History and Mission

High quality symphonic performances for the pleasure and cultural enrichment

The Folsom Lake Symphony was established in 2004 to bring beautiful symphonic music to the Folsom Lake region. Through the commitment of our three founders – Bruce Woodbury, Dick Merz and Marsha Williams – along with our first music director, Michael Neumann, our dedicated musicians and scores of hard-working volunteers, we are proud now to be the premier orchestra for Folsom and its surrounding communities.

Our mission statement contains two important goals: present high-quality symphonic performances for our audiences and educate young people to enjoy and appreciate classical music. With the retirement of Maestro Neumann, who remains as Music Director Emeritus, we began our 11th season with a new music director and conductor, Peter Jaffe. Maestro Jaffe continues to lead exciting symphonic performances while bringing some new musical experiences to our patrons.

New Name, Same Beautiful Music – September 2015

After 12 seasons bringing beautiful classical music to the Folsom Lake region, we are changing our name. Effective immediately, we will be known as the Folsom Lake Symphony.

The new name better reflects the orchestra’s increasing popularity and success beyond the borders of Folsom, said President Bruce Woodbury.

“Nothing else about the symphony will change,” said Woodbury, who founded the orchestra in 2004. “We will still be bringing magnificent classical music to our audiences. This name change simply acknowledges how widely our support and patronage have expanded. We will still be the No. 1 orchestra in the Folsom Lake region, only now our name will communicate that.”

Since its inaugural performance in March 2004, the symphony has drawn praise for its outstanding music and repertoire. Now a community partner with the Harris Center/Three Stages, the symphony, under the baton of conductor and music director Peter Jaffe, performs to sell-out audiences.

“Our orchestra continues to grow in impressive fashion – both artistically and in terms of our rapport with the community,” Jaffe said. “The name change reflects the excitement we’re building in expanding our reach.”

That expansion extends not only to neighboring communities but to broader audiences as well. This year, the orchestra presented its first low-cost program for families and youngsters who do not have other opportunities to attend classical musical productions. Symphony performers also bring guest artists into the schools to help augment some of the arts education that has been lost from budget cuts.

The Folsom Lake Symphony’s season continues through June with the following concerts: “Romance & Destiny,” Feb. 13, 2016, with special guest violinist Livia Sohn; “The Spirit of Freedom,” April 2, 2016, with violinist Kerson Leong; and “Hollywood Hits,” June 4 and 5 with baritone Ralph Cato. All concerts are at the Harris Center. Saturday performances start at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday programs start at 2:00 p.m.