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Hearts for Haiti: A Young Musicians Benefit Concert

Students of the Granada Music & Arts Conservatory and Santa Barbara Strings will showcase their talents Saturday to help earthquake victims

Students of the Granada Music & Arts Conservatory and Santa Barbara Strings will present “Hearts for Haiti: A Young Musicians Benefit Concert” at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Marjorie Luke Theatre.

In connection with Direct Relief International, the concert will benefit the victims of last month’s devastating earthquake in Haiti.

The performance will feature outstanding young musicians from both Granada programs and will highlight music of Edward Elgar, Johannes Brahms, Peter Warlock and Joseph Haydn. The works will be performed by members of the Virtuoso Strings ensemble and the conservatory’s chamber musicians, with guest conductor Basil Vendryes, principal violist of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and faculty member of the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music.

The event will include a special performance by Santa Barbara’s Nina Bodnar, the first American violinist to win the prestigious Jacques Thibaud International Competition. In addition to her current roles as artistic director of the GMAC and director of Virtuoso Strings, she previously served as concertmaster for the Santa Barbara Symphony under Varujan Kojian and later for the St. Louis Symphony under Leonard Slatkin.

Santa Barbara Strings will be part of Saturday's Hearts for Haiti: A Young Musicians Benefit Concert at the Marjorie Luke Theatre
Santa Barbara Strings will be part of Saturday’s “Hearts for Haiti: A Young Musicians Benefit Concert” at the Marjorie Luke Theatre.

In addition, the young students of Intermezzo and Sinfonietta Strings will perform under the direction of Mary Beth Woodruff. Woodruff, who studied at the New England Conservatory, MIT and Carnegie Mellon, was a professor of violin/viola and head of chamber music at Biola University in Los Angeles for seven years.

The program finale will feature the award-winning group of dancing fiddlers, Celtic Spring, which has a long-standing association with the GMAC. The group is made up of six siblings whose music hails from Ireland, Scotland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

In 2002, Celtic Spring was named Grand Champion of the World at the World Championships of the Performing Arts in Hollywood. In the summer of 2007, 12 million people watched Celtic Spring on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. The band was one of the top five finalists. Celtic Spring also has been featured on Today, Good Morning America and PBS.

Tickets for Saturday’s concert are $25 for adults and $15 for students; facility fees will apply. Purchase tickets at the Granada box office at 1214 State St. or 805.899.2222. Tickets purchased by phone may be mailed or held at will call at the Marjorie Luke Theatre, 721 E. Cota St., for pickup after 6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets will also be available for sale at the door starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, while seats are available.

— Vincent Coronado is the marketing director for The Granada.

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