San Luis Obispo Symphony’s Newsletter

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July 2023


Nominate A Central Coast Pop Star

Pops By The Sea has been a beloved community event for almost 40 years. One of the most anticipated features of this concert has been the baton auction. The baton was auctioned off during the event, and the highest bidder was honored with the opportunity to conduct a piece during the concert.

This year we would like to expand our nominations – giving YOU a chance to nominate someone you believe deserves  the chance to direct our orchestra – no strings attached and with no donation required.

The 2023 Pops theme is Celebrating The Central Coast and we would like to highlight a community member who is a Pop Star among us, someone who has made a positive and impactful change on the Central Coast. The Symphony’s board, staff, and committee members will then go through the submissions and select the winner – so make your case to us!

The winner will receive a table for ten at the event, the reason for their nomination will be read from the stage, and then of course, they will get a chance to direct our orchestra! Visit our website to submit your nomination.  All nominations must be submitted by August 1, 2023 and we will notify the winner by August 7, 2023.

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July4 Discount Code For Pops

As we prepare to celebrate the Central Coast over Labor Day weekend by playing some of the most appreciated patriotic works ever written we thought, we might as well start celebrating early this year! Starting today and ending July 5 general admission tickets for POPS By The Sea are buy one get one free! Use discount code JULY4 when purchasing your tickets to receive this discount!

4th of July Barbecue Flyer

Orchestra Notes 

Musician Sponsorships

The SLO Symphony’s musicians are talented members of our community. A great way to show your appreciation for their hard work and to honor their accomplishments is to become a musician sponsor. Every month this summer we are going to highlight different musician’s who you can sponsor! Visit our website to view our sponsorship guide and find page 9 to learn more! If you are interested in becoming a sponsor please email [email protected].

Emelia Banninger
Emelia Banninger has never been one to shy away from a challenge. Determined to play in the school concert bands and marching bands, she taught herself flute and after a suggestion from her middle school band teacher – and as soon as she set her eyes on the shiny, new instrument – moved on to teach herself bassoon until arriving at California Polytechnic State University for her Bachelor of Arts in music with a minor in mathematics. There, she studied with Lisa Nauful and completed her degree in 2017.  She then went on as a postgraduate to the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. She studied with John Orford and Amy Harman on bassoon and with Simon Estell and Fraser Gordon on contrabassoon over the two-year program, graduating with her Master of Arts in 2019.
Some of Emelia’s highlight performances include Elliott Carter’s Asko Concerto with the London Sinfonietta Academy, Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Royal Academy Opera, solo bassoon concertos with both the Cal Poly Wind Ensemble and the Cal Poly Symphony, the Royal Academy Sainsbury Soloist Showcase, as well as multiple performances with the Royal Academy Symphonic Orchestra and the Royal Academy Symphonic Winds.
Emelia is so grateful to be a part of so many orchestras on the Central Coast and can’t be more thrilled that live music is back in full swing. She’s had the pleasure of playing with local orchestras such as SLO Master Chorale, Opera SLO, Santa Maria Philharmonic, Symphony of the Vines, Santa Barbara Master Chorale, and many more! She can’t wait to get started on the next season with your San Luis Obispo Symphony!
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Min Lee

Min Lee was born in South Korea and started playing the Cello at the age of 12. At the age of 14, she was accepted to the prestigious Sunhwa School of Arts where she continued her studies in music concentrating on cello performance until the age of 19. During her years at Sunhwa School of Art, she also performed at various competitions and with various orchestras in Korea.  

She competed in the Young Vision Artists competition receiving 2nd place, Hanil University competition receiving Grand price, Seoul-Incheon Times competition receiving 1st place, Seoul University competition receiving 1st place, and Sun Hwa Ensemble competition receiving 1st place. 

She performed as a soloist with the Seoul philharmonic orchestra when she was 19.  In 2005, she moved to the United States and participated in The Brentwood-Westwood competition receiving 1st place. And she performed with the Brentwood-Westwood Symphony Orchestra.  She also performed with the Amichi orchestra in Los Angeles in the same year. 

She attended California institute of the Art to obtain her bachelor’s degree in music performance. She had worked with various artists like Mary J. Blige, Judith Hill, Korean Popera singer Tae Kyung Im etc. She was also a director/instructor of Los Angeles Armature Cello Ensemble, a guest member of Los Angeles Doctor’s Symphony Orchestra, and a member of Jopa string quartet. She is currently a section cellist of San Luis Obispo Symphony Orchestra, Santa Maria Symphony Orchestra, Opera San Luis Obispo, and Lompoc Pops Orchestra.

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Music Education Notes 


Instrument Petting Zoo

Our Instrument Petting Zoo visited the Boys & Girls Club of South SLO County.

Come visit us at a library this summer to play some instruments!

  • July 12, Wed, 2:00-3:00 pm,
    Shell Beach Library
  • July 15, Sat, 2:30-3:30 pm,
    Santa Maria Library
  • July 20, Thu, 11:00 am -12:00 pm, Santa Margarita Library

Coming Up

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High Notes Humor

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