A November Message from Carl St.Clair

November is a good time to pause and reflect on the gratitude we feel for the vital cultural life we all share here in Orange County. I invite you to read our blog and website to find out more about the many gratifying cultural programs being presented this month.

In November the Symphony celebrates its annual Community Support Month in which we showcase the many ways we bring our orchestra to Southern California communities.

We’re proud to be a community-supported orchestra. Through your generosity, the Symphony is able to fulfill its social responsibility to help improve the lives of all Orange County residents regardless of their age, background, socio-economic condition, or other circumstances. Without your financial and volunteer support, our community programs simply wouldn’t exist.

Your investment impacts numerous communities throughout our region. From free performances such as Symphony in the Cities and our Kohl Family Symphony on the Go! mobile stage to service programs like arts-X-press, Heartstrings, Santa Ana Strings, and Class Act, only your support can generate this level of community impact.

Another important way Pacific Symphony impacts our community is by nurturing and inspiring young musicians grades 6 through 12 in our Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles, one of the largest pre-professional musical training programs in the nation. This month, you can experience concerts featuring Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra (Nov. 14), Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings (Nov. 20) and Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble (Nov. 21).

We are pleased to welcome our newest addition to the PSYE family ensembles with the debut of the Pacific Symphony Youth Concert Band, founded in 2022 through the generous sponsorship and advocacy of Hans and Valerie Imhof and John and Elizabeth Stahr. PSYCB is led by award-winning music educator Angela Woo. I couldn’t be more delighted to welcome Angela into our Pacific Symphony ‘family’ as the newest member of our conducting ‘team.’ Having known Angela for over three decades, it has been wonderful observing her impressive career development. Her many accomplishments have distinguished her as one of the leading conductors and educators with middle school- and high school-aged musicians. There is no one more perfect than Angela to lead this new and exciting initiative in the Symphony’s Youth Ensemble Program. You won’t want to miss their inaugural concert on Nov. 20, “Simple Gifts: New Beginnings.”

On Nov. 29, Pacific Symphony will once again close Community Support Month by participating in GivingTuesday, the global giving movement now celebrating its tenth year. Be sure to watch the Symphony blog and social media channels for more information at the end of the month. 

I leave you with my gratitude for your continued support and heartfelt wishes for a happy, healthy, and peaceful Thanksgiving for you and your loved ones.

Pacific Symphony Opening Night: Music Director Carl St.Clair and Sandbox Percussion – Beethoven & Boléro, Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa, California, September 22, 2022.

A Message from W. Henry Walker, President of Farmers & Merchants Bank: Welcome Back to Family Musical Mornings!


Farmers & Merchants Bank president W. Henry Walker presenting a gift to Pacific Symphony in 2019.

I am very blessed to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the start of the 2022-23 season of Family Musical Mornings! This 5-concert series includes a wide variety of music for young people: opening with a special Halloween concert and followed by everyone’s holiday favorite,

“The Nutcracker.” The series continues with music from the great outdoors, special moments from Disney films, and finishing up with a mini-opera especially for kids.

As fourth-generation President at Farmers & Merchants Bank, I am proud to serve on the Board of Directors of Pacific Symphony and I believe music education at a young age helps to establish the cultural tone for future generations. In addition, F&M Bank is pleased to serve as the Presenting Sponsor of Pacific Symphony’s Family Musical Mornings series for the 18th season.

Founded in 1907 by C.J. Walker, F&M Bank provides white-glove banking service to clients at 25 branches throughout Southern California, including 13 in Orange County, and is poised for even more growth in the months ahead. Branches, handshakes, and values are just some of the traditions you will find at F&M Bank coupled with our cutting-edge technology.

Giving back to the communities we are honored to serve has been part of the F&M Bank business model since the beginning. Founded on the principles of honesty, integrity, the home, the Church, and service above self, the Bank upholds C.J.’s philanthropic spirit, regularly supporting organizations in the areas of human services, faith, education, healthcare and the arts. F&M’s philanthropic contributions have come in many forms, including in-kind donations for charity events, employee volunteer efforts, recognition and grant programs for organizations and individuals, and critical banking services that allow nonprofits to serve their missions. In addition, the Farmers & Merchants Bank Foundation was created in 2012 as a separate 501(c)3 organization to further enhance the legacy of philanthropic community support established by C.J. Walker.

Regardless of economic climate, F&M has remained unwavering in its commitment to the arts. Speaking for everyone at the F&M Family, we warmly welcome you all back to the Pacific Symphony!

Celebrate Community Support Month with a Gift to Pacific Symphony

November is Pacific Symphony’s annual Community Support Month–a celebration of gratitude for everyone who supports and enables our commitments to the greater Orange County area. In a month known for celebrating the gift of “thanks,” Pacific Symphony thanks you for your participation that affords us unique opportunities to support a lengthy list of community partners.

Donald Pierce plays a violin as Rachel Schlesinger from the Pacific Symphony and Karen Skipper, music therapist, look on.

Each season, Pacific Symphony provides exceptional musical experiences onstage in our magnificent Segerstrom Concert Hall. We also work hard to nurture our Southern California communities in a wide variety of ways. Free performances, including our Symphony in the Cities concerts and our Symphony on the Go! mobile stage, inspire music lovers across the region.

Initiatives like Heartstrings: Santa Ana Strings and each of our Heartstrings partnerships impact thousands in greater Orange County. Our wide-ranging music education programs and youth ensembles foster lifelong learning in students and young musicians each year.

From Orange County schools, to senior centers, to numerous other community institutions, your support enables Pacific Symphony to engage and serve those serving the greater community. Your support and passion propel us towards great heights in musical artistry and community engagement. You are the reason that Pacific Symphony is more than an orchestra.

Just recently, Pacific Symphony was named Nonprofit of the Year for senatorial district 37 due to its commitment to providing free, live music and music education throughout Southern California during the pandemic, and after the re-opening of public events. We are proud of this recognition, but realize it is due to the consistent support of patrons like you.

Please support your Pacific Symphony by donating as generously as you are able. The work we do in your community is as much a part of who we are as the music we perform.

Celebrate Community Support Month by continuing to be the foundation that allows us to engage, empower, and embrace communities through the tremendous power and joy of music.

Community support month concludes on November 29th with the famous Giving Tuesday event. Giving Tuesday is big money in small bites. Your gift combined with other gifts received during this global event adds up to a significant and lasting impact on Pacific Symphony and the communities we serve.

On top of that, there is still time to double your impact! Every gift during Community Support Month and on Giving Tuesday will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $1,000,000 by renowned philanthropist, John Tu. In his words, “Music is everything. Music is love. Music is the soul of your mind.”

Our community programs simply wouldn’t exist without your generous philanthropy. Please consider making a gift today to help sustain these life-changing and enriching community initiatives now and for the future.

Thank you so very much. We’ll see you soon.