Orange Coast Musical Arts home school music program's beginning was quite simple with a few very young home-schooled musicians learning to play songs on recorders with founding director, Donn Hallman. These students performed for their first time Ode To Joy at Wycliffe Bible Translators headquarters in Huntington Beach in 1996 at a chapel service.
These young musicians then wanted to play band instruments and thus the little group was on its way to becoming a “band”. The children chose the catchy name the Lets Do Lunch Band because they rehearsed at lunch time. The band had 8 members in 1997, including three flute players, a drummer, two trumpets, and a bass. One of the moms even learned the trombone to help out. It grew to 20 members in 1999, adding a French horn, a sax and some more flutes and the band made regular performance stops at Senior centers and rest homes.
Incorporated in 2000, the new name of Orange Coast Musical Arts was taken to broaden the appeal to home schoolers who wanted a quality and budget-friendly instrumental music program for their children.
An intermediate band was formed and then a violin class was added for the string players. The advanced band then changed its name to the Alpha Winds and found itself performing about 15 times a year, all the while attracting more and more musicians.
From 2005 through 2009 OCMA added the Charis Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Carolyn Davidson and Julia Gustafson for advanced string musicians, the Sound Waves Homeschool Marching Band and the OCMA Independent Drumline. In 2011 a choral program was founded by Gretchen Rhue and Kristin Nitz that includes the Magnum Choir and Kingdom Choir.
The future of OCMA is to improve its delivery of instruction and programs to families who home-school and to others who do not have access to a similar program at their public or private school.
From a humble start great music springs forth.