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                                Middle East Ensemble
Scott MarcusThe UCSB Middle East Ensemble is an official “Ethnomusicology Performance Ensemble” in the UCSB Music Department. Founded in 1989 by ethnomusicology professor Scott Marcus, the Ensemble’s repertoire reflects the great diversity of cultures found in the Middle East. The ensemble performs music and dance from Arab, Turkish, Persian, Armenian, Greek, Sephardic and Oriental Jewish, Kurdish, and Assyrian cultures. Performance items range from classical pieces to religious, folk, popular, and children’s songs, as well as folk, classical, and cabaret-style dances.

The Ensemble has performed widely throughout California and in Tucson, Arizona, Washington D.C. and Albion and Dearborn, Michigan. In Fall 1999, seven members of the Ensemble performed in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan representing the U.S. at the biannual International “Melodies of the East” Festival in the city of Samarkand. In July 2010, the Ensemble traveled to Egypt to give a series of concerts sponsored by the Egyptian government’s Ministry of Culture. With a group of 54 musicians, singers, and dancers, the Ensemble presented nine concerts over a two-week period, the highlight being four performances at the Cairo Opera House, the premier performance venue in Egypt, with additional performances at Cairo University and in the cities of Ismailia, Helwan, and Beni Suef. We also performed for the Nevada Museum of Art in June 2011 on the occasion of the museum’s 80th-year celebration.

UCSB Middle East Ensemble

Upcoming Events 2006

Follow us on Twitter: @ucsbmee
Jun 2023
Quarterly Concert - 7:30pm
Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, UCSB*
(*) There is a $4 parking fee at UCSB for evenings and weekends, payable in each lot.
Parking map for Music Department events
UCSB MEE Store   Sponsorship - FOMEMA

The UCSB MEE offers CDs, DVDs, booklets and t-shirts at the store section. MEE
                                        CDThere you will find more detailed information about each product and how to purchase it.

The store helps to buy new instruments, costumes and to fund scholarships for our students.


The Friends of Middle Eastern Music Association (FOMEMA) is an association formed to promote interaction between the Santa Barbara community and the UCSB Middle East Ensemble, explore ways in which the Ensemble can support the larger community in the presentation of Middle Eastern culture, and ways in which the community can support the Ensemble's goals of an expanded role at UCSB for study and research in Middle Eastern music and culture.

Click here to find out how you can become a member of FOMEMA.

    Contact UCSB MEE
Dr. Scott Marcus c/o Music Department
UCSB - University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
To inquire about booking the UCSB MEE for an event,
please contact Scott Marcus at
Cell Phone: (805) 729-6453
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