Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra Closes after 38 Seasons
The Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra has elected to suspend operations and disband permanently as of August 1. The expenses needed to support large musical concerts, which can cost up to $60,000 each, are no longer sustainable for the group, now left with an unrealistic deficit from ticket sales generating only about $11,000 per concert.
The Chamber Orchestra’s unique musical experiences cannot continue without full underwriting of concerts through grants and community support. Their weekly concerts at the Lobero Theater will be permanently suspended.
The group began as an orchestra in 1978, founded by conducting student Jeffrey Evans. With the addition of Heiichiro Ohyama as music director in 1983, the orchestra soared to new heights, working with distinguished soloists and players from all over the coast. Concertmasters Sheryl Staples and Michelle Kim now serve as principal associate concertmaster and assistant concertmaster with the New York Philharmonic.
A crowdfunding campaign was started on youcaring.com in May to raise funds for the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. The goal was $200,000 and just $150 was raised.