Mountain View Voice

News - May 4, 2012

Orchestra is open to adoption

City could open CPA to a 'Mountain View Symphony'

by Daniel DeBolt

Mountain View could join an elite group of cities that have their own orchestra and the sense of civic pride that goes with it, says Mayor Mike Kasperzak.

Nova Vista, a 46-year-old local symphony, is willing to be the city's official orchestra if City Council members can get behind the deal. Kasperzak pitched the idea last week after he was approached by Nova Vista's Russel Hancock. The City Council voted 6-0 on April 24 to allow city staff to begin reviewing the proposal.

Nova Vista was formed in 1966 when the Sunnyvale Symphony combined with Foothill College symphony members. Its first performance was at Foothill College and the group has bounced around ever since, though with ties to Foothill and De Anza college.

Nova Vista has had a "pretty stable presence" in the county, said board member and bass player Jeff Wachtel. Lately it has been using the Center for Performing Arts for three performances a year.

"We'd like to perform all of our concerts here," Wachtel said. "If we could do five a year, that would be terrific."

The symphony is willing to change its name in order to have a home in "a jewel of a Performing Arts Center," he said.

"We love to make beautiful music and the idea of sharing it with a community is really foremost for the orchestra," Wachtel said.

City Council members were hesitant to quickly give away "home company status" to Nova Vista at their April 24 meeting, saying they wanted to give other orchestras a fair chance as well.

"Why Nova Vista, why not other orchestras?" said council member Jac Siegel, whose position on the matter is shared with council member Ronit Bryant and Margaret Abe-Koga. "I'm trying to be fair about it. If we're going to open this up why wouldn't we (contact) Peninsula Symphony or Redwood Symphony?"

No other candidates are known at this point.

"I don't know the last time anybody has come forward," Kasperzak said.

For a longer version of this story, visit mv-voice.com

Email Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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