San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra
For over 36 years the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra has presented the finest performances of symphonic music to the communities of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. It is the region's leading symphony orchestra and one of its premiere performing arts organizations. Led by founding Music Director and Conductor James Domine, the orchestra is a showcase for some of the finest musicians and composers in Southern California. Beginning with the 2017-2018 season's opening concert in September, the orchestra will be performing its yearly five-concert season in its new home, the Performing Arts Education Center on the Agoura High School campus in Agoura Hills.
The SFVSO's dedicated members frequently collaborate with community service organizations and local businesses to produce community outreach programs designed for diverse audiences of all ages. The San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra maintains a strong season ticket subscription base and its concerts are frequently sold out. It is a recipient of grants from the County of Los Angeles Arts Commission, the City of Los Angeles, the Rotary Club, and various other corporate foundations,; it also receives support from individual subscribers and concert patrons.
The San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra is a member of the League of American Orchestras and the Association of California Symphony Orchestras.
In Memoriam: Gary Thomas – Served 15 Years as Orchestra President
Orchestra Board President and longtime San Fernando Valley civic leader Gary M. Thomas died the morning of March 6 during a hospital stay for a respiratory ailment.
Gary was involved in numerous civic affairs. He was perhaps best known for his longtime chairmanships of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley and the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra. Among other accomplishments, he was one of the founding chairs of the Valley Economic Alliance, and in 2011 he won the Fernando Award, the Valley’s most significant honor for lifetime volunteerism. He was senior vice president and creative director of Aaron, Thomas & Associates, a Chatsworth company that specializes in creative consulting, printing and direct mail services. His leadership and positive spirit will be missed.
James Elza Domine - Music Director & Conductor
James Elza Domine was born October 9, 1953 in Pasadena, California. At an early age he displayed a precocious interest in music, playing violin in the school orchestras and taking piano lessons. He began formal study of composition and theory at age 16. Domine made his first serious compositional efforts in the form of three suites for solo guitar in E minor, D major and A minor. These suites were subsequently arranged as concerti for guitar and chamber orchestra, and form the point of departure for his repertoire both as performer and composer.
Domine entered UCLA in the Fall Quarter of 1971 and received a Bachelor's Degree in Music. He studied composition, as well as the classical guitar repertoire, and played violin in the orchestra. His first public success as a composer came on May 10, 1977 when his Requiem conducted by Roger Wagner was received with a standing ovation by an enthusiastic audience that filled Schoenberg Hall. In 1979 Domine entered the University of Southern California on a full scholarship, where he studied composition and theory, and earned his Master's Degree.
The same year he founded the Van Nuys Civic Orchestra, a community-based group that eventually became the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra. The SFVSO has featured a year-round concert series at Pierce College in Woodland Hills and plays a leading role in expanding the musical horizons of Southern California residents. As Music Director and Conductor, Domine has led the Orchestra in hundreds of concert performances, and was delighted to have secured the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza's Scherr Forum Theatre for the 2011-2012 season.
The complete catalog of Domine's musical compositions includes symphonies, concerti, chamber music, a ballet, an opera, "Luke and Sarah," solo instrumental pieces and choral music in a wide variety of styles and genres. These works may be heard at "jamesdomine.com." In addition, in keeping with the time-honored tradition of classical musicians participating in the popular music arena, Domine plays lead guitar and writes songs for the Blues Bandits, Molay Band, Screaming Clams and Symphomaniax. Music from these ensembles is featured on this web site.
Domine has written a novel entitled, "The Naked Man," published in 2006, a story of contemporary life in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. The book is currently available from on-line publisher LuLu.com and forms the basis for his musical theater play,"Tomahawk," which received its premiere at the Actors Forum Theater in North Hollywood, California in January 2008. His most recent play, "The Dogs of War," premiered to critical acclaim in 2011 at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
James Domine currently teaches music at Pierce College in Woodland Hills California, where he has developed a dedicated cadre of symphony aficionados and grateful concertgoers. He is currently working on completing the requirements for a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Boston University.
Ruth Bruegger - Concertmaster
Ruth Bruegger, Concertmaster of the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra, has performed all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. She has played with the Pasadena Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, California Chamber Orchestra, Riverside Symphony and South Bay Chamber Orchestra, as well as with many others. She performs regularly at the Corbin Lounge in Tarzana with the "Symphomaniax," a well-known strings and guitar chamber quartet that was formed by James Domine, Music Director and Conductor of the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA.
Her violin playing can be heard on many motion picture soundtracks, including "The Sandlot," "Misery," "Prince of Tides," War of the Roses," "Tootsie" and the "20th Century Fox Fanfare." She has recorded with major artists, including Rod Stewart, Madonna, Aerosmith, Willie Nelson, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Muse and others. She can be seen on-screen as the violinist at a "Beverly Hills Housewives" wedding, as well as in several episodes of "The Young and the Restless."
Ruth gives her love and thanks to her three daughters, Tina, Nica and Lisa, and five grandchildren for their love and support. Thanks also to James Domine and the musicians of the SFVSO for the wonderful opportunity tonight to perform two wonderful pieces.