Santa Barbara’s own amazing Grace is at it again! Grace Fisher brings together a stellar program of artistic talent for the Grace Fisher Foundation’s 5th Annual Winter Music Showcase on Friday, December 9, at The Granada Theatre.
The show started about five years ago, said Fisher, who as a Santa Barbara High senior in 2014 — and a talented musician scheduled to attend college at Berklee College of Music in Boston — contracted a virus that spread to her spine, which left her paralyzed from the neck down with what became to be known as acute flaccid myelitis.
When Fisher returned to Santa Barbara in 2016, after an extensive period of time in rehabilitation, her mother got the ball rolling for the first musical showcase.
“Initially, my mom was gonna surprise me with this show, inviting old groups that I used to perform with. But once I caught wind of it, I said no, I want to be involved in organizing it and everything,” said Fisher. The first show was at Santa Barbara High, and it was a fundraiser for the then-fledgling Grace Fisher Foundation, which she formed to connect children living with disabilities to music, art, dance, and other forms of artistic expression. “The foundation kind of started out of my experience with adaptive arts when I was in rehab, and I realized that even though I have some physical limitations, there’s still a lot of things that I could create. Coming home, I wanted to bring that idea to other kids and other people living with disabilities,” said Fisher.
Cut to five years later: The foundation is thriving, and so is Fisher. In 2022, she graduated from UCSB College of Creative Studies’ music composition program and has become a gifted composer. The program at the Granada features the Santa Barbara Folk Orchestra performing one of Fisher’s compositions and including local guitar legend Chris Fossek playing a part that Fisher herself once performed, as well as her sister Emily Fisher, an accomplished violinist who was motivated to audition for the orchestra once she heard Grace’s composition.
In addition, the Santa Barbara String Quartet will morph into an octet, with eight musicians gathering to play another of Fisher’s pieces as the State Street Ballet Professional Track Dancers perform with them. Jackson Gillies (American Idol), Will Breman (The Voice), the Westmont Chamber Singers, and the Bar-back Boys (Fisher’s high school friends) will also perform, among others.
It should be an entertaining program featuring a range of genres from modern to classical to folk and even some holiday favorites. As Fisher said, “It’s impossible not to be inspired and enlightened after an evening like this — it’s one of a kind, and we can’t wait to share it with you!”
All proceeds from this show benefit the Grace Fisher Foundation. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ticketing.granadasb.org/17670. For more information about the Grace Fisher Foundation, visit gracefisherfoundation.org.