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Tuesday, January 15 , 2019, 6:29 pm | Light Rain 54º

 
 
 
 

Gerald Carpenter: Symphony Wants to Wish Us a Happy 2019

New Year’s Eve Party/Pops Concert at Granada Theatre

Once again, the Santa Barbara Symphony sets Happy New Year! to music.
Once again, the Santa Barbara Symphony sets Happy New Year! to music. (David Bazemore)

One of the many comforting things about the Santa Barbara Symphony's New Year’s Eve Party/Pops Concert is that the broad questions of who (Santa Barbara Symphony); when (8:30-10:30 p.m., Dec. 31); and where (Granada Theatre), come pre-answered.

The details that, this year, the concert will again be conducted by Santa Barbara favorite Bob Bernhardt, and will feature the vocal artistry of Broadway stars Michael Lynche, Shayna Steele and Chester Gregory are significant. The detail that, this year, Dec. 31 falls on a Monday, is less so.

The title and focus of this year's concert is Dancing in the Street: The Music of Motown and More, and will have the symphony and guest artists performing authentic arrangements and popular favorites, including "Dancing in the Street," "Let’s Groove Tonight" and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours," channeling great Motown artists like Marvin Gaye, Earth, Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder.

Never in living memory — in Santa Barbara, across the nation, around the world — has there been a greater need of public events that mellow and warm the audience. For more than quarter of a century, Santa Barbarans have had access to just such an event, the New Year's Eve concert.

Moreover, this concert has never hardened into a ritual but has retained a spirit of easy-going improvisation. It could almost be called Nepenthe after the river of forgetfulness of Greek mythology, so effective is it in (temporarily) suspending all painful memories, while energizing pleasant ones.

This is one New Year's Eve party from which one emerges happy and refreshed, rather than exhausted and full of regrets. It is the very definition of time and money well spent.

This year's artists are sponsored by Dave and Chris Chernof; this year's champagne by Marilynn L. Sullivan and Lois Duncan.

Tickets to the New Year's Eve Pops Concert are $45-$159, and can be purchased in person at the Granada box office, 1214 State St., by phone, 805-899-2222, or online at: https://ticketing.granadasb.org/single/eventDetail.aspx?p=11517.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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