World-Renowned Master Artists Visit OCSA For 2018-2019 Season

Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) students are given the opportunity to study alongside esteemed industry leaders, guest artists and teachers as part of the school's third annual Master Artist Series. The innovative series began in celebration of OCSA's 30th anniversary two years ago and continues to bring high-caliber arts professionals to campus, where they collaborate with faculty to create exceptional learning experiences for students. This season's Master Artist Series kicks off with Broadway actor and recording artist David Burnham ("Wicked," "The Light in the Piazza") performing alongside some of OCSA's own musical theatre students during the school's Season Premiere. The series continues with visiting professionals from the worlds of acting, culinary arts, instrumental and vocal music, musical theater, writing and more.

Notable artists visiting OCSA during the 2018-2019 season include the following (for a full list, please view the attached PDF):

  • Debbie Allen, actress, dancer, choreographer; founder and artistic director of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy; member of President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
  • Martin Chalifour, principal concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Jake Heggie, American composer of opera and orchestral music
  • John Michael Higgins, classically trained actor ("Pitch Perfect") and voice actor
  • Megan Hilty, Tony Award-nominated Broadway actress ("Wicked" and "9 to 5") and television personality (Ivy Lynn on NBC's "Smash")
  • Carrie Ann Inaba, highly acclaimed choreographer and dancer, famously known for her work as a judge on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars"
  • Dan Kohler, host on Cooking Channel's "Food: Fact or Fiction"
  • Eric Marienthal, Grammy Award-winning contemporary saxophonist
  • David Newman, Academy Award-nominated composer of nearly 100 feature films
  • Dean Parisot, television and film director; 1988 Academy Award winner for Best Live Action Short Film
  • Pilobolus, athlete-illusionists of modern dance
  • Ido Tadmore, internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer
  • Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Grammy Award-nominated recording artist; concert pianist

This season, the Master Artist Series also expands to include an Artist in Residence program, which will give students the opportunity to work with artists on a deeper level over an extended period of time. This year's artists in residence include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, musicians from Pacific Symphony, actor Jared Gertner ("The Book of Mormon," "Modern Family," "The Good Wife") and visual artist Kiel Johnson. Additionally, the Creators & Innovators Series brings in academic experts from university partners to share how they have merged their art and academic foundations and have positively contributed to society.

The Master Artist Series is generously sponsored by Maureen and Michal Mekjian, McBeth Foundation, The Elerding Foundation, Harriet and Sandy Sandhu, Donna L. Kendall Foundation, Kent and Brandi Barkouras, The Kimmel Family, Yamaha and Garys Fashion Island. OCSA is also grateful for the artistic partnership of Chapman University, Irvine Barclay Theatre, Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society of Orange County and The Music Center.

About Orange County School of the Arts:

The nationally recognized Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) offers a dynamic school culture that enables students to flourish as artists and scholars in a uniquely challenging and nurturing environment, celebrating creativity, individual growth and opportunity. As one of the premier arts schools in the nation, OCSA embraces and encourages academic and artistic excellence, preparing students to reach their highest potential and thrive in the 21st century. Established in 1987 and still led by visionary educator Ralph Opacic, Ed.D., the school serves a diverse student body of nearly 2,200 students in grades seven through 12 from more than 100 cities throughout Southern California. In addition to a rigorous academic program, OCSA offers students the opportunity to flourish and refine their skills in one of the 15 arts conservatories offered, including acting, ballet folklórico, ballroom dance, classical & contemporary dance, classical voice, commercial dance, creative writing, culinary arts & hospitality, digital media, film & television, instrumental music, integrated arts, musical theatre, production & design and visual arts. For additional information, visit

World-Renowned Master Artists Visit OCSA For 2018-2019 Season

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