Bob Bernhardt

Bob Bernhardt

The Santa Barbara Symphony‘s  New Year’s Eve concert tradition continues this year with the music of Broadway and other celebratory symphonic favorites, 8:30-10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31 at the Granada Theatre.

Pops conductor and host Bob Bernhardt will be joined by guest soprano Mela Sarajane Dailey to deliver the year’s end event filled with music and merriment.

“Few events evoke as much nostalgia and a feeling of togetherness as New Year’s Eve with the Santa Barbara Symphony, and this year is guaranteed to be one not to miss,” said Kathryn R Martin, Santa Barbara Symphony president/CEO.

“We’re thrilled to welcome our longtime friend Bob Bernhardt back to guest conduct a rousing Broadway-themed program of glitz, glamour, and symphonic joy,” she said.

Symphony patrons can reminisce to tunes from such Broadway musicals as “The Sound of Music,” “Chicago,” “My Fair Lady,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and “Into the Woods.”

There will be Champagne, party favors, and a sing-along of “Auld Lang Syne” to round out the festivities.

Dailey, a 2014 Grammy winner and 10-time nominee with choral ensemble Conspirare, has inspired audiences with her vocal mastery and ability to connect with fans and critics. She has garnered rave reviews debuting with the Florida and Detroit Symphony Orchestras and as a returning soloist with Austin Opera; Austin, Brazos Valley,  Chattanooga, Corinthian, Edmonton, Grand Rapids, Rochester Philharmonic, Spokane, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras. 

Highlights of Dailey’s career include starring in both roles of Mimi and Musetta in “La Boheme,” as well as performing as the soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Brahms Requiem, and Poulenc Gloria. She has performed throughout Europe, North and South America, and Australia.  

Dailey’s career includes film, television and radio, as well as recording two major motion picture soundtracks at Skywalker Ranch Studios. She hosts the radio show ICONS of Broadway with Gregory Durham, and is co-founder and CEO of Merick Strategies, a consulting and production agency.

She also helped create and lead the nonprofit, Austin Artists Project, whose mission is to fund and create opportunities for underrepresented artists; visit

Bernhardt returns as guest conductor for the New Year’s Eve tradition. In the world of pops, Bernhardt has worked with scores of stars from Broadway, Rock & Roll, and the American Songbook: from Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kelli O’Hara to the Beach Boys and Wynonna to Jason Alexander and Ben Folds.

Having performed extensively with the Boston Pops, Bernhardt now celebrates 41 years with the Louisville Orchestra. He is concurrently principal pops conductor of the Grand Rapids Symphony and music director emeritus and principal pops conductor of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera.

He has held principal conductor/artistic director leadership positions at the Rochester Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Kentucky Opera, Amarillo Symphony, and Lake Placid Sinfonietta. 

New Year’s Eve with the Symphony is supported by Principal Concert Sponsor, Samuel M. and Alene S. Hedgpeth; Artist Sponsor, Patricia Gregory for the Baker Foundation; Conducting Sponsor, Dr. Bob Weinman; and Champagne Sponsor, Marilynn Sullivan.

Tickets can be purchased online here. For full details about the Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2022/23 season and to buy season subscriptions or single tickets, click here or call 805-898-9386.

For more about the Santa Barbaara Symphony, visit