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Presenting the 86th Season, 2018-2019, of the newly renamed Whittier Regional Symphony
Ode to Joy
September 30, 2018
Grand and Glorious
November 11, 2018
Fame and Fortune
Aubree Oliverson, Violin
February 24, 2019
Mother's Day Hit Parade!
Kendall Harb, Soprano
May 12, 2019
Conductor Kimo Furumoto
The Whittier Regional Symphony
is one of the oldest
and most successful
community orchestras in
all of Southern California.
An important announcement to our members, sponsors, donors, musicians, volunteers and friends of the symphony
"Back To Our Roots"
We will celebrate the 86th Anniversary of the symphony with exciting news. Effective July 1, 2018, the Rio Hondo Symphony's Executive Committee and the Board of Directors have elected to change the name of the Rio Hondo Symphony to the WHITTIER REGIONAL SYMPHONY.
Of course, the obvious question is "Why?"
First, a Little History:
In 1932, during the midst of the Great Depression, a young violin instructor at Whittier College, Ruth Haroldson, put together a group of musicians and founded the Whittier College Community Orchestra. In 1937, then known as the "Whittier Symphony," they performed for the City of Whittier's Golden Jubilee.
The Whittier Symphony continued to expand its influence and share music and music education programs far beyond Whittier's city limits. In 1964, the Symphony's Board of Directors, in order to recognize the expansion of its programs and the financial support of the cities of Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and the County Of Los Angeles, changed the name to the Rio Hondo Symphony.
In The Shadow:
Nestled in the hills above Whittier, Rio Hondo College was created in 1960. The college officially opened its doors for instruction in 1963 and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012-2013. As a comprehensive community college, Rio Hondo offers many strong career-technical programs, such as nursing, fire and police academies, automotive and alternative fuels, a full transfer curriculum, and basic skills courses and services. The college continues to support the symphony and their students volunteer their time.
However, since the college's inception, everyone has confused the Rio Hondo Symphony with Rio Hondo College. This confusion has led both current members, potential members and potential donors alike to believe that our symphony is composed of student musicians. We are not.
Ending the Confusion:
Your Symphony Orchestra is comprised of highly skilled, professional and paid musicians. They, and our Music Director and Conductor, Kimo Furumoto, provide a wonderful and unique opportunity for Whittier and our surrounding communities. By ending the confusion, it is our goal to retain our current commitment to free concerts, continued financial support from our surrounding communities, to attract new revenue and to expand our music education programs.
Our Conductor Kimo Furumoto
Kimo Furumoto currently is in his tenth season as the newly titled Whittier Regional Symphony's Conductor and Music Director.
A dynamic and enthusiastic conductor, Furumoto is widely known for his innovative programing. For the last 15 years he has been the Conductor and Music Director of the Huntington Symphony Orchestra in West Virginia. Furumoto is an Associate Professor at Cal State Fullerton where he is Music Director of the University's orchestra and opera theater. During his career he has served as Assistant Conductor of the Lyric Mountain Festival for the Performong Arts and the Lexington Philharmonic.
Furumoto holds conducting degrees from Chapman University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. More...
Message from Conductor Kimo Furumoto at the RHSA Annual Meeting on June 11, 2016
As I reflect on the past 7 years as Music Director of the Rio Hondo Symphony I am grateful and honored to have served in this capacity in bringing exciting programs of live symphonic music to our community. I am very proud of the artistic accomplishments of our wonderful musicians who comprise the orchestra and look forward to many more years of collaboration with them. Personally, this past year included some wonderful experiences in the travels I took to Europe, Japan and conducting a concert in the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City. The musical performances that I witnessed or was directly involved with in all these places no matter how illustrious had essentially the same impact on the people who came as those who come to the Rio Hondo Symphony concerts. The music moves us to jubilation, to relaxation, to tears, to utter peace and a whole myriad of human emotions that are a basic need for human beings to feel and express. This is what the Rio Hondo Symphony provides to our community. It is not just cultural enrichment of the concertgoers but an essential conduit to these elements that connect all humanity.
Our new season features music and programs that are very familiar in some cases, new in others and sometimes with just a little twist but always engaging and moving.
Message from Fred Zermeno, President
It is a privilege and an honor to be named as president of the 85th season for the Rio Hondo Symphony by my colleagues. This is an organization that I have been following for many years. The free concerts, their music enrichment programs that include the Young Artist Competitions, the free children's concerts, and many other ways they continue to give back to the community.
We will continue to bring you the best free classical music the region has to offer with our brilliant conductor, Kimo Furumoto, and our excellent professional orchestra. We will make sure our Music Enrichment Programs thrive throughout the local schools as we continue to reach over 10,000 children a year.
Fred Zermeno, President
Rio Hondo Symphony Association
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