Orange Coast College: Orange Coast College welcomes new conductor before returning to campus
Jul 22, 2021
The Orange Coast College Symphony will have a new conductor at the helm as the College prepares for a gradual return to campus in the fall of 2021. The OCC has hired Dr. Mathew Ward to lead its prestigious community group, which makes part of the Costa Mesa campus for 60 years.
Dr Ward is originally from Southern California and received degrees in violin and conducting from the Longy School of Music in Boston and Louisiana State University. He has previously performed as a violinist with organizations such as the Boston Civic Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, and the San Diego City Ballet Symphony. In 2010 he toured with La Primavera Symphony throughout Italy as first violin and participated in the Australian International Music Festival, where the orchestra received a silver medal for a performance at the Opera de Sydney.
Dr Ward will concurrently be Director of the Symphonia and Strings Program at the California School of the Arts and Acting Music Director of the Saddleback College Orchestra in the spring of 2022.
“We immediately recognized that Dr. Ward would be a soul mate who shared our passion for community music creation, and we are delighted to welcome him to the OCC Music family,” said OCC Director of Choral Activities, Eliza Rubenstein.
The Orange Coast College Symphony is made up of students, community members, and professional musicians who typically perform four to six times a year. The Symphony halted its in-person performances due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, but continued to perform in a virtual format, offering its first concert online in the 2020-2021 academic year. The OCC Symphony plans to resume rehearsals and in-person performances for the 2021-2022 school year.
“As a young musician, community colleges in Southern California served as a springboard for my career path that was unknown to me at the time,” says Dr. Ward. “It is especially important to join the accomplished OCC faculty who continue to nurture the arts in our community.
Currently, the OCC Symphony is looking for instrumentalists of all ages to audition for its upcoming 60th season. “Students of all specialties and members of the community with instrumental experience are encouraged to join the OCC Symphony, which rehearses on Tuesday evenings,” explains Rubenstein.
Musicians who wish to audition can find more information on the Music Department of the OCC website.
This press release was produced by College of the Orange Coast. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.