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Santa Barbara: Cultural Programs

The Arts and Lectures program at Santa Barbara owed much to its status as one of the nine campuses of the University and to the climate and natural beauty of its location. Both helped in attracting speakers and artists to the campus.

The Regents' professorships and lectureships enabled Santa Barbara to acquire the services of such writers and thinkers as Paul Tillich, Margaret Mead, Kenneth Burke, Ashley Montagu, and H. D. F. Kitto, while the Intercampus Cultural Exchange programs featured such performing artists as Jeannie Tourel, Pearl Lang, Isaac Stern, and plays by such companies as the San Francisco Actor's Workshop and Le Treteau de Paris.

Independent of other campuses, Santa Barbara developed a program which sponsored recent lectures by Reinhold Niebuhr, Aldous Huxley, C. P. Snow, Arthur Koestler, Christopher Isherwood, and Jean Renoir. In addition, there were visiting performances by Julian Bream, the Alfred Deller Consort, and the Paganini Quartet, which for several years had been quartet in residence on the campus.

A summer Repertory Theater featuring a company of professional actors was established. A film program was also developed which critically examined the motion picture medium as a major art form and was becoming the focal point for related studies in sociology, foreign languages, philosophy, and dramatic art by the mid-1960's.

Exhibits at the Art Gallery attracted national attention. The William Merritt Chase exhibition of paintings originated at Santa Barbara and was then rented to other museums and galleries across the nation.


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Musical Organizations

The University Symphony Orchestra at Santa Barbara had its beginning under Maurice Faulkner and was continued under the direction of Klyne Headley and Edwin Jones. Since 1959, under the direction of Erno Daniel, the symphony has presented four concerts each academic year, has premiered a number of new works, and has performed a good sampling of the standard repertoire. As a policy the symphony features student soloists in their performances and is assisted by performing artists from the music faculty.

The UCSB Men's Glee Club was formed in the mid-1930's under the direction of Helen Barnett and since 1951 it has been directed by Carl Zytowski. In recent years the group has made semi-annual concert tours through the state and a fall retreat is made each year to the Santa Ynez mountains to study repertoire. Since 1963, the Californians, a freshman training group, has provided qualitative growth for the organization. In 1964, an honor group of 12 select singers was drawn from the club. This ensemble, the Schubertians, sings only repertoire written for a chamber chorus of male voices, and takes its name from its specialization in such works by Franz Schubert. The glee club has begun to commission works from eminent composers, and much of its repertoire is material especially arranged or edited for its use.

The UCSB Women's Glee Club was developed as the "Girls' Glee Club" in 1921. After a succession of directors, including Helen Barnett, Carl Zytowski, and Shirley Munger, direction was assumed by Dorothy Westra in 1960. In 1964, the club split into two groups, the Varsity Women's Glee and the Santa Barbarans. At the same time, a small group of select voices was chosen from the Varsity Glee Club and called Les Girls. The club made its first annual tour in the spring of 1965 and presents a concert on campus each semester.

The UCSB Modern Chorale was organized in the fall of 1949 by Van A. Christy and was first known as the Modern Madrigal Choir. It soon became apparent that the typically sized madrigal choir was too small to present successfully the wide range of musical repertoire desired. The group was increased in size from a membership of 16 to approximately 26 voices and the name was changed to the modern chorale. The choir features music usually neglected by the madrigal choir and requiring more technical finesse than possible with the typical a cappella choir. It has been one of the most active choral groups in the music department and has presented concerts both on and off the campus. The present director is Roger E. Chapman.

The UCSB Brass Choir was founded in 1940 and consists of five French horns, eight trumpets, eight trombones, two tubas, one baritone horn, and three percussion. The members perform literature from the baroque, classic, romantic, impressionistic, and contemporary periods. Many original compositions have been written for the organization over the past 26 years and some of them have been published. The organization functions as a regular laboratory of the music department and offers brass majors and advanced brass musicians opportunities for advanced training. The group tours each year during the spring semester and has performed before conferences of music educators in concert programs as well as assisted the conductor, Maurice Faulkner, in clinics which have dealt with brass literature and brass instrumental playing problems.

The Opera Workshop at Santa Barbara was established in 1954 with a production of Scarlatti's The Triumph of Honor. Since that time over 30 full-scale productions have been given, generally employing student singers and orchestra with the occasional use of a faculty or guest artist. Among the more notable productions have been Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Britten's The Turn of the Screw, and Menotti's The Consul. Since its inception the workshop has been directed Carl Zytowski.


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