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REVIEWS 

State Street Ballet: American Masters

Click to read Daniel Kepl’s review of “American Masters.” Visit website »

2019 Gala: Paris Is Always A Good Idea

Berets abounded and everyone was getting an Ei-ffel when Santa Barbara Choral Society hosted its annual gala Springtime in Paris at the Rockwood Woman’s Club. The fun French-themed fête, co-chaired by president Karen Williams and Debra Stewart, attracted 120 guests and raised $60,000 for the popular group. Before dinner, catered by Via Maestra 42, veteran Read More »

Sentimental Journey Gala 2018 – A Boffo Bash

The Boffo Bash, co-chaired by Marylove Thralls and Mary Dan Eades, revisited the post-war era with the Broadway musical and the Big Band sound. Jo Anne Wasserman, who is celebrating her 25th anniversary directing the choir, with David Potter on piano and Bob Lally narrating, conduct- ed the concert featuring classic songs from Rodgers Read More »

70th Anniversary Concert: Haydn, Gjeilo, Tin

Notes Worthy, April 12, 2018 It was an event of high note when the Santa Barbara Choral Society celebrated its 70th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of its director, Jo Anne Wasserman, with two well-attended concerts at the First Presbyterian Church, which included alumnae from past decades. Highlight of the performances was German composer Franz Read More »

A Royal Time at Rockwood Abbey – Gala 2017

Rockwood Abbey – Gala 2017 Royal Revival Review by Richard Mineards, Montecito Journal May 2017
Downton Abbey, the delightful series about an English aristocratic family and their servants, may have ended on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater more than a year ago, but it was delight- fully resurrected at the Rockwood Woman’s Club by the Santa Barbara Read More »

Brahms German Requiem – SB Newspress Review

Homage to those passed, and those left, by Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News-Press correspondent, April 9, 2017
Last weekend at the First Presbyterian Church, the mighty Santa Barbara Choral Society, abetted by a full orchestra, pulled off an impressive feat, one with roots in classic choral repertoire but with its own special niche. Brahms’ “Ein Read More »

Hallelujah Homage – Dec 2016

Concert review by Richard Mineards/Montecito Miscellany
Veteran music director JoAnne Wasserman was clearly in her element when the Santa Barbara Choral Society staged its fourth annual Hallelujah Project at the Lobero in memory of former board president Dr. Dan Secord, who delivered more than 6,000 new residents in a 35-year medical career. The concert, which Read More »

Hallelujah Project 4 Dec 2016 SB Newspress

Concert review by Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News-Press correspondenent, December 18, 2016
Taking holiday music seriously, and lightly The Santa Barbara Choral Society continued its grand, effective concept of mixing serious Christmas music with lighter fare, with ‘The Hallelujah! Project 4’  The Santa Barbara Choral Society, led be JoAnne Wasserman and joined by members of Read More »

When in Rome Gala – Review

Rome at Home, May 2016
Santa Barbara Choral Society hit a high note at the Rockwood Woman’s Club with its annual fundraiser, When in Rome. The Italian themed sold-out bash for a record 190 guests, which raised around $50,000 for the popular vocal group, was most appropriate as the choir launches its two-week performance tour Read More »

Hallelujah Project 3 December 2015

Montecito Miscellany by Richard Mineards
A Christmas Choral Longtime music director JoAnne Wasserman was clearly in her element when the Santa Barbara Choral Society staged its third annual Hallelujah Project at the Lobero. The concert, which of course included Handel’s uplifting Hallelujah Chorus, was a glorious Yuletide miscellany of seasonal cheer featuring the Goleta Valley Read More »

Carmina Burana at the Granada: SB Independent Review

Ballet, Choir, and Symphony Present a Masterpiece Wednesday, October 21, 2015 by Gustavo Uribe
In the land described in the book The Hyborian Age by author Robert E. Howard, a Cimmerian boy, born on the battlefield to a blacksmith, arose to conquer, swearing to a deity called Crom. Conan, as he was named, eventually claimed Read More »

Review: Beethoven’s 9th with Music Academy Festival Orchestra

S.B. Choral Society Joins Academy Festival Orchestra for “Ode to Joy” Thursday, June 25, 2015 by Charles Donelan
This ambitious opening concert of the Music Academy of the West’s Festival Orchestra season featured the Santa Barbara Choral Society and four vocal soloists in order to fulfill the requirements of the finale to Ludwig Van Beethoven’s monumentalSymphony Read More »

Beethoven’s 9th – SB Newspress Review

Saturday’s gala opening concert of the Music Academy of the West orchestra took on Beethoven’s Ninth, from two angles by Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News-Press Correspondent
Alien-themed Summer Solstice paraders and partakers may well have noticed the eye-catching feature on the Granada Theatre marquee along the parade route, promising that pillar of western civilization, Beethoven’s Ninth – Read More »

Porgy and Bess with Santa Barbara Symphony May 2015

Review: A Rousing Season Finale for the Symphony at the Granada on Saturday, May 16 Tuesday, May 19, 2015 by Charles Donelan
As maestro Nir Kabaretti enters his second decade with the Santa Barbara Symphony, the time feels right not so much for retrospection as for celebration. Last Saturday night, the symphony’s executive director, David Pratt, Read More »

Hallelujah! Project 2 December 2014

SB NewsPress Review: A Seasonal Sampler Box Santa Barbara Choral Society’s second annual ‘Hallelujah! Project’ deftly mixes light and serious fare at the Lobero By Josef Woodard, News-Press Correspondent December 19, 2014
Handel was in the house. So was Santa Claus. Welcome back to the Santa Barbara Choral Society’s second annual holiday show, Read More »

Masterworks 2014 Haydn, Bruckner, Lauridsen, Gjeilo

Concert review: Leaping across centuries – Santa Barbara Choral Society presents bold program by Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News-Press correspondent, April 5, 2014
If the first quarter of 2014 is any indication, we’re in the midst of a banner year for the choral music cause and subculture in Santa Barbara. The choral muse was bestowing Read More »

Hallelujah Project 2013

High­low variety hours ­ Santa Barbara Choral Society’s ‘Hallelujah Project’ is a crowd­pleaser by Joself Woodard, Santa Barbara News-Press, December 22, 2013|
Santa Barbara’s choral music fans may be going through a touch of “Messiah” withdrawal this year. Handel’s great “Messiah,” that Baroque staple of the Christmas season, was heard in half its length Read More »

Verdi’s Greatest Hits with SB Symphony

Concert Review: Operatic flair takes the stage  Santa Barbara Symphony, with vocal and choral help, grandly celebrates Verdi by Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News-Press corespondent, February 11, 2014
Master Italian opera composer Verdi’s milestone 200th birthday year ensures an even greater Verdian presence in the public eye and ear. Opera companies around the globe and Read More »

Carmina Burana June 2008

Medieval musing and massing : Impressive merger brought Carmina Burana to life Saturday at The Granada by Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News-Press, June 2, 2008
State Street Ballet and Santa Barbara Choral Society brought William Soleau’s choreography for “Carmina Burana” to The Granada on Saturday, featuring Victoria Luchkina, left, as the Swan. It was another Read More »

May 2012 Durufle Requiem/ Dilworth Rain Sequence

Mar 14 2012 – 2:16am Santa Barbara NewsPress, Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News-Press JOSEF WOODARD, NEWS-PRESS corresondance. Some brave new ideas seem so right and logical as to feel older than they, in fact, are. Take the Santa Barbara Choral Society’s “Masterworks at San Roque” series, still a fresh and evolving idea for the esteemed choral group, but settling in Read More »

Faure Requiem May 2010

For anyone questioning the logic or sensitivity factor in programming a Requiem as the main event of a Sunday afternoon “Mother’s Day” choral concert, consider the primary caveat: Gabriel Fauré’s “Requiem” is a decidedly lighter model of the form. As heard in a solid, moving performance by the Santa Barbara Choral Society, Sunday at Los Read More »

Verdi Requiem May 2009

Sweeping religious music goes operatic : Theme of liberation at the heart of Choral Society’s Requiem performance May 19 2009 by Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News-press corresponent. Though immortalized as one of history’s greatest opera composers, in Requiem, Guiseppi Verdi created one of the greatest and most enduring classics of the choral music repertoire, particularly among major 19th Read More »

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