Rebekah Scogin was a big hit in our Christmas Day Show On Main. The audience delighted in her creative performance of electronic harp & accordian... AMAZING, enjoyable, and ptofessional heart touching music.
Rebekah is a beautiful musician! We love her CDs, especially the electric harp. We hired her to play at our markets at La Cumbre Plaza and she was amazing and professional.
Local Artisans Market
I have been listening to Rebekah play her accordion for many years now. She has amazing gifts on this challenging instrument. She is able to bring out the soul of a piece as she presents herself and her music to the audience.
I have met very few musicians who are not only technically adept, but also in touch with the inner meanings of a the music.
I have heard her play jazz, classical, Jewish, Latin, German, French, Italian and Argentine masterpieces on her accordion, both as a soloist and as a member of an ensemble.
She was the first choice to play at my daughter’s large wedding at the Santa Barbara Presidio. I will never forget walking my daughter down the aisle of the chapel as the sounds of her arrangement of “Spanish Eyes” drifted over and through the crowd (she was up in the balcony with a violinist).
Twice I arranged for her to play at the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Public Library. Both times the venue was full of enthusiastic listeners. On one occasion I was with her at a venue in Ventura. Our assignment was to play Oktoberfest music, but some in the crowd wanted a Columbian cumbia. Rebekah obliged and many in the crowd got up and began to dance. It was a wonderful moment.
On another occasion I heard play Jewish music from Spain at the Santa Barbara Synagogue. She was accompanying a band of traveling musicians. She managed to capture the spirit of this ancient music wonderfully.
I cannot say enough about her talent as a musician.
Accordion International Music Society
I have known Rebekah Scogin for a very long time. She had been my daughter’s music teacher. I have also been a partner of hers in musical performance at a variety of gigs, mostly in or around Santa Barbara. My daughter, Simone (age 26), began studying piano with Scogin, but decided that she wanted to be harpist soon after seeing Rebekah play. Under Scogin’s tutelage, Simone blossomed into a fine harpist and pianist. She later studied harp and musicology at UCLA. She has since received her master’s degree in musicology at Oxford University in England and is currently working on her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at UCLA.
I have seen Scogin work with many of her music students. Scogin has an uncanny ability to gear her teaching individually to the special needs of the particular student. In all respects Scogin is an outstanding teacher, and as a consequence her students have flourished as pianists, as harpists, as accordionists, and as vocalists. (She no doubt teaches other instruments besides these, but these are the ones I’ve seen her teach.) I have recommended Scogin strongly to a number of people looking for a music teacher, either for themselves or for their children. She has fully earned her reputation as the best harpist, and also the best accordionist, and one of the finest pianists, in the general Santa Barbara area. She is certainly the best harp and/or accordion teacher in the area. (Some of her past students drove more than an hour from home in order to study with Scogin.)
Although I have no special academic qualifications in music—my Ph.D. is in philosophy (UCLA ‘79)—I have played guitar for very many years, and at Scogin’s invitation, and with her active encouragement, I have performed with Scogin for a number of years in a number of combos, on a number of occasions and at a number of venues throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, and San Diego (so many performances that I lost count years ago). In effect, Scogin has transformed this working academic philosopher into a parttime gigging musician. Typically, Scogin is invited to perform music of some particular ethnicity (e.g., Greek or Italian or French or Cajun or Jewish or Middle Eastern, etc.) at some local event (a charitable fundraiser, or a wedding, etc.). She then pulls together a combo of local musicians, puts together a binder of appropriate sheet music, decides on particular arrangements, rehearses with the combo (where necessary), and directs the entire project from start to finish. Frequently, the combo includes some of her students. Though Scogin is invariably the most capable performer of the musicians making up the combo, and certainly the most knowledgeable musically, she often plays in the background, supporting the efforts of those of us less capable than she. Any performing musician knows that one weak musician can make an otherwise capable combo sound … well, let us say less than charming. But I can say from my experiences with Scogin that it is equally true that an otherwise merely competent combo can, under the leadership of one outstanding musician, be made to sound absolutely lovely. Such is Scogin’s talent.
Scogin has a genuinely astounding ear for music. I have never known anyone with more ability to hear overall musical structure—to identify background chords, etc.—merely through hearing. As a fledgling musician myself, I would note that in addition to her excellent ear, Scogin has the remarkable ability to continue her performance without “missing a beat,” and indeed without missing anything at all, despite some truly invasive distractions. I once saw Scogin sort through a large number of keys on a key ring with one hand while continuing to play both chords and melody on the harp with her other hand, with no noticeable interruption in the general flow of the sound of her performance. I sat there awestruck, and envious.
In my work as a philosophy professor, both here at UCSB and in previous positions—including a short stint at USC, a longer stint at the City University of New York, and a four-year stint at Princeton University—I routinely deal with remarkably gifted people. On the basis of my 40 years of experience in academia, I can say that Scogin is unusually intelligent.
Above all, and through it all, Scogin manifests an absolutely unwavering, unfaltering, and unfailing enthusiasm. She is a true artist, with truly visionary perception. She is an eminently worthy musician and music teacher. I recommend her with great enthusiasm.
UC Santa Barbara