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Arts & Entertainment Presented by Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts


Camerata Pacifica, iCAN Launch Musical Partnership

By Yvonne Leal for iCAN |

The Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN), Santa Barbara’s youth arts program, and Camerata Pacifica, the internationally recognized classical music ensemble, announce a partnership that will bring together Camerata Pacifica musicians and iCAN music students throughout the 2014-15 concert season.

Xóchitl Tafoya, the director of ICAN’s Music Program, and Adrian Spence, Camerata Pacifica’s artistic director, have devised a program to build relationships between the Camerata musicians and the iCAN students.

iCAN students will get to hear many Camerata Pacifica concerts, but throughout the season Camerata musicians will also be visiting the students to give demonstration performances, coachings and generate excitement so that each performance will be received with maximum impact.

“I am really excited for this partnership because this will provide a great opportunity for our students and families at iCAN to understand the dedication, practice and overall love for music,” Tafoya said. “This love and dedication will be shown through the monthly interactions between professional musicians of Camerata Pacifica, our teaching artist, students and families.

“Additionally Camerata musicians will be working with the iCAN student orchestra and the first year’s partnership will culminate with a grand masterclass on Bach’s 3rd Brandenburg Concerto, following which the iCAN and Camerata artists will perform the work together."

“Camerata Pacifica has been very careful with its outreach relationships,” Spence said. “The progressive and enlightened iCAN fully understands the social and developmental benefits of music in these youngster’s daily lives, and offering the Camerata resources in a sustained partnership we feel we can make a significant contribution to their already amazing work.”

The mission of iCAN is to bring high quality arts programs to children in Santa Barbara County, particularly those least likely to receive them.

Through sustained creative learning opportunities that emphasize both artistic excellence and access, iCAN seeks to affect positive social change in the communities it serves. Based in Santa Barbara, iCAN is a nonprofit organization that provides 3,200 students a year, with access to quality visual arts and music programing that they would otherwise be without. Through the unwavering involvement of parents, members of the community and an essential partnership with the Santa Barbara Unified School District, iCAN programs exist in all eight Title I elementary schools.

Entering its 25th season, Camerata Pacifica is one of the most innovative chamber music ensembles in the country. Founded by Spence in 1990, Camerata Pacifica is set apart from other chamber music presenters by its mission to positively affect how people experience live classical music. This mission has inspired Camerata Pacifica’s vision of building community among all its constituents: musicians, patrons, donors and staff. The resulting open dialogue among these stakeholders creates a subtle but distinctly different approach to the presentation of classical music, in which the performance is a starting point for exploration, not the conclusion. Camerata Pacifica offers each of its programs in four cities: Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Marino and Los Angeles. In 2008, the ensemble expanded its reach to national and international stages, performing in Washington, D.C., New York, London, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Camerata Pacifica has a long history of innovation. The organization has been at the forefront of many current trends in concert presenting: dialogue with the audience from the stage, presentations and discussions in alternative venues, and most recently, a prescient awareness of classical music’s growing global presence and relevance. Camerata Pacifica’s commissioning project is designed to embrace and reflect the global musical community, with commissions from Chinese composers Huang Ruo and Bright Sheng, Russian Lera Auerbach, Irishman Ian Wilson and Americans Jake Heggie and John Harbison.

— Yvonne Leal is the network relations director for iCAN.

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