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Sing!

Giving voice to the future

Give your Children the Chance of a Lifetime​

Sing! is the Music Academy of the West’s free, after-school children’s choral program available to Santa Barbara County students grades 1 to 9. The program currently numbers nearly 300 participants from over 40 area schools. Sing! performance opportunities include concerts and collaborations with world-renowned artists and performing arts organizations, including the London Symphony Orchestra, CAMA, State Street Ballet, Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and in the Music Academy’s Summer Festival opera productions of Puccini’s La bohème, Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges, and Bizet’s Carmen. 

Register your Child for Sing!
Rehearsals start September 16

NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

FREE OF CHARGE

Sign up today to select your preferred rehearsal site. We will be in touch to schedule your child for an introductory audition.
Regístrese hoy para seleccionar su lugar de ensayo preferido. Nos pondremos en contacto para programar a su hijo para una audición introductoria.

 Regístrate para Sing!

Giving Voice to the Future Giving Voice to the Future

2024/25 Rehearsal Schedule

(rehearsals launch September 16)

Two weekly rehearsals take place at your preferred school, plus monthly
all-choir gatherings at the Music Academy on select Saturdays.

ADAMS: M 3:15 – 4:45 PM  *1-6 grade / W 1:45 – 3:15 PM  *4-6 grade
CANALINO:  W 2:45 – 4:15 PM  *1-6 grade / Th 2:45 – 4:15 PM  *4-6 grade
FRANKLIN: M 3:15 – 4:30 PM  *1-6 grade / F 3 – 4:30 PM *4-6 grade
HOLLISTER: T 3 – 4:30 PM  *1-6 grade / Th 2:30 – 4 PM  *4-6 grade
MONROE: T 3:15 – 4:45 PM  *1-6 grade / Th 3:15 – 4:45 PM  *4-6 grade
VIEJA VALLEY: T 3:15 – 4:45 PM  *1-6 grade / F 3:15 – 4:45 PM  *4-6 grade
MUSIC ACADEMY: W 4 – 6 pm *non-elementary

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

YPC NATIONAL LAB & STUDIO
JULY 22-28,2024 with concert held July 28, 7 pm

Sing! and the Music Academy will host, for the 3rd summer, the YPC National Summer Lab for young voices and the YPC National Studio for choral conductors and educators. Current young artists in Sing! entering grades 3 and up are invited to register for this summer using this special link.  Learn more about YPC National Lab at ypcnational.org.

HOLIDAY CONCERT
DECEMBER 10, 2024 

SPRING CONCERT
MAY 20, 2025 

Participating Schools

Students participating in the Sing! Program during the 2023/24 season attend the following 41 schools:

Adams, Adelante Charter School, Aliso, Brandon, Canalino, Carpinteria Family School, Cleveland, Coastline Christian, Crane Country Day School, El Camino, Ellwood, Foothill, Franklin, Goleta Family School, Goleta Valley Junior High, Harding, Heartland Charter, Hollister, Homeschool, Hope, Howard, Isla Vista, Kellogg, Knox, La Patera, Laguna Blanca, Monroe, Monte Vista, Montecito Union School, Montecito Center School, Mountain View, Peabody, Riviera Ridge, Roosevelt, Santa Barbara Charter, Santa Barbara Junior High, Santa Barbara Waldorf, St. Raphael, Trivium, Vieja Valley, Washington

Do you want Sing! at your upcoming event?

Organizations or individuals wishing to invite the Sing! Choir to perform for an event are directed to email Program Director, Erin McKibben, at emckibben@musicacademy.org.  Inquiries are considered on an individual basis, and are approved based on fit with the Sing! yearly curriculum and the Sing! schedule.  An honorarium is charged for all Sing! performances.

Sing! on KEYT

View the televised segment about the YPC National workshop and performance with SING! at the Music Academy in July.

Sing! on KCLU

Hear the Sing! choristers on the air as they prepare for and talk about their London Symphony Orchestra debut.

Sing! Sponsors

Music Academy gratefully acknowledges the following donors for their generous support of Sing!

Lead Program Sponsors - $100,000+

Mercedes Millington and Jack Mithun

Lead Corporate Sponsor

Lead Corporate Spnosor

Lead Corporate Spnosor

Leadership Donors - $25,000+

Leslie and Phil Bernstein

Sonos

Melody Patrons
$15,000+

Gainey Foundation
Luria/Budgor Family Foundation
Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts, a field of interest fund of the Santa Barbara Foundation

Harmony Patrons
$10,000+

Anonymous
Joan Davidson

A Cappella Patrons
$5,000+

Anonymous
Susan and Adam Berger
Suzanne Calpestri
Karl Kramer Foundation
Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation
Ann and Dick Zylstra

Chorister Patrons $2,500+

Margaret Morez Harriet Mosson Ellen and John Pillsbury Anne Towbes

The Sing! Team

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Erin McKibben

Sing! Program Artistic Director

ABOUT
email
emckibben@musicacademy.org
phone
805-695-7906

Erin McKibben is an active Grammy-nominated performer, educator, and conductor in Southern California, originally from Portland, Oregon. She is the Director of the Music Academy’s Sing! choral program and Director of the Santa Barbara School of Music. Erin is principal flutist for the Los Angeles-based experimental classical ensemble, Wild Up, whose performances have been listed in both the LA and New York Times "Best Of" lists.  Their album "The Pieces that Fall to Earth" was nominated for a Grammy and their latest album, “Femenine,” listed on NPR’s Top 10 albums of 2021.  She has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hahn Hall at the Music Academy, Colburn’s Zipper Hall, Warner Brothers Studios, The Granada Theatre, Brooklyn's National Sawdust, several National Flute Association Conventions as a prize winner, as a soloist at the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood, and with the LA Philharmonic, the experimental LA-based Opera company, The Industry (performing in the acclaimed productions, "Hopscotch" and "Sweet Land"), and the International Contemporary Ensemble. As a chamber musician, Erin has participated in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and has been heard on Santa Barbara’s classical music radio station as a featured artist. Erin has also been engaged as the Keynote Speaker for the College Music Society. Erin holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Puget Sound and a master's degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Amy Porter as a fellow.

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mica basilici

SING! Choral Director

ABOUT
email
mbasilici@musicacademy.org
pronouns
they/them

mica basilici is a multi-faceted artist. mica’s approach to the voice is rooted in functional singing, and often incorporates joyful movement. Since relocating to Santa Barbara County, mica has performed with Out of the Box Theatre Company, Opera Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Revels, and the Santa Barbara Choral Society.

They earned a Voice Pedagogy Certificate in Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method; a bachelor's degree in Music Performance (Voice) from Ball State University; and is currently completing a master's degree in Education in Global Perspectives: Teaching, Curriculum, and Learning Environments from Boston College.

mica serves on the editorial board for the Jazz Education Network Journal, and on the board of directors for Out of the Box Theatre Company, and is a member of Women in Music.

mica is passionate about using the arts to promote positive social change throughout the world and in their local community. They are especially interested in creating accessible and inclusive experiences for community members to engage in belonging with one another through the performing arts.

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Kristine Pacheco-Bernt

SING! Program Administrator

ABOUT
email
kpacheco@musicacademy.org

Kristine Pacheco-Bernt (she/her/ella) is a professional violinist, arts administrator, and music educator motivated to make instrumental music relevant within the community. Raised at the intersection of mariachi and minuets, she draws upon over a decade of performing and teaching experience. Kristine strongly believes in the power of creative youth development through music and is proud to bring her perspective and skills to all kinds of projects. Previously, Kristine served as a Teaching Artist at the Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN) music program, and as the Director of Education at the Santa Barbara Symphony. She currently maintains a private violin studio designed to support students at all levels of musical development. She enjoys bringing together school administrators, families, and music professionals to create dynamic music education programs. Kristine holds a master’s degree in violin performance from San Francisco State University and dual bachelor’s degrees in music and premedical studies from University of California Berkeley. She performs regularly throughout the central coast with the San Luis Obispo Symphony, the Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Santa Maria Philharmonic.

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Sara Coleman

SING! Collaborative Pianist

ABOUT
email
scoleman@musicacademy.org

Sara has extensive experience as a choral collaborative pianist, most recently at Ellensburg High School in Ellensburg, Washington, and over 30 years at the Visalia School District in Visalia, California. She holds a degree from Fresno State University in Education.

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Sophie Dalbadie

SING! Site Coordinator

ABOUT
email
sdalbadie@musicacademy.org

Sophie Dalbadie is a junior at UCSB studying economics and global studies. She has played violin since the age of seven and otherwise continues to engage with music everyday.
She has previously performed with the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, her school band “Los Adobes,” and at private recitals; furthermore, she has attended rehearsals with the UCSB Middle Eastern Ensemble. Sophie is fluent in both English and French, with some knowledge of Spanish. She turns to music when looking for inspiration and motivation and hopes Sing! Students will find as much value in music as she has in and outside class.

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Matthew Dudley

SING! Site Coordinator

ABOUT
email
mdudley@musicacademy.org

Matthew is a versatile musician, currently pursuing a Music Studies degree at UC Santa Barbara, with a focus on violin.  He has been a violinist with the Inner City Youth Orchestra (Lincoln Heights, California) since 2013, performing in concerts and recording sessions at venues like Disney Concert Hall and the California African American Museum, and with the groups Imagine Dragons and Brent Faiyez. He also has experience as a video editor.

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Crystal Hosea

Sing! Choral Director

ABOUT

Crystal Hosea is a local voice teacher and music educator with over 20 years' experience guiding singers on their musical journeys. Crystal received a Bachelor of Music degree in Choral-Vocal Studies from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at Long Beach State University where she studied conducting under the baton of Dr. Jonathan Talberg and voice under the guidance of Elisabeth Pehlivanian.

A versatile musician, Crystal has sung professionally with the Pacific Chorale in Orange County, CA, as a section leader and cantor at various churches, and as a studio singer in Los Angeles. In 2016, Crystal published the first novella and accompanying guide to a music curriculum and book series that caters to the unique environment of home education. She has since released three additional levels with three more in development.

Crystal is a highly sought after vocal masterclass clinician for young singers, having successfully hosted masterclasses with the shyest of beginners in an inner-city youth chorus, budding stars at the prestigious Orange County School of the Arts, and as a guest clinician for international choirs. An intuitive and compassionate educator, Crystal has the ability to meet students where they are and gently guide them into an awareness of their individual instruments, where they can then feel comfortable and confident sharing in the music-making process whether singing in the car with friends or on stage to an audience of thousands.

 

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Steven Thomson

SING! Senior Choral Director

ABOUT
email
sthomson@musicacademy.org

Steven Browning Thomson is Director of Music and Organist at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito. He recently completed his master's degree in Choral Conducting at UCSB, studying with Dr. Nicole Lamartine and directing the university's Tenor/Bass choir, the Singing Gauchos. Steven also serves as the Assistant to the Conductor of the Santa Barbara Choral Society. Steven holds a master's degree in Humanities from the University of Chicago, with a specialization in Ethnomusicology. He has a particular passion for Armenian choral music, inspired in large part by his 27 months living and working in the Republic of Armenia as a teacher with the US Peace Corps. While in Armenia, Steven formed and directed a 40-member children's chorus, sang with the Hover State Chamber Choir of Armenia under the direction of Sona Hovhannisyan, and studied voice with Anna Mayilyan. At UCSB, along with Choral conducting, he pursued advanced coursework and research in ethnomusicology and continued voice studies with Dr. Isabel Bayrakdarian. In June 2022, Steven was pleased to present a program of Armenian choral music to the Santa Barbara community as the guest conductor of the Adelfos Ensemble.

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Grace Wenzel

SING! Collaborative Pianist

ABOUT
email
gwenzel@musicacademy.org
pronouns
he/him/his

Grace is a recent graduate from Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR.) where he earned a bachelor's degree in Music, with a concentration in Vocal Performance. A singer and keyboardist, Grace has also studied piano from a very young age, and at Lewis & Clark studied accompaniment with piano professor Stephanie Thompson.

In his final year at Lewis & Clark, in addition to completing his senior vocal recital featuring a diverse program of art songs and arias, Grace also provided piano accompaniment for the school’s theatre department, and was the alto section leader in the premier level choir, Cappella Nova, under the direction of Dr. John Cox. Grace currently sings in the choir of Trinity Episcopal Church, and will be performing in the Santa Barbara Revels production this December, as well as in a number of other engagements around Santa Barbara.

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Lila Woodard

SING! Site Coordinator

ABOUT
email
lwoodard@musicacademy.org

Lila Woodard is a senior at Dos Pueblos High School and has been a vocalist in their A Cappella Choir since sophomore year performing locally and competing in vocal jazz festivals under the direction of Courtney Anderson. Lila has loved music and performing arts since her young childhood leading her to pursuits including cello, ballet, and the circus arts of contortion, acrobatics, and aerial. Lila enjoys caring for and helping people through working with the elderly and babysitting for families in the community. Lila is involved in leadership at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and is a member of their choir.

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Shiqi (Sadee) Xu

SING! Principal Collaborative Pianist

ABOUT
email
sxu@musicacademy.org

A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and Carthage College, classical pianist Shiqi (Sadee) Xu is a dedicated performer and teacher. She is currently a doctoral candidate at University of California in Santa Barbara. Born in China, she began playing the piano at the age of 7 after discovering her love for music. As soloist, she has performed with the Carthage Philharmonic and has given recitals in Chicago Concert Hall, Steinway Hall (Milwaukee), Miller Recital Hall (MSM), Lakeside Piano Festival, Festival Napa Valley, Hawaii Chamber Music Festival, and more. Due to her versatility, she is a frequent chamber, musical theater, and opera pianist. She has also held many music director positions for community churches. She was invited as a pianist for the Manetti Shrem Opera Program at Festival Napa Valley in 2022. She is the recipient of the prestigious Bothe-Hazel Memorial Award and Bridge Grant Scholarship. With her love of teaching, she maintains a large private studio as well as teaching positions in many music schools including Muzik Colab (NYC), the Masaki School of Music (Honolulu), and Carthage Arts Academy (Kenosha). Shiqi has performed in masterclasses for world renowned pianists Simone Dinnerstein, Jorge Federico Osorio, and Joanne Polk. She completed her undergraduate studies with Dr. Wael Farouk and her graduate studies with Dr. Solomon Mikowsky.

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Tiffany Kyoka Yin

SING! Collaborative Pianist

ABOUT
email
tyin@musicacademy.org

Tiffany Kyoka Yin is a recent graduate from University of California, Santa Barbara where she earned a bachelor's degree in Piano Performance studying with Dr. Charles Asche and accompanying with Dr. Natasha Kislenko. Upon her admission, she received the Excellence-at-Entrance Scholarship and the Opus One Scholarship from the Department of Music. She also received a grant from the non-profit organization Together with Classical. She has extensive experience in solo performance, accompanying, and chamber music and has performed in masterclasses for pianists Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, and violist Roger Meyers.

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