New West Symphony Invites Local Residents to “Adopt-a-Musician”


Eileen Roberts

Thousand Oaks, CAMusic lovers seeking to support the cultural arts in Ventura County by connecting to some of Southern California’s outstanding musicians are invited to Adopt-A-Musician of the New West Symphony.

Through their financial support, participants in the Adopt-A-Musician Program receive invitations to private rehearsal receptions and exclusive events to mingle with musicians, special recognition in concert programs, and perks such as sharing the stage with Ventura County’s premier music ensemble at rehearsals. Multiple adoption level opportunities are available for adopting one or more of New West Symphony’s 56 orchestra members. 

“When you adopt a musician, you honor that individual’s exceptional talents and dedication to their craft while helping to sustain our professional orchestra’s high standards of excellence,” said CEO Natalia Staneva. “This important program is a way to connect you with your favorite instrument or tenured musician of the orchestra while making a significant impact on the cultural arts in your own community.”

Funds raised through the Adopt-A-Musician Program are important in allowing New West Symphony, founded in 1995, to continue its mission of “inspiring passion for music through live performances that attract, engage, educate, and enrich our diverse audiences,” said Staneva.

On August 27, New West Symphony donors and musician sponsors are invited to “Hilltop Summer Dreams,” a stunning outdoor party under the stars including dinner, located at a gorgeous, private Santa Rosa Valley Estate. The 6-9 p.m. event includes a private concert provided by NWS principal musicians, featuring Alyssa Park (concertmaster), James W. Grinta (trumpet) and P. Blake Cooper (tuba), plus award-winning jazz trumpeter Ilya Serov and his jazz ensemble.

Participating NWS musicians appreciate the opportunity to perform for and bond with those in the community who support the arts.

“It’s been such a pleasure to be a part of the New West family,” says Park, NWS concertmaster since 2015. “The Ventura County community that supports New West Symphony was instrumental in helping the organization thrive through the difficult Covid years, as well as secure our future for hopefully many seasons to come. So being able to play for and attend donor events gives me a chance to get to know the special people that support our orchestra year after year.”

“New West Symphony is special to me because it consists of top-notch musicians, many of whom have been with the orchestra for years and years,” says Grinta, NWS’ principal trumpet since 2005. “We have an identity as an orchestra, and an accumulated wealth of experience in diverse performing and recording situations. This enables the orchestra to come together quickly and prepare a high-level performance that is deeply fulfilling to our public as well as to ourselves.”

Connecting with the public is among the joys of participating in New West Symphony, adds Cooper, principal tuba since 2013. “I enjoy going to post-concert receptions and doing solo tuba performances in homes where we meet our wonderful patrons,” he says. “And I like mingling with concertgoers and patrons during intermission at our performances, a feature that Music Director Michael Christie has promoted in recent years. It’s another wonderful way to connect with our audience.”

“Hilltop Summer Dreams,” a 6-9 p.m. event located at a gorgeous, private Santa Rosa Valley Estate, “is our way of saying thank you to our season sponsors and those who adopt or pledge to adopt one of our fantastic musicians prior to August 27,” said Staneva.

For additional information on the Adopt-A-Musician Program and “Hilltop Summer Dreams” on August 27, call (805) 497-5800, or visit

New Season Begins October 1 & 2
New West Symphony’s 2022/2023 Masterpiece Series will begin October 1 and 2 in Thousand Oaks and Camarillo, respectively, with “Masters of Melody,” featuring American composer and double bass virtuoso Xavier Foley and Hermanos Herrera, performing classic melodies from Mexico and The Great American Songbook. Guest vocalist Brighton Thomas will also perform in the concert, conducted by Michael Christie, NWS Music Director.

All Masterpiece Series concerts are held at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza (Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.) and the Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center in Camarillo (Sundays, 3 p.m.). Ticket information: (866) 776-8400.

Founded in 1995, New West Symphony is a professional orchestra that draws its players from the rich talent pool of professional Los Angeles-area musicians. In addition, NWS provides educational opportunities for local youth through its annual “Symphonic Adventures” concerts, its traveling Music Van, and the Laby Harmony Project for underserved youth.

For additional information on New West Symphony, visit or