Bigger Than Music, UCI Symphony Orchestra’s Adoption Of Santa Ana High School Orchestra Uses Music to Value and Catalyze Youth


IRVINE, Calif., (May 8, 2017) – “This collaboration has never been about developing musicians, it has always been about developing young people who have been valued and encouraged in a way that they can now see themselves going to college, continuing their education and taking advantage of opportunities. Music is how we are connecting with them, but this is bigger than music,” said Maestro Stephen Tucker, conductor of the UC Irvine (UCI) Claire Trevor School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra.

Five years into an adoption of the Santa Ana High School (SAHS) symphony orchestra, the UCI Music Department is flooding the SAHS students and teachers with opportunities to learn and grow through music. The emphasis remains the same, youth development, exposing them to college and career pathways, and using music as the tool.

This year, in addition to students learning from Maestro Tucker in several master classes, being coached one-on-one by some of UCI’s outstanding graduate and undergraduate musicians, experiencing college life on campus at UCI and playing with the UCI Symphony Orchestra in a side-by-side concert, students experienced an exclusive bass quartet concert, and the SAHS teachers were guided through the set-up of a new digital music studio.

“We don’t know what will catalyze a young person to achieve so we try to provide as many access points, as many opportunities as possible to excite a student to excel. If we reach them through music, or through a tour of the Trevor School, or through anecdotes from UCI students, and they are then driven to succeed, whether in their education, in the arts, or in life, then WE have succeeded,” said Megan MacDonald, Director of Outreach Programs.

At the start of the 2016-17 school year, the Santa Ana Unified School District launched SanArts, a next generation visual and performing arts conservatory, at SAHS. For the first time, UCI’s Trevor School is expanding its support beyond the high school’s instrumental music area. Art, Dance, and Drama students and teachers are now engaging in interactions on campus at UCI, working with professors, undergraduate, and graduate students from the Trevor School, and learning to see themselves outside Santa Ana.

This collaboration is made possible by grants from the Nicholas Endowment and the Pacific Life Foundation.

Join the UCI and SAHS Symphony Orchestras for their culminating side-by-side concert:

UCI and SAHS Symphony Orchestra Concert
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
7 p.m.
Bill Medley Auditorium at Santa Ana High School
520 W. Walnut Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Free admission, public welcome – donations will be accepted

To learn more about the San Arts Conservatory at Santa Ana High School visit or call (714)567-4900.

To learn more about the UCI Symphony at UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts visit or call (949)824-6615.

To learn more about community engagement at UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts visit or call (949)824-8976.

“As UCI’s creative laboratory, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts explores and presents the arts as the essence of human experience and expression, through art forms ranging from the most traditional to the radically new. Our international faculty works across a wide variety of disciplines, partnering with others across the campus, our national-ranked programs in art, dance, drama, and music begin with training but end in original invention. Our students come to UCI to learn to be citizen-artists, to sharpen their skills and talents, and to become the molders and leaders of world culture.” – Dean Stephen Barker

Posted Date: 
Sunday, May 7, 2017 - 17:00