Over the past six years, our Education and Community Engagement programs were led and developed by Jenny Douglass, who also serves as Principal Violist for the Symphony. Jenny did such amazing work creating energized and vital programs that the role grew into a full-time position. We’re keeping it in the family, as Jenny is succeeded by Andrei Gorchov, who has been managing our Marin Symphony Youth Performance programs for many years. Andrei is already doing great things in the youth and outreach arenas, and he’s just getting started. Read below to learn more about Andrei’s background and the positive influence of early music instruction.
Marin County public school music programs and the Marin Symphony Youth Programs were life-changing for the Marin Symphony’s new Director of Education and Community Engagement, Andrei Gorchov.
“I was given a flute and introduced to music in the 4th grade at Edna Maguire Elementary School in Mill Valley when I was 9 years old. I played in school bands for the next eight years at Hall Middle School and Redwood High School. When I was 15, I joined the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra and never looked back. Through music, I felt my life already had great meaning, focus, sense of accomplishment, and like-minded friends. I found that music helped my academics and social environment as well.”
After completing a degree in flute performance at San Francisco State University, Andrei began teaching flute privately and working for the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra as Associate Conductor and Manager.
“I really connected with music and felt that it was something I could pursue for my entire life. It engages curiosity, problem solving, working closely with others, and forming important bonds. There is the wonderful gratification of accomplishment, and the music itself is incredibly fun. The only thing better than enjoying a great performance is feeling that connection with an audience and your fellow performers.
“Education always played an important role in my relationship with music. My music teachers were incredibly generous people and gave such a wonderful gift to me. I have always felt grateful for this and inspired to continue that tradition. My parents were longtime educators and administrators for the Tamalpais Union High School District, so I grew up feeling a strong connection to the inner workings of a school, beyond the normal student/school relationship. I am grateful that Marin County prioritizes music education and that the programs that I was fortunate enough to participate in still exist here. There is more work to be done; one of my missions here is to make these opportunities available to all students in Marin and not just some.
“A favorite memory in the Marin Symphony Youth Programs was created when the Youth Orchestra presented a community concert at an elementary school. We were playing Bizet’s Carmen Suite and during the Toreador (bullfight) movement I found myself dressed up as a bull, and leading the orchestra. I am sure the packed room of families (and the youth orchestra) had never seen anything like that. It was great fun, and that’s part of music.”