Santa Barbara, CA — The Women’s Auxiliary of the Music Academy of the West is pleased to introduce their first-ever benefit event Music in the Gardens, held within the iconic gardens of the Music Academy. Taking place Sunday, October 21 from 3 pm – 6 pm, this exciting fundraising event, themed World Rhythms, will feature an eclectic program of musicians and dance artists from the Central and South Coast, performing international genres of music including Island Rhythms by the Island Rhythms Steel Drum Band, Middle Eastern by the UCSB Middle Eastern Ensemble, Celtic by the Shepherd's Pie Celtic Band, French and Italian by the French/Italian Folk Group, Latin American and Spanish by Kimera, and Indonesian by Gamelan Sinar Surya.

Patrons will stroll the campus gardens to enjoy the various performances while sampling intercontinental cuisine and wines from the Central Coast and Europe. The delicacies will be prepared on-site within five gardens by masterful chefs from Rincon Events. The varied menu, curated to complement the music being played in each location, will include lamb empanadas, corned beef sliders, margherita pizza, duck confit crepes, beef kebabs, chicken roti rolls, and delicious vegetarian dishes (to name a few).

Music in the Gardens proceeds will support scholarships for Music Academy fellows as well as benefit the Music Academy’s Community Access Program, which provides subsidized $10 tickets and 7-17s Free tickets to all Music Academy events. To further bolster support of these Music Academy endeavors, the event will also include an on-site, online silent auction.

Women’s Auxiliary Chair Evie Vesper welcomes the community. “This new event will be lively and fun, offering a unique opportunity to experience different styles of music outdoors in an incredibly beautiful space, the Miraflores campus of the Music Academy of the West.” Women’s Auxiliary member Judy Astbury joins Evie Vesper in co-chairing the event.

Tickets, $125 per person, are on sale now, and are available at musicacademy.org/gardens or by contacting the Music Academy Carsey Ticket Office at 805-969-8787.

Music in the Gardens – World Rhythms

Presented by the Women’s Auxiliary of the Music Academy of the West
Sun, Oct 21, 3 pm – 6 pm
Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road
$125 per person, advance tickets recommended


About the Women’s Auxiliary of the Music Academy of the West

Music in the Gardens is organized by the Women’s Auxiliary of the Music Academy of the West, one of the largest and most successful supporting volunteer organizations in Santa Barbara. The Auxiliary’s fundraising efforts generate net proceeds exceeding $200,000 annually to help support programs at the Academy, including scholarships that enable 140 outstanding fellows from around the world to study in Santa Barbara each summer.

About the Performers

French/Italian Folk Group, a musical trio of Italian mandolin, violin, and accordion, present melodies of Italy and iconic nostalgic romance of France, offering reflections of the Gypsy soul of old Europe.

Gamelan is the celebrated gong orchestra of Indonesia, and Gamelan Sinar Surya showcases an ancient style of gamelan from Cirebon, West Java, that ranges from calm and contemplative to exuberant and energetic, featuring dynamic drumming and lively interlocking rhythms.

Island Rhythms Steel Drum Band plays authentic Caribbean and Reggae music from their native Trinidad.  Beginning in 1960, the father of Noel Lawrence, who leads the group, came to the United States with the very first steel drum band. 

Kimera is a Latin Flamenco band whose sound is an exciting mix of the finest rhythms of Latin America and Spain.  The Latin background and vast experience of the band members gives the music an authentic and unique sound.

Shepherd's Pie Celtic Band is a tight traditional Irish music group.  The four members play mandolin, guitar, bodhrán, Scottish bellows pipes, and the amazing tin whistle.

The UCSB Middle Eastern Ensemble's repertoire reflects the great diversity of cultures found in the Middle East.  They perform music and dance from Arab, Turkish, Persian, Armenian, Greek, Sephardic and Oriental Jewish, Kurdish, and Assyrian cultures.  


About the Music Academy of the West

The Music Academy of the West is among the nation’s preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted, young, classically trained musicians. At its ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara, the Academy provides these musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Admission to the Academy is strictly merit based, and fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). The Academy’s distinguished teaching artists’ roster has included famed soprano Lotte Lehmann, composers Darius Milhaud and Arnold Schoenberg, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, pianist Jeremy Denk, and Honorary Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne. Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists. In 2014 the Music Academy entered into a four-year partnership with the New York Philharmonic, resulting in unprecedented training and performance opportunities for Academy fellows, and Summer Festival residencies for Philharmonic musicians.

The Academy has now launched a new partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra, highlighted by the following:

  • Musicians from the LSO will participate in each Summer Festival.

  • The London Symphony Orchestra will perform in Santa Barbara in 2019 and 2021.

  • Academy fellows will travel to London to perform in concerts with the LSO.

  • Academy competition winners will perform recitals in London.

  • Michael Tilson Thomas will serve as the Signature Festival Conductor of the partnership.

  • Sir Simon Rattle will oversee the fellows’ experience in London.

The Music Academy of the West cultivates discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences, presenting more than 200 public events annually. These include performances by faculty, guest artists, and fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and a fully staged opera. The 2018 Summer School and Festival took place June 18-August 11 at the Academy’s Miraflores campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara. For more information, visit musicacademy.org.


Released: Aug 24, 2018



Kate Oberjat

Director of Marketing & Communications

Music Academy of the West




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