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Philharmonia Orchestra

Philharmonia Orchestra

The Intermediate Step

The intermediate step in the Music Education Center’s continuum of performing ensembles, the Philharmonia Orchestra engages string, wind, brass, and percussion students in performing as a full orchestra under the baton of Marisa McLeod. To provide targeted training and experience with other repertoire, Philharmonia students also rehearse as a chamber strings group with Marisa McLeod and a symphonic wind band with Karen Dutton. Students in the Philharmonia Orchestra have two (2) or more years of study on a string, wind, brass, or percussion instrument.

Program Highlights

  • Weekly rehearsals led by conductor Marisa McLeod and instrument-specific sectionals led by local professional musicians.
  • Three public performances at venues throughout Santa Barbara.
  • Students and their families are provided opportunities to attend masterclasses, Santa Barbara Symphony concerts at reduced cost, and other musical community events

Participant Guidelines

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Open to woodwind, brass, percussion, and string instrumentalists.
  • Students rehearse during the school year from September through May.
  • Rehearsal commitment is every Sunday from 3-5pm.
  • Students are also expected to practice their instruments and review assigned material outside of scheduled programming.
  • COVID-19 UPDATE: Student safety is our priority and we continue to closely monitor guidelines from the Public Health Department. Fall 2020 instruction will be conducted online with virtual sectionals, online masterclasses, and asynchronous digital content designed to enhance the experience. We will reevaluate how we deliver instruction in Spring 2021.

2020-21 Audition Information

Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our students, teachers, and staff during COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-21 season auditions were moved to the online platform, Acceptd.  This platform allows students to upload their video audition, answer application questions, and apply for tuition scholarships all in one place.

Applications are now closed for the 2020-21 season. Students can review their submissions with the application link below.

Audition Requirements

  • Visit the Acceptd website to complete your application:
  • Scales and Arpeggios:
    • Violin players prepare a 1 octave E major scale with two notes slurred, and a 2 octave D major scale with two notes slurred, and a 2 octave scale of your choice with two notes slurred.
    • Viola players prepare a 1 octave E major scale with two notes slurred, and a 2 octave G major scale with two notes slurred, and a 2 octave scale of your choice with two notes slurred.
    • Cello players prepare a 1 octave E major scale with two notes slurred, and a 2 octave G major scale with two notes slurred, and a 2 octave scale of your choice with two notes slurred.
    • Double Bass players prepare a 1 octave E major scale with two notes slurred, and two other scales of your choice with two notes slurred.
    • Woodwind and brass players prepare a 2 octave major scale and arpeggio of your choice in any key up to four flats and four sharps AND a two-octave chromatic scale if possible.
  • NEW this year! Download and prepare audition excerpts from below according to your instrument.
  • Download and prepare audition excerpts according to your instrument.
  • A solo piece, which best demonstrates both technical and musical skills on the instrument (no accompanist needed).
    • Percussionists please prepare a solo piece or excerpt on the snare drum.

2020-2021 Tuition

$250/year

As a non-profit, generous annual donations from Symphony supporters enable us to keep Tuition fees to a minimum.  Tuition applies to the 2020-21 season. Need-based Scholarships are available and information regarding these can be found on the application form. Admitted musicians will not be turned away due to finances. If tuition is a challenge, please reach out to the Director of Education at 805-898-1417.

Santa Barbara Symphony

Tuition Payment

NOTE: If you need to make a tuition payment for multiple students, please complete this form once for each student. This form cannot combine multiple tuition payments in a single transaction.

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