Sequoia Symphony Orchestra: Music Director and Conductor

Bruce in Exeter OrchardCalifornia’s Central Valley is such a beautiful place. I don’t think there’s another single area in the entire United States filled with as much geographic variety, whether the elegant stone-fruit orchards that surround the city, the stunning beauty of the foothills or the giant sequoias and Mt. Whitney itself (tallest in the lower 48). Paralleling that variety is the incredible agility of this orchestra. There’s nothing this orchestra can’t do. From their electrifying performance of The Rite of Spring this March or their passionate and moving accounts of Mahler 1st and Daphnis and Chloe, they somehow raise the bar at each and every concert. What a thrill to be a part of the blossoming of these musicians  into a versatile, powerful and exciting orchestra. Handily, this has been one of the highlights of my musical life.


Bold Beginnings
Beethoven:Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major
Steven Lin, piano
Brahms:Symphony No. 1 in C minor
7:30PM, Saturday, November 16, 2019
Visalia Fox Theater
308 W Main St
Visalia, CA 93291

Beethoven and Brahms start out their careers with these two landmark works, the charm and power of Beethoven is already evident in his first piano concerto and Brahms' 20 year labor of love, his first symphony, closes the program.


(Christmas portions)
3:00PM, Sunday, December 8, 2019
Visalia Fox Theater
308 W Main St
Visalia, CA 93291

Join the combined choirs of El Diamante and Golden West as they share the quintessential holiday work, Handel's Messiah. We'll share the Christmas portions of the nativity story with soloist and chamber orchestra in its original orchestration.

Sheila Willey, Soprano

Heather Jones, Mezzo-Soprano

Chad Kranak, Tenor

Ben Brady, Bass

American Inaugurals
Barber:Overture to "The School for Scandal"
Fuchs:"Rush" for Alto-Saxophone and Orchestra
Jonathan Hulting Cohen, Alto-saxophone
Copland:Billy the Kid (Complete Ballet Music)
7:30PM, Saturday, January 25, 2020
Visalia Fox Theater
308 W Main St
Visalia, CA 93291

Early works by great American composers, including Copland and Barber highlight this program that also features last year's Grammy Award winning Saxophone Concert, "Rush" by Kenneth Fuchs.


Beethoven Innovates
Tchaikovsky:Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major
Andrew Tyson, piano
Beethoven:Symphony No. 6 "Pastoral"
7:30PM, Saturday, February 22, 2020
Visalia Fox Theater
308 W Main St
Visalia, CA 93291

Beethoven and Tchaikovsky continue to push the envelope late into their careers. Two examples highlight this program, Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto opens while Beethoven's 6th Symphony broke ground as the first programmatic symphony written around a simple storyline.


Colorful Arrivals
Higdon:Blue Cathedral
Britten:Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
Stravinsky:Petrouchka (Suite)
7:30PM, Saturday, March 21, 2020
Visalia Fox Theater
308 W Main St
Visalia, CA 93291

Stravinsky's Petrouchka is known as the work when the master composer first broke into his own, distinct style. And Britten's "Young Person's Guide" is a favorite for listeners of every age group.


The Creation
Haydn:The Creation (Parts 1 and 2)
7:30PM, Saturday, April 18, 2020
Visalia Fox Theater
308 W Main St
Visalia, CA 93291

Haydn brought down the house at the premiere of his most popular work, The Creation. This stunning oratorio with soloists and choirs demonstrates Haydn's skill at using the orchestra for all manner of character and story. This is a not to be missed season ending event!


Leslie Ann Bradley, Soprano:

Zach Finkelstein, Tenor

Andrew Mahon, Bass