The Resident Symphony Orchestra of the City of Anaheim


ACSD Orchestra Project



Immediate Goal:

To design and maintain a 30 week program of after school orchestra instrument instruction in 14 target schools consisting of 4 one hour class sessions per school with 1 each of 4 sections each week: Strings, Brass, Percussion and Winds. With 14 project schools we conduct 56 total classes per week for a total of 1,680 sessions in the project. The project start date was Monday, September 30, 2013


This project is  made possible through a collaboration between the Orange County Symphony (OCS) and ACSD. OCS qualified musicians are engaged as Independent Contractor Teachers by the ACSD at the rate of $25 per session for a total of 56 sessions funded by pledges from the 14 target schools of $3,000 each for a total of $42,000. The program is designed and implemented by Dorothy Rose, Executive Director and the OCS Board of Directors. Four section Teacher Coordinators assist in day to day oversight of the project with a total of 15 OCS teachers. Music appreciation and hands on instrument instruction in the classrooms is  being enhanced by student and family  attendance offered free at all 9 scheduled OCS concerts performed by the Orange County Symphonies in ensembles throughout the season.

The project starts Monday, September 30, 2013 with an initial enrollment of 1,264 students and has grown to over 1,300 . Of these numbered students 325 families have pledged to rent the needed instruments. (Approximately 25%) The remaining families need scholarships for instruments and supplies. The public is asked for donated instruments, however, it is clear that in addition more than $95,000 in funds directly donated will be required to purchase needed instruments. Supplies, maintenance and replacement will require ongoing fundraising efforts. Music appreciation and related topics will be taught until all students are equipped in each classroom.  Performances for public and family are projected as student proficiency dictates. The goal is for each school to have an orchestra as student ability allows. We are asking our community partners to help make these funds available for Anaheim elementary school children. Studies strongly demonstrate the benefit of music education to the individual child, to their family, community and to the overall economy as the gift of music awareness open a whole new world that impacts throughout a lifetime.   

The project design includes a weekly additional after school class session which will require adding an Orchestra Conductor ($50 per session) who teaches orchestral performance techniques, selects repertoire and programming and plans and implements ensemble performances. Total cost will vary depending on student proficiency

Second Year Goal:

To form a district wide honors orchestra comprised of outstanding students from project schools. A Music Festival is projected at a venue such as Pearson Park showcasing the students from the project starting with one day and developing into a 3 day event.

Students Served:

Anaheim City School District is the sixth largest elementary district in the State of California, serving over 19,300 students. 74% of the students speak Spanish at home. 85% receive free or reduced price lunch.

There is tremendous poverty, and therefore students who are interested in music are largely unable to obtain instruments. Fundraising is greatly needed to help this program thrive.


Fact Sheet report on the OCS/ACSD Orchestra Project at January 13, 2014

The orchestra project enters the week 11 of the 30 week program that the Anaheim City Elementary School District and 14 of the 24 schools committed to in September, 2013.

To date over $75,000 has been donated and invested in instrument purchase providing nearly 500 instruments (violins, violas, flutes, clarinets, trumpets and trombones.) In addition some 50 instruments have been donated by individuals from the community including instruments in all states of needed repair, many of which are being refurbished and provided to students who are unable to afford purchase or rental.

All instruments from all sources are entered into a Master Inventory list and become the property of the Anaheim City School District and ultimately the individual school. Instruments are loaned to students just as library books with a loan document signed by the parent or guardian assuming responsibility for the maintenance and return of the instrument at the end of the term of the program and tracked through the school library system.  In addition many students use instruments that are purchased or rented. Some families have instruments from siblings or relatives and some have an instrument borrowed or otherwise obtained for use in the program. While area music stores are recommended to ACSD students, instruments may be obtained in any manner the family selects or, if necessary borrowed on a “scholarship” basis.

The OCS faculty currently numbers 15 music teachers, 4 of whom are Coordinators in the 4 sections. Ryan Merrill acts as Administrative Aide and assists with oversight of the program. Curriculum is being standardized, performances are being planned and as student proficiency develops, orchestras will be formed in each school. 

Program funding is being earmarked for the coming year and expansion is expected into the full district 24 schools. An honors ensemble will be formed in the new year with a Music Festival performance planned for start in summer 2014 and expanded in 2015 featuring district school orchestra ensembles and including vocal and choral ensembles.

Further questions may be directed to Dorothy Rose, Executive Director, Orange County Symphonies who designed the program and is responsible for the oversight of the program in collaboration with Dr. Linda Wagner, Supt. Of the Anaheim City School District and Principals and Administrative staff at the 14 pilot project schools in the program.