In Harmony With the Community

By Giving List Staff   |   October 29, 2021

Over the last two years, Santa Barbara Symphony President & CEO Kathryn R. Martin has noticed a marked change in how concertgoers relate with the venerable local institution. And it wasn’t just that for several months, most of the symphony events had gone virtual.

“What’s been different is that people bought tickets not just because they wanted to hear the concerts, but because they wanted to support us,” Martin says.

The support from the community not only helped Santa Barbara Symphony outlast a crisis, but also strengthened its bond with its audience by continuing its potent combination of ticketing, education, fundraising, and partnerships.

“The virtual format had a silver lining, as we created ways for the community to get to know the extraordinary musicians ‘up-close-and-personal.’” Martin says . “People want to feel a connection to the music and the people making it happen.”

That bodes well as the 2021-22 season launched with in-person events anchored by an impactful calendar of critically acclaimed and internationally renowned musicians, with Maestro Nir Kabaretti as always at the helm as the Symphony’s music and artistic director.

Season highlights include Beethoven in Bloom, presented in collaboration with the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. There’s the annual New Year’s Eve With the Symphony, where conductor Bob Bernhardt returns to host an evening of Gershwin and other symphonic celebration favorites. In the spring of 2022, there is also Romance in a New Key, presented in collaboration with “Through Vincent’s Eyes and His Sources,” an exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

The heart and soul of the organization remains music education. The Symphony starts working with kids as young as third grade and it has programs that take them all the way to college, serving nearly 10,000 students every year.

“We provide the bulk of music education for Santa Barbara students,” says Vice President of Patron & Community Engagement Rebecca Roling. “We know that music education creates tomorrow’s performers, fans, and community leaders.”


Santa Barbara Symphony

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(805) 898-8785
Development Manager: Juli Askew


The mission of the Santa Barbara Symphony is to enrich the lives of Santa Barbara residents by producing and presenting the highest quality musical experiences performed with artistic excellence, which is accessible to the entire community; and to inspire a passion for symphonic music in the next generation of audience members, musicians and funders.

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We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s director of development and/or Executive Director.

Nir Kabaretti and the Santa Barbara Symphony have made it their mission to connect audiences to experience the joy and power of music. Being a sponsor myself, it is thrilling to know that thousands of children each year benefit from their award-winning music education programs.
Anne Akiko Meyers, Internationally esteemed violinist and Santa Barbara Symphony supporter

The Symphony is for EVERYONE

Under the baton of internationally renowned (and Santa Barbara resident) Music & Artistic Director Nir Kabaretti, audiences hear some of the region’s most sought-after orchestral and Hollywood studio musicians, 11 Music Academy alums and faculty members at UCSB, Westmont, and Santa Barbara City College. From October 2023–May 2024, you’ll experience moments of awe, harmony, inspiration and joy. Each concert along this symphonic journey is a must-see-and-hear event and an opportunity to commune with friends, family and the community.

Key Supporters

Donors of the $25,000 level
and above include:

Todd & Allyson Aldrich (B)(C)
Dan & Meg Burnham (B)(C)
Sarah & Roger Chrisman (B)(C)
Brooks & Kate Firestone (C)
Granada Theatre/Santa Barbara
Center for the Performing Arts
Samuel M. & Alene S. Hedgpeth (B)(C)
The Ann Jackson Family Foundation,
Palmer & Susan Jackson,
Palmer & Joan Jackson (B)(C)
Mithun Family Foundation/
John C. Mithun Foundation
Montecito Bank & Trust/
Janet A. Garufis (B)(C)
Mosher Foundation
Joan Rutkowski
Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation
Rachel Kaganoff Stern (B)(C)
Marilynn L. Sullivan
The Walter J. & Holly O.
Thomson Foundation
Dr. Bob Weinman (B)(C)
Zegar Family Foundation (C)

*(B) Board of Directors
*(C) Crescendo Members