Music director/conductor Daniel Gee leads the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Youth Symphony. (Courtesy photo)

The Santa Barbara Symphony‘s fall youth ensemble performances will be held Oct. 29-30, under the artistic vision of music/artistic director Maestro Nir Kabaretti and administered by Nick Fuentes vice president of community education and enrichment.

The youth ensembles boast the largest enrollment in years, a strong parent volunteer group, and new, accessible rehearsal and performance spaces.

The Camerata Ensemble and Philharmonia Orchestra will perform at 3 p.m. Oct. 29 at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. The Youth Symphony will perform at 4 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Lobero Theatre, 33 E .Canon Perdido St. All youth ensemble performances are free, with seating available on a first-come basis.

As the only music education program in the region tied to a professional symphony orchestra, the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony brings together 50 gifted musicians, ages 12-18, from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties to perform works across the orchestral repertoire.

As part of the Santa Barbara Symphony’s partnership with Westmont College, Daniel Gee, the newly appointed Santa Barbara Symphony Youth Symphony music director and conductor, leads the advanced ensemble and teaches the discipline and commitment emerging young professionals need for the next step in their careers.

“It is truly an honor to make music with these talented and dedicated young musicians,” Gee said. “In addition to making music together, they are learning important skills like how to collaborate, overcome challenges, and dedicate themselves to something bigger than themselves.

“Together, we strive to create the best music we can and to share it with our community. Even more so, my hope for these students is that this musical journey will help shape them and positively impact their growth and development.”

The season’s first concert is designed to welcome newcomers to orchestral concerts. Each composition will highlight a certain section of the orchestra, and spans from as early as the Baroque period to present day.

“Our closing work is by a living composer, Richard Meyer, who was my first music teacher in my public elementary school and long-time director of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra,” Gee said. “It is with deep gratitude that I dedicate my first concert as director of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony to him.”

The Camerata Ensemble, led by conductor Marisa McLeod, is composed of musicians who are early in their musical training. It introduces students to the basics of ensemble playing, following a conductor, and listening across a musical group while playing.

The Philharmonia Orchestra is the intermediate step in the symphony’s music education program’s continuum of performing ensembles. Philharmonia engages string, wind, brass, and percussion students in performing as a full orchestra under the baton of Marisa McLeod.

To provide targeted training and experience with other repertoire, Philharmonia students also rehearse as a chamber strings group with McLeod, and as a symphonic wind band with instructor Karen Dutton. Students in the Philharmonia Orchestra have two or more years of study on a string, wind, brass, or percussion instrument.

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s Music Education programming is made possible through partnerships with school districts, Westmont College, community organizations, local and national funders, and the support from individual donors. To support the symphony’s music education programs, click here.

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