As the outcome of a year-long strategic planning process, the Symphony announces the revitalization of its relationship with the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony and a consolidation of all education programs under the Symphony’s strategic and administrative direction. A leader in artistic, cultural, and educational collaborations, the Symphony is dedicated to providing opportunities for local youth to experience and participate in music while building self-esteem and community. With the new school year ramping up, the Santa Barbara Symphony is now kicking off its 2011-12 Education Programs for local students.

“Because of the vision of Symphony stakeholders and the support of the community, our local education programs have been available for over 40 years and the Youth Symphony for over 50 years,” said David Grossman, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Symphony. “With our new structure in place, we will be able to maximize these beloved education programs within today’s challenges and look forward to a 2011-2012 season rich with experience and opportunities for our young musicians and their families.”

The Symphony also announces the appointment of Amy Bassett to its leadership team in the new position of Director of Education and Outreach. Bassett most recently served as Production and Education Manager for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and as acting Professor of Bassoon at The Ohio State University during completion of her doctorate of musical arts.

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2011-2012 Education programs include:

· The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony is made up of three programs which take students from their first experience with a string instrument in the String Workshop, into beginning ensemble playing in the Junior Strings, and finally performing with the Youth Symphony, a 65-70 member performing youth orchestra open to students aged 12-20 throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties;

· Junior Strings Orchestra prepares young musicians for admission to the Youth Symphony;

· Strings Workshop, a weekly after-school string program in Goleta public schools that offers small group instruction to students in grades 4 through 6;

· The Music Van, a beloved mobile music classroom filled with orchestral instruments that makes annual visits to 3rd grade classrooms throughout Santa Barbara County;

· Concerts for Young People, a free performance that comes with interactive curriculum introducing students in grades 4, 5, and 6 of Santa Barbara County to a live orchestral experience.

· Musical Mentors provides local schools with the unique opportunity to interact with distinguished professional guest artists from the Symphony’s concert season.

The Youth Symphony programs will now be supported along with all Symphony education and outreach programs, by the resources of the Santa Barbara Symphony.

“Kids naturally enjoy and respond to music from the earliest ages. The orchestra model is ideal to cultivate this natural love of rhythm and melody into an opportunity to learn cooperation,” said Amy Bassett, the Symphony’s new Director of Education and Outreach.

On Thursday, October 6, at 2:00 p.m., local 4th through 6th grade students will participate and practice their instruments in one of the first Strings Workshops of 2011 at Foothill Elementary School in Goleta. The goal of the Strings Workshop is to introduce young students to the study of string instruments.


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