Close this search box.
Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Santa Barbara Symphony Renews Commitment to Musicians in New Three-Year Contract

The Santa Barbara Symphony and the American Federation of Musicians are pleased to announce a new three-year contract, extending through June 2026. The contract was ratified by both the Symphony Board of Directors and musicians on June 22, 2023, demonstrating a mutual commitment to collaboration and the vibrant future of symphonic music in the Santa Barbara community.

The new three-year contract reflects a deep respect for the Santa Barbara Symphony musicians’ invaluable contributions and seeks to foster an environment that nurtures creativity and artistic growth. It includes provisions for competitive wages and expanded work opportunities while continuing to participate in a pension plan. The agreement further enables the Symphony’s commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization.

“We are thrilled to continue our close connection with the extraordinary musicians of the Santa Barbara Symphony,” shared Kathryn R. Martin, President and CEO of the Santa Barbara Symphony. “This contract reaffirms our shared commitment to bring joy, inspiration, and a transformative experience to our community through the power of symphonic music. We look forward to the exciting performances and educational initiatives that lie ahead as we continue this close partnership.”

“The musicians of the Santa Barbara Symphony are deeply appreciative of the commitments this extension represents, for the future of this institution as a leading performing arts organization, and for the spirit of collaboration between musicians, board, and management. We look forward to the opportunities this agreement offers us, allowing the continued development of meaningful connections with our community.” Bethany Mennemeyer, Orchestra Committee Chair

The successful negotiation and ratification of this contract illustrate the strong partnership and shared vision between the Santa Barbara Symphony, its musicians, and Local 308 of the American Federation of Musicians. By working collaboratively, both parties achieved an agreement that positions the Santa Barbara Symphony for continued artistic excellence and community engagement.

“Local 308 would like to thank the management and staff of the Santa Barbara Symphony Association for engaging in a cordial and expeditious negotiation for the new contract. The cooperation, respect, and communication between management, the board, the players’ committee, and the Union should be a model for others to follow.” Neil Garber, President, Local 308, American Federation of Musicians.

“This outcome reflects the mutual respect and appreciation between all parties and strengthens us as an organization,” shared Santa Barbara Symphony Music & Artistic Director Nir Kabaretti. “I am very grateful to all who helped and contributed to this contract, ensuring the legacy of symphonic music in Santa Barbara will continue to thrive.”

“The Santa Barbara Symphony is immensely proud of the exceptional talent and dedication of our musicians,” said Janet Garufis, Chair of the Symphony’s Board of Directors. “Their artistic contributions have enriched our community for decades. This new contract ensures that we can provide the support and resources they need to continue delivering outstanding performances that touch the hearts and souls of our audiences.”

Experience the Symphony’s 2023-24 season! All performances will take place at the Granada Theatre. Season subscriptions are on sale now with packages starting as low as $112 for a four-concert package, and $184 for a full seven-concert package – that gets you Beethoven 9 for FREE! Single tickets go on sale on September 1, 2023. For subscriptions and ticket information visit 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

Other Articles

Support The Santa Barbara Symphony

Your support matters now more than ever!
Please make a donation today.