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Concert series thrives thanks to great efforts

Youngsters visit with Santa during a past Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park Holiday Concert.

Concert series thrives thanks to great efforts

The annual Scripps Ranch Holiday Concert draws the largest gathering of residents during the festive season. This year’s event is set for 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10, in Jerabek Neighborhood Park, 10200 Scripps Trail.

The concert, produced by the Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park organization, will feature a band playing holiday songs. This year, the annual community Tree Lighting, conducted by local Girls Scouts, will precede the concert.

Once the Girls Scouts complete the tree lighting ceremony, the band will take over, fueling a warm holiday atmosphere. The arrival of Santa, of course, is the highlight of the event.

Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park produces five concert events each season. The first four, running once each month in June through September, are held in Hoyt Park. The Holiday Concert is the final event of the season. It is now held in Jerabek Park because the lawn at Jerabek Park is not as wet during December, said Rachel Votel, Symphony in the Park co-chair.

The organization started back in 1985, according to Votel. It used to be part of the Scripps Ranch Old Pros until about seven years ago when it became a not for profit entity. Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park is funded through donations from members of the community and business sponsors. Usually a different business is the main sponsor for each individual concert. There are different levels of donations for those adding their financial support. The organization sends out letters once a year to residents and businesses to request donations.

“We go out every year and do fundraising with all of our Scripps Ranch neighbors, as well as businesses,” Votel said.

Art Moreau is the other co-chair working along with Votel. The Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park committee has 22 members, and anyone wishing to get involved with the group can simply approach one of the current committee members at the next event.

Internally, the committee’s season begins in January, and the group starts booking bands in March. Fortunately, Tom Boyd, drummer and leader of the band Heroes, is a committee member. He does a good job of negotiating with the bands and booking them for the season, Votel said.

“We’ve been able to sustain it throughout all these years,” Votel said. “We haven’t had to cut back. In fact, we’ve done more enhancements. … It really has come a long way.”

Some of the enhancements include the Porta-Potties and the addition of the portable hand washing stations that are placed nearby before each event.

If the 2017 summer season is any indication, the Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park series will remain popular for a long time. Concerts this year have drawn large crowds, with lots of attendees enjoying picnics and many dancing in front of the bands. The June concert this year was especially well-attended, with nearly every patch of grass in the park occupied.

Visit symphonyinthepark.org.

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