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Santa Barbara Symphony, Lobero Theatre keep music alive through virtual concerts and lessons

Blake DeVine/KEYT
The Kenny Loggins 'unplugged' live stream event will take place on Sunday night from the Lobero Theatre.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- In March, the COVID-19 pandemic halted indoor concerts, but that hasn't stopped the Santa Barbara Symphony and Lobero Theatre from playing.

"From day one we are looking at ways to continue to bring the joy, the inspiration, the music in different ways," said Kathryn Martin, Interim CEO of the Santa Barbara Symphony.

Both are putting on performances virtually. The Symphony moved its "Sundays with the Symphony" event online. It's free to watch, however, donations are encouraged.

Symphony classes are also being held over Zoom.

In the meantime, the Lobero Theatre has already recorded three virtual concerts on its stage and released two so far. Viewers can pay for tickets to watch it online.

"What we're planning to do this fall is probably have Friday night shows, and it will be available all weekend for anybody to watch, rewatch, you can watch it a number of times," said David Asbell, Executive Director of the Lobero Theatre Foundation.

Both organizations have taken a big hit this year

The Symphony needs donations to continue operating as a nonprofit, and the Lobero Theatre says it has lost $1.5 million during the pandemic. The theatre hopes these virtual performances will be enough until live shows are allowed once again.

"Looking forward to the day we can open back up again and have a full house and have the impact on the community that they've had for almost 150 years here," Asbell said.

"I can't wait to be able to announce the the 2021 season because we will find new ways to lift up to inspire and to give hope," said Martin with the Symphony.

Until it's safe for in-person concerts, you can watch them virtually from the comforts of your own home.

To buy tickets for virtual concerts with the Lobero Theatre, you can visit their website

More information about the Santa Barbara Symphony, including virtual lessons and concerts, can be found at You can also donate online here.

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Scott Sheahen

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