has mounted intriguing Central American, Mexican and Spanish works for years, and flutist Kathleen Lane Reynolds, pianists Alice Zhu, and trombonist Bruce Chrisp have recently been featured…

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German Idylls Review


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Solo and Ensemble Brass Peal Powerfully in Soco Phil Concert
by Terry McNeill for Classical Sonoma
Saturday, January 23, 2016

Known for its novel programming, the Sonoma County Philharmonic has frequently engaged local soloists. In their Jan. 23 concert, featuring German composers, conductor Norman Gamboa united a rare mid-19th century mini-concerto for trombone with another Sonoma County soloist, Bruce Chrisp…

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American Portraits Review


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La Rocca’s “Crossing” a Minimalist Debut
by Terry McNeill for Classical Sonoma
Saturday, November 14, 2015

Conductor Norman Gamboa is known for innovative programming, especially with Latin-theme music, but in the Nov. 14 concert at Santa Rosa High School’s Performing Arts Hall he chose three familiar works by American composers. But true to form, a new piece from local composer Frank LaRocca was also in the mix.

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Latin Fiesta Review


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Provocative Latin Works Open SoCoPhil’s New Season
by Terry McNeill for Classical Sonoma
Saturday, September 26, 2015

Symphonic concerts with Latin programs usually have Copland’s El Salon Mexico, a suite from Chavez, and perhaps some Lecuana or Nazareth. Leave it to the Sonoma County Philharmonic and conductor Norman Gamboa to go in a different direction in their season-opening Latin Fiesta event…

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Timeless Ballet Review


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Harmonic Convergence in Philharmonic Concert
by Terry McNeill for Classical Sonoma
Saturday, March 28, 2015

Concluding a stellar season March 28 in the Santa Rosa High School Auditorium the Sonoma County Philharmonic played a concert rich in orchestral symmetry, mixed with a piquant flute concerto.

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Lyrical Journey Review


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Length? Heavenly Length at SoCo Phil Concert
by Terry McNeill for Classical Sonoma
Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Bruckner Symphony performance can be a demanding task for both the orchestra and audience, as each of the nine are long and musically wandering. But not all that wander are lost, as the Sonoma County Philharmonic proved in their Feb. 15 concert in the Santa Rosa High School Performing Arts Center.

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