Who We Are

The Suzuki Strings of Orange County is a professional organization of music teachers who provide private instruction for violin, viola, and cello using the educational philosophy of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki.

We are the official Orange County Strings Branch (SMAC/OCS).

Current Board Members

  • Coordinator: Karen Deaner

  • Book Keeper: Veronica Richards

  • Record Keeper: Keith Kroesen

Chapter History

(SMAC/OCS :Orange County Strings Branch)

The Suzuki Method first came to the United States around 1960, and by the late 1960s there were a number of teachers using the method in the Los Angeles area. By the late 1970s several Suzuki teachers in Orange County wanted to provide opportunities for their students without driving to Los Angeles. In 1978 the first Suzuki Festival in Orange County was held under the auspices of the Irvine Conservatory. Seventy-eight violin students participated in that first festival, patterned after the group concerts that Dr. Suzuki did in Japan (often with hundreds of students). 

In 1977 the Los Angeles Branch of the state Suzuki organization SMAC, was officially formed, with which our Orange County teachers were affiliated. By 1989 our group had grown large enough to form our own Chapter of the LA Branch. 

For the first several years, festivals were often held twice a year, but after 1985 it was decided to hold one festival each year. 1985 was also the year that the cellos first joined the violins. 

Since that time, our Branch has:

  • sponsored annual festival performances with up to 300 student participants

  • held biennial teacher workshops and student master classes with leading Suzuki master teachers from all over the country

  • sponsored 3 youth orchestras

    • Santiago Strings (1991-2008, currently the Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings)

    • Prelude String Orchestra (1999-2017)

    • Prelude Chamber Strings (1999-2017)

  • Provided financial aid toward tuition costs for attendance at Suzuki workshops, Suzuki summer institutes and the National Cello Institute