About Symphonia Caritas
Symphonia Caritas improves the lives of those in need through benefit and free symphony concerts.
Symphonia Caritas partners with well-established nonprofits to perform benefit concerts. The partner nonprofit keeps 100% of the proceeds from the concert. In addition to providing a valuable fundraising opportunity, the concerts are also a perfect opportunity for the nonprofits to connect with their supporters.
Symphonia Caritas performs concerts directly for those in need. We have performed for the residents of the San Francisco St. Vincent de Paul homeless shelter, as well as the community of Swords to Plowshares.
"Symphonia Caritas has been a wonderful partner. Together we hosted a Summer Symphony Concert to raise critical funds for Swords to Plowshares, the Bay Area's leading veteran services organization. The fundraising event was a great success thanks to the professional orchestra led by conductor Paul Schrage who played absolutely beautifully! It is so important to have events like this to connect more deeply with our supporters and emphasize the deep connection between the arts and building community. This opportunity would not have been possible without the support of our amazing partner, Symphonia Caritas." - Colleen Corliss, Resource Development & Communications Director, Swords to Plowshares
Who We Are
Paul Schrage, Board Member and Music Director
Paul Schrage is an active conductor and pianist in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to serving as Music Director of Symphonia Caritas, he also serves as conductor and artistic advisor of the Midsummer Mozart Festival, a San Francisco Bay Area institution currently in its 43rd season. In addition, he is conductor of the San Francisco Reading Orchestra. Previously he was the Music Director of the St. Peter’s Chamber Orchestra, assistant conductor of the Napa Valley Music Festival Academy Orchestra, and on the conducting staffs of the Merced Symphony and the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra.
Paul has performed in recital, with orchestras, and in jazz settings across the United States, in Europe, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has performed in such diverse venues as the INSAP Festival in Chicago, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the main square in Warsaw, Casa Huey Barbosa in Rio de Janiero, and with the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste of Kinshasa. Equally at home in the classical and improvisational realms, he frequently performs half classical, half jazz recitals. Artists he has performed with include harpsichordist Jory Vinikour, conductors David Ramadanoff, Armand Diangienda, and Elena Sharkova, trombonist and composer Bobby Brookmeyer, drummers Louis Bellson and Steve Smith, guitarist Gary Wittner, and violinists Ian Swensen and Robin Hansen. Paul has strong relationships with living composers, and has performed world premieres of works by Ingrid Stozel, Rubin Zahra, and Paul Davies, among others. He was the Pianist-in-Residence of the Contemporary American Music Project, where he frequently collaborated with musical theorist and historian Cameron Logan.
Paul’s first solo album featured the music of Mozart, Liszt, and Copland, as well as original compositions and jazz selections. With the jazz trio the Sideways Trio he released “In Defense of Our Dreams”, alongside drummer Jeff Hanson and bassist Doug Pohorski. That album features arrangements of rock songs, classical works, and original compositions. He also recorded the world premiere recording of Richard White’s Sonata for Flute.
Paul has served on the faculty of Vandercook College of Music, Foothill College, and the International Summer Jazz Academy. He studied piano at the Kansas City Conservatory with Ruth Anne Rich and the Hartt School with Luis de Moura Castro. Conducting studies were at the Canford School in England and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, along with private studies with George Cleve and Martin West. He was a finalist at the International Young Artist Piano Competition and was a Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellow.
Anne Berry, Board Member
Originally from Denver, Anne Berry has lived in the bay area for ten years. She works in the finance industry, raising capital for technology companies. Prior to her work in finance, Anne worked as an economist for the Council of Economic Advisers at the White House, where she focused on microeconomic policy. There she provided research and guidance to the President of the United States as well as numerous government agencies.
Anne holds an A.B. in Economics from Harvard, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She was a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where she earned an MPhil in Economics. She also earned a joint J.D./MBA from Stanford, and is licensed to practice in law in the state of Colorado.