First Friday webgraphic low res

Listen, Local, (almost) Live

with the Santa Maria Philharmonic’s First Fridays at Four Recorded Concerts

Due to the omicron variant in 2020, the Santa Maria Philharmonic could not resume our in-person scheduled concerts for the 2020-2021 season. Instead, we created the Philharmonic First Fridays at Four, a series of diverse and entrancing YouTube performances by orchestra members in local landmarks and locations. These free recorded concerts premiered the first Friday of every month at 4:00pm.


The entire First Fridays series is ready for you to watch again or for the first time. Subscribe to our channel HERE

Episode 1: Spotlight on a Local Musical Families

See how musicians of the SMPS are still making music during this unprecedented time of lockdown. Featuring Concertmaster Mary Beth Woodruff and her talented sons and daughter on a variety of instruments.

Episode 2: Harpist Catherine Litaker at Presqu’ile Winery

Enjoy a tapestry of beautiful music: Baroque, Spanish-influenced, other worldly and dance – played in the lovely atmosphere of Presqui’ile Winery in the Santa Maria Valley.

Episode 3: The SMPS String Quartet at Mission Santa Ines

Music from Locatelli, Mozart and Dvorak, amid the beauty and acoustical splendor of the chapel at Mission Santa Ines in Solvang. Featuring Concertmaster Mary Beth Woodruff, with Sara Bashore (violin), David Hennessee, (viola), and Hilary Clark (cello)

Episode 4: A Fleeting Virtual Foray to France

Pour a glass of your favorite French wine, prepare a baguette with brie, and revel in the mellifluous sounds of French music of Ravel, Debussy, Tailleferre and more.

Piano, Flute and Clarinet Recital with Lynne Garrett, Carol Houchens, and Nancy Mathison

Episode 5: Holiday Brass at First United Methodist Church

Just in time for the holidays or anytime, here is a beautiful brass ensemble, playing the music of Dukas, Gabrieli and more. And sing along to a familiar carol or two!

SMPS Brass Quintet featuring Rich Ward, Principal, with David Johns (trumpet), Allen Smithson (french horn), Bruce Wagner (trombone), and Rod Mathews (tuba)

Episode 6: Percussion for the New Year

Presented by John Astaire, SMPS percussionist extraordinaire, is a festive array of musical offerings from composers including Andresissen, Ogino and Ruders. Enjoy the chime and rhythm of marimba, woodblock, cimbalom, vibraphone, xylophone, various drums – and, of course, THOSE COWBELLS (of which we always need more).

Episode 7: Cello and Piano in honor of Allan Hancock, and Happy 100th, Allan Hancock College!

Join us in honoring the Founder of the Santa Maria Philharmonic, Allan Hancock, himself a cellist, and also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the local community college that bears his name. Enjoy the beautiful sounds of Bach, Faure, Beethoven and more, performed by SMPS musicians Hilary Clark, Principal Cellist, and Lynne Garrett, Piano

Episode  8: Oboe, English Horn and Strings at the Minerva Club

Elegant harmonies float within a handsome setting. The Philharmonic quartet featuring Jessica Hoffman (oboe and horn), with Grace Seng (violin), Karen Loewi-Jones (viola), and Min Lee (cello) present works for oboe or horn and strings by Mozart, Elgar, Morricone, and Françaix. The setting is the historic Minerva Club, designed by California architect Julia Morgan, opened in 1928, and over the decades the scene of much musical performance. The music will drift from the serene to the sprightly and carry you into the mood of springtime and new beginnings.

Episode 9: Playing Together – Two Clarinets and Bassoon

Playing together again. During the pandemic, friends and musicians Caroline Tobin, Nancy Mathison, and John Dilworth, missing the pleasure of making music together, began meeting outdoors just for the joy of playing together. In this episode of Philharmonic First Fridays, enjoy listening to the exciting, challenging, and unusual selections from this trio of two clarinets and a bassoon, a wild range of music, from Mozart to Scott Joplin, filmed at our local Moxie Cafe.

Episode 10: String Orchestra

The Santa Maria Philharmonic is excited to conclude our 2020-21 series of First Fridays at Four recordings with a taste of what is soon in store: live orchestra performances! 15 members of the string sections of the Santa Maria Philharmonic came together to make this contribution to our Philharmonic First Fridays at Four series. Acclaimed sound engineer, Barbara Hirsch, joined our series videographer, Josh Kazali, in recording the sumptuous sounds of some of the most beautiful selections from the string orchestra repertoire. Get ready to savor the joyful strains of a small orchestra providing a passionate program recorded in the Minerva Club.


Enjoy Benjamin Britten’s Prologue from Serenade for Horn, enor and Strings, featuring the natural sounds of an outdoor hunting horn played on a historic instrument. Revel in Mozart’s lively Horn Duet. Our series videographer, Josh Kazali, captures unique footage of the musicians (principal horn player Steven Gross, horn player Julie Gross, and pianist Pascal Salomon) coming together for a fun performance at the First Congregational Church in Santa Barbara.