A Look at CODA

The purpose of the California Orchestra Directors Association (CODA) is to promote school orchestras in California by providing quality honor orchestra experiences for school orchestra students. CODA also facilitates an exchange of instructional strategies and ideas for the school orchestra director and provides a community and forum for school orchestra directors.CODA organizes two main events each year. The CODA Honor Orchestra Festival in the fall (December) and the California All-State Music Education Conference or CASMEC in the winter (February). Both events are organized to benefit the school orchestra program by requiring the participating students belong to their own school orchestra.

The December CODA Honor Orchestra consists of two high school level honor orchestras, an Honors Symphony Orchestra and an Honors String Orchestra, selected by audition. The deadline is in September and the event takes place on the first Friday and Saturday of December. Two guest conductors work with the students all day on Friday and perform a concert Saturday afternoon. The location is on a high school or college campus in various areas of California.

The CASMEC Conference consists of four All-State orchestras, the All-State High School Symphony Orchestra, the All-State High School String Orchestra, and the All-State Junior High School String and Concert Orchestras. These orchestras are selected by audition and the deadline is November 1st. The orchestras are organized similar to the CODA Honor Orchestras but in collaboration with the California Band Directors Association (CBDA). The concerts for each orchestra are performed as separate events with All-State Band ensembles. CODA also organizes the orchestra strand of the sessions and concerts for CASMEC.