Kids Learn About Classic American Music At Santa Barbara Bowl Event

Thousands of excited kids are headed into the Santa Barbara Bowl for a concert. But it’s not a rock, or rap event. It’s an education program which is exposing them to some American classics. The “Kids At The Bowl” event is giving some 3,000 children a taste of classic “Doo Wop.”

The Santa Barbara Bowl and the Children’s Creative Project teamed up for the show starring the more than three decade old group “The Alley Cats”. The group has been featured on PBS specials, and has performed everywhere from The White House to Disneyland.

The program provides a unique cultural experience for some 3000 students that many schools in the region simply couldn’t provide on their own. KCLU’s Lance Orozco brings you the sounds of the event.



Santa Barbara Bowl Hosts 3000 Santa Barbara Students at Kids at the Bowl

The April 8 event featured The Alley Cats and UCSB Dance Company in two high-energy performances.

Santa Barbara Bowl in collaboration with the Children’s Creative Project presented The Alley Cats, a cappella group from Los Angeles, performing with the UCSB Dance Company in two free shows for Santa Barbara area public school children.

As part of the Santa Barbara Bowl's Outreach initiative focused on performing arts, and coordinated by the Children’s Creative Project, the Kids at the Bowl event hosted nearly 3,000 students for two free 45-minute educational and high-energy performances held at the Santa Barbara Bowl on Monday, April 8 at 9:30 AM and 10:45 AM.

The Alley Cats realize the music of the fifties and sixties is still a popular genre. They also know, however, that they are reaching a new and younger audience. During the performance, the four members of The Alley Cats offered their unparalleled doo-wop, America's most known and loved music, blended with comedy, showmanship, and dance to help students learn about harmony, pitch, tempo…and experience a live performance in a renowned setting. 

The UCSB Dance Company, a 14-member student dance company under the direction of Delila Moseley, joined The Alley Cats on stage for six dances choreographed by Moseley. The show incorporated swing, lindy hop, salsa, (set by student Yuna Choi), twist, smooth ballroom, and modern dance into high-energy, entertaining dance numbers.

The Alley Cats work to always engage student audiences with familiar ideas to ensure the music is both appealing and accessible to all ages. At the same time, the group works to keep the songs and performances as true to their original form. The amazing fact about this music is that it is timeless and enjoyed by people of all ages.

“These special performances are the result of wonderful collaborations between organizations dedicated to providing diverse art and cultural opportunities for children and families,” said Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools. “We are grateful for the commitment of the Bowl Foundation, The Towbes Foundation, the City of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture to increase access to art and culture and make this extraordinary opportunity available to so many of our students.”

A program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, Children’s Creative Project presents visual arts and performing arts instruction by resident artists and touring artist performances in 92 schools serving more than 50,000 students in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties each year. The Children’s Creative Project also presents the annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival to support, in part, their arts education programs. 

Kids at the Bowl is an essential program of Santa Barbara Bowl Outreach that hosts large-scale, cultural performances for Santa Barbara County students. Benefits extend far beyond the performance—they educate students on how to be a part of an audience; provide a cultural experience at a historic, community landmark; and create an opportunity to imagine careers in the arts.

Kids concert becomes a music class at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Four vocalists with some flashback music enlightened elementary students at the Santa Barbara Bowl Monday morning.

In two different sessions, an estimated 2800 children were able to see the show through the efforts of the bowl staff and the Santa Barbara County Education Office and its Children's Creative Project.

They came in from throughout Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria.

Franklin Elementary school principal Casey Kilgore said many of her students had never been at the bowl. She said it was inspiring to see the different aspects of a show. "Now with some of the technology to get back to the basics is very exciting for them," Kilgore said.

A student Remy Zaragosa said, "I saw a lot of confidence. People were really supportive."

"I saw there was a lot of compassionate people on the stage and they were really happy," Indie Hill said.

It was inspiring on many levels. 

"We never know what these kids will grow up and want to be and do and to see the sound technicians and the people behind the scenes, there's so many positions and jobs within that. Even the UCSB dancers I could see them say I want to go to UCSB and major in dance," said Kilgore.

The group sang songs like "The Lion Sleeps Tonight,"  "Barbara Ann"  and a sample of "Duke of Earl" to show off their versatility.

There were two morning shows to maximize the number of schools that could attend.  

They included Adelante, Kellogg, Franklin, Monroe, Aliso, SB Communty Academy, Hope, Peabody, Santa Barbara Junior High, Sana Barbara High, Hollister, and Goleta family.

Outside plans included parking for numerous buses and coordination with the bowl parking and usher staffs.

Students Learn About Culture, Music At South Coast Venue Best Known For Concerts

Thousands of excited elementary school students poured into the Santa Barbara Bowl, but it wasn't to see a traditional concert like Katy Perry or Sugarland. They were on hand to learn about culture and music.

The more than 4000 students split between a pair of shows learned about Japanese Taiko drumming, through a mini-concert by the Taiko Center of Los Angeles.

The program is part show, and part education.

The Santa Barbara Bowl is using this event as a kickoff to efforts to ramp up its educational programs. The program is a collaboration of community groups.

The Bowl is hoping to host one of these educational concerts a year in the future.

- KCLU's Lance Orozco reports on a reboot of a program to offer arts, and music education through events at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Elementary School Students to Get Taste of Taiko

Santa Barbara Bowl, in collaboration with the Children’s Creative Project, will present performers from the Taiko Center of Los Angeles in two free Japanese drumming shows for Santa Barbara area public schools on Monday, April 9.
The 45-minute programs will be at the Bowl at 9:30 and 10:45 a.m. The performances are not open to the public.
As part of the Bowl’s performing arts Education Outreach initiative, the event will host more than 4,400 students for the musical presentations where the students will experience high-energy performances of Japanese taiko drumming. Taiko Center of Los Angeles, founded by Rev. Tom Kurai in 1996, works to preserve the art of Japanese taiko drumming in the community through classes, workshops and shows. The group has performed more than 2,000 times across Southern California.
“These special performances are the result of wonderful collaborations between organizations dedicated to providing diverse art and cultural opportunities for children and families,” said Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools.
“We are grateful for the commitment of the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, the city of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture to increase access to art and culture and make this extraordinary opportunity available to so many of our students,” she said.
The Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation Education Outreach provides support and funding for performing arts education in the Santa Barbara community and dedicates $1 of every ticket sold at the Bowl to this end.
Education Outreach, part of the Bowl’s core mission, reaches 20,000 touch-points with students each year and provides funding to artists, schools, and nonprofit arts programs to advance performing arts education in our area.
The Bowl thanks event donors Elizabeth and Kenny Slaught for underwriting all performance costs; and Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture for providing a grant to assist with the costs of bus transportation.
A program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, Children’s Creative Project presents visual and performing arts instruction by resident artists and touring artist performances in 92 schools serving 50,000 students in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties each year.
The Children’s Creative Project also presents the annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival to support, in part, their arts education programs. This year’s festival is May 26–28 at the Santa Barbara Mission.

By Eric Shiflett for Santa Barbara Bowl

Wynton Marsalis Plays Duke for the Kids

Toes tapped and hairs on the backs of necks remained standing for a full hour 10/4 as the elegant musical language of Duke Ellington filled Granada Theatre for 1,400 6th graders from two dozen South Coast schools. “Ellington was the most important composer in all of jazz,” Wynton Marsalis (pictured above) told the kids as his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra paid homage, breaking down the “hot style,” “sweet style,” stride piano, and New Orleans influence that Ellington wove together, starting in the 1920s. Brought to town by the Children’s Creative Project and UCSB Arts & Lectures, Marsalis impressed upon the school kids Ellington’s lifelong “desire to learn” and his self-styled status as “the world’s greatest listener.” 

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