A new orchestra has been formed: the Santa Barbara Chamber Players.
The ensemble, which was created by local musicians during the pandemic, will perform its first concert Jan. 28. Emmanuel Fratianni, a Santa Barbara resident, will conduct the Santa Barbara Chamber Player Orchestra as it plays Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7, and Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite.”
Organizers say the Santa Barbara Chamber Players is intended to fill the gap in the local community between professional and educational music events with affordable high quality concerts. All performances will feature local musicians.
“The pandemic showed us that, as musicians, the need to perform our craft for others can go beyond the traditional symphonies and chamber groups,” said Sherylle Mills Englander, co-founder and principal flutist. “With a bit of innovative thinking, we can create the space and inspire our community and the next generation of musicians. And with the talent pool available right here in Santa Barbara, we can provide a way for these great musicians to perform and give back to a community that we call home.”
Nancy Mathison, co-founder and principal clarinetist, added, “As musicians, performing inspires us to hone our craft and develop as musicians. When the pandemic made that impossible, we had to find new ways to respond. You might say that this was the high note we received from our inability to connect with people on stage and in concerts. We instead found that we could perform outdoors and were amazed at the response we received from our friends and neighbors.”
Santa Barbara Chamber Players began by performing customized chamber music concerts to support local nonprofit’s fundraising and will continue to do so. The organization said it’s now in a position to launch a orchestra consisting of local talent.
“Giving musicians an opportunity to perform benefits them and making attendance affordable benefits our community,” said Simon Knight, co-founder and principal bassoonist. “Our goal, as we grow and hold more concerts, is to add an even richer program of vibrant classical music that everyone can enjoy.”