As the new school year approaches, Harmony Magnet Academy will host an orientation week/music camp next week July 27-30.

The upcoming Orchestra Camp will be for high school string students under the direction of HMA Orchestra Director Zander Smith. The camp will run each day from noon to 3 p.m.

The camp is a joint project of Porterville Strings and the HMA Foundation. The student Final Showcase Concert will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, July 30 at Harmony Magnet Academy.

As in previous years, the guest artist instructors for the camp will present their annual Staff Recital at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 29 at First United Methodist Church on Morton near Plano. Admission is $15.

Porterville Strings has been serving the local musical community for 13 years, providing musical experiences for local string students of all levels with talented guest artist instructors from all over the country.

Instructors for this year's Orchestra camp are violinist Chiai Tajima, violist Alexander Granger and violinist Dr. Benjamin Hoffman.

Hoffman has been heard across North American, Europe and Asia as a solist, chamber musician and concert master. He received his undergraduate degrees from the Jacob School of Music at the University of Indiana and his doctorate in muscial arts from Yale.

Granger holds a performance degree from Bioal University and a master's from USC.

Granger has been called “superb” by the San Francisco Classical Voice and performance with some of Los Angeles' most prominent ensembles. Granger has premiered more than 50 works in the past six years as a soloist, concert master and chamber musician, working with some of the world's foremost composers.

In 2023 his string quartet will perform Schoenberg's complete quartets as part of a residency at the Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna, Austria. Granger is a member of the Long Beach Symphony.

Tajima received a bachelor's and master's from Julliard and a graduate certificate from the USC Thornton School of Music. Originally from Japan, Tajima now lives in Los Angeles and has had a versatile career as a performer, collaborator and mentor.

She has performed in a variety of settings, from Carnegie Hall to homeless shelters and nursing homes. She has served as concert master of the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan as well as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra in Germany.

She performs as a substitute member of the San Diego Symphony and Pacific Symphony. In addition to her orchestral collaborations, Tajima is a founding member of the Urbuntu String Quartet and was recently invited to hold a residency at the Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna to perform the complete Schoenberg string quartets.

She's also an artist at Le Salon De Musique, a chamber music series based in La Jolla and has spent her summers teaching for Porterville Strings. Along with performing at homeless shelters and nursing homes, Tajima has performed concerts at Title I elementary schools in her effort to bring classical music to audiences who are unable to attend live performances.

At the camp, Hoffman, Granger and Tajima will be joined by pianist Dr. Irene Kim, who holds a doctorate of musical arts from the Peabody Conservatory. She has been performing for Porterville Strings audiences and students for the past eight years.

Also performing with the guest artists for the July 29 Recital will be local educators and

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