Symphony Renews Contract with Popular Assistant Conductor Roger Kalia for Two More Years

KaliaPacific Symphony has extended the contract of its assistant conductor, Roger Kalia, for two additional years, providing for him to continue in his current role through June 2019. It’s been two years since the Symphony first announced Kalia as its second in command (under Music Director Carl St.Clair), with his position beginning at the start of the 2015-16 season. In addition to assisting St.Clair with conducting duties, Kalia has played—and will continue to play—a vital role in the Symphony’s education initiatives. These include programming and conducting the Farmers & Merchants Bank Family Musical Mornings series, which introduces children ages 5-11 (and beyond) to the exciting world of orchestral music through engaging and educational concerts.

“I am absolutely thrilled to continue my work as assistant conductor with Pacific Symphony for the next two years,” says Kalia. “Working with Maestro St.Clair, the staff and the wonderful musicians has been inspiring and memorable. I have already had the privilege of meeting and working with incredible people across Orange County, and I’m looking forward to being part of the many exciting future concerts and projects. Just having this opportunity is extraordinary—and a big deal! I am so grateful for being part of this very special organization."

Kalia“Roger has made a tremendous musical contribution to Pacific Symphony,” says Maestro St.Clair. “In very short order, he gained the respect of the musicians and also the staff with whom he works so very closely. Offering Roger a two-year extension will give all of us some important stability for the near future. He is most deserving!"

Kalia will also continue in his role as music director of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra (PSYO), a premier training orchestra for instrumentalists in grades 9-12, preparing them for a three-concert series each season. Among his many accomplishments with the Symphony thus far, Kalia led the youth orchestra on its highly successful 10-day international tour to China in June 2016. Kalia remarks: “I will never forget the Youth Orchestra’s tour last summer, which marked the orchestra’s second international tour and first to Asia. I am beyond thrilled to continue my work with the wonderful young musicians of PSYO, as we reach for new heights as an orchestra over these next two years."

Kalia“Roger is doing a wonderful job with our PSYO,” says St.Clair. “He keenly understands his role in helping these young and very talented musicians mature and develop. He shares his love and passion for music with them, inspiring and motivating them beyond their years."

Additionally, Kalia’s duties include welcoming more than 14,000 elementary school children to the concert hall each year for Class Act Youth Concerts, which conclude a year of music lessons and performances in OC schools given by Symphony musicians. Kalia says: “One of the most enjoyable and important aspects of my job has been connecting with our younger audiences through the Family Musical Mornings and Class Act Youth concerts. Having the opportunity to expose and introduce them to orchestral music has been extremely rewarding for me as a conductor. I always enjoy meeting these wonderful young people and their parents in the lobby and seeing the joy and excitement on their faces after our concerts."

“As with all of our previous assistant conductors, I have been of the same thinking—one year at a time, but not more than four years in this post,” notes St.Clair. “Having been an assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony, my goal is to treat our assistant conductors as I was groomed and mentored. I try to make sure and create an environment in which they can continue to grow and develop as musicians, conductors and future music directors. Roger embraces all of his opportunities and makes the most out of them. Everyone is a winner!”