Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra

With the recent departure of BSO’s President & CEO Bryan Burrow, former Business Operations Manager, Kari Heilman has been promoted to Interim Executive Director. For the last four years Kari has helped build the foundation that grew the BSO’s audiences, community outreach, and educational programs. Kari, the BSO staff, and board are excited to announce the newest addition to the team, Gayle Tape who is the Director of Marketing & Development.

Gayle has been the Membership Director at Seven Oaks Country Club for the past twelve years, where her focus was primarily on Sales & Marketing. Previously she was the District Director for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, so she is no new comer to the non-profit world. She grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and attended Pasadena City College & Cal State Fullerton, majoring in Communications. Thirty five years ago Gayle started her own production company where she coordinated special events and mall productions. Her passion for music, dance, pageantry, sports and youth programs has positioned her to be very active in leadership roles. She and her husband Bill have lived in Bakersfield since 1992, when they were relocated here from Ventura County. They have three adult children and four grandchildren.

Gayle is excited about promoting the Bakersfield Symphony and looks forward to her new journey of sharing the wonderful world of music with our community. To get more information or to set up an appointment to meet with Gayle, call her at (661)432-7044.

The BSO thrives on local support and involvement. Different ways to get involved are donating, attending a concert, volunteering, etc. For more information on the BSO please visit our website at



The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to announce our new Interim Executive Director, Kari Heilman.

Kari is a native of Bakersfield who cares greatly about her community and the arts. She has been involved in the local arts scene for almost ten years. Her love for the non-profit world and the arts started when she was the Program Manager for the Arts Council of Kern. After her time at the Arts Council she came to work alongside Bryan Burrow as Business Operations Manager of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. Under Bryan’s tenure she helped build the foundation that grew our audience, community outreach, and educational programs. BSO Board Chair Chris Hamilton stated, “As a board member, I have been able to witness firsthand Kari’s leadership skills, as she has supported our prior president, Bryan Burrow, for the past four years. I am excited to be able to promote Kari to this position, and am very confident in her ability to lead the BSO and continue its growth.”

Kari is married to Scott Heilman, Division President of the Central Valley Division for Landscape Development Inc. Together they have a two year old daughter named Harper who keeps them very busy. She has a very loving and supportive family by her side during this exciting journey!


“The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra is thankful for Bryan Burrow’s dedication over the past four years. Bryan’s vision and faithful leadership as President & CEO has helped bring the BSO to the threshold of a new era. I am deeply honored to be chosen to lead the BSO during this time of transition and change. While Bryan will be missed, we want to wish him all the best as he enters a new stage in his life and career. The symphony has a strong staff, board, and amazing supporters who will continue to move the organization into the future.” –Kari Heilman, Interim Executive Director.



Bryan Burrow, President/CEO of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, has announced his departure effective November 30, 2016. Mr. Burrow has accepted a position with a local family owned business. Having worked with the BSO since August of 2012, Mr. Burrow led the most substantial growth and revitalization of Bakersfield’s own symphony orchestra. During his tenure, the BSO experienced a 67% increase in average attendance, selection of a new conductor, addition of a Pops Concert Series, strengthening of the business backbone, rebranding its image, 11% growth in revenue, a $2 million growth in the Endowment Foundation, and an increase in visibility not seen in its 85 year history. Burrow said, “The BSO has come a long way in four years thanks to the hard work of our dedicated staff, talented musicians, committed board members, and enthusiastic patrons”. Burrow further stated, “Change is never easy however I believe what we have created together is something our community can be proud of.” BSO Board Chairman Chris Hamilton has named Kari Heilman as Interim Executive Director. Heilman has served the BSO as the Business Operations Manager for the last four years. Mrs. Heilman has the breadth and depth of knowledge to continue the success of the BSO.

For questions or comments, please call the BSO office at 661-323-7928.


BE A DONOR TODAY! The BSO mission is to enrich our community through the power of music. We accomplish this mission through incredible concerts and outreach that impacts a broad section of our community. Join us in this effort through a year end gift to support our mission. Click here to donate.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra is proud to present our 2nd annual Christmas concert, Home for the Holidays! Be entertained by the magic of holiday music featuring the Bakersfield College Choir and Monty Byrom.

Create new memories with your friends and family on Saturday, December 17th at the Fox Theater, brought to you by San Joaquin Community Hospital.


O come, O come, Emmanuel- Orchestra & Chorus
arr. John Rutter

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing- Orchestra & Chorus

Christmas Concerto (excerpt)- Orchestra

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- Chamber Singers
RALPH BLAINE arr. Molly Ijames

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year- Orchestra & Chorus
Soloist: Monty Byrom

Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy- Orchestra & Chorus
Soloist: Monty Byrom

Christmas Festival- Orchestra

A Christmas Medley- Orchestra & Chorus

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas –Orchestra & Chorus

Twas the Night Before Christmas- Orchestra & Chorus
KEN DARBY arr. Harry Simone

White Christmas- Orchestra & Chorus
Soloist: Monty Byrom

Sleighride- Orchestra

Waltz of Snowflakes- Orchestra & Chorus

 Klezmer Nutcracker- Orchestra

Joy to the World- Orchestra & Chorus


We want to THANK all those who helped make this concert a success!

Many have long awaited the combination of Mariachi and Symphony music…it was everything people anticipated! We hope to make have culturally enriched concerts every year which showcases the diversity we have in our communities.

A huge thank you to the sponsors who make this concert possible…

La Preciosa
Kern Medical
Don C. and Diane S. Lake Family


An interactive program which explores all sections of the orchestra. Demonstrations will be given by the musicians and the conductor to exhibit the sounds of each instrument as well as describe how these sounds are produced. After presenting all different sections of the orchestra, they will perform using John Williams’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Suite.

Date: November 4th, 2016
Times: 9:30am and 11:00am
Place: Rabobank Theater
Cost: $3.00 per person
Reservations: Call 661-323-7928


Our second season concert of 2016-2017 explodes with this intriguing display of music by the talented BSO musicians. This program is a great opportunity to experience some well-known fairy tales painted with music.

For music and additional information: CLICK HERE


BSO’s 2016-2017 season opening concert will begin with a world class pianist in Tomoki Sakata from Japan. Building on our relationship with the Van Cliburn Piano Competition, we have yet another talented finalist from the 2013 competition which occurs every four years. Bakersfield will be the first stop of Tomokis USA tour.

From Paris to the Countryside
Date: October 8th 2016
Time: 7:30pm
Place: Rabobank Theater
Tickets: Start at $20 ***Buy Tickets Now***
Season Tickets available through October 7th.
Pre-Concert Lecture: 6:30pm

Information on the masterclass with Tomoki Sakata.


We are privileged to have Japan’s Tomoki Sakata host a Master Class for pianists on October 6th at 4:30pm. We will have four individuals spend up to 25 minutes with Mr. Sakata providing individualized instruction. This is a great opportunity! To apply for one of these four positions, please fill out the application below along with a YouTube link of a 15 minute clip performing a piece which would be used the day of the Master Class. We have four judges who will choose the fortunate individuals to join us on stage. The Master Class will be open for all people to attend the class in the audience. To learn more about Tomoki Sakata, click here. Here are further details:

What: Tomoki Sakata Master Class
Date: Thursday October 6th
Time: 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Place: Bakersfield College Simonsen Center Small Auditorium
Fee: $50 (only if you are one of the four participants)
YouTube Video Due: Thursday September 15th 11pm
Questions: Call 661-323-7928

Master Class Application

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