Hot cello; SDC news; blood or water; and more

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Sonoma Valley Sun

NVYS-ConcertoWinners-MayaAndTori 016A cello player since age five, Maya Harris, now 17, the recipient of Sonoma’s 2014 Student Creative Arts Award, keeps hitting the high notes. The Sonoma Valley High senior topped the Napa Valley Youth Symphony concerto competition, winning her a featured performance at the symphony’s big gala on May 17. She’ll play a Saint-Saëns piece (Cello Concerto No. 1 in A-minor, for those of you keeping score) that she’s been perfecting for nine months. “By far the hardest piece I’ve ever learned,” she says. “For me, listening to this concerto is like being transported to Neverland. I hope the audience can feel that way too.” What’s next? “One of my dreams is to do a sunrise hike and play the electric cello at the top of the mountain while the sun is rising.” Sounds like a great fundraiser – somebody get the folks from Jack London on the line.

You look great, but maybe your garden could use a make-over? A nip and tuck of thirsty plants, perhaps? Transition Sonoma Valley, and ReGarden Nation, a local, non-profit landscaping company, are offering Sonoma Valley residents a chance to win a new–look, less-water garden. If you win, a crew will show up May 17 and make the make-over happen. Apply by May 7 at

Sonoma Valley’s (AD 4) Assemblymember, Mariko Yamada, a member of the Future of Developmental Centers Task Force, continues pushing for legislation affecting the Sonoma Developmental Center before she is termed-out in November. Her AB 2349 “seeks a fiscally responsible solution to the recommendations provided by the Task Force, while ensuring the continued care of the state’s neediest residents,” Yamada said. The bill, which cleared committee on Tuesday, would create an Office of Community Care Coordination, to be located on the Sonoma Developmental Center campus. That office, Yamada said, “will prepare the SDC to take on the responsibility of developing the range of services a ‘placement of last resort’ and ‘acute crisis clinic’ must be equipped to handle.”

Matt Zumsteg wasn’t born to play Seymour, the nerdy keeper of “The Little Shop of Horrors” – he’s just tattooed that way. Zumsteg has loved the musical since he was a kid, to point of being tattooed with the likeness of Audrey, the talking plant that feeds on human blood. “Shop” closes this weekend, with shows Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Andrews Hall.… A plant drinking human blood instead of water? That may be pushing the idea of a drought-resistant garden a bit

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