Welcome!

Greetings! Welcome to the Guitar Program at the Orange County School of the Arts. The OCSA Guitar Program is a one-of-a-kind college and professional preparatory program designed to help students further their understanding of the performance, history, technique, and theory of the guitar.

The Guitar Program is currently in its tenth season of offering musical instruction, most notably in jazz/contemporary, classical, and world music styles. We believe it is vital that each student receive a well-rounded education, and that all starts with playing the guitar! We offer a variety of courses designed for students to play as soloists, in small groups, and large ensembles.

While refining their abilities as performers, students will also be given opportunities to study the history of music, develop advanced musical literacy, and be trained in the finer points of the technique of each style of guitar.  Each student is involved in a variety of learning experiences with performance opportunities throughout the year.

The Guitar Program is widely recognized for its high caliber training. Students of the Guitar Program have won numerous national and international competitions. Graduates have been accepted into some of the most prestigious guitar programs at universities in the U.S. and abroad.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share who we are and what we do with you!

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Behind the Scenes

We are excited to share the accomplishments of our students with you! Click "Read More" to discover what we're doing behind the scenes!

  • Our Elite Classical Guitar Ensemble, under the direction of OCSA Classical Guitar instructor Iren Arutyunyan recently performed at a special at the California School of the Arts - San Gabriel Valley for a distinguished audience of VIPs in the San Gabriel Valley Community. Their performance of Paulo Bellinati's Baiao de Gude was one of the highlights of the day!
  • Our Elite Jazz Guitar Quartet, under the direction of OCSA Jazz/Contemporary Guitar instructor Ryan Navales, will be defending their title at the Fullerton College Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 22. Come out to Fullerton College to support these incredibly talented kids!
  • The Elite Classical Guitar Ensemble and Elite Jazz/Contemporary Guitar Ensemble are hard at work preparing for a new collaborative project! While each class is hard at work on their own individual projects, this collaboration promises to be a unique and fantastic opportunity for our students. We look forward to releasing more information in the coming weeks.
  • Our Concert Guitar Orchestra, our largest ensemble composed of 9th and 10th grade students, has been preparing selections for George Bizet’s Carmen. Special focus is being given to not only the notes on the page, but musical expression and blending of parts in the large ensemble setting.
  • Our Arranging and Composition for Classical Guitar course has begun its study on ancient notation systems and the recreation of old music. Students are deciphering the language of Baroque lute tablature, translating it into modern musical language, and arranging these lost masterpieces for the modern guitar.
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Frank Potenza Master Class

Frank Potenza Master Class

Jazz guitarist, educator, and Advisory Board member Frank Potenza presented a master class to the Guitar and Garn Family Jazz Studies programs in March. Mr. Potenza emphasized the importance that understanding the history and background of a piece has in the interpretation and performance of the work.

We'd like to thank Frank Potenza for working with our students and providing such wonderful insight on the interpretation and performance of Jazz! We look forward to hosting him again soon!

Jose Tanaka Master Class

Flamenco guitar master Jose Tanaka gave a special work shop and master class to our program in February. Special emphasis was given to the importance of rhythm in flamenco as well as how to interpret the sense of rubato, or the ebb and flow of time, within the music.

Maestro Tanaka also had the opportunity to coach several of our flamenco specialists one-on-one, providing insight into tone production, technique, and rhythm.

We'd like to thank Jose Tanaka for sharing his time and talent with us! We can't wait to host him again!

Jose Tanaka Master Class

Faculty and Curriculum

We are thrilled to have a faculty comprised of spectacular educators and musicians. Our faculty have trained under several of the finest guitarists in the world, including Scott Tennant, Martha Masters, and Larry Koonse, and have performed at venues large and small around the world.

Our curriculum explores all apsects of music as it pertains to the guitar across multiple disciplines. In addition to performance, we offer courses in music theory, music history, guitar technique, music arranging and composition, and improvisation.

Q: Why is the Parent Funding Agreement so important?

A: The PFA is the donation* each family pledges to the Conservatory. Your pledges help support all aspects of the Conservatory program. It pays for the purchase and maintenance of new equipment, instructor salaries, master artist fees and extracurricular activities. 

The 2016-2017 Budget Overview:

  • $219,700 supports 52 students in the program
  • PFA Pledge: $141,235, or 62.49% of budget
  • Expected Fallout (Unfulfilled Pledges): $42,371, or 30%
  • Current actual budget: $118,442, or 53.91% of total budget

*Donations are tax deductible. 

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Coming up in August