• Pamela Froman

San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra

Music is one of the most important ways we can come together as people. And the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra works to produce that beautiful sense of togetherness through the music it creates and performs.

For over 36 years the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra has presented the finest performances of symphonic music to the San Fernando Valley. The orchestra is a showcase for some of the best musicians and composers. At the helm is founding Music Director and Conductor James Domine.

James Domine is a musician first and foremost, playing the violin, piano, and guitar. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Music from UCLA where he studied composition, classical guitar repertoire, and played violin in the orchestra. Then he received a full scholarship to USC where he studied composition and theory and earned his Master's Degree. The same year he founded the Van Nuys Civic Orchestra, a community-based group that eventually became the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra.

"Music as a humanistic art form goes back to the cavemen; it goes back to the Neanderthal man, it goes back to when anthropomorphic apes were pounding on trees in the jungle," says James. "Music is ingrained in our consciousness. It is fundamental because it is part of our psychological awareness."

The San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra performs five concerts a year. As well, its dedicated members frequently collaborate with community service organizations and local businesses to produce community outreach programs for audiences of all ages. The "Symphomaniacs,” the flagship chamber music group for these programs, is frequently heard at concerts, recitals and other venues; it adds color and a touch of class to any musical gathering.

The mission of the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra is to play, “Great Music Close to Home.” The orchestra has a huge talent base to draw from, so their concerts are always outstanding. Going forward the plan is to create music that has an original take – they don't want to do what has been done before. But, says James, “There is so much to draw from; there are so many great pieces and so many wonderful composers. There is music for every attitude and every mood."

The San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra has become an integral part of the culture in Southern California. Because of the pandemic, the orchestra has had to modify its typical shows – but do not worry, the music is still happening! An upcoming event is the Violin Concerto Project. In it are violin concertos written by James that have never been performed live. Four violinists will each play one of the four, along with a piano solo. The recital will take place live on Zoom and recordings will be available on YouTube. Socially distanced concerts are also in the works as soon as restrictions lift.

Want to expand your knowledge of music? Maestro Domine offers ongoing classes throughout the year that are not only educational, but also very enjoyable. For more information, access the orchestra website,, and click on “Current Music.”

San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra also offers an annual Woodland Hills Rotary Scholarship Competition that will take place on Sunday, January 10, 2021. This live Zoom event benefits instrumental music students in the San Fernando and Conejo Valleys. Applicants must submit recordings and winners will perform in a recital with the orchestra.

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