“I couldn’t be more delighted to welcome Angela into our Pacific Symphony “family” as the newest member of our conducting “team.” Having known Angela for over three decades, it has been wonderful observing her impressive career development. Her many accomplishments have distinguished her as one of the leading conductors and educators with middle school and high school aged musicians. There is no one more perfect than Angela to lead this new and exciting initiative in the Symphony’s Youth Ensemble Program.”
—Music Director Carl St.Clair
Angela Woo is the inaugural Music Director of Pacific Symphony Youth Concert Band which makes its debut during the 2022-23 season. Woo is Director of Instrumental Music and Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica, California where nearly 300 students comprise three concert bands and three string orchestras. The John Adams ensembles have consistently earned the highest possible ratings at performance festivals. In 2011, the John Adams Middle School Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the inaugural California All-State Music Education Conference as the only middle school concert band in the state to be so honored.
For over 25 years, Woo has enjoyed an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator with numerous honor groups, conducting symposia, and music festivals throughout the United States and internationally. Angela Woo was the first woman to conduct at the 1992 XIV New Music Forum in Mexico City; she premiered the music of Karel Husa, Vincent Persichetti, George Crumb and William Schuman. In 2018, Woo was guest conductor at the State Honours Ensemble Program at the Queensland Conservatorium (Griffith University) in Brisbane, Australia. At the national level, Woo has been invited by several universities to lead professional development workshops for music educators at the elementary and secondary levels. Her guest conducting invitations have included All-State honor bands and orchestras at the middle school and high school levels in Kentucky, Oregon, Michigan, Colorado, California, and Georgia. Most recently, Woo was invited to join the WorldStrides Honors Performance Series to conduct the 2019 Middle School Orchestra and the 2020 High School Symphony Orchestra, both in Carnegie Hall (New York).
An alumna of the University of California, Los Angeles, Woo holds the degrees Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Piano Performance, Master of Education, and Master of Fine Arts in Conducting. She also holds the Master of Arts in Educational Administration from California State University, Northridge. Prior to her appointment to John Adams Middle School in 1995, Woo was Director of Music at Corona del Mar High School in Orange County, California where she led the band, orchestra, choral, and jazz ensembles. She also served as conductor of the Santa Monica College Wind Ensemble during the 1995-96 season.
Woo is a staunch advocate for music education at all levels. She has been recognized and honored as the 2005 Santa Monica-Malibu District Teacher of the Year by the Santa Monica Rotary Club. In 2012, the John Philip Sousa National Foundation awarded Woo the Legion of Honor Laureate, honoring band directors with outstanding music programs. In 2019, the Education Through Music - Los Angeles Foundation presented Woo with its Shining Star Award which recognizes excellence in music education. Most recently in 2020, the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association honored Woo with its Gold Award in recognition of her long-time service to music education.