The climax of Paul Dooley’s Sonoma Strong, commissioned by the Santa Rosa Symphony following wildfires in 2017 and premiered this month, “evokes the devastation of the October fires, which destroyed thousands of homes and killed 44 people,” states Jeffrey Siegel last Monday (10/8) at TV station KQED (northern California). “According to Santa Rosa Symphony President and CEO Alan Silow, 22 families closely connected to the symphony lost their homes in the fires, including members of the board, musicians and staff…. The symphony had to cancel and postpone concerts… ‘We still paid our staff for the time they had to miss, we still paid our musicians for the concerts we had to cancel, because we thought that was the right thing to do,’ Silow said. ‘But obviously that also impacted us, fiscally speaking, as well.’ But now, Silow said, … ‘We’re definitely in recovery’ … That’s a sentiment that Dooley worked to capture in ‘Sonoma Strong.’ After the piece’s ominous climax, there’s a marked change in tone.” Says Dooley, “The piece transitions to what I would call the rebirth.… I’m hoping that … people are … given a new outlook … something that can bring the community together, as the construction and rebuilding continues.”

Posted October 15, 2018