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Santa Barbara Strings reaches out to provide the opportunity to perform in or to attend Master Classes with world renowned artists and teachers.  A successful collaboration with U.C.S.B.’s Arts & Lectures has invited chamber groups and individuals to perform for Master Classes conducted by the renowned artists including Julia Fisher, Ray Chen, Leila Josefowicz and Jennifer Koh.  Artistic Director Woodruff brings notable artists/ educators in to conduct Master Classes both at UCSB and at the Music Academy of the West including Ben Russell, Basil Vendryes, Lynn Blakeslee, Andrew Smith and Julia Bushkova.  


Chamber Music Program students are invited to participate with adults musician in The Chamber Music Society’s Intensive Workshop weekend every March in Santa Barbara.



Each winter the orchestras have the opportunity to rehearse under the baton of a guest conductor, typically Basil Vendryes, the Principal Violist of the Colorado Symphony, Chamber, faculty at the Lamont School of Music and various music festivals, Artistic Director of the Colorado Young Sinfonia.



Each winter advanced students are encouraged to master and audition with one movement of a Baroque concerto to earn the chance to solo with the Vivace orchestra at the Spring Concert in May. 



Santa Barbara Strings enjoys bringing education outreach concerts to students and to Seniors. These performances build confidence and are a wonderful way for young people to reach out to, connect with and enrich their local community.


A particularly effective outreach concert has been the Honors Quartet opening the Santa Barbara Arts Commission’s POETRY OUT LOUD competition each February which is recorded and then broadcast on local television for months afterwards reaching a great number of people.



 U.C.S.B.’s Arts & Lectures, CAMA, and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra graciously provide free tickets for our students to attend and actively learn from live performances by renowned artists performing in Santa Barbara. These performances by orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists



Created by Artistic Director Mary Beth Woodruff, the unique inter-disciplinary  Storytelling With Strings Attached program dramatically engages students in the processes of music composition, writing and art. 


The months long project starts with students composing original melodies and submitting them for review. Each student composition is played for the orchestras to encourage the young composers and to inspire students to then create written stories or poems and to create artworks in response to the different sounds and stories they hear in the melodies. The strongest 8 pieces are the basis for a fully orchestrated original piece of music   Ms. Woodruff spends 80 hours creating the orchestration for  Storytelling with Strings Attached.   The premiere performance of each piece accompanied by students’ narrative stories or poems and student illustrations is a highlight of every other year’s Spring Concert.


Santa Barbara Strings trains, nurtures and inspires young musicians in orchestras and chamber groups through studying and performing masterworks and composers from the Baroque to Modern Period.


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