Pacific Symphony became a part ofStar Wars history when they participated in the Lucasfilm’s Studio Showcase panel at Star Wars Celebration, Thursday, May 26 in Anaheim, California. Under the baton of five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams, the orchestra performed the live premiere of the new theme from the Disney+ Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
Pacific Chorale opened the Obi-Wan Kenobi segment performing “Duel of the Fates” (from Star Wars:The Phantom Menace) culminating instars Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Hayden Christensen (Darth Vader) walking out on stage to greet the crowd. The original limited series marks a special return for McGregor and Christensen to the Star Wars franchise after their last performance together in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005). You can watch a more in depth interview the co-stars had with Star Wars Celebration host Anthony Carboni here.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy then came on stage to set the scene for a historic musical moment. “So, when we began working on Obi-Wan Kenobi, we were struck by the fact that he didn’t have a theme. How could that be? It is with profound gratitude and excitement I am pleased to announce that you will all now become a part of Star Wars history as the new Obi-Wan theme is played live for the first time ever,” Kennedy said. Maestro Williams received a standing ovation as he came out to conduct Pacific Symphony, with whom many of the musicians have worked with him on projects before.
After the orchestra played the Obi-Wan Theme, John Williams transitioned to Indiana Jones. “I know that this is a Star Wars Celebration but here’s a little piece that’s not Star Wars. But you might know it,” Williams said. The orchestra also performed “Raiders March” from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark and “The Imperial March” from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Star Harrison Ford and filmmakers James Mangold, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall of the upcoming fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise took the stage to unveil an early photo from the film, and to wish composer John Williams a happy 90th birthday. As on all four previous Indiana Jones films, Williams is composing the score for the new film, which opens on June 30, 2023.
It all came to a close when fans started singing happy birthday to him as he left. Congratulations to everyone involved! It was an honor to be a part of that moment with all of you. To read through some of the highlights from the Lucasfilm’s Studio Showcase panel, please click here.
The 2021-22 Season officially comes to a close this month. Thank you for joining us this season. We have loved sharing live experiences with you again. All performances will take place at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, CA this month. Here’s what’s going on. Until we meet again.
BLOCKBUSTER BROADWAY! • June 3-4 at 8 p.m. PDT
It’s a show-tune song and dance extravaganza! Celebrate The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, The Lion King, Waitress, West Side Story, Wicked, Carol King’s Beautiful and more in one thrilling, crowd-pleasing performance. The only thing better than spending an evening at a hit Broadway show is spending an evening with ALL of them. Jessica Hendy, Chelle Denton, Joshua Israel, Scott Coulter and John Boswell will join us in the second half.
Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman.
CINDERELLA – OPERA FOR KIDS! • June 4, 2022 at 10 & 11:30 a.m. PDT
This enchanting rags-to-riches fairy-tale opera adapts Rossini’s sparkling work especially for young audiences. From start to finish, you’ll be swept away by show-stopping vocal fireworks, toe-tapping tunes, high-spirited comedy and colorful costumes — all leading up to a happily-ever-after grand finale!
Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Assistant Conductor Dr. Jacob Sustaita. This concert was rescheduled from Jan. 29 to June 4.
LOBBY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS Join us before the 10 a.m. concert (starting at 9 a.m.) or after the 11:30 concert (starting at 12:15 p.m.) for fun activities in the concert hall lobbies, related to the theme of the opera and exploring the Cinderella story from around the world.
BEETHOVEN’S PIANO CONCERTOS • June 9-11, 2022 at 8 p.m. PDT
An all-Beethoven weekend – in celebration of the iconic composer’s 251th birthday – featuring all five piano concertos with the lavishly talented Alexander Romanovsky. A weekend two years in the making.
Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Maestro Carl St.Clair. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. PDT. The preview talk with Dr. Jacob Sustaita starts at 7 p.m. PDT. You can also listen to the podcast by Classical California KUSC’s Alan Chapman here.
BEETHOVEN’S EMPEROR CONCERTO • June 12, 2022 at 3 p.m. PDT
Pianist Alexander Romanovsky returns to the stage with one of Beethoven’s most beloved works—his Fifth Piano Concerto, “Emperor.” From sheer beauty to dazzling grandeur, the “Emperor” requires extreme virtuosity from its soloist, making it an ideal centerpiece in the hands of the talented Romanovsky.
Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Maestro Carl St.Clair. There will be no preview talk for this matinee performance. The concert will be performed without intermission.
Awe is the only adjective to describe twin piano phenoms, Christina Naughton and Michelle Naughton; watch as they take Mozart’s rarely performed Concerto for Two Pianos to the stage. On the second half, Mahler’s popular Symphony No. 4 evokes memories of youthful innocence and rustic German countryside. We’re also excited to welcome the return of Soprano Cecilia Violetta López in the second half during Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.
Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Maestro Carl St.Clair. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. PDT. The preview talk with Dr. Jacob Sustaita starts at 7 p.m. PDT. You can also listen to the podcast by Classical California KUSC’s Alan Chapman here. This program was originally scheduled for Jan. 6-8, 2022.
MAHLER’S SYMPHONY NO. 4 • June 26, 2022 at 3 p.m. PDT
Inspired by a Bavarian folk poem and a song he wrote, Gustav Mahler’s fourth symphony is an exploration of the idea of heaven from the perspective of a child. Come experience the sunniest of all his symphonies.
PRE-CONCERT MUSIC IN THE LOBBY Chelsea Chaves (soprano) and Dr. Cheryl Lin Fielding (piano) will be performing songs by Gustav Mahler from 2:30-2:50 p.m. His love of vocal music led him to incorporate it into some of his greatest works, including his Symphony No. 4.
Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Maestro Carl St.Clair. Doors open at 2 p.m. PDT. There is no preview talk for this concert. The concert will be performed without intermission. This program was originally scheduled for Jan. 9.
As many orchestras across our nation celebrate a year of live concerts, here at Pacific Symphony, YOU are the celebration.
Whether you attended a concert, special event, volunteered, made a gift, donated tickets or a little bit of each, you made dreams come true.
From the orchestra members on stage to the tens of thousands of children and adults served in the community, you fulfilled dreams through your dedication to Pacific Symphony. Your support is an investment in education, the arts and the people of Orange County. In fact, your dedication has inspired renowned Orange County philanthropist and Pacific Symphony Board Member, Joann Leatherby, to match your next gift.
Through your support of Pacific Symphony’s OperaFOCUS, you made dreams come true for these talented young singers as they performed next to world-class opera star Kelebogile Besong during the 10th Anniversary performances of Otello.
Your support expanded Santa Ana Strings to include a new mentorship and coaching program for high school students.
Your support helped us serve 206 regional non-profits with 21 partnerships, enriching lives with wellness, education and healing to some of Orange County’s most diverse communities.
Your support covered financial assistance for most arts-X-press middle schoolers from 17 school districts.
Your support created the opportunity for PSYE to perform two world premiere compositions. Accolades like this attracted the famous Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University to invite two PSYE graduating seniors to apply for admission with substantial scholarships attached. Talk about a dream come true!
And, as we look towards our summer Symphony on the Go!and Symphony in the Cities concerts, your support brings Pacific Symphony to you, your family and your friends in your neighborhood and to non-profit partners such as Age-Well Senior Services and Orange County Rescue Mission.
Your dream-making power is a game-changer! Your investment ensures music and dreams will remain woven into the fabric of our Orange County communities for years to come.
“Pacific Symphony Mounts a Surefire Production of Verdi’s Otello” — Voice of OC
For the 10th anniversary of Pacific Symphony’s opera initiative, Carl St.Clair conducted the orchestra, Pacific Chorale and a stellar cast of singers in Verdi’s greatest dramatic masterpiece, Otello. The audience cheered and critics raved.
VOICE OF OC
“It’s luxury casting to have a full symphony orchestra play this music and St.Clair and the Pacific musicians sounded ready for it…Positioned in the loft above the orchestra, the recently Grammy-winning Pacific Chorale gave a fit and trim account of the extensive parts for chorus…Tenor Carl Tanner reprised the title role that he sang at the Metropolitan Opera in a commanding performance…Baritone Stephen Powell clearly enjoyed singing Iago, not with a villainous twirling of mustaches or overplaying, but by savoring the words and phrases as if they were evil chocolate morsels…Making her debut in the role, soprano Kelebogile Besong provided a fragile and vulnerable account of the doomed Desdemona. Her tones shimmered, her phrases filigreed.”
“A Powerhouse Otello…American tenor Carl Tanner gave the finest singing of the evening as the tragic moor Otello…Like the great Otellos of the past—Ramon Vinay, Jon Vickers, Placido Domingo—Tanner successfully portrayed Otello as a great warrior and a romantic hero who tragically falls victim to blind jealousy…The Pacific Chorale sang and acted magnificently in the Act 1 storm chorus and the campfire drinking chorus, as well as the Act 3 assembly scene.”
From Sharecropper to Shareholder to Sharing with Others
Sam Anderson, a successful businessman, generous philanthropist and longtime supporter of Pacific Symphony, passed away in April at the age of 86. Born in the midst of the Great Depression in Smith County, Mississippi, his parents were sharecroppers who eventually purchased a small country store and moved into a modest house with no plumbing. He was six years old before he ever took a bath in a real bathtub. “This difficult beginning, watching my mother and father scrimping to provide, had a profound effect on my lifelong attitude toward finances,” Anderson said. “Throughout my life, I have tended to read restaurant menus from the right side and I have owned just three new automobiles.”
Anderson’s mother died when he was nine years old. Young Sam lived with family members and friends while his father scraped out a living. As a teenager, he worked numerous jobs for little money, earning his way as a carhop, a grocery store stock boy and a construction worker. His grandparents offered to send him to Mississippi College. Many years later, Anderson said, “they gave a gift that would keep on giving.”
Originally, Anderson wanted to become a doctor, but he left medical school after two years to pursue a career as a salesman in the pharmaceutical industry. He found he had a unique knack for sales and business, and he built a successful career over four decades while also investing wisely in real estate. Eventually his career led him and his family to relocate to Newport Beach.
“Even though I later lived the American dream, the demons of the life I left behind often chase me. I still have shallowly repressed memories of my struggles between the ages of nine and 18, a period when I worked hard and was viewed by some in the community as a ragamuffin—a near orphan living a shiftless life. I was uncertain of any life beyond that of my father’s, who worked numerous jobs for minimal pay.”
Excerpt from Sam Anderson’s 2018 memoir, From the Cotton Patch to High Cotton
Sam Anderson’s first wife, Mary Ann, died soon after the couple celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. He married Susan Smith Jenkins in 2001. The couple’s close-knit, blended family includes their three children and five grandchildren. Over the years, Sam and Susan have been generous supporters of Pacific Symphony. They were the co-chairs of the 2017-18 season opening night celebration. That successful event raised nearly $200,000 for the orchestra’s award-winning artistic and education programs. They have sponsored numerous Symphony performances and have been leading supporters of the orchestra’s Giving Tuesday campaigns, providing generous matching funds that inspired others to give.
Sam and Susan shared a simple desire, as Sam put it, “to save the world.” In addition to their generous support of Pacific Symphony, the couple has given their time and resources to multiple charitable organizations in California, Mississippi and in Africa, where they support a school in Tanzania.
Sam Anderson will be deeply missed and remembered fondly by the Pacific Symphony family.
Honoring Valerie and Hans Imhof for Outstanding Philanthropy and Leadership
Featuring Entertainment by Pacific Symphony Musicians And the Big Band Sounds of JT & Friends
The Symphony Gala is one of the most exciting and anticipated cultural events in Orange County. Last year’s Gala raised more than $2 million to support the orchestra’s artistic and award-winning education programs. The Gala is not only a marvelously successful fundraiser, it is a “can’t miss” evening of entertainment, grand cuisine and dancing that the leaders of Orange County prioritize on their social calendars.
This year’s Gala theme is A Night in Old Hollywood—a theme so vast that anyone can find an aspect for which to be passionate. Our evening will focus on the Hollywood films, trends and celebrities that graced the silver screens before 1950.
Pacific Symphony just added a special Valentine’s Day show with blue-eyed soul pioneers, The Righteous Brothers (Feb. 10-11, 2023), to the 2022-23 Pops Season led by Principal Pops Conductor Laureate Richard Kaufman and underwritten by the Sharon and Tom Malloy Family.
The Righteous Brothers enjoyed a string of top-ten hits, including the most played song in radio history, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame duo of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, originally from Orange County, topped the charts for four decades. After Hatfield’s death in 2003, Bill Medley continued to perform to sold-out crowds around the world, but fans and friends pleaded with him to keep The Righteous Brothers alive. Medley said, “No one could ever take Bobby’s place, but when I caught Bucky Heard’s show it all came together—I found the right guy to help me recreate the magic.”
The Righteous Brothers concert experience features their biggest hits—“Lovin’ Feelin’,” “Soul & Inspiration,” “Unchained Melody,” “Rock and Roll Heaven,” Medley’s Grammy-winning Dirty Dancing theme “The Time of My Life” and much more, all backed by the lush Hollywood sound of Pacific Symphony. The Bill Medley/Bucky Heard pairing came as something of a happy accident. Medley said it just seemed right: “I’d been friends with Bucky for years, but when I caught his show he just killed me! The next day it hit me. That’s the guy, someone I could sing hard with, laugh hard with, love and respect—on and off stage. He fits The Righteous Brothers live performance show perfectly. And, we’ve even recorded some new material together.”
The addition of The Righteous Brothers to Pacific Symphony’s Pops Season completes this series of seven singular sensations, which also present the Season Special Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ in Concert (Oct. 28-29). The 2022-23 Pops Season officially begins Nov. 4-5 with a tribute to legendary film composer Maestro John Williams in honor of his 90th birthday. Five other blockbuster shows in the Pops series include renowned artists across jazz, pop, disco, Broadway and rock: The Manhattan Transfer, Kristin Chenoweth, Gloria Gaynor, The Music of The Rolling Stones and Renée Elise Goldsberry. The finale of the 2022-23 Pops Season will close June 9-10, 2023, with Hamilton: An American Musical alumna and Girls5eva star Renée Elise Goldsberry.
All concerts begin at 8 p.m. and take place at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, CA. Subscriptions for the seven-concert series are now available and start at $245. Single ticket sales begin in August and start at $35. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact our Patron Services team at (714) 755-5799, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit us online at PacificSymphony.org.
To learn more about the 2022-23 Pops Series and subscribe, please click here.
Programs, artists, prices and dates are subject to change.