A ‘River Rhapsody’ in the park is this year's Tribute to the Trees

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Benjamin Simon will conduct the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra’s 18th annual Tribute to the Trees at Dunsmuir City Park June 28. This year’s theme is ‘River Rhapsody.’ The event is the major fundraiser for the Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens.

“River Rhapsody” is the theme chosen by the Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens committee for this year’s Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra concert, scheduled for June 28 at Dunsmuir City Park.

The 18th annual Tribute to the Trees event is the major fundraiser for the Botanical Gardens, which will use proceeds for the Botanical Gardens Endowment and the completion of the Botanical Gardens Master Plan.

Conducted by Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra music director Benjamin Simon, this year’s program includes soloist Michel Taddei, a renowned double bassist, as well as the world premiere of “Crossroads,” composed by PACO alumna Elizabeth Lim, who is continuing her studies at Harvard this summer.

Tickets are available at the Dunsmuir Recreation District Office, Monday-Friday from

9 a.m. to noon. Reservations can also be phoned to the office at 530-235-4740.

Open seating dinner/concert tickets are available for $40 (members receive a discount).

Concert sponsor tickets are available for $75 and include reserved seating for the dinner and concert and a complimentary “Tribute to the Trees” wine glass etched with a dogwood blossom.

Concert-only tickets are $20.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. with cocktails, a silent auction, and raffle, followed at 5 p.m. by Al Fresco Supper catered by Mary Rae Enlow. The performance is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

This year’s program will feature musical selections from the Orchestra’s 2007-08 concert season, including:

• Georg Frederic Handel’s Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 11 in A Major

• Elizabeth Lim’s Crossroads

• Domenico Dragonetti’s  Double Bass Concerto in G Major

• Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, Op. 48.

The setting for the event is a Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens meadow with the Upper Sacramento River in the background. Dunsmuir City Park is located at 4821 Dunsmuir Ave.

Founded by William Whitson in 1966, the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra is an award-winning training orchestra for Bay Area string players of high-school age and younger.

Simon, a native of San Francisco who has performed around the world as a violinist, is in his sixth year as music director.

Michel Taddei, who is making his debut with the PACO Debut Ensemble this season, is an accomplished double bassist and singer who has recorded extensively and is principal bassist for the Berkeley Symphony and San Francisco Chamber Orchestras.

Elizabeth Lim

Elizabeth Lim is a senior at Harvard University, where she is pursuing a major in composition and a minor in East Asian studies.

She is the winner of PACO’s second annual Youth for Youth Commission Award

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she was a member of the Music Teacher’s Association of California Young Composers Guild and has received numerous other awards and honors for her compositions, including the Harvard University Hugh F MacColl Prize for her string quartet, “The Dream.”

Her pieces have been performed at the Kunstuniversität in Berlin, Germany, the 2007 Nevada Encounters of New Music Festival, 2006 SCI Student National Conference, the NACUSA San Francisco Chapter Composers Concert, the Brevard Music Festival, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

Elizabeth will not be able to attend the event as she is still attending Harvard.