The Maestra

South Florida Symphony Orchestra~The manifest dream of Music Director and Conductor Sebrina Alfonso

Sebrina María Alfonso

“…Sebrina Maria Alfonso [is] a dynamic, commanding Maestro with plenty of orchestral experience...The orchestra played flawlessly for her, and the audience gave her the only bravos we heard all evening.”

                                                       - New York reviewer Bill Zakariasen

“…Alfonso…ushered her audience into chambers of fantasy, imagery and feeling – elements essential to fine music-making. This is the way conducting used to be.”

                                                                 -The San Jose Mercury News

Background

Sebrina María Alfonso made her New York debut conducting the American Symphony Orchestra at the finals of the Stokowski International Competition in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. The audience greeted this prizewinner with a standing ovation following her performance and pronounced her the clear winner in the audience poll announced at the end of the proceedings.

In 2002, Maestra Alfonso became the first Cuban American conductor invited to conduct Cuba’s premier orchestra where she received standing ovations with standing room only concerts.  She continues a relationship with that orchestra and has traveled to Cuba on four other occasions.

Other orchestras with which Maestra Alfonso has appeared as guest conductor are the: Los Angeles Philharmonic; National Orchestra of Cuba;  San Jose Symphony; San Jose Chamber Orchestra; Pacific Symphony;  San Antonio Symphony; North Carolina Symphony; Charleston Symphony; Prague Radio Symphony; Orchestra de Rús in Sienna, Italy;  Ann Arbor Symphony;  Missouri Symphony Society; Women’s Philharmonic, and Aspen Music Festival Orchestra.

Behind The Curtains

“Enriching lives through the performance of intellectually and emotionally powerful symphonic music.”

Board of Directors & Community Partners

                     BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Charles Lane, Chair

Bruce Presley, Vice Chair

Paula Valad,  Media Relations

Michael A. Capul

Philip N. Milani

Joseph Griffin

Sebrina Maria Alfonso, Music Director

Jacqueline Lorber,  President/CEO

STAFF & CONSULTANTS

Sula Miller, Director-Community Affairs

Ernie Espina, Admin Assist.

Lori Janicki, Admin Assist. & Ad Sales

Frank Galloway, Grant Specialist

Sharon Snyder, Leadership Gifts

Amy Smith, Office Manager

Marsha Michaels, Graphic Artist

Dilyana Zlatinova-Tsenov, Personnel Manager

Dr. Kenneth Stevenson, Board Consultant

Eluminate Marketing

Jen Klaussens Consulting

MPR Equities

Pierson Grant Public Relations

ADVERTISING

Peter Arnow

Cindy Curtis

Roberta DePiero

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Pierre Taschereau

Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance

MEDIA PARTNERS

Conch Color

Hot Spots

KeyTV

Konk Life

SFGN

South Florida Luxury Guide

WLRN Public Radio 

SYMPHONY IN THE SCHOOLS

 Do It For Me (Music Education)

President’s Council on the Humanities

Turn Around Arts

Wyland Foundation

PRE-CONCERT TALKS

Ian Fraser

Edward Pitts

VOLUNTEERS

Doug Ames

Ian Fraser

Bert Lutomski

Jerry Tvrdik

History of The Symphony

South Florida Symphony Orchestra~The manifest dream of Music Director and Conductor Sebrina Alfonso

From Key West to The World

A Vision

The South Florida Symphony Orchestra is the manifest dream of Music Director and Conductor Sebrina Mari­a Alfonso. She was joined in her vision by townspeople and city leaders interested in making live symphonic music accessible to the community and its young people both as a performing art and as an educational experience. This is not an easy undertaking by an island community located at the end of a sparsely populated, one hundred and fifty-mile long, rural chain of islands.

Maestra Alfonso was born and raised in Key West, a sixth-generation Conch. Even with clear success and accolades during the years she studied and performed across the country and in Europe, Key West continued to hold a special place in Sebrina Maria Alfonso's heart. With the support of her family and friends, Ms. Alfonso returned to Key West and founded the Key West Symphony Orchestra in August 1997. A fundraising concert was performed in March 1998. The event attracted enough interest that core supporters suggested a debut of a full orchestra in December of that year. The KWSO reserved the Tennessee Williams Theatre and recruited forty-eight musicians from symphonies around the country. Symphony organizers adopted by-laws, named a diverse Board of twenty-two directors and elected officers. Fundraising moved into high gear with support from the community and corporate sponsors.

The Beginning

On Friday, December 11, 1998, lights dimmed at the Tennessee Williams Theatre and the KWSO dream became a reality. Both the inaugural concert and the children's free educational concerts on the previous Wednesday were received with bravos and rave reviews. Aspiring to bring the awe and inspiration of classical music to a greater part of the region, critically acclaimed Maestra Sebrina Maria Alfonso, collectively with dedicated arts patrons, launched the Key West Symphony Orchestra 14 seasons ago. 

Alfonso made her New York debut conducting the American Symphony Orchestra at the finals of the Stokowski International Competition. She studied with Frederic Prausnitz at the Peabody conservatory and with Harold Farberman and Daniel Lewis at the Conducting Institute. During her doctoral studies at Peabody, she served as artistic director and conductor of the John Carroll Opera Company in Annapolis, Frederick Symphony and Goucher Symphony Orchestra. In 1998, the Key West native's dedication to music and her dream to establish a first-class orchestra came true with the creation of the Key West Symphony Orchestra. For more than a decade, this small, but cultural Florida community has enjoyed world-class music and renowned soloists under the musical direction of Alfonso.

Community Focused

Committed to continuing arts and music education, the Key West Symphony has been instrumental in mentoring area children through various training programs, master classes and free community concerts. In 2002, Sebrina Mari­a Alfonso became the first Cuban American conductor invited to conduct Cuba's premier orchestra, the National Orchestra of Cuba, where she received standing ovations. Several sold out shows and years later, Alfonso received accolades for her appearances as a guest conductor with such esteemed orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Jose Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, the Prague Radio Symphony, the Orchestra de Rus in Sienna, Italy, and the Women's Philharmonic, among many others. She even conducted an underwater concert for over 400 divers which received world-wide recognition.

Attracting The Best

Prominent performers with whom she has worked include Chee-Yun, Zuill Bailey, Cho Liang Lin, Robert McDuffie, Sharon Isbin, Elmar Oliveira, Christopher Taylor, Nicolette Benedetti, Awadagin Pratt, Natasha Paremski and Jeffrey Chappell among others. With her national reputation continuing to expand, Sebrina has been the recipient of feature stories on CBS radio news, CNN, the AP Press, MS Magazine (New York), Deco Drive and Miami News (ABC) and has been reported in Reuters. 

Continuing to Grow

Ms. Alfonso is an advocate for American composers and it is this commitment that has seen her organize group commissions for various orchestras and has recorded works of James Grant under the MMC label of Boston with the Prague Radio Symphony. She is also a featured conductor with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra of American Composers. During the summers at the Conductors Institute, Sebrina held fellowships and was invited to perform several world premieres, including her own composition ˜Freedom Crossing," a work which commemorated the tenth anniversary of the Mariel Cuban boat-crossing in which thousands risked their lives to gain their freedom.

A devoted, creative and charismatic Maestra, Alfonso has been profiled on CNN, CBS Radio News, WSVN Channel 7's Deco Drive and WPLG Local 10 (ABC) and has been featured in the Associated Press, Reuters, Ms. magazine and Southern Living, among others.

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88 KEYS INITIATIVE LEVELS

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OVERTURE $25,000 Select(one time payment)  Select ($5,000 Multi-Year Investment)

♦ Name & Photo on 'Overture Page'

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CONCERTO $50,000 Select  (one time payment)  Select ($10,000 Multi-Year Investment)

♦ Name & Photo on 'Concerto Page'

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OPUS $125,000 Select  (one time payment)  Select ($25,000 Multi-Year Investment)

♦ Name & Photo on 'Overture Page'

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Black Key Society $250,000  Select  (one time payment)  Select ($50,000 Multi-Year Investment)

♦ 1/4 Page, (Photo & Bio)

♦ Special recognition at season premiere

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PRODIGY $500,000   Select (one time payment)  Select ($100,000 Multi-Year Investment)

♦ 1/2 Page, (Photo & Bio)

♦ Special recognition at season premiere

♦ Sponsorship credit for Chamber Music Series

♦ Customized Benefits

♦ Special recognition at season premiere

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VIRTUOSO $750,000 Select  (one time payment)  Select ($150,000 Multi-Year Investment)

♦ 1 Page, (Photo & Bio)

♦ Private Dinner with Soloists

♦ Sponsorship credit for one production

♦ Customized Benefits

♦ Special recognition at season premiere

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IMPRESARIO $1,000,000 Select  (one time payment)  Select (Multi-Year Investment)

♦ 1 Page, (Photo & Bio)

♦ Optional Bonus Page in Program

♦ Sponsorship credit for four production

♦ Customized Benefits

♦ Special recognition at season premiere

CLICK HERE if you wish to donate another amount not specified.

Last Season was stellar. Member support during Phase One of the Stradivarius Society's fundraising initiative exceeded all expectations, reaching over $1,000,000. This represents an incredible 80% one year increase in revenue! The Symphony has experienced a significant increase in memberships, legacy gifts, grants, and major giving activity. Our multi-year transformation to serve the South Florida Region is nothing short of extraordinary.

The South Florida Symphony Orchestra has a long standing commitment of offering the finest symphonic performances to South Florida. We enlist world class musicians, soloists and vocalists for Masterworks and Pops concerts. The Tropical Beats and Chamber Music Concert series bring the arts to a wide and varied audience throughout the area. Our Symphony in the Schools program brings the same world class artists to inspire the next generation of music lovers and performers.

Stradivarius Society

The 88 Keys Initiative

The Stradivarius Society of the South Florida Symphony Orchestra welcomes you to the 88 Keys Initiative

"Contributions from the John D. Evans Foundation and Downtown Loft Studio have been vital to building musical culture and expression in South Florida.”

Become a Member

Membership

With two decades of remarkable achievements, the South Florida Symphony Orchestra is poised for its next phase of growth. With a vision for the future, philanthropists John Evans and Steven Wozencraft of the John D. Evans Foundation have joined Bruce Presley of Downtown Loft Studio in creating the Black Key Society.

Inspired by the number of keys of a piano, the new 88 Keys Initiative provides the framework for South Florida to celebrate and support the Symphony. According to Jacqueline Lorber, CEO / President of the Symphony,  

John, Steven, and Bruce envision the South Florida community working toward building a world class Symphony. How better to facilitate this outcome than to support the renowned soloists and musicians who comprise the Symphony that we know and love? These patrons, in their commitment to tangible results, have provided $110,000 to launch the campaign.

Please join the growing group of supporters by becoming part of the 88 Keys Initiative. With support, you will nurture the Symphony's success and growth for decades to come.

"Contributions from the John D. Evans Foundation and Downtown Loft Studio have been vital to building musical culture and expression in South Florida. The resulting transformation has elevated the Symphony to a key component of the cultural landscape. By creating appreciation for classical music among our youth, we are ensuring the quality of life for future audiences." 

             - President/CEO Jacqueline Lorber

Can you imagine a world without the music of Mozart, Beethoven and Bach? I can't! I, like many residents of South Florida came from the New York metropolitan area where exposure to classical music was vast. This was not true when I first moved to Fort Lauderdale 25 years ago. It has been gratifying to watch the SFSO become such a renowned organization and I am pleased to be a supporter of Maestra Alfonso and her wonderful musicians. Bruce Presley

STRADIVARIUS MEMBER

 Your 5 year minimum commitment of $5,000+ is the cornerstone of financial stability for the South Florida Symphony. Benefits included are determined by the amount pledged. (see Beethoven and Maestra Circle levels below for benefits)

MAESTRA CIRCLE $10,000+

♦ 4 Season Subscriptions for the 2016-17 Master Concerts Series, seating of your choice

♦ 4 Tickets to the Chamber Series

♦ Complimentary All Access Pass for 2 to Symphony In Paradise Concert Series

♦ Photograph in Program book and SFSO Website

♦ Invitation to exclusive party with Internationally Renowned Soloists

♦ 25% discount on all Symphony sponsored events

♦ 4 Admissions to our VIP reception at all Master Concerts

♦ 4 Admissions to sit on stage next to musician seat of your choice during Dress Rehearsal and attend reception with musicians after rehearsal

♦ 2 Complimentary All Access Pass to the Tropical Beats Series

♦ Recognition of your donation in Program Book

♦ Recognition of Musician Seat in your name on Musician Page in Program Book

♦ Exclusive access to members-only ticket pre-sales & special discounts

BEETHOVEN SOCIETY $5,000+

♦ 2 Season Subscriptions for the 2016-17 Master Concerts Series, seating of your choice

♦ 2 Tickets to the Chamber Series

♦ Photograph in Program book

♦ 20% discount on all events

♦ 2 Admissions to our VIP reception at all Master Concerts

♦ 2 Admissions to sit on stage next to musician seat of your choice during Dress Rehearsal and attend reception with musicians after rehearsal

♦ Invitation to exclusive party with International Renowned Soloists

♦ Recognition of your donation in Program Book

♦ Recognition of Musician Seat in your name on Musician Page in Program Book

♦ Exclusive access to members-only ticket pre-sales & special discounts

MOZART SOCIETY $2,500+

♦ 2 Season Subscriptions for the 2016-17 Master Concerts Series, seating of your choice

♦ 2 Tickets to the Chamber Series

♦ 15% discount on all events

♦ 2 Admissions to our VIP reception at all Master Concerts

♦ 2 Admissions to sit on stage next to musician seat of your choice during Dress Rehearsal and attend reception with musicians after rehearsal

♦ Recognition of your donation in Program Book

♦ Recognition of Musician Seat in your name on Musician Page in Program Book

♦ Exclusive access to members-only ticket pre-sales & special discounts

PATRON SOCIETY $1,200+

♦ 1 Season Subscription for the 2016-17 Master Concerts Series, seating of your choice

♦ 1 Ticket to the Chamber Series

♦ 10% discount on all events

♦ 1 Admission to our VIP reception at all Master Concerts

♦ 1 Admission to sit on stage next to musician seat of your choice during Dress Rehearsal and attend reception with musicians after rehearsal

♦ Recognition of your donation in Program Book

♦ Recognition of Musician Seat in your name on Musician Page in Program Book

♦ Exclusive access to members-only ticket pre-sales & special discounts

Support The Symphony