Friday, July 20 , 2018, 11:25 pm | Fair 65º


Margo Kline: West Coast Chamber Orchestra in Fine Form

Historic setting of the Presidio Chapel adds to the elegance of a Mother's Day program

It was bright and sunny outside, but the chapel of Santa Barbara’s historic Presidio was bathed in candlelight for Sunday’s concerts by the West Coast Chamber Orchestra.

This refined ensemble is mostly led by Christopher Story VI, but Dr. Michael Shasberger of Westmont College took a turn with the Concerto for Three Violins in D. Featuring instrumentalists Tamsen Beseke, Jaqueline Suzuki and Julie Beavers, the work was transcribed here for violins instead of the original pianos. According to the program notes, this Concerto was being played for the first time in the United States.

The concert was performed twice, once in the afternoon and once in the evening, allowing the audience to schedule Mother’s Day festivities around the music. (Since Papa Bach fathered a total of 20 children with two successive wives, it’s a given that he would approve of Mother’s Day.)

Story took the podium for the first piece — a suite from the Air on the G String — and the final three works. This Air is so familiar, and so loved, that it was fitting to launch the program with it.

The other works conducted by Story were the Fugue in G Minor, the Arioso played on the viola by Eugene Mechtovich, and the familiar Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G Major, highlighting flute soloists Sheridan Stokes and Jamie Pedrine, along with Beseke on violin.

Story and Shasberger present an interesting juxtaposition of conducting assignments. Story has been conducting locally since 1966, and appears with groups as varied as the West Coast Symphony and the Goleta Valley Chamber Orchestra. Shasberger occupies the Adams Chair of Music and Worship at Westmont College. He also conducts the college choir, gives private lessons and is a liaison with a number of area music groups in planning concerts such as these two at the Presidio Chapel.

Once again, the Santa Barbara music community flexed its considerable muscle with a concert of rarified music by fine musicians. And the program was enhanced by being presented in a historic setting, the Presidio Chapel with its Spanish Colonial art and decoration.

Sunday’s concerts were sponsored by the Cielo Foundation, which is also presenting a free concert in the Courthouse Sunken Gardens in August and a “Mozart by Candlelight” Thanksgiving concert. The Cielo Foundation has been presenting this kind of performance since 1966.

— Margo Kline covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >