The Santa Barbara Chamber Players | Credit: Courtesy
Conductor Emmanuel Fratianni | Credit: Courtesy

There’s a new addition to Santa Barbara’s healthy classical music scene, bearing a perfectly self-descriptive moniker — the Santa Barbara Chamber Players (SBCP). After its inaugural concert late last year, the second concert takes place on Saturday, April 1 (no joke), at the First Presbyterian Church (21 E. Constance Ave.)

The SBCP group, founded last year by Sherylle Mills Englander, Nancy Mathison, and Simon Knight, has as its mission statement a desire to give local musicians a performance forum and pave the way for younger musicians and listeners to experience the joys of live classical music. Prices are intentionally kept reasonable — “the price of a movie ticket,” says Englander — and students younger than 18 are invited in for free.

The upcoming concert program includes the popular fare of Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Alexander Borodin’s earworm charmer In the Steppes of Central Asia, as well as a lesser-heard enticement, film composer Lalo Schifrin’s Tuba Concerto, outfitted with an eclectic array of styles, including jazz.

In the tuba soloist hot seat will be Gene Pokorny, principal tubaist of the lofty Chicago Symphony. According to Mathison, also the group’s principal clarinetist, “we are fortunate to be able to bring such an exciting and unusual musical experience to Santa Barbara, performed by one of the best tuba players in the world. We can also promise a musical surprise not listed in the program.”


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