Just before 10:00 this morning, dozens of Santa Barbara residents at Handlebar Coffee and the Santa Barbara Post Office, were surprised by a flash mob style concert with students from the Music Program of iCAN, the Incredible Children’s Art Network.
Thirty students, grades four through six, walked with instruments in-hand, from iCAN’s new building at 222 East Canon Perdido Street and filed onto the patio adjacent Handlebar Coffee. The spontaneous audience was quick to pull out their phones to record the surprise performance, while employees from neighboring stores were drawn out by the music. The viola and violin students opened by playing, “Jingle Bells”. They were followed by the winds and brass students performing, “Jolly Old St. Nicholas”. Both songs were capped with loud applause and the students took a bow.
Led by iCAN teaching staff, the group continued down East Canon Perdido, extending high-fives to all who passed. They walked up the steps into the historic Post Office building and performed the same musical numbers for a long line of customers who were visibly cheered up by the children’s music. The performance was met with another joy-filled response and a proud bow.
The group then returned to the iCAN office, singing and playing along the way.
About the iCAN Music Program
These music ensembles represented a portion of the iCAN Music Program, which totals 125 students, first through sixth grade. All students participate in the after-school program five days a week, for three hours. Along with group lessons, orchestra practice and choir, the students also have a daily tutoring rotation. The program is an “el Sistema” inspired program, currently conducted at Franklin Elementary School.
The Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2005 on the belief that all young people should have access to quality arts learning opportunities and that the arts are essential to the social, emotional and intellectual development of every child. The mission of iCAN is to bring high quality arts programs to children in Santa Barbara County, particularly those least likely to receive them. Through sustained creative learning opportunities that emphasize both artistic excellence and access, iCAN seeks to affect positive social change in the communities it serves.
In addition to the Music Program, the iCAN Visual Arts program serves 3,200 students at six Title I elementary schools throughout Santa Barbara including, Adams, Cleveland Franklin, Harding University Partnership, McKinley and Monroe Elementary Schools.