Who we are

We are musicians who come together to rehearse and perform orchestral music. We’re unique among “community orchestras” because we accept players with a wide range of skill levels, from perhaps “high-school level” to near “professional.” If you play an instrument and you like classical music, you’re welcome to talk to us about joining!

Our atmosphere

Though we strive to provide the best level of performance possible, we offer a low-stress and welcoming environment for all members. (Well, maybe there are one or two exceptions... but really!) Here are some comments from our members:

“The orchestra members are kind and encouraging which makes it easy, for someone who is new to an orchestra, to learn and grow.”

“I feel inspired without feeling overwhelmed.”

“One of the highlights of my week is playing with SBP.”

“It really has been a thrill to rehearse and perform with you all, and proves that the connection of music players is a world-wide community.”
  — Visiting musician from Portland, Oregon

We prepare three concerts per year. Each concert involves perhaps six or seven full-orchestra rehearsals on Monday evenings, preceded by a couple weeks of strings-only rehearsals.

Our history

For 15 years, the Hewlett-Packard Symphony Orchestra offered a friendly environment for musicians of various skill levels to rehearse and perform. Though the group started within HP, community members were always welcome to participate. The HPSO no longer exists, but many of its members now play in the South Bay Philharmonic.

See the HPSO Web Site Archive

Our people

  • Music Director
    Herb Gellis
  • Conductor
    George Yefchak

Read about our unusual “dual” Music Director / Conductor leadership here.

Members

See listing here.

Staff

See listing here.

 

How to join

We welcome musicians who play any orchestral instrument at or above a high-school skill level. Rehearsals are early Monday evenings (6:30–8:30 p.m.) in Mountain View.

Please contact us by email (info@southbayphil.org) before coming. It’s not that we might not like you. We just want to avoid ending up with eleven piccolos or five tubas!

Dues: We ask our members to pay dues of $20 per concert season if possible. That’s typically $40-$60 per year.


“If it weren't for SBP, I wouldn't be playing now.”
— SBP musician