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Celebrate New Year’s Eve With the Santa Barbara Symphony!

Bob Bernhardt returns to host an evening of Gershwin and other celebratory symphonic favorites. Champagne and party hats included!
  • Bob Bernhardt returns to host an evening of Gershwin and other celebratory symphonic favorites
  • Bass-baritone Cedric Berry and renowned concert pianist Natasha Kislenko join to have audiences singing in the New Year
  • Concert begins at 8:30pm and ends by 10:00pm.
  • Champagne and party hats included!

November 24, 2021) Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara Symphony returns to its beloved New Year’s Eve tradition, dazzling with the music of Gershwin and other celebratory symphonic favorites, on Friday, December 31 from 8:30pm-10:00pm at the Granada Theatre.

Pops conductor and host Bob Bernhardt returns, and will be joined by acclaimed baritone Cedric Berry, pianist Natasha Kislenko, and the full orchestra, to host an evening guaranteed to get the audience singing and dancing in their seats!

“Santa Barbara is ready to celebrate!” said Kathryn R. Martin, President & CEO, “I can think of no better way to come together, safely, to say goodbye to a year of big challenges, and celebrate the possibilities of 2022! This concert is joyous and celebratory, featuring audience favorites by Gershwin, movie music, and a salute to the Armed Services. It’s going to be electrifying!”

The concert features Cedric Berry, a bass-baritone known for his silken voice that captivates, and whose experience spans opera, Broadway, American songbook, jazz, and gospel. Santa Barbara audiences last heard him up close and personal in the Symphony’s pandemic “Fanfare” broadcast. In addition to being a former Resident Artist with the LA Opera, he has performed with the Industry Opera, Long Beach Opera, Savonlinna Opera Festival of Finland, Banlieues Bleues Festival of France, and the Ravinia Music Festival, to name a few. Notable recent engagements include the role of Yusef in the world premiere of the Central Park Five opera. Berry serves as the program coordinator, manager, and student advisor for USC’s Film & Television Production Division.

The Symphony’s very own Principal pianist Natasha Kislenko will wow audiences playing George Gershwin’s virtuoso variations on “I Got Rhythm”. Kislenko made her Carnegie Hall solo recital debut after taking the Grand Prize at the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition in 1996. A prizewinner of several international piano competitions, she has extensively concertized in Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and across the Americas.

Bob Bernhardt returns as guest conductor for this festive New Year’s Eve tradition. Bernhardt celebrates a remarkable milestone this year with his 40th anniversary 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. In the world of pops, he 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.

New Year’s Eve with the Symphony is supported by Principal Concert Sponsor, Montecito Bank & Trust, and Baton Sponsor, Dr. Robert Weinman.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the Santa Barbara Symphony – LIVE and in-person! Tickets can be purchased online here. For full details about the Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2021/22 season and to purchase season subscriptions or single tickets, please click here.

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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