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Santa Barbara Symphony Announces Fall Youth Ensembles Concerts 

(October 21, 2022) Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara Symphony is pleased to announce its fall youth ensemble performances on October 29 and 30!  Under the artistic vision of Music & Artistic Director Maestro Nir Kabaretti and administered by Vice President of Community Education and Enrichment, Dr. Nick Fuentes, the youth ensembles boast the largest enrollment in years, a strong parent volunteer group and new, accessible rehearsal and performance spaces. 

The Camerata Ensemble and Philharmonia Orchestra will perform on October 29 at 3:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E Constance Ave, Santa Barbara CA, and the Youth Symphony will perform on October 30 at 4:00 pm at the Lobero Theatre, 33 E Canon Perdido St, Santa Barbara, CA. All youth ensemble performances are FREE and open to the public to attend, seating is available on a first-come basis. 

As the only music education program in the region tied to a professional symphony orchestra, the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony brings together 50 gifted musicians, ages 12-18, from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties to perform works across the orchestral repertoire. As part of The Symphony’s strategic partnership with Westmont College, newly appointed Santa Barbara Symphony Youth Symphony Music Director and Conductor, Dr. Daniel Gee leads this advanced ensemble and teaches the discipline and commitment that budding young professionals need for the next step in their careers, whether in music or another field.

“It is truly an honor to make music with these talented and dedicated young musicians,” shared Gee. “In addition to making music together, they are learning important skills like how to collaborate, overcome challenges, and dedicate themselves to something bigger than themselves. Together, we strive to create the best music we can and to share it with our community. Even more so, my hope for these students is that this musical journey will help shape them and positively impact their growth and development.”

This first concert of the season is intentionally designed to welcome newcomers to orchestral concerts. Each composition will highlight a certain section of the orchestra, and spans from as early as the Baroque period to our present day. 

“Our closing work is by a living composer, Richard Meyer, who was my first music teacher in my public elementary school and long-time director of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra,” added Gee. “It is with deep gratitude that I dedicate my first concert as director of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony to him.”

The Camerata Ensemble, led by conductor Marisa McLeod, is composed of musicians who are early in their musical training.  It introduces students to the basics of ensemble playing, following a conductor, and listening across a musical group while playing. The Philharmonia Orchestra is the intermediate step in the Symphony’s Music Education program’s continuum of performing ensembles. Philharmonia 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 as a symphonic wind band with instructor Karen Dutton. Students in the Philharmonia Orchestra have two (2) or more years of study on a string, wind, brass, or percussion instrument.

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s Music Education programming is made possible through partnerships with school districts, Westmont College, community organizations, local and national funders, and the generous support from individual donors. To support the Symphony’s Music Education Programs please click here.

About the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Music Education Programs

Each year, the Santa Barbara Symphony provides children in Santa Barbara County with high-quality, inclusive, and accessible music education through its Music Education programs: a continuum of connected programs designed to support and engage students every step along their musical journey; fostering collaboration, confidence, and community, empowering students to be at their best through music. The Symphony’s range of Music Education and Engagement programs includes the Music Van mobile music classroom, pre Symphony Concert “Conversations with Kabaretti”, education-based open Symphony rehearsal experiences for youth,  and the three Youth Ensembles: Camerata Ensemble, Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony. 

About The Santa Barbara Symphony

Now in its 71st year, The Santa Barbara Symphony delivers artistic excellence, outstanding music education stewardship and programming, and community collaboration – all through symphonic music. Under the artistic leadership of Maestro Nir Kabaretti as Music & Artistic Director since 2006, The Symphony is one of the region’s premier cultural institutions. Through his charismatic leadership, this globally admired conductor and Santa Barbara resident invigorates audiences and musicians alike through his passion, creativity, and vast experience. As the only music education program tied to a professional symphony orchestra in the region, The Symphony serves more than 4,000 students annually throughout Santa Barbara County. While The Symphony continues to evolve, bringing joy, engagement, and connection remain steadfast pillars of its mission and were evident in the organization’s ability to thrive during the pandemic including the historic announcement that board chair Janet Garufis and President & CEO Kathryn R Martin join Nir Kabaretti in making a five-year commitment to serve in their roles. For more information, visit

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