Symphony News

Santa Barbara Symphony to Hold Youth Ensemble Auditions

July 24, 2017

Santa Barbara, CA — The Santa Barbara Symphony will hold auditions for its Junior Orchestra and Youth Symphony at Santa Barbara Community Church on August 14, 16, and 19. Auditions for violinists will take place on Monday, August 14; auditions for violists, cellists, and bassists will take place on Wednesday, August 16; and auditions for wind, brass, and percussion players will take place on Saturday, August 19. To schedule an appointment, call 805-898-9526 or email kblakey@thesymphony.org.

“These ensembles offer exceptional instructional and performance opportunities for young instrumentalists,” said Dr. Amy Williams, director of education and community engagement for the Santa Barbara Symphony. “Program participants invariably show remarkable growth as musicians and as individuals. I encourage families throughout the community to take part in the audition process.”


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Santa Barbara Symphony Volunteer Receives ‘MVP’ Award at Annual Conference

July 20, 2017

Santa Barbara, CA — Mary Jane Cooper, a longtime Santa Barbara Symphony volunteer, was honored with a Most Valuable Player Award at a luncheon held today as part of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras’ (ACSO) annual conference in Los Angeles. Ms. Cooper was recognized for her outstanding efforts on behalf of the Music Van, the Santa Barbara Symphony’s award-winning outreach program for area children.  

“Mary Jane Cooper personifies all the admirable qualities we see in so many of our volunteers – dedication to our community’s youth, a genuine love of music, a warmly engaging personality, and a generosity of spirit. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award,” said Santa Barbara Symphony Executive Director Kevin A. Marvin.


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Don Gilman Named President of Santa Barbara Symphony Board of Directors

June 28, 2017

Santa Barbara, CA — Dr. Don Gilman, an internationally recognized author, speaker, and executive coach, has been elected president of the Santa Barbara Symphony Board of Directors. He succeeds Arthur G. Swalley, who served as president for three years. Also elected to the Symphony Board’s executive committee were Pamela Johnston (secretary and development chair) and Kate Parker (member-at-large). Jon W. Greenleaf, who had been serving as secretary, was elected vice president. Christopher D. Harris and Stephen Erickson were re-elected treasurer and counsel, respectively.

“I am very excited to be working with such a talented and impressive group of individuals,” said Santa Barbara Symphony Executive Director Kevin A. Marvin. “Don Gilman is uniquely suited to build on the tremendous progress that the Santa Barbara Symphony has enjoyed under the steady leadership of Arthur Swalley. We are grateful for Arthur’s many contributions to the organization. The Symphony’s future looks very bright!”


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S.B. Symphony Announces 2017-18 Season

May 22, 2017

New season will open October 14 in collaboration with State Street Ballet and renowned choreographer William Soleau

Santa Barbara, CA — Subscription sales have begun for the Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2017-18 season, which will open October 14 with an extraordinary all-Mozart program accentuated by a ballet world premiere. The orchestra will present a total of nine enthralling programs at the Granada Theatre over the course of the season, including a pair of non-subscription concerts. Series packages start at $62.

“Collaboration with other arts-presenting organizations in our community has become a Santa Barbara Symphony tradition, and we’re certain next season’s exciting new partnerships will resonate tremendously with local audiences, beginning with the October program,” said Santa Barbara Symphony Executive Director Kevin A. Marvin. “From start to finish the season will consistently offer exceptional concert experiences, which our patrons have come to expect. We invite the community to be part of what promises to be a truly memorable season.” 


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[Independent] S.B. Symphony Honors Paris

May 18, 2017

City of Lights Celebrated with Delightful Program

In the final concert of the season, the Santa Barbara Symphony honored Paris with a variety of compositions and symphonic poems inspired by the City of Lights. The orchestra first performed Mozart’s famous Symphony No. 31 in D Major (or simply “Paris”), a romantic piece with movements of vibrancy and swiftness and a slow second movement that perfectly encapsulates the visuals of the city. The second piece, Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 featured cellist Zuill Bailey and his theatrical playing style, bringing to life the rapid-fire orchestration as he commanded great attention from the audience, even during the composition’s softer aspects.


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[Scene Magazine] Parisian Symphonic Maneuvers

May 12, 2017

Santa Barbara Symphony closes its current season with music linked to Paris, with acclaimed cellist Zuill Bailey as soloist

With this weekend's season-closer concert by the Santa Barbara Symphony, the orchestra goes to Paris figuratively and programmatically speaking, and Zuill Bailey comes back to a town which had been a periodic landmark in his stellar career.

The Parisian angle? A conceptual thread runs through Mozart's Symphony No. 31 "Paris," Gershwin's An American in Paris, Liszt's Les préludes, and for purely French sake, Saint-Saëns' popular Cello Concerto No. 1.

The Bailey factor? The prized mid-career cellist, whose latest notable news was a 2016 Grammy Award for his work as soloist on Michael Daugherty's "Tales of Hemming way," counts among his many beloved locales our fair city. It holds more than just the usual allure for the musician.

In a recent phone interview from Greensborough, N.C., Mr. Bailey was waxing nostalgic about his connection to Santa Barbara, peppered through the decades of his life, times and musical endeavors. It began in adolescence, when he studied in the summer program at the Music Academy of the West, and then returned to the campus in later decades to perform and give mastercalsses. With the Santa Barbara Symphony, his guest soloist visits date back twenty years, to the era when Gisele Ben-Dor boldly, and imaginatively, led the orchestra, and he returned around the auspicious moment when the orchestra moved up the street from the Arlington Theatre to the more orchestra-friendly Granada Theatre, newly and lavishly renovated. This weekend marks another Symphony encounter, with the cellist now in his 40s and well-established on the world stage, his discography (on Telarc, with his Bailey/Perlman/Schmidt trio, and a professorship at the University of Texas as El Paso.


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