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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

Pacific Symphony And Orange County School Of The Arts (OCSA) Partner To Provide Mentorship And Training To The Next Generation Of Musicians

Orange County, CA — January 22, 2018

Pacific Symphony and Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) join together to connect aspiring young musicians with respected orchestral professionals, who offer mentorship and advanced musical training to students in OCSA’s Instrumental Music Conservatory. Part of OCSA’s Master Artist Series, Pacific Symphony musicians visit the Santa Ana campus for two afternoons (Jan. 24 and March 21) to lead 13 sectionals for winds and strings. The small-group format allows for an engaging exchange of musical ideas as the Symphony musicians work on high-level techniques and motivate students through their excellent playing. Students also receive practical coaching on repertoire they will perform for upcoming competitions, auditions and recitals. Being in a dedicated music conservatory, many OCSA students wish to win a spot in a professional orchestra, making these coaching sessions invaluable avenues for networking and career advice.

“Pacific Symphony musicians are known for their artistic excellence, and many are established pedagogues, giving private lessons and teaching at local universities,” says Teren Shaffer, executive vice president of the OCSA Foundation. “We are thrilled to bring these exceptional artists to OCSA, as we strive to create fundamentally different learning opportunities for our students.”

Visiting Symphony musicians include Associate Concertmaster Paul Manaster, Principal Trumpet Barry Perkins, Principal Trombone Michael Hoffman, Principal Percussionist Robert Slack and Assistant Principal Bass Douglas Basye, as well as additional contracted musicians. The sectionals take place in OCSA’s state-of-the-art Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Music Center.

“We are very much looking forward to having our Pacific Symphony musicians work with OCSA’s gifted students in the coming months,” says Susan Miller Kotses, Pacific Symphony’s vice president of education and community engagement. “Our hope is to be a musical resource to our community and what better opportunity than for our Symphony musicians to help develop the next generation of professional musicians. We look forward to long and fruitful partnership with OCSA and to furthering and deepening our relationship with OCSA’s students, faculty and administration.”

The artistic partnership began earlier this year, when acclaimed pianist Garrick Ohlsson gave a master class to OCSA’s Pianist Program students before appearing as soloist with Pacific Symphony that week. OCSA’s Master Artist Series is generously supported by Maureen and Michal Mekjian, McBeth Foundation, Samueli Foundation, The Elerding Foundation, Harriet and Sandy Sandhu, O.L. Halsell Foundation, The William Gillespie Foundation and the Kimmel Family.

The nationally recognized Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) provides a creative, challenging and nurturing environment that offers bright and talented students unparalleled preparation for higher education and a profession in the arts. Established in 1987, the school serves a diverse student body of more than 2,100 students in grades seven through 12 from more than 125 cities throughout Southern California. In correlation to its award-winning arts and academic training, OCSA provides a thriving, dynamic school environment that graduates highly engaged, creative students with the imagination to find solutions to today’s complex problems and thrive in the 21st century. For additional information, visit