From the Students

“One time after I played a gig, a man stood up to talk to the hotel guests and my group and said that he was inspired by such young kids playing fantastic music. I don’t think I have ever inspired anyone before, let alone have them say it out loud. That was a good experience and feeling.” Lucas, Sr. Orchestra cellist

“Playing with others on the same instrument has helped me feel like I fit in.” Hezekiah, Jr. Orchestra violinist

“GGP helped me learn theory, get scholarships to Cazadero and has given me confidence, friends, experience—all of which helped me get accepted to SOTA as a violinist/violist.” Bridget, Sr. Orchestra

“Many of us would have nowhere else to go after school, since so many Bay Area music programs have been eliminated.” Ricky, Camerata cellist

“I especially love lining up to walk out on stage with my friends during concerts at SOTA. Thank you for all of your support, we appreciate it very much.” Sammy, Cadet Orchestra

“The Theory Book is challenging at times, but it sure pays off!” Francesca, Jr. Orchestra

“I have overcome learning disabilities and self-consciousness through my study of music at GGP. I was able to graduate from SOTA because GGP not only prepared me for this musically demanding school, but supplemented my music education while I was there. I have learned how to discipline myself in studying other things.” Maggie, Camerata Cellist

“GGP helps me express myself and gives me a break from the real world.” Psalm, Jr. Orchestra

“I feel I can tackle the most complicated concerto, the most stressful sonatas and the most daring duets.” Kenneth, Sr. Orchestra

“GGP saved me by keeping me working hard and improving.” Lucinda, Sr. Orchestra

From the Faculty

The best part of teaching at GGP is…”the opportunity to contribute to, directly effect, and observe over several years the exponential growth of many students as string players, musicians and, in some cases, artists and people, and the great satisfaction of realizing that growth in successful performances that often achieve and sometimes exceed an artistic standard beyond what the students themselves believe they are capable of.” Geoffrey Gallegos, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, GGP

My favorite moment or memory at GGP is…”When a GGP student who grew up in a rather at-risk environment was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and was facing some serious criminal charges,Joan and the GGP community rallied together in such a way that the officers of the court had never seen such a support network for a defendant. He received excellent legal representation, was not found guilty, and was able to take advantage of the scholarships he had earned for college. The support of Joan in particular and the GGP community in general were instrumental, I believe, in leading to this positive outcome.” Michel, Bass Coach

The thing that is so great about GGP is… “that it provides the kind of musical training that used to be part of the outstanding public schools of California and is now a distant memory. I remember in the third grade everybody trooping into the cafeteria, being given an ear-training test, picking instruments (free!) from fully stocked, separate band or orchestra rooms, getting a (free!) half-hour private lesson every week. In 7th grade you could take music theory (free!) in zero period. I wrote a String Trio and a Quartet. My brother and I did arrangements of my dad’s pop piano sheet music and we had a gig quartet to make money. All these things are now only available because of Joan Murray and the awesome fundraising parents of GGP. Chamber music, gigs, theory are available to all, not just those at private schools. As it should be.” Valerie, Violin & Viola Coach

The best part of helping at GGP is…”Seeing their pride, joy & accomplishments.” Kati, Volunteer Faculty

“I have come to learn how music not only enriches the lives of children, but actually improves brain function and increases intelligence. For example, children who learn music notation actually comprehend fractions in mathematics more readily than children who have not had a music theory background.
• Special talent is not necessary to become a good player.
• The self-discipline that children learn when studying a musical instrument is useful in many other areas of their childhood and adult lives.
• Experiencing success on a musical instrument increases children’s self-confidence.
• Children love playing music together and develop life-long friendships with other musicians with whom they have trained.” Brenda, Alumni Parent and Volunteer Faculty

From the Parents

“During these challenging financial times, we would not have been able to afford event reasonable GGP tuition costs without a scholarship, which was made possible through your generous donations. Our daughters have learned theory, recital and orchestra etiquette and so much more.” Ronnie and Marilyn, Parents

“As a result of Simone’s participation in GGP, she has exceeded my expectations in her playing skills.” Susan, Parent

“I feel GGP benefits our daughter’s greater intellectual development, as well as being fun and rewarding.” David, Parent

From a Bay Area Artist

“San Francisco is so fortunate to have Golden Gate Philharmonic! This organization provides an amazing framework for young musicians to learn and to develop their artistry. The children who participate in the programs at GGP are a reflection of the city itself – it is a diverse organization in every sense of that word. It provides opportunities for many students who might not otherwise be able to study and play music. It is an exemplary organization serving many kids and enriching their lives and those of their families.” John Sherba, Kronos Quartet & Alumni Parent