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President's Message, Jean Felder

Welcome to the last Overture of 2020. Necessity, the mother of invention, has played a large role in how we have conducted business for the year. I am happy to report that our first virtual fundraiser on November 19th was a wonderful success and will serve as a model moving forward. Saddleback Valley Committee’s Let’s Wine! was entertaining, informative and fun for all who attended. It also made a nice profit. Thanks to Ways and Means co-chairs, Kathy Wopschall and Kim Fix, with technical assistance from Heather Cromleigh and Sarah Little, the event was seamless. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the event and to those who gave their support. There are two articles about Let’s Wine! in this Overture. One is a how-to for others planning virtual fundraisers. Kathy, Kim, Heather and Sarah will be happy to help other Committees in their planning.

The Music4Kids campaign has received a very good response. Please remember that every dollar is being matched up to $25,000.00. The money goes directly to music education and program development. Thank you to all who have contributed.

Kimberlee Martin has provided us with some spectacular pumpkins and will be offering lovely live holiday displays as well. Sandi Campbell McClain conducted her last cardmaking class. Thank you to both Kimberlee and Sandi. Don’t forget to order your Tamales and to make your reservations for Santa Ana and Town and Country Committees’ Virtual Literary Event with Lisa See. La Casa Committee is planning a “Chef’s Cooking Class”. The flyers for each event are below. One thing virtual events offer is the ability to include people from areas outside of Orange County, in fact from all over the world.

Music education is moving forward. Sarah Little is working on the last phase of the Virtual Music Mobile program and developing the Virtual Musicians on Campus program as well. The marketing staff has been involved creating wonderful interactive graphics. You can imagine what a complex undertaking this has been. These are programs the kids and teachers are going to thoroughly enjoy and from which they will learn about the world of instrumental music. A survey was sent to the educators and the responses have been very positive and receptive.

The Philharmonic Society office will be moving to a building on Main Street during the month of December. By all accounts the new digs are very attractive and more spacious. This will allow us to have larger group meetings in the conference room and also provide the dedicated staff more room as well. The address is: 1124 Main Street Suite B, Irvine 92614.

I hope you have been able to see some of the virtual concerts from the Philharmonic Society. We are very fortunate that Tommy Phillips, the staff, the Society Board and the musicians are dedicated to delivering music under the current conditions. This is another instance where virtual presentations allow for a much wider audience, some even in Europe.

The pandemic has forced us into a time of introspection. As a result maybe we have grown wiser. We have had time to be more creative and tap into abilities that somehow were left behind with our busy lives. I hope the holidays bring you and your families and friends much joy.

Orange County Youth Symphony

Remaining committed to our investment in music education, the Philharmonic Society’s Orange County Youth Symphony has been rehearsing in-person at the Irvine Barclay Theatre and on Zoom since September! They’ve been rotating groups of 15 or fewer string musicians in the building who never use a music stand or a chair twice and our woodwinds and brass have met outside with masks and bell covers! Committees Members have been invited to volunteer for rehearsals throughout the fall and have acted as rehearsal room monitors, greeters, and ushers all while getting to know the musicians even better. They’ve had the added benefit of being in the same building as some of the only live music being played in Orange County! Bravo to all who have helped to keep the staff, students and volunteers safe by remaining socially distanced, wearing masks and adhering to the strict protocols!

"Moving On Up"

The Philharmonic Society office is moving effective January 1, 2021. The new address is 1124 Main St., Suite B, Irvine, CA 92614. Telephone numbers will not change.

Upcoming Events

Holiday Tamale Fundraiser

Order tamales for the holidays! Funds collected benefit the Philharmonic Society's Youth Music Education Programs. Orders are due Monday, December 7. See flyer for details.

Holiday Arrangement Fundraiser

Order live holiday arrangements for delivery from December 1 - December 20. 15% will be donated back to the Committees of the Philharmonic Society. See flyer for details.

Virtual Literary Event with Lisa See

Santa Ana and Town and Country Committees invite you to SAVE THE DATE to join New York Times best-selling author Lisa See as she shares her background research, story, and insights at their Virtual Literary Fundraising Event, Coffee With The Author – Lisa See, on Monday, January 18, 2021. See flyer for details.

Virtual Cooking Class Fundraiser

Please join the LA CASA COMMITTEE on Saturday, January 30, for a virtual cooking class with Chef David. He is an accomplished instructor of culinary arts at both Williams Sonoma in Costa Mesa and Orange Coast College. Tickets $45 (per household). See flyer for details.

Committees News

Let's Wine

The Saddleback Committee recently held their first virtual and successful fundraiser, Let’s Wine!, on November 19th. Attendees received two bottles of wine and an informative talk by Mitch Schroeder, US Ambassador for the Elena Walch Italian Winery. Read more.

Pictured: Kim Fix

"It's Really Not That Hard"

Planning a virtual fundraiser really isn't that hard! Read more about how co-chairs Kathy Wopschall and Kim Fix planned and organized the Let's Wine! virtual fundraiser.

Estancia High School Benefits From the Musical Instrument Scavenger Hunt  

Some friends from the Town and Country Committee recently gave five instruments to Estancia High School’s wonderful band teacher from our Musical Instrument Scavenger Hunt!

Pictured from left to right: Karyn Rashoff, Toni Sobel, Marlene Hewitt, Helga Terfansky, Music Teacher Stacy Neacato

Donations to the Tribute Fund provide the opportunity to honor an individual's accomplishments, mark special occasions, or memorialize members, friends, or family. Funds are used to support the Philharmonic Society's Youth Music Education Programs.

In Loving Memory Of:

Dr. Paul Qaqundah
Husband of member Susan Qaqundah
From: HH Islander Group

Dr. Paul Qaqundah
Husband of member Susan Qaqundah
From: HH Philharmonic Committee

Dr. Paul Qaqundah
Husband of member Susan Qaqundah
From: Dr. Henry and Mrs. Toni Sobel

Douglas T. Burch
Board Member
From: Dr. Henry and Mrs. Toni Sobel

Bryant Henry
Husband of member Elizabeth Henry
From: Elizabeth Henry

Music4Kids is a fund specifically designated for the support and expansion of the Philharmonic Society's Youth Music Education Programs. Music4Kids has been given a wonderful anonymous matching donation of $25,000.

Levels of Giving:

Strings ($1,000+)
Dr. Henry and Mrs. Toni Sobel
Mr. and Mrs. Fritz Lin

Brass ($500-$999)
Nick and Donna Shubin
Barbara and Don Howland

Woodwinds ($250-$499)
Vicki de Reynal
Georgia Smith
Janet Aengst
Randy and Kim Fix

Percussion ($25-$249)
Ruth Roe
Linda Halopoff
Kirby and Dee Holte
Bruce and Patricia Spongbe
Sandra Steffens
Alice Hood
Mr. and Mrs. Michael A. Bray
Mr. and Mrs. John O. Pohlmann
Barbara Wright
Mr. and Mrs. David Eckman
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Beaz
Randi Kraemer
Marjorie Ringwait
Marcia Yalton
Terry Pratt Brick
Bob and Ellie Yates
Sharon Silcock
Sandra White

Mark Your Calendars

Have a story? Submit articles to
by the third Monday of the month to be considered for inclusion in the next e-Overture.