On September 9th, a couple thousand young local students were mesmerized by the ever soulful "The Kingdom Choir " during a free performance at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The Santa Barbara Bowl, in collaboration with the Children’s Creative Project, presented The Kingdom Choir, a London-based gospel choir, as part of Kids at the Bowl, a program of the Bowl’s Outreach initiative.
The Kingdom choir performed an hour of gospel singing and songs from their upcoming album, including a rendition of “Stand By Me,” a song that put them on the map when they performed it last year for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding. Founded in 1994 by award-winning conductor Karen Gibson, the choir draws from various traditions and is dedicated to creating a sound that reflects the community they share through their warm energy and enthusiastic performances.
This performance marks the first time that both North County and South County schools were able to attend a free fieldtrip at the Santa Barbara Bowl together. Elementary and secondary schools from Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Ynez Valley, Lompoc and Santa Maria were all able to participate.
Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation Outreach provides support and funding for performing arts education in Santa Barbara County, and dedicates one dollar of every ticket sold at the Bowl to this end. Outreach, part of the Bowl’s core mission, creates 20,000 touchpoints with students each year and provides funding to artists, schools, and nonprofit arts programs to advance performing arts education in our area.
Generous donors, including Michael Hammer and Armand Hammer Foundation, the Léni Fé Bland Performing Arts Partnership and an anonymous donor, have underwritten the entirety of the performance costs. The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture provided a grant to assist with bus transportation costs.
The Children’s Creative Project is 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 including the Kingdom Choir event.
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.
One of the most important parts of our mission is to ensure that everyone has access to music — whether by playing or by listening. In addition to hosting concerts, the Bowl supports important performing arts programs for youth through our Outreach programs.
Learn more about our Outreach program and our efforts to bring a broad array of programs, listed below, and annual grant cycles to local programs that provide critical resources for expanding youth access to performing arts, including symposiums, arts advocacy, mentorship, and needs-based financial support for arts education programs.
Check out the full image gallery from the event by photographer Charles Yozgott.