OSM Mission and Background

OSM Mission and Background

Original OSM Founder, Allen Robert Gross, with Musicians (2013)

Background: OSM was founded in 2012 by Dr. Allen Robert Gross who served as the orchestra’s Music Director for six years.  After his retirement in May 2018, Roger Kalia was selected as OSM’s new Music Director.

Roger Kalia, OSM’s new Music Director in 2018

OSM Mission: To build a strong community of classical music lovers of all ages and make a positive impact on the quality of people’s lives. To nurture young people, OSM involves children and teens at our orchestra concerts as volunteers, audience goers, and performers and holds engaging musical outreach programs at local schools and community centers. To serve the community at large, OSM creates and shares life-enriching experiences through accessible, educational and inspirational live performances of classical music.

OSM performs several full orchestra concerts per year and keeps its musical programming varied, presenting both standard repertoire and less-traditional works, and introducing culturally-diverse composers and soloists as well as new and exciting contemporary pieces.

In addition to our full orchestra concerts, smaller OSM ensembles perform at a variety of locations throughout Santa Monica and the Westside. Many of these smaller performances are geared toward outreach, education, and cultural enrichment while others are programmed for pure entertainment and enjoyment. Please read about a few of our outside activities below. We hope you will join us in our various forms of music making! For more details on our outreach events, please see “OSM Outreach”.

Kalia introducing OSM Clarinet Quintet at Laemmle Live performance in Santa  Monica (July 2018)

OSM Educational Talks and Performances at Local Schools

The OSM Woodwind Quintet performs in-school concerts every year.  The majority of these performances are at Title I schools whose students have little access to live concert music. By incorporating educational talks into each performance, the quintet enhances the learning experience for younger audiences and helps introduce them to new or unfamiliar genres.

OSM Outreach to the Community

OSM Strings and guitarist Ricardo Escobar performed to a full house at the Santa Monica Public Library Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium for its “Big Read” program. Escobar described special guitar-playing techniques and discussed cultural influences on his music.

OSM Sponsored Event Reaching Out to Teens

OSM has sponsored several after-school musical workshops at the Virginia Avenue Park Teen Center. For one event, OSM’s featured concert soloist, Ricardo Escobar, held a workshop where he demonstrated classical guitar and interacted with the teens. In the picture shown on the left, youth receive instruction and hands-on experience on percussion instruments by Kassandra Kocoshis, one of SoCal’s leading Latin percussionists.

OSM Entertainment Around Town

The OSM Woodwind Quintet also plays at local community events such as the “Fireside at the Miles” concert series. They are very versatile in their programming, playing works ranging from Mozart to Gershwin to contemporary composers. Recently, the quintet presented two works written by local Santa Monica composer Adrienne Albert, “Sam’s Dance” and “Animalogy”, the latter being a Southern California premiere performance.