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2018-19 Season Kick Off Party

2018-19 Season Kickoff Party

From left: Brooks Firestone, season concert sponsor; Diane Dodds-Reichert, season concert sponsor; Hannah Kean, filmmaker; Karen Williams, SB Choral Society Board President; Dr. Ron Kean, composer of “The Journey of Harriet Tubman;” JoAnne Wasserman, SB Choral Society Artistic Director and Conductor; and David Reichert, season concert sponsor.

By Karen Williams, Board President

The Santa Barbara Choral Society’s 2018-19 Season Kick Off party held at The Music Academy, featured composer Ron Kean and filmmaker, Hannah Kean.

On Wednesday, September 26, Santa Barbara Choral Society Canto Society patrons, gathered at sunset in the picturesque Kuehn Court to nosh at the annual wine reception kicking off the “71st Season of Song.” Following repast, Board President, Karen Williams, welcomed guests and acknowledged Event Chair, Director Debra Stewart, and Board Member Erica DiBartolomeo who put together the soirée. Karen thanked generous Passionato Season Sponsors Diane Dodds and David Reichert, Brooks and Kate Firestone, and Dick and Marilyn Mazess. Welcomed was new Board Member, Montecito resident, Todd Aldrich, who brings his venture capital and legal expertise to the Board of Directors. Also introduced was new Staff Member, Artistic Operations and Marketing Manager, Suzie Follmer.

Artistic Director and Conductor of the Choral Society for 26 years, Ms. Jo Anne Wasserman thanked the patrons for supporting the choral art, and announced the new season line up including, Sunday, Nov 11 Veterans Day Ceremony, the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, at the SB Cemetery, Hallelujah Project 6 at the historic Lobero, Dec 8 and 9, featuring celebrity narrator Ms. Angela Cartwright, the grand Verdi Requiem with the SB Symphony in April at The Granada and the Choral Society’s May 18 “Springtime in Paris” Annual Fund Gala and Concert at Rockwood.

In honor of African American History month, on Feb 9 and 10, 2019, the Choral Society will sing their “Visions of Peace and Freedom” concert at First Presbyterian Church. In development of that theme, the Chorus and Orchestra will perform Dona Nobis Pacem by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, and present the Santa Barbara Premiere of living composer Dr. Ron Kean’s work “The Journey of Harriet Tubman,” accompanied by West African instruments. To the delight of the guests, including Victoria Dillon, Bob Lally, Ross Williams, Mary Love Thralls and Michael Hackett, Kostis Protopopas, Don Jeske, Val Noronha, and Jody Holehouse, Dr. Kean gave backstory info on composing the music, and his daughter, Los Angeles filmmaker Hannah Kean, showed excerpts of her companion film to the work honoring Ms. Tubman. Later, inside Lehmann Hall, following the fete, Dr. Kean instructed the Choral Society in rehearsal of the piece, adding even more depth to their melodious tones.