Founded in the fall of 2002 with a string orchestra of just 19 students, the Mira Costa Orchestra Program has grown under the leadership of current director, Peter Park, and now involves more than 150 student musicians, with a reputation as one of the premier high school programs in the state of California. With Peter, who is a much sought after clinician, presenter, and guest conductor throughout California, our young musicians enjoy a robust curriculum augmented by a variety of enriching experiences, requiring much attention and effort each and every year from students, parents and faculty.
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 in which they have taken part.
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 premier 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.
The program currently consists of the Symphony, Sinfonietta, Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras. Chamber Orchestra is not held as a regular class, and its musicians practice twice a week after school.
Due to the level of training, rehearsals, performance and professionalism taught to the students over the years in orchestra, many have gone on to play in prestigious college music programs either as a career or to continue as a hobby.
Mira Costa High School Orchestras - Trip to Spain, June/July 2019
The Philharmonic Orchestra is the entry-level orchestra ensemble at Mira Costa. Last year (2019/20), the orchestra expanded to a full orchestra including wind and percussion instruments.
This course provides essential instruction on violin, viola, cello, and string bass through the rehearsal, analysis, and performance of string ensemble literature and method books. Focus is placed on improving proper technique, reading, ear training, and ensemble performance skills.
Performances outside of regular school time are required.
A new addition to the program this year, the Sinfonietta Orchestra is a high-level music curriculum designed for string musicians who wish to continue refining and enhancing performance mastery. It is a String Only Orchestra.
This course involves a progressive education in music literacy, technique, interpretation, and the application of different musical styles.
Performances outside of regular school time are required.
The Symphony Orchestra is a performance-based class designed for highly skilled and versatile string musicians selected through an advanced audition process. This is a full orchestra including wind and percussion instruments
This course involves a comprehensive education covering a variety of genres, elements, and performance techniques.
Performances and rehearsals outside of regular school time are required.
The Chamber Orchestra, or the Honors Music Performance Ensemble as it's more formally known, is comprised of a select group of students currently enrolled in the Symphony Orchestra. It is a String Only Orchestra.
Participation is by invitation only, and is based on past known history of reliability, achievement, and the ability to prepare additional music literature at a very demanding level.
Performances and routine rehearsals outside of regular school time are required.
Auditions for Philharmonic, Sinfonietta and Symphony Orchestras are held in June for the following school year. A select few students are also invited to audition for Chamber Orchestra.
There are two Orchestra concerts per academic year - the Winter Concert in December and the Pops Concert in May. These concerts are held in the Mira Costa Auditorium. Additionally, there is an All District Orchestra Concert held in February. Each of the orchestra ensembles perform in all these concerts and participation is mandatory.
An Evening of Eclectic Ensembles is now an annual Spring music event where Mira Costa Band and Orchestra students combine in small ensembles to play a variety of music genres.
All orchestras participate in off campus festival performances each year. The Orchestras usually perform at an SCSBOA Festival and, last year, all three Orchestras earned Unanimous Superiors at the SCSBOA Festival at Santa Ana High School. In addition, in past years, Mira Costa Orchestras have visited the San Francisco Bay Area, Carnegie Hall in New York, Alberta in Canada, toured numerous cities in China and, this past summer (2019), toured Spain with concerts in Segovia, Zaragoza, Valencia and Barcelona.
This year, the Philharmonic and Sinfonietta Orchestras will perform at The Music in the Parks Festival at Disneyland.
The MB/X Foundation sponsors numerous High School Booster Clubs organisations and their efforts to raise money in support of of their activities. Donations received are directed to the Booster Club.
MB/X is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a Section 501(c)3 organization and as such donations received are deductible to extent allowed by law.
The MCHS Orchestra Booster Club is an organization of parents, alumni and community members who provide monetary and volunteer support to the Mira Costa Orchestras. By having a student in the program, you are automatically a member.
They support quality instruction and curricular and extracurricular experiences for MCHS students and promote music education and appreciation throughout the community. Parents work behind the scenes to benefit all of our young musicians to sustain a truly excellent music program.
The Booster Club organises volunteers, keeps parents up to date on events and all things orchestra throughout the year, including important announcements relating school trips, concerts and festivals. The Booster Club also helps raise funds for the Orchestra Program as families defray nearly all costs associated with providing for the program; including the purchase of new instruments, music scores, licensing, coaching fees, concert costs, festival fees, Financial Assistance and other incidentals.
Peter Park is the Director of Orchestras and co-Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Mira Costa High School. Mr. Park graduated from UCLA, earning a BA degree with a dual emphasis in music education and percussion performance. Afterwards, he earned his M.Ed. from UCLA’s School of Education & Information Studies while re-pursuing studies on his first instrument, the violin. During this time, Mr. Park earned top prizes in the Grancell Foundation Solo Competition and the Atwater Kent Solo Competition. As both a violinist and a percussionist, he has had the pleasure of performing with several outstanding orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony, the Santa Barbara Symphony, principal positions in the American Youth Symphony and Debut Orchestra, and a summer fellowship with the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra in Western Massachusetts.
Outside of teaching, Mr. Park has served as clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor for several organizations and institutions throughout the United States. He has been recognized twice by the Parent Teacher Association for outstanding teacher service, and was honored as Educator of the Year in the city of Santa Monica, as well as Music Teacher of the Year by the California chapter of the American String Teachers Association. He was presented with the prestigious 2020 Gold Award from the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA).
Mr. Park has a notable history of championing wide areas of music education, including the founding of Elemental Strings, a developmental youth orchestra program, the organization of the inaugural Violafest Los Angeles, currently held at the
Colburn School of Performing Arts, and the mentoring of several apprentice teachers from local Southern California universities.
Richard Elegino is a Tokyo-born violist and member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 1980. He has studied with Fumiki Asazuma, V. Barstow and L. Kievman. When not performing with the LA Phil, Mr. Elegino tours Japan annually, presenting free chamber music concerts at local elementary and middle schools, schools for children with special needs, and hospitals. He has also been a member of the Astre Quartet for over ten years.
He founded the Ohta Pacific Chamber Players in 2003 and served as their conductor/director for five years. His conducting credits include the 9-11 Memorial Concert in Jodo Shu Temple, and Japan’s Great Earthquake Charity Concert in the City of Cerritos. Since traveling to El Sistema in Caracas, Venezuela with Gustavo Dudamel in 2012, Mr. Elegino has expanded his passions for music education by instructing in YOLA (Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles), and in Japan’s version of El Sistema in Fukushima and Iwate.
The Mira Costa Orchestras have benefited from Mr. Elegino’s vast experience and expertise since the Fall of 2011 when the Mira Costa Symphony began a two year premier-status partnership with the Los