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Free Symphony Concerts Open World of Orchestral Music to Young People

In response to growing demand, the Santa Barbara Symphony will present four Concerts for Young People over two days at the Granada Theatre, a twofold increase over last year. Performances will be at 10 and 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, and Friday, Jan. 27.

Now in its sixth decade, the Concerts for Young People program is designed to introduce area fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders to the wonders of orchestral music through live interactive, kid-friendly symphonic performances and demonstrations. Attendance is free for students and teachers. A list of participating Santa Barbara Unified School District schools appears below.

The 45-minute program will include works by Beethoven, Elgar and others. Violinist Holly Radford, a 17-year-old Santa Barbara and member of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, will be the featured soloist for Pablo de Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen.

“The goal is to encourage children to actively engage with the music, so that they’re creating imagery in their minds as they listen," said Amy Williams, director of education and community engagement for the Santa Barbara Symphony.

“We view music, particularly classical music, as a vitally important developmental tool for young students. Learning potential aside, attendees always enthusiastically enjoy these concerts,” Williams said.

Guest conductor David Lockington will lead the symphony in all four Concerts for Young People. A native of Great Britain, Lockington serves as music director of the Modesto and Pasadena symphonies. He previously served in the same capacity with the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and the Long Island Philharmonic.

He will next lead the Santa Barbara Symphony in full concerts at the Granada on Jan. 28 and 29. Those performances will include orchestral accompaniment to screened excerpts from Disney’s Fantasia films, Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber, and Lockington’s own Ceremonial Fantasy Fanfare. Tickets remain available.

The Santa Barbara Symphony serves some 8,300 young people directly through its Music Education Center, whose programs include the Music Van, Concerts for Young People, the Junior Orchestra, and the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony.

In operation since 1978, the Music Van visits third-grade classrooms in the greater Santa Barbara area between September and December, serving some 2,000 students in more than 40 schools each year. The center recently launched two new initiatives: an expansion of BRAVO!, the SBUSD’s afterschool music education program; and a violin program in the Hope Elementary School District.

Participating SBUSD schools are: Brandon, Our Lady Mount Carmel, Roosevelt, Open Alternative, Cleveland, Harding, McKinley, Monroe, Hollister, Isla Vista, Coastline Academy, Franklin, Adams, Solvang, Providence, Santa Barbara Charter, Notre Dame, St. Raphael, La Cañada, Crestview, Santa Barbara Community Academy, Vieja Valley, Foothill, Washington, Kellogg and Monte Vista.

Also, El Montecito, Mountain View, Hope, Marymount, Oak Valley, Knox School, Santa Ynez Christian, Los Berros, La Honda, Olive Grove Charter, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, Montessori Center, Laguna Blanca, The Howard School, Adelante Charter, Garden Street Academy, Waldorf and El Camino.

For additional information on the youth programs, call 898-8785. For symphony information, visit

— Tim Dougherty for Santa Barbara Symphony.


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