Saturday, May 26, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 12

Santa Maria Sun / Music

The following article was posted on June 12th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 14 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 14

Orchestra update

The Santa Maria Philharmonic Society decides not to dissolve, but focus on youth outreach


Committed to outreach
In a recent board of directors meeting, the Santa Maria Philharmonic has decided not to dissolve, but to focus on its youth outreach program while canceling its season subscription concert.

Local classical music lovers can rejoice at the latest news from the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society. As previously reported, the society decided to dissolve after an honest look at the nonprofit’s finances. While the society still can’t support a full season subscription concert, it won’t fade away, but will stay committed to the society’s youth outreach programs.

The change in plans comes after a recent Board of Directors meeting and subsequent approval by society members at a June 10 meeting. The society is going through a regime change; a new board of directors was elected, made up of Jed Beebe, Lynne Garrett, Dr. Lynda Gantt, and Carol Houchens. The rest of the staff is to be decided at the next meeting, replacing many of the current staff, including Executive Director George Majoue.

“I don’t think anyone wants to dissolve the organization,” Majoue said. “They are focusing on keeping the entire youth program, and they are going to work on rebuilding and getting enough support for a concert season in 2015.”

The youth outreach wing of the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society has been enjoyed by young people in the area for decades, being an integral part of previous iterations of the society.

“Ever since 1975, when Shirley Lynch saw a need to do an outreach in the school system, it has expanded,” Majoue said. “She started with the stringed instruments and started working with the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo symphonies to get musicians out to show and play their instruments.”

Help the philharmonic
The Santa Maria Philharmonic needs your help to support its youth outreach programs and to keep the organization running. Donations can be mailed to the society’s new address at P.O. BOX 375, Santa Maria, CA, 93456-0375.

Since then, the program has changed greatly, incorporating a van filled with orchestra instruments that visits 29 local schools each year. The program has been headed by Diane Borad-Mirken who—along with Majoue and other volunteers—demonstrates and then guides the students in their own instrumental interactions.

“Oh, the kids just love it,” Majoue said. “We try to have every kid hold an instrument in their hand and utilize it so they all have a personal experience with an instrument, and it’s something they remember.”

Besides the music van, the youth outreach program includes four concerts—two each semester—of “Peter and the Wolf,” a favorite work for teaching kids about orchestral music.

“We would give all the students at the outreach coupons to the concerts for them and their families to get in for free,” Majoue said. “It’s not like we had standing room only; I would much rather see people in the seats than have them empty.”

While the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society may not be able to produce a full season of live classical music for the foreseeable future, the consensus among the members and board is to stay committed to the next generation of music fans.

Your name goes here
Enter the fifth annual New Times Music Awards!

“Studies show that kids that study music perform better in school—junior high, high school—and their careers,” Majoue said. “It gives them more stability in their life, makes them more focused. Our goal is to see the schools have full-fledged music programs, and so anything we can do to help that we want to do.”

Until then, the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society needs help in a big way. No donation is too small nor too great, Majoue explained.

“We’ve gone above and beyond to do things and try and touch the hearts and minds of people,” he said, “and if people really want to see this organization survive in the future, it’s going to take the community and the city to decide that we are important and something needs to be done about it. It needs to be a community effort.”

 The New Times Music Awards return!

Songwriters, musicians, performers, and bands, it’s your time to shine once again. The fifth annual New Times Music Awards is now accepting entries in six musical genre categories (including a new “open” division), a songwriting competition, and an album of the year competition. The genre winners must be available to perform during the Aug. 29 live judging competition at SLO Brew. Here’s the scoop.

You can enter up to three original songs in each of the following categories: country/Americana/folk; R&B/blues; rock/alternative; reggae/worldbeat; hip-hop; and open. You may also enter up to three original songs in the songwriting competition (lyrics must be included). And you may enter one album released between July 8, 2012 and July 8, 2013, for the album of the year category. Each song or album entry costs $10. Entry deadline is Monday, July 8. You’ve got one month, people! Enter online by following the link on the New Times website:

A Readers Choice Award will be voted on between Aug. 1 and 12.

Winners in the six genre categories will play a live-judged show at SLO Brew on Thursday, Aug. 29, with one act crowned for Best Live Performance. Winners of the songwriting and best album categories, as well as runners-up in the genre categories, will receive their awards that same evening.

Find out if you’ve got what it takes to bring home a bronze Newtie!

Music among the oaks

The Live Oak Music Festival, presented by KCBX Central Coast Public Radio, provides three days of music. This year features headliners Jerry Douglas, Robert Earl Keen, Stooges Brass Band, Ruthie Foster, Maura O’Connell, Rod Piazza and The Mighty Flyers, The Slide Brothers, Joe Craven Trio, La Santa Cecilia, Blame Salley, and more June 14 through 16 at Live Oak Camp in Santa Ynez. More info: 781-3030 or

Herrick in town

The four-piece alternative country band Herrick will perform live on June 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ranch and Reata Roadhouse, 3569 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 691-9663 or

Open mic to all

Lucia’s Wine Co. offers an open mic featuring wine, poetry, and live music on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at the tasting room, 126 East Clark Ave., Orcutt. More info: 332-3080.

Get down at Addamo

The Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro present “Wine Down Wednesdays” featuring live music on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro at 400 E. Clark in Old Orcutt. Free. More info: 937-6400 or 

Maverick music

The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including a special live concert with Teddy Spanke and the Tex Pistols on June 14 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. “Concert on the Deck” with John Lyle and Friends is June 15 at 3 p.m. Teddy Spanke performs on June 15 at 7:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at until midnight at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or 

New Times Staff Writer Glen Starkey contributed to this column. Contact Arts Editor Joe Payne at

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