Music Academy Holds Enchanting Music in the Gardens

Event Raised Funds for Scholarships and Free Ticket Programs

Event Co-chair Nancy Schultz, Event Co-chair Christina Leveque, Auxiliary Chair Evie Vesper, and Event Co-chair Debra Vercammen | Credit: Gail Arnold

On October 13, the Women’s Auxiliary of the Music Academy of the West (MAW) held Music in the Gardens – American Rhythms, a lovely fundraiser that featured Southern and Central Californian bands performing in five especially scenic spots on the sprawling campus. Copious gourmet Americana food, beer, and wine complimented the music at each venue.

There was vintage jazz by the  Amanda Castro Jazz Band, rocking dance music by The Roaries, bluegrass by Peter Feldmann and the Very Lonesome Boys, blues by Kelly’s Lot, and New Orleans jazz by Ulysses Jasz. While many core MAW supporters attended, Women’s Auxiliary Chair Evie Vesper explained that the event also serves to introduce other community members to the MAW campus.

Though more than 400 guests attended, the expansiveness of the setting meant that the venues weren’t crowded. Each alluring garden had a relaxed, unhurried, and comfortable feel. Plentiful seating allowed guests to comfortably linger in each locale before venturing on to the next experience. Some highlights of the food prepared on site by Rincon Events included Snake River Farm wagyu beef sliders, pulled pork po’ boys with watermelon slaw, Cajun shrimp, and Dixie black eyed pea caviar.  

Funds raised by the event, which included an extensive online and on-site silent auction, support scholarships for MAW fellows and the Community Access Program, which provides a limited number of $10 public tickets and 7-17s Free program, which provides free tickets to all those ages 7 to 17.

This event, in its second year, has replaced May Madness as the Auxiliary’s major fundraiser. The Auxiliary is the core volunteer resource for MAW, hosting fundraisers, providing support to the shops, and assisting in various capacities during the Summer Festival.

Each summer, MAW provides 140 classically trained musicians from around the world the opportunity for advanced study and performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists. Fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room and board). MAW presents more than 200 public events annually, including performances by faculty, visiting artists, and fellows; master classes; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and a fully staged opera. All events take place during its Summer School and Festival (June 15 through August 8, 2020) at MAW and other Santa Barbara venues.

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Auction Co-chairs Jane Giles and Sandra Walther
Auxiliary Members Claire Johnson and Heidi August

Sponsor Chaucer’s Bookstore owner Mahri Kerley and Auxiliary Committee Member Judy Astbury with silent auction sculpture by Dr. Sarkis Janoyan.
Guests enjoy the event; Ulysses Jasz performs New Orleans jazz.
The Amanda Castro Jazz Band performs vintage jazz and swing.
Kelly’s Lot performs blues.

Peter Feldmann and the Very Lonesome Boys perform bluegrass.

Event Co-chair Nancy Schultz, Event Co-chair Christina Leveque, Auxiliary Chair Evie Vesper, and Event Co-chair Debra Vercammen


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