Friday, March 31, 2023

Coronado School of the Arts: Instrumental Music Conservatory

Photo by Charles Parker, Pexels

Coronado School of the Arts Instrumental Music conservatory caters to students with a passion for music and playing an instrument. The conservatory runs during regular CoSA hours during the school week. These aspiring student musicians learn from a board of talented and musically inclined faculty. The chair of CoSA’s Instrumental Music Conservatory is Dr. Andrew R. Steinberg. Mackenzie Leighton is the conservatory’s jazz coach and Mark Margolies is the head of woodwinds instruments.

CoSA students practice and train with their instrument of choice, whether that be wind, percussion, brass, jazz, or string. Students learn a broad span of music genres but the conservatory puts their main focus on jazz and classical styles. Curriculum for this conservatory covers a wide range of subjects. During students’ time in the conservatory they will learn about ear training, jazz theory, improvisation, skills in electronic music, composition, orchestra, and finally music theory. Students have the option to take either college prep or advanced placement. The conservatory also offers more academic style classes that specialize in the history and culture of music, the musical industry, and technology used in the music business.

“I like the genuine sense of community that CoSA provides, and the real world experience it provides for being a musician. Learning about the world of jazz has also been very enjoyable for me,” says Elek Rothrock, CoSA junior. Elek plays percussion, including drum kit and mallet instruments like the vibraphone. He also primarily plays in the conservatory’s jazz groups.

Photo by Josh Sorenson, Pexels

Musicians who decide to join this conservatory will have access to soundproof studios in the school. This is where students are able to get familiar with music technology. This technology allows them to compose, arrange, and record their own work. Being able to obtain such expansive knowledge and ability to work with this equipment is great for students resumes.

CoSA Instrumental Performances

Throughout the school years during their time in high school, CoSA students get many opportunities to perform. Students are able to share their talent with the public in school groups and even solo. These concerts are a great opportunity for student musicians to increase their confidence performing in front of an audience and gain experience in the professional world of music.

Olivia Chavez, CoSA junior, said her favorite performance so far was the “…2022 Senior Recital, where the senior class got to speak about their experience in CoSA and perform their choice of music for their final concert.” Olivia plays piano and flute. Additionally, she also enjoys being part of CoSA’s Woodwind Ensemble and preparing music for upcoming performances.

During this school year, the conservatory held their fall concert in the Black Box Theater on October 25, 2022, and more recently they performed at the Coronado School of the Arts preview night on February 7, 2023. Students showcased their skills playing a jazz traditional with inspirations from artists like Buddy Rich and Myles Davis.

Why join CoSA Instrumental Music Conservatory?

If you have a passion for music and want to grow your abilities, applying to this conservatory is a great idea. “If a student has any interest in becoming a professional musician, CoSA is excellent for introducing one to playing in ensembles and navigating the music industry. Besides that, it’s a welcoming group that’s always looking to grow its numbers!” says Rothrock.

You will be able to grow as an artist in a creative atmosphere that will nurture your skills and let you collaborate with other aspiring musicians. Olivia Chavez shares, “Students should consider joining CoSA instrumental for the opportunity to work with experienced teachers and artists, and to learn about what it’s like to be in the music industry.” After high school graduation, many students go on to study music in college. Other past CoSA students have continued preforming their instruments professionally with the tools they learned in high school.


Maria Laguna
Maria Laguna
Maria Laguna is student at Coronado High School and has lived in San Diego her whole life. She is an officer to numerous clubs on campus, including: Feminist Club, Creative Writing Club, and Activism Book Club. Maria is also very involved with community service. Her passions include fashion, reading, writing, and travel. She shows her love of literature by being a Coronado Public Library volunteer in her free time and working on her own novella. She has always loved doing activities that let her express herself creatively. Maria plans to study fashion and writing after graduating from Coronado High in 2024. Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]