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Celebrate New Year’s Eve Downtown with The Santa Barbara Symphony

The Santa Barbara Symphony is thrilled to announce its beloved New Year’s Eve concert tradition. Downtown will be dazzling with the music of Broadway and other celebratory symphonic favorites, on Saturday, December 31 from 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm at the Granada Theatre. Pops conductor and host Bob Bernhardt will be joined by acclaimed guest soprano Mela Sarajane Dailey, to deliver an unforgettable last evening of the year filled with music and celebration.

“Few events evoke as much nostalgia and a feeling of togetherness as New Year’s Eve with The Santa Barbara Symphony, and this year is guaranteed to be one not to miss. We’re thrilled to welcome our longtime friend Bob Bernhardt back to guest conduct a rousing Broadway-themed program of glitz, glamour, and symphonic joy!” shared Kathryn R Martin, President & CEO of the Santa Barbara Symphony. 

This New Year’s Eve, guests can reminisce to Broadway’s most memorable musicals, including The Sound of Music, Chicago, My Fair Lady, Phantom of the Opera, and Into the Woods to name a few. Champagne, party favors, and a sing-along of “Auld Lang Syne” will round out the festivities. The concert concludes by 10:00 pm, leaving plenty of time to enjoy dinner downtown beforehand and ring in the New Year afterward! 

A 2014 Grammy winner and ten-time nominee with choral ensemble Conspirare, Mela Sarajane Dailey has inspired audiences with her vocal mastery and ability to connect with fans and critics alike. In recent seasons, Dailey has garnered rave reviews debuting with the Florida and Detroit Symphony Orchestras and as a returning soloist with Austin Opera; Austin, Brazos Valley, Chattanooga, Corinthian, Edmonton, Grand Rapids, Rochester Philharmonic, Spokane, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras. 

She has one son and is married to Peter Bay, Music Director and Conductor of the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Performing with many of the world’s best orchestras, highlights of Dailey’s career include starring in both roles of Mimi and Musetta in La Boheme, as well as performing as the soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Brahms Requiem, and Poulenc Gloria. She has traveled the globe performing throughout Europe, North and South America and Australia.  

In addition to vocal performance, Dailey’s career includes film, television, and radio, as well as recording two major motion picture soundtracks at Skywalker Ranch Studios. Dailey hosts the popular radio show ICONS of Broadway with Gregory Durham and is Co-Founder and CEO of Merick Strategies,, a consulting and production agency. She also helped create and lead the nonprofit, Austin Artists Project, whose mission is to fund and create opportunities for underrepresented artists. AAP manages and produces programs and productions including The Greg Easley-Bryant Young Artist Program, Broadway Brunch, Sing Out, and Summer Lawn Concert Series. For more information visit

Bob Bernhardt returns as guest conductor for this festive New Year’s Eve tradition. In the world of pops, Bernhardt has worked with scores of stars from Broadway, Rock & Roll, and the American Songbook: from Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kelli O’Hara to the Beach Boys and Wynonna to Jason Alexander and Ben Folds, and has performed extensively with the Boston Pops. Bernhardt celebrates 41 years with the Louisville Orchestra. He is concurrently Principal Pops Conductor of the Grand Rapids Symphony (his 7th year) and Music Director Emeritus and Principal Pops Conductor of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera (his 29th year).  He has held Principal Conductor/Artistic Director leadership positions at the Rochester Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Kentucky Opera, Amarillo Symphony, and the Lake Placid Sinfonietta. 

New Year’s Eve with the Symphony is supported by Principal Concert Sponsor, Samuel M. and Alene S. Hedgpeth; Artist Sponsor, Patricia Gregory* for the Baker Foundation; Conducting Sponsor, Dr. Bob Weinman; and Champagne Sponsor, Marilynn Sullivan.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the Santa Barbara Symphony! Tickets can be purchased online here. For full details about the Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2022/23 season and to purchase season subscriptions or single tickets, please click here or call 805-898-9386.

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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