Santa Barbara Music Club 2022 Scholarship Showcase

By Bonnie Carroll

What an unexpected gift I experienced by accepting an invitation from the parents of a scholarship recipient who was performing at the Santa Barbara Music Club 2022 Scholarship Showcase Concert I. With little knowledge of this organization or their concert history, or generous scholarship programs they provide young musicians in the community I took a seat in a pew in the First United Methodist Church prepared to experience a pleasant musical afternoon. 

The extremely professional status of the young musicians, ages 10 through 25, that I was privileged to watch perform was such a mindblower. I really had no idea we had this treasure trove of extremely well trained and talented young musicians among us in Santa Barbara. Each young performer gave a powerful performance, and they were so charming. 

Adam Kabaretti, 11-year-old son of Nir and Gaja Kabaretti, performed Gavotte 1 in D major, Gavotte 1 in D Minor. Adam’s violin performance was accompanied by his father Nir Kabaretti, Music and Artistic Director of Santa Barbara Symphony on piano, and they were both outstanding. The poise, discipline and professionalism of all these young performers is so impressive and inspiring. Following the program, I was pleased to meet Adam’s violin teacher Valerie Malinni.

Thirty-three SBMC Scholarship recipients ranging in age from 10-25, awards ranging from $200-$300 encouragement awards up to a $1250 top award included Ellen Reidel Memorial Scholarship – Noelle Hadsall, age 13, piano, Nathan Rundlett Memorial Vocal Scholarship – Cambria Metzinger, age 25, mezzo-soprano, Liana Rodriguez, age 22, soprano, Emil Torick Memorial Scholarship – Zephan Bornfreund, age 18, violin, Adam Kabaretti, age 11, violin, Seungyoo Kim-Jung, age 10, violin, Emmanuel Malpica, age 13, violin, Sofia Malvinni, age 17, violin, Milo Rencher, age 14, violin, Sophie Saleh, age 16, violin, Santa Barbara Music Club Scholarship – Aria Abraham, 15, flute, Ellen Butler, 14, piano, Zahra Clark, 15, violin, Holly Hadsall, 17, piano, Landon Hellman, 17, piano, Fallyn Lee, 16, piano, Miranda Li, 11, piano, Ella McGowan, 12, viola, Anna-Sung Park, 17, oboe, Oliver Saleh, 15, trumpet, Zeyn Schweyk, 17, piano, Elisha Wu, 10, piano, Anna Butler, 15, piano, Victoria Chen, 15, piano, Leon Guo, 13, piano, Nathaniel Hadsall, 15, piano, Elaine Hu, 13, piano, Lauren Lee, 15, piano, Joseph Malvinni, 14, guitar, Chloe Merrick, 16, flute, Simon Rencher, 14, viola, Rhyan, Schweyk, 16, piano, Eliana Stephens, 11, cello.  

Eric Valinsky, SBMC President, Pianist (Photo: Bonnie Carroll)

Eric Valinsky, President of Santa Barbara Music Club,  shared How grateful he was to the board, the scholarship recipients, the parents and generous sponsors for the very important role they play in the growth of these young musicians, many who have gone on to pursue careers in the music industry. For several decades, the SBMC has provided support to deserving instrumental and vocal music students from Santa Barbara County. 

Scholarships are made possible by the generosity of donors who wish to provide aid and encouragement to outstanding music students from local schools and teaching studios that show promise of becoming our future soloists, orchestral musicians, opera singers, and other music professionals. 2022 Scholarship Auditions took place in person this year and subsequent Scholarship Showcase concert #I was held June 4, and upcoming concert #II on June 11 at First united Methodist Church. 

The mission of the Santa Barbara Music Club is to contribute to the musical life of the community through the following: Presentation of an annual series of concerts, free to the public, featuring outstanding solo and chamber music performances by Performing Members and invited guests; Presentation of community outreach activities, including bringing great music to residents of area retirement homes; Aiding and encouraging musical education by the disbursement of scholarships to talented local music students. 

Founded in 1969, the Santa Barbara Music Club has evolved from a private women’s club to a nine-month long public series of classical music concerts. The Music Club is proud of what it has become and is supported by membership dues, generous donations, bequests, and grants. The concerts are free of charge to the public, thereby attracting and serving a demographic not normally seen in concert halls: low- and moderate-income individuals who could not otherwise afford to experience live concerts of classical music in comfortable, accessible settings. In addition, the Music Club provides outreach concerts at senior centers and homes for those who are unable to attend such concerts. Funding support for SBMC 50th Anniversary Season was provided by the City of Santa Barbara’s Organizational Development Grant Program and by the Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts, a field of interest fund of the Santa Barbara Foundation.

Twice-monthly concerts are held Saturdays at 3 p.m at the Faulkner Gallery at the Downtown Public Library and the First United Methodist Church, at the corner of Garden and Anapamu Streets. The artists range from dedicated and gifted local amateurs and semi-professionals to students and faculty from UC Santa Barbara and Westmont College to international performing artists. All share a connection and love of Santa Barbara as well as a dedication to classical music and fine performance. Whether a world-class polished rendition or a most valiant effort, performances are presented with great energy and spirit and the audience reacts with enthusiasm and appreciation. World class performer, student, professor, and amateur alike enthusiastically donate their performances. The series is organized by SBMC’s Concert Committee, currently co-chaired by composer-pianist Leslie Hogan and pianist Betty Oberacker.

For membership or general information please visit


Written by Bonnie Carroll

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