On December 7th we had the great honor of celebrating our dear friend, and outgoing board chair, Dr. Paul Finkel. It was a fantastic fundraiser for New West Symphony with 300 of our closest friends. Thank you, Paul, for your love and dedication to the New West Symphony. And thank you to all our wonderful guests and performers who made it a very special evening.
On the night of the gala, documentary film maker, and son of the honoree, Alexander Finkel presented this video interview of Paul Finkel.
See photos from the event!

Special Performance

The gala included a special performance of The Sacred Mountains of Ojai, composed by Pauline Frechette. The Lyris Quartet performed an arrangement for string quartet by David Campbell at the gala, accompanied by paintings generously provided by Ojai Studio Artists. A full orchestra version will debut at the New West Symphony’s performance of The Romantics, February 9-10, 2019.
Preview the piece below. Video produced by Joe Sohm.

About Our Honoree

Over the last 29 years, the League has been celebrating the winter holidays by presenting the Poinsettia Ball on the first Friday in December.  Beginning this year, we are changing the format to a festive annual gala that will celebrate the accomplishments of the distinguished individuals in our community while raising funds to support New West Symphony and its education programs.
The inaugural gala will honor Dr. Paul Finkel for his staunch support of the New West Symphony and his contributions to the medical field.  Dr. Finkel joined the board of directors in 2008, and since 2014, he has served as Chairman of the Board, where he is completing his term in August 2018. His visionary leadership will continue to have a lasting impact in the community.
As an internist and nephrology subspecialist, Dr. Finkel served with the U.S. Air Force in the Vietnam War caring for troops with traumatic acute renal failure. He was a member of the faculty of UCLA Medical School for 15 years, and practiced medicine at Los Robles Medical Center and in private practice, retiring in 2014.
In addition to his passion for symphonic music, Dr. Finkel is known for his love of photography. For many years, he used traditional techniques to capture glimpses of the human psyche in candid moments or the wonders of nature. In his new body of work, called Reflections, he has gravitated to the creation of an amalgamation of photography and painting. Our inaugural gala is named in honor of Dr. Finkel’s art collection and reflects on our past, celebrates our present, and provides a glimpse of our future.

Read a little about Paul’s life here >> Paul’s Story




Fern & Arnold Heyman, MD


John Hammer
Jordan Laby
Silvio Pelico
Dr. Russell & Michele Spoto


Saralee M. Baldwin & Jerry Robbins
Los Robles Hospital
Karen Dean Fritts and John Shwope
Rain & Peter Van Name


Susan Burgos
City of Thousand Oaks
Nancy Israel
Philippa & Karl Klessig

Lucy & Sam Bruttomesso
California Lutheran University
Lisa Darin
Leah Mendelsohn
Financial Life Plans
David & Gloria Spencer
Kim Woods & Mark Schadecker


Alexander Finkel and Board Chair Kim Woods invite you to join us as an honored guest and sponsor.


Denise Danne, League President
Renee Salick & Kathy Todd, Gala Vice Chairs
Pat Croner
Cindy Idell
Nadine Kawaguchi
Anne Prokopovych
Ernestine Stansbery


Claudia Bill-de la Peña
Lisa Darin
Dr. Hannah Grossman
Nancy Israel
Jordan Laby
Rick Lemmo
Dr. Karie McMurray
Natalie Mussi
Doug Yarrow


Harry Croner
Patricia Richards Dodds
Dr. Arnold Heyman
Dr. Chris Kimball
Julia Ladd
Stephen MacIntosh
Leah Mendelsohn
Joe Seetoo