UC Irvine Symphony Orchestra’s Adoption of Santa Ana High School Orchestra Is Turning Saints Into Anteaters

Maestro Stephen Tucker leads the UCI and SAHS Symphony Orchestras in 2015.



IRVINE, Calif., (April 8, 2016) – It has been four years since UC Irvine (UCI) Symphony Orchestra Maestro Dr. Stephen Tucker adopted the Santa Ana High School (SAHS) Symphony Orchestra and slowly, but surely, SAHS Saints are turning into UCI Anteaters.

“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 Dr. Tucker.

When SAHS students visited the Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) last spring, they were asked, how many of them were seniors, ten students raised their hands. They were then asked, how many of them had applied to colleges, all ten raised their hands. Finally they were asked how many of them had applied to UCI, all ten again raised their hands. Several of those former Saints are current Anteaters and this year’s SAHS Senior Class is following suit with a few of them applying to UCI.

Again this year, SAHS students are learning from Maestro Stephen Tucker in six master classes, being coached one-on-one by some of UCI’s outstanding graduate and undergraduate musicians, rehearsing on campus at UCI and playing with the UCI Symphony Orchestra in a side-by-side concert. UCI coaches have even begun working with music students at Heninger Elementary School whose 8th graders move on to SAHS following promotion.

“Words cannot express how much help the UCI coaches have been to my program and the students,” says SAHS Band Director Victor de los Santos. “UCI coaches not only help the kids musically but they are also wonderful role models and mentors.” says SAHS Orchestra Director Joseph Kaye.

Mr. Kaye and Mr. de los Santos want to expose SAHS students to the arts at a college level because they believe that if their students have the opportunity to see excellent musicians, hear well-played music and see what conductors expect at that next level, their students will seek to achieve a higher standard themselves.

The purpose of developing this partnership between UCI and SAHS is to build awareness of the university experience as a whole, not just in the arts, hopefully making it a tangible goal for the SAHS students.  The program increases access to the arts resources available at CTSA so that teens and their parents know that UCI is a place for them to come to learn about and experience the arts.  Finally, the partnership cultivates engaged young artists, the CTSA students, who will become engaged citizens in their communities.

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, April 26, 2016
   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 Instrumental Music Department at Santa Ana High School visit http://www.sausd.us/Page/8568 or call (714)567-4900.

To learn more about the UCI Symphony at UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts visit http://music.arts.uci.edu/symphony/ or call (949)824-6615.

To learn more about community engagement at UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts visit http://outreach.arts.uci.edu 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.

Media Contact:  Megan MacDonald, Outreach Director, (949) 824-8976, artsoutreach@uci.edu