Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 11:33 am | Fair 71º


Santa Barbara Airport Surprises Passengers with Holiday Flash Mob

On Wednesday afternoon, the Santa Barbara Airport surprised arriving and departing passengers with a burst of holiday cheer.

While checking in 3-year-old Juliet Cipriano and her grandmother, Angela Cipriano, United Airlines customer service agent Peter Kravchuk suddenly burst into song with an operatic version of the holiday classic “Jingle Bells.” Passengers, enjoying the spirit of the season, clapped and sang along.

Minutes later, a lone voice began singing Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” Other students joined in until the entire 60-member San Marcos Madrigal Choir, led by director of vocal music Carolyn Teraoka-Brady congregated in the central lobby and second-floor balcony. Echoes of the angelic music could be heard throughout the entire airline terminal. As the song ended, the audience gave the choir thunderous applause.

Thinking the event was over, passengers began to move across the lobby toward baggage claim or up the escalators to security when suddenly the Rat Kings and two of his warriors entered the lobby and were immediately joined by 15 other characters from The Nutcracker. Passengers paused to follow the 20 costumed ballet dancers, from the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet, as they performed this holiday classic, lead by co-artistic director Sean Crawford.

“We wanted to try something different this year during the holiday season to welcome our passengers to Santa Barbara Airport," said Hazel Johns, airport director. "We wanted local talent and were successful in having the exceptional and award-winning San Marcos Madrigal Choir, the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet and our very own airline employee, Peter Kravchuk, perform. Each segment was filmed and will be released through social media in the next two weeks.”

The San Marcos Madrigal Choir will perform their Winter Concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 15-16 at San Rogue Parish Church, 3200 Calle Cedro in Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara Festival Ballet will perform The Nutcracker at 2:30 and 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Arlington Theater, 1317 State St. in Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara Airport is a self-supporting enterprise owned and operated by the City of Santa Barbara and serves more than 700,000 passengers annually.

— Hazel Johns is director of the Santa Barbara Airport.


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