Director - Peter Park
Located in the Los Angeles suburb of Manhattan Beach, the orchestra program at Mira Costa High School began in the Fall of 2002 with a string orchestra of 19 students. Under the leadership of orchestra director Mr. Peter Park, the Mira Costa Orchestra Program has grown to involve over 150 student musicians.
Known for presenting diverse and quality programming, Mira Costa Orchestras prepare multiple concerts annually, drawing from the major orchestral repertoire. Since the Spring of 2010, they have premiered nine new compositions written expressly for them, including an original piece by GRAMMY and multiple Emmy Award-winning composer Lee Holdridge.
Mira Costa Orchestras have presented numerous times at state-level music education conferences while performing at internationally renowned venues including Beijing Concert Hall, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Bella Concert Hall in Calgary, Palau de la Música de València, Palau de Música Catalan in Barcelona, and twice each at Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Concert Hall. The advanced ensembles in the Mira Costa Orchestra Program have earned the highest ratings possible at every festival and contest they have taken part in.
The music department at Mira Costa operates at a high level of artistic ambition and achievements. In 2012, the Mira Costa Orchestras were selected for a premiere status partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 2014, they were awarded the prestigious GRAMMY® Signature Gold Award for being a top three high school music program in the United States. In 2015, the California Department of Education designated Mira Costa High School as a Gold Ribbon School through the strength of its Performing Arts Department.
Director - Joel Carlson
Under the direction of Joel Carlson, the GRAMMY® award winning Mira Costa Bands are part of the comprehensive music department at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA, and have been hailed by professional critics and adjudicators alike for fantastic performances of advanced high school, collegiate and professional repertoire in concerts, festivals and competitions from coast to coast.
The bands have entertained crowds of thousands at large concert venues in the South Bay and were most recently featured in their Carnegie Hall debut on the Spring 2016 Concert Series of Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY). From the Concert Ensembles to the Jazz Ensembles and the Marching Ensembles, the Mira Costa Bands provide a breadth of opportunity to students to perform at the highest level of excellence.
Director - Michael Hayden
Co-Director - Mark McCormick
The Mira Costa GRAMMY® Award Winning Choirs are under the direction of choir director Michael Hayden and accompanist Mark McCormick. Mr. Hayden is a 2014 California Teacher of the Year, and he was named Teacher of the Year for both Mira Costa High School and the MBUSD School District in 2014. Mark McCormick was named a Sandacre Teacher of the Year in 2014 (an award voted on by the senior class recognizing the seniors’ favorite teachers), he is a 2017 Grammy® Music Educator Award quarter finalist, and he received the MBX Leader of the Year Award in 2019.
The Choir Department is composed of 4 choirs: Vocal Ensemble, Choral Union, Mustang Chorale, and Costa Chorale. The choirs have been recognized with distinct honors and many wonderful opportunities. In 2015, Vocal Ensemble was chosen to perform at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2019, Choral Union was selected to perform at the California Choral Directors Association State Conference in San Jose, California. The choirs also have performed at many locations and cathedrals around the world, including Carnegie Hall in New York; San Francisco; London; Paris; Germany; Strasbourg, France; and Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
In the spring of 2020, the Mira Costa Festival Choir was scheduled to tour Italy, singing in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, Rome, and Florence. Unfortunately, it had to be cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.