Music Education Center

Santa Barbara Symphony Music Education Center Overview

December 20, 2016

Video produced by the Santa Barbara Bowl and Cox Communications


Santa Barbara Youth Symphony & Junior Orchestra Will Present Free Concerts November 12 & 13

November 08, 2016

Santa Barbara, CA — Two Santa Barbara Symphony youth ensembles featuring orchestral musicians from throughout the region will present free concerts in Santa Barbara on November 12 and 13. The Junior Orchestra, which features young musicians from Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Carpinteria, will perform at 3 pm on Saturday, November 12, in the Music Academy of the West’s Hahn Hall. The Youth Symphony, whose accomplished members hail from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, will perform works by Brahms, Mussorgsky, and others at 4 pm on Sunday, November 13, in the Lobero Theatre.


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Santa Barbara Symphony Launches Communitywide Music Education Programs

October 03, 2016

Orchestra is partnering with three area school districts to provide hundreds of community children with unique instructional opportunities.

Santa Barbara, CA — Further cementing its status as a music education leader in the region, the Santa Barbara Symphony has launched a pair of instructional programs that will collectively serve some 285 area public elementary school students during the current school year. The effort includes an expansion of BRAVO!, the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) afterschool music education program, as well as a new violin program in the Hope Elementary School District.

“As part of the Symphony’s overall efforts to address a growing need in the community, these new programs are in effect making the case for quality music instruction in our schools, and the message is clearly resonating with parents and educators alike,” said Dr. Amy Williams, director of education and community engagement for the Santa Barbara Symphony. “The resulting learning experiences will add immeasurably to students’ development, and are perfectly aligned with the Symphony’s mission to provide the community’s youth with dynamic educational opportunities. We are proud to help families invest in their children’s future through music.”


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Santa Barbara Symphony Seeks Co-Investors to Expand Afterschool Music Education Program

August 04, 2016

New partnership with Santa Barbara Unified School District’s BRAVO! program will create more learning opportunities for area elementary students.

The Santa Barbara Symphony is seeking additional funding partners for a proposed expansion of BRAVO!, the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) afterschool music education program for public elementary students in grades five and six. Under the plan, the Symphony – in a new operational partnership with the SBUSD – will augment district teaching staff and extend the program’s hands-on instrument instruction to fourth-grade students. The Symphony also will assume greater responsibility for administering the program, including managing teaching artists.


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[Yardi corporate blog] Behind the Music Santa Barbara Youth Symphony

May 22, 2016

Three years ago, Yardi caught up with Amy Williams, Director of Education and Community Engagement at Santa Barbara Youth Symphony. The program has grown a lot since then, reaching even more of the city’s youth with interdisciplinary art and the fun of a kid-centered community.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in participation,” says Williams. “Three years ago, we reached 4,500 students and this year we’re anticipating 5,300. Concerts for Young People has 2,800 students now. That filled up in record time. We’re offering the same things but we’re seeing a huge shift of kids wanting to play great music and make new friends.”

The friendships and sense of community draw most students through the doors, and keep them coming back year after year.

Williams recalls one particularly heartwarming encounter: “This year, one of my high school students was excited, noisily coming into rehearsal. I said, ‘You’re very excited to be here.’ And he says, ‘Well, Amy, I belong here.’ I feel that’s the heart of it. We are where students feel they belong. The demographic in Santa Barbara has all sorts of languages, all sorts of backgrounds, but when they walk into classes and workshops they feel like they belong, by teachers and their peers. I feel very strongly about that and I’m very proud of the program.”


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Free ‘Hands On!’ Music Festival Will Encourage Participants to Explore, Listen, and Play

April 25, 2016

Santa Barbara, CA — The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony invites community members of all ages to experiment with orchestral instruments, dance on a massive keyboard, and enjoy other musical fun at the first-ever “Hands On!” Music Festival, a free celebration in front of the Lobero Theatre on May 22. The event also will include music-oriented crafts with Santa Barbara Museum of Art staff, entertaining musical software, a photo booth, and a short program featuring instrumentalists from the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Junior Orchestra.

Activities will take place from noon to 4 pm, followed by the final concert of the 2015-16 season by the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony in the Lobero Theatre. Admission to the performance also is free.


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