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Green Music Center Garners Reputation as World-Class Concert Hall

Weill Hall seats 1,400 at the the world-class Green Music Center in Sonoma County. Photo by Drew Altizer.

It's all about music and choices at Sonoma State University's Donald and Maureen Green Music Center, a world-class performing arts complex in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country. Experience the true Sonoma Wine Country life style by selecting your desired blend of music, food, and beverages, in a gorgeous natural setting.

The performance lineup for the center’s venues can include chamber music, symphony orchestras, jazz, bluegrass, cabaret, blues, recitals, soloists, world music, dance, acrobats, and comedy.

Enjoy a performance in the intimate 240-seat, cathedral-like Schroeder Hall, with its 1,248-pipe Brombaugh Opus 9 organ in the balcony above the stage. A typical concert season offers a wide variety of performances, including chamber music, pops, masterworks for pipe orgran, cabaret, recitals, and more.

Or, experience a performance in the acclaimed 1,400-seat Joan and Sanford I. Weill Concert Hall. Designed to replicate the intimacy and acoustics of both Vienna's Musikverein and Symphony Hall in Boston and to match the aesthetics of Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, Weill Hall features handcrafted beech wood chairs, with seating on three levels. It's considered to be one of the most acoustically superb concert venues in the world.

You can choose a seat in the hall or, during the summer season, the entire back wall of the hall opens up, allowing additional audience members on the landscaped and terraced Weill Lawn, with a choice of tables and chairs or blankets on the lawn (increasing the total concert capacity to 5,500). Kick back, relax, and enjoy the music as well as the views of Sonoma County's rolling hills. An excellent sound system and a massive screen on the back of the hall lets everyone enjoy the show as it unfolds inside Weill Hall.

And with an open-during-performances-only restaurant on site, you can also select your choice of food and beverages to enhance your experience. On performance dates, the Prelude restaurant offers a seasonal Prix Fixe dinner, or a selection of desserts and appetizers, such as a local artisan cheese plate or charcuterie board. Open before, during, and after most performances, Prelude also pours Sonoma County wines. Reservations for Prelude often sell out quickly, but food is also available in the bar and lounge area, without reservations.

And that's not your only dining choice. Those enjoying the shows from Weill Lawn in the summer season can bring their own supper, or pre-order an elegant boxed meal from San Francisco's iconic Boudin Bakery. Or, onsite concessions offer a variety of options, from cheese platters to sandwiches, plus prize-winning wines and local craft brews.

Green Music Center has been crafted with an incredible eye for quality, from the acclaimed artists who perform there to the 125-year-old olive trees transplanted into the courtyard outside Weill Hall, to the beautiful landscaping that surrounds the complex. It's just a matter of choosing how and when you want to experience this focal point for arts in the Northern San Francisco Bay Area.

Green Music Center, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, 866-955-6040.

Written by Sonoma Insider Patricia Lynn Henley.