Global Harmony Symphony (GHS) is comprised entirely of volunteer musicians from our greater community, is using music to help realize the full potential of our citizens, enriching the lives of individuals of all ages, and contributing to the welfare of our community. We are currently pending our own 501(c)3 status and are under the umbrella of Laguna Woods Symphony which currently serves as our fiscal sponsor.
Maestra Valerie Geller has a very busy professional career as Conductor, Concertmaster, Motion Picture & Recording Artist, and Master Pedagogue. She is also Music Director and Conductor of the Saddleback College Emeritus Institute Symphony Orchestra, Laguna Woods Village Symphony, Irvine Valley College Emeritus Institute Symphony Orchestra, and Merage Jewish Symphony.
Following her formal studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of Oklahoma at Norman, and University of Colorado at Boulder, Maestra Geller performed and toured internationally with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (Andre Previn & Esa-Pekka Salonen) and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (John MaucerI), and made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1990.
Her Concertmaster positions include Disneyland Candlelight Orchestra, South Coast Symphony, Kingston Technologies private corporate orchestra ‘J.T. & the California Dreamin’. Valerie Geller serves as guest Concertmaster for San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Long Beach Mozart Festival, Orange Coast College, and appears as guest solo artist.
In addition to her symphonic and solo appearances, Maestra Valerie Geller is an active chamber music performer and coach. She is violinist for the highly-acclaimed Violin & Organ Duo ‘Va’lee’ (Dr. Jung-a Lee, Organ) performing works from the classical repertoire and premiering works by contemporary American composers.
Valerie Geller studied the art of violin playing and pedagogy under the tutelage of Master Pedagogues Noumi Fischer, Lily Mahler, Manuel Compinsky, and Irving Geller. She is also an accomplished Lecturer, and conducts Master Class for Violin, Chamber Music, and Orchestra Audition Preparation. She has judged multiple competitions including the ‘Young Stars of the Future’, and regularly programs and encourages young talent as featured soloists in concert.
Additional credits include:
- 1st Violin Long Beach Symphony,
- New West Symphony,
- Pacific Symphony,
- Santa Barbara Symphony,
- Master’s Symphony,
- Las Vegas Symphony,
- Bolshoi Ballet,
- Stuttgart Ballet,
- Kirov Ballet,
- American Ballet Theater,
- Joffrey Ballet, and
- Los Angeles Opera.
Maestra Geller has toured nationally and internationally with multiple recording artists and celebrities including:
- Frank Sinatra,
- Barry Manilow,
- Led Zeppelin,
- Mick Jagger,
- Electric Light Orchestra,
- Rod Stewart,
- Kenny G,
- Josh Grobin,
- Alicia Keyes,
- Donny & Marie Osmond,
- Shirley Maclaine,
- Tony Bennett,
- Paul Anka,
- Robert Goulet,
- Steve Lawrence and
- Eydie Gorme.
Maestra Geller was solo violinist for the West Coast premieres of “The Spitfire Grill;” “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change;” “The Last Five Years”, “Violet”, and solo violinist for numerous National Touring Broadway Productions including “Annie”, “Chicago” and “Peter Pan.”
Maestra Geller has made conducting appearances in the United States, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Israel, China, and recently premiered the new Starlight Symphony as Conductor and Solo Violinist in Aliso Viejo, CA.
Valerie comes from a distinguished musical family. Her father, Irving Geller, served 48 years as Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Her mother, Helen Geller, is an accomplished actor of stage and screen, and will be featured in this summer’s production of ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ at the Sacramento Music Circus. Her brother, Paul Geller, is Production Director for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Disney Hall, and the Hollywood Bowl. Valerie is most proud of her two sons, Aaron and Greyson, who are also accomplished actors having starring roles on Broadway, in feature films and television; and their voices are often heard on radio and in animated feature films.
January 25th, 2016 marked the beginning of the new Global Harmony Symphony. Volunteer community musicians came together and celebrated the launch of their new orchestra with a reading of Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No.3 and Brahms Symphony No.4. The orchestra is comprised of musicians spanning a wide range of experience and proficiency levels. Our orchestra consists of students, hobbyists, semi-professional, professional, and retired professionals. The orchestra also attracts music lovers who are discovering the joy of making music for the first time as retirement projects.
New musicians are warmly welcomed with the ‘red carpet’ treatment! “Bring your instrument to one of our rehearsals and give us a try” says Principal Violist Max Schreiber. “We all started this way. The pleasure you get from playing your instrument, as well as the increased skill you will attain is a lot better than staying at home and playing scales. Your playing will reach new dimensions; mainly as a result of being with interesting and talented people.”
Community orchestras are an important and vital part of healthy communities. The relationship established between the artists and audience intertwines them on a level that daily work and lives cannot easily attain. The power of the art has always transcended audiences through its timeless appeal. Regardless of upbringing, the expression through classical music exposes participant and observer to great emotional connection and some might say, spiritual transformation.
Many community orchestras struggle financially, despite having incredibly well trained and rehearsed musicians and performances. Support for the arts has always remained troublesome in America, and community orchestras are often the afterthought behind the larger, more impressive orchestras and similar organizations. In recent years, many of our nation’s most prominent orchestras, opera companies, and other similar art organizations have struggled financially. It is
obvious that the arts are not on stable footing. The diminishment of the arts diminishes the livelihood and connectivity of the community.
Not all orchestras contribute significantly to their community, this is not to diminish their relevance. However, in order to truly bring the depth of vitality essential to maintaining a healthy and thriving support for the arts, it is essential to combine the talents of those who have the training, but aren’t necessarily eager to pursue it as a professional career. Just as highly skilled and trained, these community orchestras bring access to the arts into a communal level, which is something many of the larger organizations struggle with. Additionally, these smaller, well-trained orchestras also experience a far larger diversity of membership than many of their larger counterparts have. This brings the art into diverse communities who may not always feel welcome or aligned with the larger organizations or persons performing. Access to the art form feels more attainable by all, regardless of background. This is truly the highest achievement of any well-trained community orchestra.
Communal access to such a strong orchestra opens the doors for future generations to feel inspired and perhaps dedicated to the future of the arts. This can be in the form of future musicians as well as future supporters of the arts. Both of which are highly critical to the long-term sustainability of the arts in our nation, and in our individual communities.
Our project is ongoing with each new concert. Our costs are reasonable and we have generous support from many volunteers in the community. We have had numerous opportunities for media and press attention and our recent concerts were very well attended. We are truly establishing a strong footing in our community and it is quite impressive for an inaugural year. It is our goal to continue this growth and to financially support our efforts so that we can reach even more audiences.