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ever since. Some of our musicians have been with us since day one,” Redfern said. The orchestra incorporated as South Valley Symphony Association, Inc. back in 1977, and in 1979, it attained 501(c)(3) non-profit status. A key aspect of SVS’s longevity is that, at its core, it’s a community symphony. Ashley Jung, second flutist and student of SVS oboist Vini Carter is proud to be associated with an orchestra comprised of people in her own community. “Under the guidance of an accomplished conductor, Anthony Quartuccio, all of the members come together as a unified whole to produce music for their own ears, and for the ears of their audience members,” Jung, one of SVS’s youngest members, said. “Community orchestra is rapidly taking on a new role across the country, and South Valley is at the cutting edge,” Quartuccio said. “What was once more of a hobby, an excuse for musicians to dress up in their Sunday best and play for family and friends, is now a vocation and service to our community. We’ve eliminated the formalities of early twentieth century and broken the generation gap to provide a multi- generational music experience.” SVS encourages local music lovers to make their way to the Gavilan College stage, or, on Mother’s Day, to Mission San Juan Bautista, to hear and enjoy musical productions performed by a professional orchestra made up of com- munity members, people they know. “We’re their neighbors. We’re the people they see in the store, at church. We’re the motorcyclist that goes by, we are everyone,” Olivier Blount said. Mary Anne Groen feels the symphony is the perfect family event. “We always invite our audience up to the stage afterwards, and if any kids are curious about instruments, we invite them up.” She wants to encourage kids to “get off the Netflix, and come to a live performance.” For Olivier Blount, SVS isn’t just a community orchestra, it’s family. She 62 and her husband of 47 years, Walker Blount, both played in their high school orchestra, and both now play for SVS. Walker is the principal clarinet. “Because we’re a family, I think we sound better, we play better,” she said. “Then I look over, and just like when I was in high school, there’s my husband.” Her only wish for SVS is that it continues to grow and “to be a bet- ter orchestra.” To accomplish this goal, she said “SVS needs to continue performing, but more importantly, they need people to listen. Come to all of the concerts, they’re all wonderful.” Quartuccio agrees, “Our musicians want to connect with the community, like family, and our hope is that every- one goes home touched by something they’ve heard from our symphony.” Learn more online at southvalley- symphony.org. Ashley Jung, second flutist and stu- dent of SVS oboist Vini Carter The South Valley Symphony practicing for it’s 44 th season that will kick-off with a benefit concert on October 1 st at Guglielmo Winery. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 gmhtoday.com