Santa Barbara Symphony News

[Carpinteria Coastal View News] Music Van instrumental to education

January 08, 2014

A visit from Santa Barbara Symphony's Music Van had Aliso and Summerland School third-graders anxious to sample all the instrumetns that make the music in an orchestra. The students were able to test woodwinds, strings and bass to learn how the instruments produce music.

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[Independent] Review: S.B. Symphony New Year’s Eve Pops Concert

January 07, 2014

Guests Included Maestro Bob Bernhardt and State Street Ballet Dancers

You know it’s a pops concert when the night starts out with a resounding patriotic march. And you know it’s a New Year’s Eve Pops concert when the paper-tiara- and sparkly-part- hat-wearing throng sings along using alternate lyrics that begin with the phrase “Be kind to your web-footed friends.”

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[News-Press} Ending on a light note

January 05, 2014

Santa Barbara Symphony's New Year's Eve concert buzzes Granada

As has been the tradition for 20 years now, the otherwise serious music-minded Santa Barbara Symphony let its collective hair down and treated its audience to a night of merry-making on New Year's Eve at The Granada. With the usual party mix of music from Hollywood, Broadway and classical morsels, the concert made for a briskly-paced and sharply-played yearly exit strategy, of the orchestral lite, pops-colored sort.

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[Noozhawk] Pop Goes Santa Barbara Symphony for New Year’s Eve

December 30, 2013

The Santa Barbara Symphony will hold its New Year's Eve Pops Concert/Party at 8:30 p.m. on the evening in question — Tuesday — in the Granada Theatre.

The engaging Robert Bernhardt, head of the Pops division of the indispensable Louisville Orchestra (and baseball fan), returns to guest-conduct the symphony in a program of Broadway hits and Hollywood blockbuster scores. There will also be ballroom dancing by couples from the State Street Ballet. And of course, party hats and noisemakers will be available for all.

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[Casa Magazine] Guest Conductor Bob Bernhardt - The Hollywood Connection

December 30, 2013

With party hats and noisemakers provided at the door, the upcoming Santa Barbara Symphony New Year's Eve Pops Concert at the Granada Theatre Tuesday night promises to be a blast--pun intended. It's the one concert of the year when the audience gets to make rowdy noises back at the orchsetra with their kazoos, and generally enjoy some mischief. Guest Conductor Bob Bernhardt returns to the podium for his third pops concert roustabout with locals, and he can't wait.

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[Scene Magazine] Symphonic Out and In with the Old and New

December 27, 2013


As the year and the holidays draw to a close, one of Santa Barbara's long-running traditions has been a ripe chance to hear the Santa Barbara Symphony letting its hair and its "serious music" agenda down. For more than 20 years, the Symphony has put on the ritzy and accessible New Year's Eve Pops concert gala, which takes place early enough to allow revelers to proceed to midnight-geared parties, and a giddy, glitzy affair with pinches of serious musical intent in the mix.

This is also a rare occasion when fine and upstanding Santa Barbara citizens can be seen in public, donning silly hats and wielding noisemakers, sometimes naughtily and at unsanctioned moments in the performance. This year's show, well stocked with show tunes, movie music, classical repertoire morsels and more, also includes segments of ballroom dancing, courtesy of members of the Santa Barbara Ballet.

When it comes to the specialty of conducting pops concerts, Robert Bernhardt has his credentials well in order, and knows how to make them work. The conductor emeritus of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Mr. Bernhardt has long been the Principal Pops Conductor of the respected Louisville Orchestra, and has frequently commandeered the Pops baton for that luxury liner of the Pops world, the Boston Pops.

We checked in with Mr. Bernhardt as he was on the job in Edmonton, Alberta, last week, to talk Santa Barbara, the Pops universe, and the definitive finale of the 2013 concert year in town.

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