This Article about Dr. Mann appeared in May of 2010: "West Covina woman saves the symphony - Conductor leads W.C. symphony back from oblivion" by Sandra T. Molina, Staff Writer Posted: 05/25/2010 09:01:02 PM PDT WEST COVINA - Professional musician and symphony orchestra conductor Sylvia Lee Mann believes in the power of music. So much so, she has used her own money to finance the relaunch of the West Covina Symphony. The organization had been dormant for about 20 years before Mann, who is a professional musician and conductor and lives in the West Covina home in which she she grew up, relaunched it nearly two years ago. "When I moved back from Louisiana to care for my ill parents (who are now deceased), I was surprised the symphony no longer existed," said Mann, 55. She is now the musical director and conductor of the symphony, which had gone dormant because of no financing. "It was too important not to do something about it," she said of rejuvenating the symphony. It hasn't been easy. "Through the generosity of many in the community, we've kept afloat," said Mann, who played in the symphony's original incarnation as a child and into her teens. "I think it's heroic," said Ruslan Biryukov, Russian cello soloist, of Mann's financial and musical leadership. "I don't know anyone who has made such a positive change of this magnitude." Biryukov, who immigrated to the United States in 1995 and now lives in Silver Lake, should know. He founded the Glendale Philharmonic. "This woman revitalized an orchestra from nothing," said Biryukov, who will be under Mann's leadership as the guest soloist in the orchestra's upcoming show The West Covina Symphony will perform at 4 p.m. June 6 at Haugh Performing Arts Center at Citrus College, 1000 Foothill Blvd., Glendora. Biryukov, who's toured the globe as a playing professional since age 11, called Mann's rejuvenation of the symphony not only commendable, but vital for the community. "The positive social impact of music to a community is impossible to estimate," he said. "It changes the appearance of the city completely." The orchestra consists of more than 60 musicians at every concert, with musicians ranging in age from 14 to 81. "They come from all over Southern California to perform with our orchestra," Mann said. "Some even tell stories of rediscovering their passion for life through playing in the symphony, of finding healing through their music," she said. The symphony also has an educational outreach program which offers free concerts for local area schools, a music academy offering music lessons and a solo competition for music students. The winners are featured at an annual concert with the orchestra. Mann, whose original recorded music is now available at iTunes, Napster and a number of other digital music services, said she will continue to lead the symphony for as long as she can.” - Sandra T Molina

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

SGV Tribune

May 25, 2010

by Sandra Molina

"Colors & rhythms of enchantment; delightful."   Don't choose a favorite or you'll be limiting yourself! I've listened and relistened to this unique CD finding new sounds and colors. One is easily transported to the solitude of winter and the reflective thoughts of this season. There is power and clarity in the writing and performing of these selections; I am enjoying it immensely. I have recommended it to my violin students - the words from them "It rocks!" My words, "Invest in the experience of new sounds that bring Beauty". Bravo, Sylvia Mann - ” - Rebecca Rutkowski

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"Charming, Uplifting Duets"   Celtic Journeys: Suite of the Blessing Moon, is a charming group of lovely songs that show of the deep mellow sound of the the Viola ,against beautiful broken chords performed on the Harp. The harmonies are in the Celtic tradition- a beautiful combination of happy and calming melodies. These pieces are appropriate for services, parties,as solo works or background effects. I have enjoyed performing and listening to these uplifting duets." ” - Stephanie Prather - Van Nuys, CA

Sylvia Woods Harp Center Website is abundantly apparent that you have made many people calmer, or more excited, happier, or less depressed, and certainly more spiritually aware. Well Done!...Thank you for the gamut of delightful emotions your ephemeral tunes elicit. You are truly a phenomenon, and I am honored to have known you.” - Mark Teague

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