With a goal to help more of Santa Clarita's music students receive the enhanced musical education and opportunities they desire, longtime educator Peggy Cannistraci has been named new president of the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra (SCVYO) Foundation.
The SCVYO Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports three student instrumental performing groups at College of the Canyons: the Prelude Strings, Intermediate Orchestra and the Symphony of the Canyons.
As one of the few orchestral music programs available to youth in the Los Angeles area, the SCVYO Foundation seeks to support the college's instrumental music education program for students eight years old and above, regardless of ability to pay.
Cannistraci will work closely with the Foundation's fellow officers and Paul Sherman, instructor and music director of the COC orchestras, to provide leadership, direction and managerial oversight of the organization and its operations.
Cannistraci takes over the position vacated by former SCVYO Foundation president Sally Angel, who served for 16 years.
"The SCVYO played a critical role in mentoring my daughter and inspiring her to achieve college admission - and with Paul Sherman's mentorship she achieved a full scholarship to college to play the oboe," Cannistraci said. "I am so happy to have the opportunity to ‘pay it forward' and help other families provide this amazing opportunity for their children."
A dedicated educator, Cannistraci is a credentialed math teacher with a master's degree in mathematics curriculum and instruction from California State University Northridge. She is also the founder and owner of Math Support Services, a Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredited supplemental school that offers transferable math courses and specialized tutoring services.
Cannistraci is also an active member of the College of the Canyons Foundation Board, as well as the Foundation's Alumni and Friends program and various scholarship committees - and serves on the college's Math Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) advisory board.
Included among Cannistraci's goals as new SCVYO Foundation president is the desire to provide more opportunities for local students to participate in the music programs offered at College of the Canyons and the establishment of additional community partnerships to raise awareness about music education throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
"Our goal is to reach as many students as possible in order to offer them supplemental music training meant to enhance the instruction they are already receiving from the many talented band directors and music teachers in this community," Cannistraci said.
Recently, the SCVYO Foundation partnered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to create a series of 24 master classes hosted by select Philharmonic orchestra members.
In addition to receiving tickets to LA Philharmonic concerts, SCVYO members will perform a concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, as part of the International Youth Orchestra Festival being held in March 2011.
"The SCVYO is recognized throughout the community for its superior quality," added Cannistraci, "and is an organization in which all students are given the opportunity to experience music as an academic discipline, an art form and as a social event."
For more information about the SCVYO Foundation, call (661) 255-1626 or visit www.scvyo.org .