Music Academy of the West Reaches $17.5 Million FINALE Campaign Goal

A standing ovation for Music Academy of the West! The organization recently achieved a $17.5 million campaign goal, thanks in part to a $4.4 million leadership gift from the Hind Foundation.

Rendering of the Hind Hall Teaching Studio Building, courtesy Music Academy of the West.

Rendering of the Hind Hall Teaching Studio Building, courtesy Music Academy of the West.

The 15-month fundraising effort will provide monies to renovate the historic Marilyn Horne Main House, construct a new Teaching Studio Building, purchase 11 Steinway pianos, endow a long-range instrument fund propelling the institution to All-Steinway piano status in perpetuity and increase the Academy’s recently established maintenance endowment.

The new Teaching Studio Building will be named Hind Hall, commemorating a generous $4.4 million gift from the Hind Foundation that completed the $17.5 million campaign goal. The Hind Foundation’s mission is to fund community-based projects and programs that encourage people to work together to build an enduring legacy for future generations.

“Our philanthropic community has truly embraced our vision to create an extraordinary institution devoted to the next generation of great classically trained musicians. This project enhances our campus to provide our fellows, audiences, faculty, and community partners with world-class facilities for education and performance. We appreciate the Hind Foundation’s generous gift to the Music Academy’s future. They join a dedicated group of contributors who have all helped to make this project possible,” says Scott Reed, Music Academy of the West President and CEO.

Margaret Cafarelli, Academy Board Chair, adds, “We are grateful to our matching gift leaders, Shirley and Seymour Lehrer, who generously contributed a $3 million gift to name the Main House for Marilyn Horne. I would like to thank our Board of Directors, who all participated in the FINALE campaign. The commitment our donors have to our vision has been remarkable, successfully meeting our campaign goal.”

The Marilyn Horne Main House will officially be unveiled at an elegant Opening Night Gala on Saturday, June 4, celebrating the opening of the 2016 Summer School and Festival and honoring Horne, the legendary singer and Director of the Academy’s Voice Program.

The Hind Hall Teaching Studio Building will begin construction immediately following the Academy’s 2016 Summer Festival and will open in June 2017, as a part of the Music Academy of the West’s 70th anniversary celebration.

FINALE Campaign Contributors include: Leslie and Philip Bernstein, Linda and Peter Beuret, John C. Bowen and Shelby C. Bowen Foundation, Sharon and David Bradford, Michele and Arnold Brustin, Margaret Cafarelli and Jan Hill, Jo Ann and Howard Chase, Lynn and Andy Chou, Patricia and Larry Durham, Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation, Margo and Robert Feinberg, Julia and David Geber, Judy and Ernie Getto, Bernie Gondos, Paul Guido and Stephen Blain, Hind Foundation, Jackie Inskeep, Ann Jackson Family Foundation, Michelle Joanou, Irma and Morrie Jurkowitz, Linda and Michael Keston, Shirley and Seymour Lehrer, Lucifer Lighting, Leatrice Luria, Kandy Luria-Budgor and Beno Budgor, Mercedes Millington and Jack Mithun, Margaret Morez, Ronnie Morris and Tim Cardy, Dot and Rick Nelson, Ellen Lehrer Orlando and Tom Orlando, Gamble Parks and Gary Douville, Ellen and John Pillsbury, Scott Reed, Dorothy Roberts, Joan and Jerry Rocco, Regina and Rick Roney, Santa Barbara Foundation, Maryan Schall, Lila Scher, Robin Schutte, Linda Seltzer Yawitz, Anitra and Jack Sheen, Eileen Sheridan and Roger Wilde, Maurice Singer, Stephen Singleton and Christopher Teasley, Mary Lynn and Warren Staley, Glenn Jordan and Michael Stubbs, Perrin Pellegrin and Tim Taylor, Elaine and Bob Toledo, Christopher Toomey, Patricia Toppel, Anne and Michael Towbes, Pam and Terry Valeski, Susie and Hugh Vos, Wade Fund, Patty and Nick Weber, Carolyn and Carl Williams, Pat and Joe Yzurdiaga and Cheryl and Peter Ziegler.

Music Academy of the West’s Summer School and Festival takes place from June 13 to August 6 at the Academy’s scenic Miraflores campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara. For more information, visit

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on April 22, 2016.

Marilyn Horne Named “Honorary La Diva of Old Spanish Days”

Marilyn Horne, courtesy photo

Marilyn Horne, courtesy photo

Viva la Fiesta and Viva la Diva!

This summer, The Music Academy of the West presents the 2014 Carmen Celebration; a special series of events in honor of the legendary opera singer Marilyn Horne’s 80th birthday. As part of this series, the Music Academy has partnered with Old Spanish Days to celebrate Horne, director of the Music Academy’s voice program, in conjunction with her 80th birthday, and recognize her with the official title, “Honorary La Diva of Old Spanish Days.”

On July 23, from 5:30–7:30 p.m., the Music Academy hosts a special private event to commemorate this occasion. The program includes performances from the Music Academy’s production of Bizet’s Carmen and the 2014 Spirit of the Fiesta. (The Music Academy will present a new, fully staged production of Carmen, directed by David Paul, conducted by James Gaffigan, and featuring State Street Ballet dancers at Santa Barbara’s Granada Theatre on August 1 and 3.)

“Marilyn Horne embodies the very spirit of our extraordinary performing arts & cultural community in Santa Barbara, and Old Spanish Days is the perfect partner to help us commemorate our Carmen Celebration in honor of her 80th birthday,” says Scott Reed, president of the Music Academy of the West. “We are thrilled to bestow this honor upon a legend, and true legacy of the Music Academy of the West.”

This year marks the 90th Anniversary of the Fiesta Historical Parade, one of the largest equestrian parades in the United States, which will take place on August 1. As part of the Carmen Celebration festivities, during the parade Horne will ride in an antique carriage sponsored by the Music Academy’s presenting sponsor, Montecito Bank & Trust.

The Granada Theatre will also commemorate the honor of Marilyn Horne’s title “Honorary La Diva of Old Spanish Days” on the theatre’s marquee.

Horne has long been recognized as one of the most influential artists to portray Carmen. Her first major professional engagement was in 1954, when she dubbed the singing voice of Dorothy Dandridge in the film Carmen Jones. Horne went on to sing the title role in Bizet’s Carmen to open the Metropolitan Opera’s 1972-73 season, which featured Leonard Bernstein as conductor, and earned a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording in 1974. Horne’s distinguished career has garnered her numerous honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Gramophone magazine. She was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1995, received the National Medal of Arts in 1992, and has been inducted into the American Classical Music and Hollywood Bowl halls of fame. Among her worldwide prizes are the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters from France’s Ministry of Culture. She was named a National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors recipient in 2009.

Horne, who attended the Music Academy in 1953, has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 1995, and has directed the Academy’s renowned Voice Program since 1997.

Please also note these upcoming performances.
• Opera Covers Performance in Lehmann Tuesday, Jul 22 at 3:15 p.m.
• Carmen Opera Performances, Friday, August 1 and Sunday, August 3
• Vocal Masterclass with Marilyn Horne, Wednesday, August 6

For more information, visit

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on July 22, 2014.