Youth Symphony

Santa Barbara Youth Symphony to Headline Free Community Concert on April 29

April 26, 2017

Page Youth Center performance also will include young musicians from other local programs and schools. 

Santa Barbara, CA — More than 300 local students ages 9 to 18 will perform a free classical music concert at the Page Youth Center beginning at 3 pm on Saturday, April 29. Presented by the Santa Barbara Symphony, the performance will feature musicians from the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, other Symphony youth outreach programs, and several area schools.

“Musicians from all Santa Barbara Symphony Music Education Center programs will participate, as will local junior high and high school students,” explained Amy Williams, director of education and community engagement for the Santa Barbara Symphony. “This concert will highlight all that we do through the Music Education Center, as well as our ongoing partnership with the Santa Barbara Unified School District. We’re all about friendship and sharing the wonders of music with children and the wider community.”

Read more »

Santa Barbara Youth Symphony Fall 2016 Concert Video

January 02, 2017

The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony in concert on Sunday, November 13, 2016 at the Lobero Theatre

Andy Radford, Music Director
Holly Radford, Violin

Santa Barbara Symphony Seeks Co-Investors to Expand Afterschool Music Education Program

August 04, 2016

New partnership with Santa Barbara Unified School District’s BRAVO! program will create more learning opportunities for area elementary students.

The Santa Barbara Symphony is seeking additional funding partners for a proposed expansion of BRAVO!, the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) afterschool music education program for public elementary students in grades five and six. Under the plan, the Symphony – in a new operational partnership with the SBUSD – will augment district teaching staff and extend the program’s hands-on instrument instruction to fourth-grade students. The Symphony also will assume greater responsibility for administering the program, including managing teaching artists.

Read more »

[Yardi corporate blog] Behind the Music Santa Barbara Youth Symphony

May 22, 2016

Three years ago, Yardi caught up with Amy Williams, Director of Education and Community Engagement at Santa Barbara Youth Symphony. The program has grown a lot since then, reaching even more of the city’s youth with interdisciplinary art and the fun of a kid-centered community.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in participation,” says Williams. “Three years ago, we reached 4,500 students and this year we’re anticipating 5,300. Concerts for Young People has 2,800 students now. That filled up in record time. We’re offering the same things but we’re seeing a huge shift of kids wanting to play great music and make new friends.”

The friendships and sense of community draw most students through the doors, and keep them coming back year after year.

Williams recalls one particularly heartwarming encounter: “This year, one of my high school students was excited, noisily coming into rehearsal. I said, ‘You’re very excited to be here.’ And he says, ‘Well, Amy, I belong here.’ I feel that’s the heart of it. We are where students feel they belong. The demographic in Santa Barbara has all sorts of languages, all sorts of backgrounds, but when they walk into classes and workshops they feel like they belong, by teachers and their peers. I feel very strongly about that and I’m very proud of the program.”

Read more »

Free ‘Hands On!’ Music Festival Will Encourage Participants to Explore, Listen, and Play

April 25, 2016

Santa Barbara, CA — The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony invites community members of all ages to experiment with orchestral instruments, dance on a massive keyboard, and enjoy other musical fun at the first-ever “Hands On!” Music Festival, a free celebration in front of the Lobero Theatre on May 22. The event also will include music-oriented crafts with Santa Barbara Museum of Art staff, entertaining musical software, a photo booth, and a short program featuring instrumentalists from the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Junior Orchestra.

Activities will take place from noon to 4 pm, followed by the final concert of the 2015-16 season by the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony in the Lobero Theatre. Admission to the performance also is free.

Read more »

“Instrument Art” - Silent Auction

April 25, 2016

Santa Barbara Youth Symphony is excited to host the 1st Annual Hands On Music Festival on the steps of the Lobero Theatre on Sunday, May 22nd from 12 to 4pm. During this free event, the community is invited to “test drive” the instruments from the Music Van and enjoy several fun, music-related activities. Members of the Junior Orchestra will perform a few pieces, and visitors may sign-up to sit onstage and get an inside look at an orchestra rehearsal. At 4pm following the festival, we invite you inside the theatre to enjoy a free concert by the Youth Symphony.

As a special addition to this day, Youth Symphony members decorated, redesigned and gave new life to old instruments! Their work was nothing short of amazing, and these fantastic pieces of art will be available in a silent auction benefiting the Santa Barbara Symphony Music Education Center. The silent auction will start May 3rd at 9am and end on May 22nd at 4pm at the Hands On Music Festival. If you have any questions regarding the event or silent auction, please contact Amy Williams at 805-898-8785 or We look forward to seeing you and thank you for your support of the Symphony’s Music Education Center.

Read more »