The mission of the Folk Orchestra of Santa Barbara is to introduce music and instruments from all over the world through unique and compelling live performances by local musicians to inspire people of all ages to appreciate the diversity of the world’s music, while providing our local musicians with a forum to gain experience with diverse musical styles.
Who we are:
The Folk Orchestra of Santa Barbara (FOSB), which serves as the Musicians-In-Residence for El Presidio de Santa Barbara, was founded in 2017 by Adam Phillips with a unique vision: to share the power, beauty and excitement of folk music from around the world while blending orchestral instruments (violin, cello, flute, etc.) with both common and specialized folk instruments (guitar, mandolin, bagpipes, accordion, harp, oud, shakuhachi, hurdy gurdy, etc.).
The FOSB performs four annual concert sets, each showcasing a specific region or era. Mr. Phillips develops original arrangements of traditional folk songs from the designated region, incorporating engaging rhythms and dramatic transitions to draw the audience in. Mr. Phillips engages the audience with remarks and instrument demonstrations that place the pieces and unique instruments in historical and cultural context. Concerts also feature “sing alongs,” accompanied by FOSB, to encourage audience participation. The first half ends with a sing-along with a thematic folk song; all concerts close with a sing-along of the Irish folk song, The Parting Glass, to engender tradition and community.