United Way youngsters have ‘Fun in the Sun’ during unique opportunity at Music Academy of the West

Santa Barbara, Calif. - Nearly 300 local students from the United Way of Santa Barbara County's Fun in the Sun program were treated to a musical morning on Monday, June 26. Up Close and Musical, now in its sixth year, was a created by the team of Janet Garufis, Chairman and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust, and Scott Reed, President and CEO of the Music Academy of the West, and provides kids from the United Way a unique opportunity to learn, play and witness musical performances that they might not otherwise get the chance to experience.

The 2017 edition of this joyous event saw children from Aliso, Harding, Franklin, El Camino and Santa Ynez Fun in the Sun sites experience an exciting morning of outdoor activities, including face painting, jumping rope, navigating obstacle courses and interacting with world-class musicians and their instruments, before heading inside Hahn Hall for a special musical presentation and performance, led by Music Academy alumnus Joshua Roman.

Megan Orloff, SVP Director of Marketing at Montecito Bank & Trust, reflected on the event, saying, "Music is a powerful tool, and when you bring together 300 motivated kids, dozens of dedicated volunteers and a world-class performance at the stunning Music Academy campus, it's impossible not to feel energized. It's such an honor to be involved with this one-of-a-kind event, and every year you walk away knowing that you've helped make a meaningful impact on these young lives. Up Close and Musical is a day we all look forward to, and working with our wonderful partners at the Music Academy and the United Way is always a rewarding experience."

Music Academy of the West alumnus cellist Joshua Roman ('02) returned alongside JACK Quartet to discuss music making, and perform a piece by 16th century composer Gesualdo. They then jumped forward 400 years to present day, speaking of music by living composers such as Jeremy Friedman, and rounded out the morning with a Q&A session with the children.

Scott Reed, President and CEO of the Music Academy, added, "The Music Academy seeks to cultivate the next generation of engaged, appreciative, and adventurous audiences, and bringing these children to our campus to experience a world-class performance by Joshua Roman and JACK Quartet is a wonderful addition to their classical music experience. The Music Academy greatly appreciates working with United Way and Community Corporate Sponsor Montecito Bank and Trust to bring our community together for this special event."

"United Way and the Fun in the Sun scholars and staff are so grateful to have this unique opportunity to enjoy a morning of fun and games, and listen to world-class music right in their own backyard. After the concert, the enthusiasm of our happy campers as they discuss their favorite part says it all. We deeply appreciate Montecito Bank & Trust and Music Academy of the West's hard work and dedication to make this possible for our scholars," shares Steve Ortiz, President and CEO of United Way of Santa Barbara County.

The Music Academy of the West is among the nation's preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classically-trained musicians. At its ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara, the Academy provides these musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. The Academy cultivates discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences, presenting more than 200 public events annually, many of them free of charge. These include performances by faculty, visiting artists, and fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and a fully staged opera.

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has the unique and positive vision that "in our community, everyone has a hopeful future." Since 1923, UWSBC has served Santa Barbara County community through funding, volunteer development, and by utilizing its own unique initiatives that involve dozens of local non-profit and public sector agencies. UWSBC's local community driven Power of Partnership™ priorities help children, families & seniors with a focus on Education, Income and Health.

Montecito Bank & Trust, an S Corporation, is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Founded in 1975, the bank celebrates its 42nd anniversary in 2017 and operates 10 branch offices in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura, Camarillo and Westlake Village. The bank offers a variety of competitive deposit and lending solutions for businesses and consumers, including business loans and lines of credit; commercial real estate finance; SBA loans; mortgage loans, consumer loans; credit cards; merchant services; and online services, including mobile banking and cash management. Its Wealth Management Division provides comprehensive trust services and full investment management for all branch office markets.

Montecito Bank & Trust received a 2016 Premier Performing Bank designation by The Findley Reports, an independent service which rates the annual performance of California banks. Montecito Bank & Trust has been designated as a Premier Performing or Super Premier Performing bank by The Findley Reports 31 times in its 42-year history. The bank was also awarded a 5-star, Superior Bauer rating based on its March 31, 2017 financial data.

For more information, please contact
Megan Orloff, Director of Marketing
(805) 564-0236 or [email protected]