Rancho Santa Fe couple co-chairs of San Diego Symphony’s annual gala


By Kristina Houck

When music programs are cut in schools throughout San Diego, the San Diego Symphony provides access to music. From free concerts to hands-on workshops, the nonprofit organization reached roughly 65,000 students with its education and outreach programs last year.

“With the loss of funding for music education in public schools, it really is up to organizations like the San Diego Symphony to be able to bring the music to the children,” said Megan Pogue, the symphony’s vice president of business development. “We want to keep music education alive and be a great resource in San Diego.”

Designed to bring music and music education to thousands of students, programs include the Young Artist Competition, which rewards promising young talent, as well as several outreach programs that allow students to meet musicians and participate in interactive ensemble performances.

The symphony’s annual gala, OPUS 2013: The Roaring ’20s, on Oct. 12 celebrates the start of the season while raising funds for the organization’s education and outreach programs.

“If children don’t get exposed to music, then the art form has the possibility of dying. Playing an instrument and listening to music has also been shown to increase test scores in children,” said Pogue, who noted Rancho Santa Fe residents and gala chairs Helene and George Gould hope to raise $1 million during the event. Last year, 200 people attended the concert and raised more than $500,000, Pogue said.

Led by Music Director Jahja Ling, OPUS 2013 will feature pianist Kevin Cole performing American composer and pianist George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the 84-member San Diego Symphony.

OPUS 2013 will begin with a pre-concert cocktail party and dinner soiree at the University Club. Following the concert at Symphony Hall, there will be an after-party with live music, dancing and casino games at the University Club.

“For people who haven’t been to the symphony before, a really great entry point would be to come to the concert and the after-party,” Pogue said. “It’s a great opportunity to dress up and it’s a really fun event.”

The gala begins at 6 p.m., followed by the concert at 8 p.m. on Oct. 12 at Copley Symphony Hall and the University Club, 750 B St., San Diego.

Concert and after-party tickets cost $250. Full gala tickets start at $1,250 and include valet parking, a cocktail reception, dinner, premium seating at the concert and an after-party at the University Club. For more information, visit