Press Release

New West Symphony

Ross Goldberg FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 27, 2017




Local Residents Bona and Larry Press Named "Supporters of the Year" of the New West Symphony's Harmony Project of Ventura County


(THOUSAND OAKS) – February 27 2017 -- Longtime Ventura residents Bona and Larry Press have been named “Supporters of the Year” of the New West Symphony’s Harmony Project, a tuition-free after school program that provides quality music instruction to children from low-income families who would not otherwise have access to music education. 


“Just watching and listening to the boys and girls make music is the best feeling in the world for us,” said Bona, a former teacher and first amendment advocate who has been active school journalism in the Ventura and Bakersfield communities.  Larry is a professional journalist who worked for newspapers in Wyoming and Bakersfield before the couple settled in Ventura a quarter of a century ago.  


The couple was exposed to the Harmony project by its founder, Sandra Laby, and have been active supporters and unofficial ambassadors ever since.  The Press’ are also active in many other community organizations including the Boys & Girls Club and Battered Women Organizations.  In honoring the couple, the New West Symphony cited their “incredible and passionate commitment to making our community a better and more cherished place to live, work and raise a family.”


The New West Symphony’s Harmony Project provides families in Ventura County opportunities to participate in music – from seeing the orchestra perform live in concert to putting instruments directly into the hands of children for free and giving them the structured support needed to thrive.  The Project currently serves 150 students from Title 1 schools in Ventura from third grade through high school graduation.


Founded in 1995, the New West Symphony is a professional orchestra that draws its players from the rich talent pool of professional Los Angeles-area musicians. The Symphony is the resident company of the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, and Barnum Hall in Santa Monica.  It presents six Masterpiece Series concerts annually, performing major works from the symphonic repertoire with internationally-acclaimed artists as guest soloists.  The Symphony also provides quality outreach and educational opportunities for the communities it serves through its annual Symphonic Adventures concert programs for youth, its traveling Music Van, and its New West Symphony Harmony Project of Ventura County,  More information is available at or follow us on Facebook at


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