Kristine Pacheco-Bernt

Kristine Pacheco-Bernt

Kristine Pacheco-Bernt has been named the new director of music education by the Santa Barbara Symphony.

Each year, the symphony provides some 10,000 children in Santa Barbara County with high quality, equal-access music education through its Music Education Center: a continuum of connected programs designed to support and engage students along their musical journey by fostering collaboration, confidence, and community, while empowering them to be at their best through music.

While all programming has gone virtual in response to the pandemic, through partnerships and community support, the Music Education Center is moving ahead and looking toward next season.

“During this unprecedented time, the disparities in education are becoming more apparent, and our mission to provide music education to the community is more important now than it has ever been,” said Pacheco-Bernt.

“As we navigate this new learning environment together with our students, the symphony is leveraging the collective talents of our incredible teaching staff to sustain and strengthen the bonds with our students and families through an investment in, and use of, technology,” she said.

Pacheco-Bernt is a professional violinist, arts administrator, and music educator motivated to make instrumental music relevant within the community. Raised at the intersection of mariachi and Mozart, she draws upon a decade of performing and teaching experience.

She believes in the power of creative youth development through music and said she is proud to bring her perspective and skills to the nonprofit arts sector.

Prior to her work at the Santa Barbara Symphony, Pacheco-Bernt served as a teaching artist at the Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN) music program, an El Sistema-inspired initiative in Santa Barbara, providing free after-school music classes and academic enrichment to 120 elementary school children from an underserved community.

She currently maintains a private violin studio designed to support students at all levels of musical development.

Pacheco-Bernt said she feels privileged to be a member of the symphony in many roles: teaching artist, substitute musician, and now director of education. She enjoys bringing together school administrators, families, and music professionals to create dynamic music education programs.

Pacheco-Bernt holds a master’s degree in violin performance from San Francisco State University and dual bachelor degrees in music and premedical studies from the University of California Berkeley.

She performs regularly throughout the Central Coast with the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, and Santa Maria Philharmonic.

For more about the Santa Barbara Symphony, visit