It is no secret that the staff and faculty at Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) includes many alumni. In every corner of the campus, you can find them working to provide memorable and valuable experiences for students. Chloe Tardif (IM, ‘12) is one of those amazing alumni, who now serves as an Instrumental Music Conservatory instructor within the Strings & Orchestra Program and is working to provide her students with a great music education.
As an OCSA student, Ms. Tardif said she was happy to be around other artists on a daily basis and every new piece of music she learned became her favorite. She also used to brag to grade-school friends that PE at OCSA meant learning new skills in tap dance and ballet.
Ms. Tardif studied with former OCSA Symphony Orchestra Conductor Christopher Russell before making her way to Chapman University, where she began learning from William Fitzpatrick, a professor at the university who encouraged her to continue pursuing her music career.
She said she felt lucky that she was able to learn from inspiring mentors who truly cared about her growth as an artist and felt it would be a privilege to be able to provide that support to someone else. As soon as she completed her master’s program at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, she was welcomed back to OCSA as an instructor.
“As a teacher, I get to experience a completely different side of what makes OCSA special. The teachers here work so hard to make OCSA the fun and safe environment that it has been for generations of kids, and that is hard work. I appreciate my mentors more every day, because now I find myself responsible for the next generation,” she said
Ms. Tardif said she has enjoyed watching her students grow to become professional musicians. She has had glimpses of their futures in the classroom and in collaborative performances. She recently had the opportunity to perform alongside her students and her fellow alumni at OCSA’s 35th anniversary concert, Symphony of Dreams.
“There were a few moments in rehearsal (for the Symphony of Dreams concert) when a number of my students in the violins whispered toward my stand-partner, ‘did you tell Ms. Tardif about that? Make sure she knows about the change!’ They were so sweet, I really feel that concerts give them the best opportunities to learn and show professionalism; I remember feeling the same sense of duty and excitement when a performance was coming up,” she said.
In addition to her teaching at OCSA, Ms. Tardif also works as a private violin instructor at Chapman University, and is Principal Violin of the Long Beach Symphony. She will also take the stage once again for OCSA at this weekend’s exciting 2022 Gala, “Night of a Million Dreams.”