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Sing! launched with 66 participants from multiple schools who rehearse after school and will perform in local venues

Santa Barbara, CA — The Music Academy of the West is expanding its service to the local community with programming to offer accessible music education to Santa Barbara County children ages 7-11. Sing! – the Academy’s first choral program – has been launched with 66 students from nine area schools participating. After-school rehearsals take place in three elementary schools; Adams, Canalino, and Franklin. The locations were selected in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Education Office. The program is free of charge for all students. The Sing! curriculum is designed by Music Academy Director of Innovation and Program Development Kevin Kwan Loucks in tandem with Choral Directors Christine Hollinger and Daniel Newman-Lessler.

Kevin Kwan Loucks said, “Our program will help children to use their voices to gain confidence, learn to collaborate, explore their own and other cultures, expand their imaginations, and appreciate music. Their after-school rehearsals will prepare them for concerts at the Music Academy of the West and other local venues. In the future they will have the opportunity to appear with the London Symphony Orchestra.”

Santa Barbara County Assistant Superintendent Ellen Barger added, “We considered many factors in choosing the three locations to begin this program, including need and proximity to other schools for maximum access and participation. Sing! will enhance and expand existing music programs and provide opportunities for students to perform with students from different schools. Our music teachers are enthusiastic about offering additional opportunities for children to learn about music and build community.”

2019 Winter Performance Schedule

Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 6 pm: Santa Barbara Unified School District Choir Day

Sat, Jun 8, 2019 at 7:30 pm: Sing! Concert, Music Academy of the West

Sun, Jun 9, 2019 at 4 pm: Sing! Concert, Marjorie Luke Theatre

Sing! is generously supported by the Santa Barbara Foundation and The Lucky One and The Little One Foundations.


Meet the Sing! Team

Kevin Kwan Loucks director of innovation & program development joined the Music Academy of the West in 2018 after serving as President of Chamber Music | OC, an organization he co-founded with his wife, Iryna Krechkovsky. A Juilliard-trained concert pianist, educator, and arts entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in the performing arts industry, Mr. Loucks employs a diverse skill set that has inspired the cultivation and development of creative projects across various platforms. He performed hundreds of recitals worldwide in venues including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Prösels Castle, and Seoul Arts Center, and is regularly featured in seminars, educational masterclasses, and performance residencies in the world’s top academic institutions and centers for arts and culture.

Christine Hollinger choral director is an active performer in Santa Barbara’s musical community, singing in many ensembles and teaching piano and voice lessons. Recent engagements include soprano solo appearances with the Santa Barbara Master Chorale and Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale, conducting the Santa Barbara Children’s Chorus, and appearing as a regular member of the Opera Santa Barbara Chorus as well as the Music Academy of the West Community Opera Chorus. Ms. Hollinger graduated with a master’s degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, and earned her bachelor’s degree at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Daniel Newman-Lessler choral director is conductor of the UCSB Chamber Choir, Kadima Senior Philharmonic, assistant conductor of both the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale and Diamond Bar Youth Symphony Orchestra, occasionally serves as assistant conductor for the Santa Barbara Symphony, and teaches piano at Pepperdine University. He has performed and recorded with Andrea Bocelli, Natalie Cole, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, and David Foster. Mr. Newman-Lessler graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California with a master’s degree in Sacred Music from the USC Thornton School of Music and a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance.

Released: Nov 2, 2018



Kate Oberjat

Director of Marketing & Communications

Music Academy of the West



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