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It’s Lucky Season 13 for Santa Barbara Strings with New Board Members, Record-Breaking Enrollment and Upcoming Performances

December 11, 2022 @ 6:00 am PST

Santa Barbara Strings tunes up for its 13th season – metaphorically with an infusion of new board members and literally as a record-breaking number of young musicians prepare for their upcoming Winter Concert in December.

Five new community leaders from an array of disciplines join the Santa Barbara Strings board to jumpstart their 2022-2023 season, including their new board chair and long-time arts advocate Linda Burrows. She returns to the role after serving as the founding board chair and feels that “there’s something incredibly inspiring about coming back to rally around these hard-working, engaged, artistic young members of our community.”

She’s accompanied by communication and digital media specialists Mariko Braswell and David Imani, along with psychologist Chris Kazali and community arts advocate Sellars Whitehead. While this is their first time serving on the board, they’re no strangers to the powerful work coming out of the organization. Chris Kazali and Mariko Braswell have both had children in the program and David Imani attended many of their concerts throughout his childhood. The board of directors is rounded out by returning members Dr. Christopher Elstner, Frauke Wittmer-Grant and Alita Rhodes.

The board will work directly with Artistic Director and Founder Mary Beth Woodruff to continue Santa Barbara Strings’ commitment to youth music education as well as developing confident young people in our community. Ms. Woodruff founded the organization in 2010 to fill a gap she saw in the training of early string players, the study of wonderful string orchestra repertoire, and chamber music for both string players and pianists in Santa Barbara County. Santa Barbara Strings maintains a 6:1 student to teaching artist ratio in the orchestras and a 3:1 ratio in the chamber music ensembles by bringing in superb musical talents to educate alongside Ms. Woodruff.

A record-setting 70 young musicians, aged 5-19, are enrolled in Santa Barbara Strings for this season. 11 of these musicians have been selected to study in the Early Strings Training Program, which puts instruments in the hands of under-privileged students and provides one-on-one lessons along with group masterclasses.

To experience the magic of the Santa Barbara Strings orchestral program yourself, join them for their Winter Concert at First Presbyterian Church in Santa Barbara on Sunday, December 11, at 6pm. You’ll get to hear the great works of Grieg, Mozart, Dvorak alongside holiday favorites like ‘Peanuts: Charlie Brown Christmas Medley’.

Santa Barbara Strings is a non-profit organization providing comprehensive training for musicians from ages four to 19 in three progressive levels of string orchestras, traditional music, and chamber ensembles. Open to all students, Santa Barbara Strings aims to inspire life-long understanding and appreciation of classical music of all eras. Learn more about the program, how to donate and where to attend their next performance at www.santabarbarastrings.org.


December 11, 2022
6:00 am PST
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