Participating Organizations

The Santa Barbara Symphony.
At the Arlington Theater

The Santa Barbara Symphony is recognized as a top regional orchestra for the excellence of its performances, adventurous programming, dedication to youth education and outreach, and outstanding contributions to the community. In 1989, the orchestra
was chosen as one of only three orchestras in the nation to receive an Advancement Grant from the NEA. This year the orchestra was voted Best Classical Ensemble by
The Independent. Under Music Director Gisèle Ben-Dor the orchestra
has grown in every respect, including a critically acclaimed discography of world premiere recordings. Call: 805-963-4408 or

The Santa Barbara Symphony was founded in 1953 by violinist Stefan Krayk and oboist Clayton Wilson, members of the faculty at the University of California Santa Barbara. They encouraged leading musicians and music teachers to join the orchestra, which gave its first concert performance at The Lobero Theatre on December 12, 1953. The first conductor was Adolphe Frezin a distinguished Belgian cellist residing in Santa Barbara. The first orchestra was composed of 52 musicians.

Over the next five years the Santa Barbara symphony was conducted by Lauris Jones (1954-1955), Herbert Weiskopk (1956-1957) and Ernest Gold (1957-1958).
From the beginning, the Symphony was strongly supported by the community whose contributions helped supplement the initial low attendance. However, by the 1959-1960 season the symphony had grown in audience support and boasted sales of 550 season tickets. Two performances of the final concerts of that season featured a total of 916 paid admissions.

To enlarge the repertoire with contemporary music, the Symphony began a composer-in-residence program to recognize outstanding modern composers whose works were included in the Symphony’s programs. A long and fruitful relationship began in 1960 between the Santa Barbara Symphony and UC Santa Barbara, with the orchestra and university sharing the service the conductor of the symphony who also served as the chair of the department of music at UC Santa Barbara. Four full time conductors served in the music director position beginning in 1960. Erno Daniel (1960-1966), Ronald Ondrejka (1966-1978), Frank Collura (1978-1983) and Varujan Kojian (1984-1993) each brought a distinctive style to the orchestra. Gisèle Ben- Dor became the fifth full time conductor in 1994 and continues to lead the orchestra.

The Symphony’s musicians have been a stable force behind the quality of the performances. Thirteen musicians have served for more than twenty-five years. The longest serving member of the symphony is Nancy Chase (1953-2003) who began playing in the symphony at age 17 when she was a college student. Other long time members include Ann Tisher (1959-2003), originally a principal violist who continues to play in the viola section, Gloria Autry (1955-2003), principal of second violins, Jeanne Ullom, second violinist (1958-1965 & 1977-2003) and Geoffrey Rutkowski (1968-2003), principal cellist.

Illustrious soloists such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Dave Brubeck, Jessey Norman, Arturo Sandoval, and even Harpo Marx have graced the stage at the Symphony’s concerts.
Talented first violin concertmasters and co-concertmasters such as Gilles Apap, Miran Kojian have led the orchestra in continuing musical excellence.

Next year will mark Gisèle Ben-Dor’s tenth season as music director for the Symphony. She was unanimously appointed the position after she first showcased her unique style as a guest conductor for the Symphony in April of 1994. The Santa Barbara Symphony is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year.

State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara.
At the Lobero Theater

Celebrating its 10 year anniversary, the State Street Ballet was founded in 1994 by Artistic Director and former American Ballet Theater dancer Rodney Gustafson. This acclaimed professional ballet company has brought audiences to their feet from
California to exotic places like China and Taiwan. From innovative ballets to the classics, the high quality of its productions enriches audiences by making professional dance available to a wide and diverse public. Call: 805-963-0761 or

"It's gotta have heart!" are the watchwords of Founder and Artistic Director Rodney Gustafson, and they have propelled State Street Ballet from modest beginnings to international acclaim in less than a decade. Indeed, his "ballet with heart" has audiences jumping to their feet, cheering the powerful drama that ignites each performance. With tours throughout California, the Western United States, Taiwan and China, word is spreading fast. Critics and audiences alike are saying, "State Street Ballet is fascinating, innovative, and captivating. See how it melds classical technique with innovative original choreography. It's refreshing. Charming. No gimmicks. Sophisticated. Uplifting. And, even if you aren't ballet fan, you'll be stunned at how much you'll love a State Street Ballet performance."
The company intersperses its repertoire of beautiful classics that include Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, with a series of what Gustafson calls "energetic, sensuous" commissioned ballets, such as Taming of the Shrew (by Emmy-winning choreographer Robert Sund/San Francisco set in 1950's America), Ballroom (danced to the romantic tunes of the most hip crooners of the Swing Era), Beauty and the Beast,, also by Sund, and Hollywood Nutcracker by Director Rodney Gustafson.
Rodney Gustafson possesses a rare combination of credentials among artistic directors — a masters degree in business empowered with a successful dance career. As a dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Gustafson worked with many of the greatest dancers of our time such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the most famous choreographers of the era including Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, Jerome Robbins, Anthony Tudor. He also appeared in the films The Turning Point, Baryshnikov's Nutcracker, and several Live from Lincoln Center productions.
The company was founded in 1994. It now performs in over 50 productions each season as well as numerous outreach programs that expose an average of 10,000 young people to the art of classical ballet annually.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Gustafson has built a company respected for its choreography, dancing and fiscally responsible management, "proving against all odds and nay sayers that ballet is alive and kicking in Southern California."

Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is in its 19th year.
In 2004, it will run from January 30 through February 8.
Dedicated to enriching local culture and raising consciousness
of film as an art form, it presents quality American, Independent,
Spanish, Latin and Documentary Cinema. A week long
of films and activities include celebrity guests, directors,
writers and symposiums. Roger Durling, Artistic Director.
For a a complete listing of movies and events:

UCSB Arts and Lectures.

UCSB Arts & Lectures serves the UCSB campus and the Santa Barbara community at Campbell Hall by extending and supplementing the intellectual life of the classroom and providing diverse and unique cultural programming, featuring touring artists from all over the world as well as films, lectures and special events. For specific directions to Campbell Hall at UCSB and for parking call or go to

UCSB Music Department.

As one of the most progressive music departments in the UC systems, UCSB attracts a wide range of outstanding musicians, composers and conductors from all over the world. Its concerts and forums at Lotte Lehmann Hall and the music department offer student’s academic excellence in the study and the appreciation of music in musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, performance, orchestra, choral, conducting, keyboard, strings, voice, woodwind and percussion. For specific directions to UCSB parking call

Tango Santa Barbara.

Tango Santa Barbara started in 1999 with professional dancers Brian Griffin, Julie
McCloud and Fay Villanueva. Tango Santa Barbara has become a mainstay for tango dancers of all levels in the area. Classes are offered every week, and Brian and Fay also instruct and help novices each Wednesday night at Café Buenos Aries. Periodic workshops are also taught by tango masters.

The Santa Barbara Public Library.
40 East Anapamu Street

The Santa Barbara Public Library hosts the Faulkner Gallery, a venue for art, music and discussions that enrich the life of the Santa Barbara Community. Events at the Library are free to the public. For more information on the Faulkner Gallery call 805-962-7653.

Café Buenos Aires.
1316 State Street

Milonga! at Café Buenos Aires, the heart of Argentine fine dining in Santa Barbara. Every Wednesday night it hosts a live tango band so that novice and ardent Tango dancers can tango the night away. The café’s out -door covered patio and its excellent fare is an extraordinary compliment to fine dining in Santa Barbara. Call: 805-963-0242

Soho Restaurant & Music Club.
1221 State Street, Victoria Court

Soho is the premier nightclub of Santa Barbara offering live music, dancing, dinner,
and a full bar every night of the week. It makes Soho a great place to spend your evening as the club hosts local and national artists in all music genres. Indoor and outdoor dining. Call 805-962-7776 or

El Paseo Restaurant
10 El Paseo, Canon Perdido

As one of the largest and oldest restaurants in Santa Barbara, the El Paseo is a landmark for the indoor-outdoor dining with a traditional Mexican flare. Located in the courtyard of El Paseo, it offers occasional music and many happy hours. Call: 805-962-6050

Bogart’s Café
1114 State Street

Bogart’s is a unique experience in pub dining. A traditional Irish setting with an old world movie theme. Bogart’s offers music six nights a week and indoor and outdoor seating in the courtyard. Call: 805-965-8001

Paseo-Nuevo Mall
State Street, Downtown

A downtown landmark shopping mall with theaters, art, restaurants and fashion, as well as an outside venue for live music.

Border’s Books, Music and Café
900 State Street

A community gathering space for good reading, coffee and live music.