Written by Bakersfield Magazine
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who says they dislike music. At the very least, they enjoy a particular genre. Maybe they even have a favorite band or song.
We are inundated with music on a daily basis, even the days when we don’t turn on our radios. Commercials, TV shows, and movies are filled with music. You might not know it’s there all the time, playing in the background, but you would sure as heck notice if it wasn’t there. Music enhances our lives. It is a great equalizer. There’s no prerequisite for listening to a song or buying a record; old or young, black or white, single or married. A good piece of music is a good piece of music.
Nowhere is that more blatant than at a Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra performance. You’ll see a wonderful cross section of Bakersfield at any given concert. Grandparents with grandchildren, husbands and wives...they all come because they want to be moved through the power of music.
And, thankfully, we as a city have had the opportunity to enjoy these performances for 80 years.
“The Symphony has been delighting concert-goers since 1932, save for a brief hiatus during World War II,” explained Nancy Marvin, manager of the Symphony office. Our orchestra has performed some of the most beloved pieces of classical music, introduced world-class musicians to Bakersfield, and entertained tens of thousands.
Led by music director and conductor John Farrer for the past 37 years, the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra consists of some 60 to 80 members, 70 percent of which reside and work in Bakersfield.
“The mission is to provide the best possible performances of great music for the widest possible audience, and provide musical education for the young people of Kern County,” Marvin continued. That mission hasn’t changed.
It’s the reason the Symphony puts on specialty concerts, concerts for young students for the purpose of music education, and everyone’s favorite: The Nutcracker, done in conjunction with the Civic Dance Center. It’s an experience that touches the young and the young-at-heart.
And through generous donations and sponsors in our community, the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra has been able to continue bringing music to the masses. But it’s been tough, especially during these times. They’re always in need of more donations, which help them put on their concert series.
“We’ve been able to march on,” Marvin said. “But it’s important that the community supports something of this caliber.”
After all, who wants to live in a city where we go from work to home and back to work without the option of attending something as culturally-diverse and moving as a symphony performance?
“I don’t think people realize just how important music is to the world,” Marvin added. “People want to enrich their lives and music is something that enriches lives. And children who are enrolled in music programs are more likely to succeed.”
Not to mention, the fact that classical music is often referred to as an influence by musical artists creating rock, pop, and jazz.
“Some people may think that the symphony is too expensive or that it’s exclusive, but that’s not the case.”
There is no age limit. There is no required income level. There’s no dress code. The Bakersfield Symphony is here to be enjoyed by all. Opening night for the 80th season happens October 15 with Dvorak’s Carnival Overture, Opus 92 and soloist Nobuyuki Tsujii.
Visit bakersfieldsymphony.org or call (661) 323-7928 to see how you can help the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra continue making beautiful music.