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Adriane Cleary
Marketing and Communications Manager

November 11, 2021

The Department of Music makes an exciting return to in-person concerts with performances by the UCSB Choirs, Ensemble for Contemporary Music, Middle East Ensemble, and more

Santa Barbara, CA (November 11, 2021)—The UC Santa Barbara Department of Music will present a Fall Concert Series featuring performances by the UCSB Chamber Players, Wind Ensemble, Middle East Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Choirs, Ensemble for Contemporary Music, and Gospel Choir from November 17-December 3. Highlights of the series include Dr. Nicole Lamartine in her first in-person concert with the UCSB Choirs since her appointment in Fall 2020 as the UC Santa Barbara Sorensen Director of Choral Music, and Dr. Sarah Gibson’s first in-person performance as Director of the Ensemble for Contemporary Music. With the exception of the free UCSB Chamber Players concert on November 17, all events are $10 for general admission; $7 for seniors, military, and non-UCSB students with ID; and free for UCSB students with ID, as well as children under 12.

Directed by Jonathan Moerschel, the UCSB Chamber Players will open the Fall Concert Series with a FREE evening of chamber music favorites on Wednesday, November 17 at 7:30 pm in Karl Geiringer Hall on the UC Santa Barbara campus. The program will include works by Franz Schubert, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Johannes Brahms, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Maurice Ravel, Josef Fiala, and more. The UCSB Chamber Players consist of a variety of ensembles, from duos to quintets and occasionally larger groups, which study and perform masterpieces of the chamber music literature.

The UCSB Wind Ensemble will present its annual Fall Concert, entitled “Carnival," under the direction of Paul Bambach on Thursday, November 18 at 7:30 pm in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall on the UC Santa Barbara campus. The ensemble will perform Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Toccata Marziale; Frank Ticheli's bright and joyful Sun Dance; Percy Grainger's light-hearted “frippery” Molly on the Shore; Clifton Williams' celebratory Symphonic Dance No. 3 “Fiesta”; Antonín Dvorák’s exhilarating Carnival Overture, transcribed for band by Mark F. Walker; and Eric Whitacre's ever-popular Cloudburst. The concert will also feature graduate assistant Madison Babovec conducting John Philip Sousa's Liberty Bell March, honoring the composer’s first view of the liberty bell in a parade.

Directed by Scott Marcus, the UCSB Middle East Ensemble will present an evening of music and dance reflecting the great variety of cultures found in the Middle East on Saturday, November 20 at 7:30 pm in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. The program will feature the ensemble's dance company (led by Cris! Basimah); two Umm Kulthum songs; a set of Armenian music and dance; a set of three songs and an instrumental composition in a 7-beat rhythm; another piece in an 11-beat rhythm; a Sephardic song (Andrea Fishman, solo vocalist); and an Azerbaijani song (Javid John, solo vocalist). The Middle East Ensemble is directed by Scott Marcus (Founder & Director), the Ensemble’s Percussion Section is directed by Sue Rudnicki, and Cris! Basimah serves as the Director of the Ensemble’s Dance Company.

The UCSB Chamber Orchestra will present an all-Beethoven program on Monday, November 29 at 7:30 pm in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, which will serve as the ensemble's first live, in-person performance since the 20-month-long pause caused by the COVID pandemic. This program was initially scheduled for a June 2020 concert to celebrate Beethoven's 250th Anniversary, which was commemorated that year around the world. Under the direction of Dr. Maxim Kuzin, the November program will feature an energetic overture to Beethoven’s opera Fidelio and a special treat of the composer's Symphony No. 6 "Pastoral," a true gem in the collection of his nine symphonies.

The UCSB Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Jon Nathan, will present an evening of exquisitely crafted music for medium-sized jazz ensembles on Tuesday, November 30 at 7:30 pm in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. While the music mostly draws from the outputs of Marty Paich and Oliver Nelson, the ensemble will also present music from Wynton Marsalis's Democracy Suite (for 8 musicians) and small band music by Gordon Goodwin, Pepper Adams, and the Dave Pell Octet. Joining the ensemble are three vocalists performing music originally arranged by Marty Paich for the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald. The ensemble will also present a special full big band performance to end the evening.

In her first in-person concert since her appointment in Fall 2020 as the UC Santa Barbara Sorensen Director of Choral Music, Dr. Nicole Lamartine, along with graduate students David Torres, Steven Thomson, and Nadia Stehmeier, will lead the UCSB Chamber Choir, UCSB Lumina Choir, and the UCSB Singing Gauchos in a concert experience exploring clarity. This special event will take place on Wednesday, December 1 at 7:30 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Santa Barbara.

“Clarity is about movement through, while creating awareness within,” noted Dr. Lamartine of the inspiration behind the program. Contemporary choral works, as well as music from a diversity of cultures and spiritual traditions, will highlight themes of sharing, giving, healing, peace, and strengthening community. This will be the first concert for the newly-formed tenor-bass choir, the UCSB Singing Gauchos.

The choirs will create the audience experience through a continuous collage program interwoven with prose, improvisation, chamber groups, and solos. The program will feature a Sanskrit mantra for light, peace, and truth, Gamaya, arranged by Paul Rudoi, as well as the uplifting Hope Lingers Here by Andrea Ramsey. Interwoven throughout the experience will be moments of familiar music that will surprise and connect. The concert will conclude with candlelight illuminating the church as the choirs and audience sing Silent Night.

As the community celebrates the return to live performance, the UCSB Ensemble for Contemporary Music (ECM) will present a concert of chamber and ensemble works by Andy Akiho, Katherine Balch, Caroline Shaw, Julius Eastman, and others, which will make use of indoor and outdoor performance spaces. The performance will mark Dr. Sarah Gibson’s first live, in-person concert as Director of the ensemble, and will take place on Thursday, December 2 at 7:30 pm in Karl Geiringer Hall.

Directed by Pastor Victor Bell, the UCSB Gospel Choir will close out the Department of Music’s Fall Concert Series with a program of traditional and contemporary songs drawn from African American religious traditions on Friday, December 3 at 7:30 pm in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. Founded over 25 years ago, the UCSB Gospel Choir has recorded an album, Praize Party on the Yard, and several of its members have been featured on television shows such as The Steve Harvey Show, American Housewives, and Cedric the Entertainer’s The Soul Man.


UCSB Chamber Players

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 | 7:30 pm | Karl Geiringer Hall | Free

UCSB Wind Ensemble

Thursday, November 18, 2021 | 7:30 pm | Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall | Ticketed

UCSB Middle East Ensemble

Saturday, November 20, 2021 | 7:30 pm | Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall | Ticketed

UCSB Chamber Orchestra

Monday, November 29, 2021 | 7:30 pm | Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall | Ticketed

UCSB Jazz Ensemble presents "The Majesty of Marty Paich and Oliver Nelson"

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 | 7:30 pm | Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall | Ticketed

UCSB Choirs by Candlelight: Clarity Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | 7:30 pm | Trinity Episcopal Church | Ticketed

UCSB Ensemble for Contemporary Music

Thursday, December 2, 2021 | 7:30 pm | Karl Geiringer Hall | Ticketed

UCSB Gospel Choir Friday, December 3, 2021 | 7:30 pm | Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall | Ticketed


General ($10); Senior/Military ($7); Non-UCSB students with ID ($7); UCSB students with ID (FREE); Children under 12 (FREE). Tickets are available for purchase at or by calling (805) 893-2064. Youth and UCSB student tickets may be reserved in advance by contacting the UCSB Associated Students Ticket Office at (805) 893-2064 or Please note: the UCSB Chamber Players concert on Wednesday, November 17 is a FREE event.


The Department of Music is committed to the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community members as we return to live, in-person events. Masks and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test are required. Please review the department’s COVID-19 Health and Safety protocols at prior to attending this in-person event.


From an institution that began life dedicated to training the next generation of music educators, to what is now a multi-faceted department with a fully established research and professional graduate program with degrees in composition, ethnomusicology, musicology, music theory, and performance, the UC Santa Barbara Department of Music has produced many hundreds of graduates who have distinguished themselves both nationally and internationally. Alumni have gone on to teach on faculties of major colleges and universities in the United States and abroad, or in outstanding secondary school positions. Many graduates of the program have published extensively and become widely renowned, prize-winning scholars, while others are award-winning and frequently performed composers writing for television and film. Alumni are also establishing fine reputations as conductors of orchestras, opera, and choruses. Graduates of the instrumental programs have gone on to solo and orchestral careers with leading orchestras, and graduates of the voice program can be heard in opera companies around the world. With over 150 events presented annually, the UC Santa Barbara Department of Music offers something for every music lover. The department boasts 26 unique performing ensembles, each with a quarterly concert calendar. Chamber music, large ensembles, opera, contemporary groups, world music, and jazz ensembles make up the department’s rich performance calendar, along with lectures, master classes, and presentations from the ethnomusicology, musicology, theory, and composition programs. For a complete listing of performances and lectures for the quarter, please visit the UC Santa Barbara Department of Music website at For additional information, photos, or to request an interview with an artist, please contact Adriane Cleary at To sign up for the Department of Music’s newsletter, please visit Follow the Department of Music on Facebook (@UCSBDepartmentofMusic), Twitter (@UCSBMusicDept), and Instagram (@ucsbmusicdept).

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