San Diego Symphony presents a virtual concert for City College

An undeniably uplifting experience that brought students together to celebrate the art of music


Virtual concerts by the San Diego Symphony are available on its website. screenshot

Deserie Larios, Staff Writer

The beautiful pieces performed by the musicians of the San Diego Symphony proved to be a remarkable performance for San Diego City College students.

Over 80 attendees joined via Zoom on Nov. 10 for musical works by Valerie Coleman, Malcolm Arnold and W.A. Mozart. 

The full orchestra of the San Diego Symphony has over 80 members. However, for the pre-recorded video presented over Zoom, five musicians played at a safe distance at The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla. 

The San Diego Symphony Woodwind Quintet led by Musical Director Rafael Payare consisted of five players: Sheryl Renk, principal clarinet; Sarah Skuster, principal oboe; Valentin Martchev, principal basson; Benjamin Jaber, principal horn and Rose Lombardo, principal flute.

Known as the “Chamber Ensemble,” these musicians have been playing together for over a decade.

The three pieces they performed for the audience were:

• “Three Sea Shanties” by Malcom Arnold
• “Umoja” by Valerie Coleman
• “The Overture to the Magic Flute” by Mozart

It was an extraordinary experience watching the performance virtually rather than live, and it was clear the audience was still met with an innovative sensational musical experience that appealed to all ages. 

With each piece, the musicians wowed the audience with how they moved in sync with the notes they played, impressing the audience with their harmonious sound

It was a performance that surely left the audience wanting to see more. 

The San Diego Symphony has a new permanent outdoor venue on the San Diego Bay named The Shell. As construction of The Shell continues, the impact of COVID-19, including social distancing measures and governmental orders, means there will be a delayed opening.

Many of the artists scheduled for 2020 are now scheduled to perform in summer 2021. A list of future events is available here.

The website suggests seating configurations will likely change along with possible pandemic restrictions. Symphonic works requiring the full orchestra may have to wait.

Virtual concerts are available on their website on the San Diego Symphony’s website under Symphony Streaming.