Santa Barbara Strings is a non-profit organization providing comprehensive training for musicians from kindergarten through high school 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.
Founded by Artistic Director Mary Beth Woodruff in 2009, Santa Barbara Strings is a nonprofit music education program for students in grades K-12, focused on the string instruments that are the heart of the orchestra. Santa Barbara Strings offers three progressive levels of string orchestra (Toccata, Sinfonietta, and Vivace), a chamber music program, and a traditional fiddle music ensemble.
Santa Barbara Strings is unique in the opportunity it provides for the study of music throughout all classical eras from Baroque to Contemporary. The challenging Baroque pieces verse students in musical techniques that form the foundation for all subsequent composition. Santa Barbara Strings is also singular with respect to its chamber music program. The chamber program allows students to further hone technique and discover their creative voices within a small ensemble of peers. Students are also given the chance to solo with the Vivace orchestra in a Baroque concerto competition. And biannually, they have a unique opportunity to be co-composers, writers, and illustrators for a multi-media project called Storytelling with Strings Attached.
The strength of Santa Barbara Strings’ program is its outstanding team of educators—from professional artists and retired university professors to serious young musicians from UCSB and Westmont College. We have an outstanding student to teacher ratio—generally 5:1 in orchestra rehearsals and 3:1 in chamber rehearsals—allowing close mentoring of our students. Santa Barbara Strings offers students additional enrichment opportunities throughout the year: master classes with renowned musicians; free access to concerts through CAMA, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and UCSB Arts & Lectures; and outreach performances at schools, retirement homes, and other community venues.
Students of Santa Barbara Strings learn to sight-read more fluidly, develop a greater understanding of rhythm, dynamics, and bow articulation, and become more musical and expressive. They also learn music history and develop a deep appreciation for classical music. More importantly, Santa Barbara Strings teaches students lessons for life, including discipline and the positive impact of constructive collaboration.
Scholarships are available for students with financial need, funded by generous individual and foundation donors.
For information about the programs, tuition, scholarship assistance, performance dates, making a donation and more, please email .
Open to all students, Santa Barbara Strings aims to
inspire life-long understanding and appreciation
of classical music of all eras.
to support excellence in
classical music education.
Santa Barbara Strings
P.O. Box 61401, Santa Barbara, CA 93160
Santa Barbara Strings is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible as permitted by law.
Violinst Ray Chen coaching SBStrings student Joshelle Conley at Arts & Lectures Master Class. (10/13)