California’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.