Prelude Strings is dedicated to providing young musicians in Southern California the opportunity to develop orchestral and musical skills under the guidance of professional educators. Prelude’s attention to the fundamentals of musicianship and its practice of playing music from a wide variety of periods prepares young musicians for membership in higher-level orchestras after they leave Prelude Strings.


  • Learn ensemble skills via orchestra rehearsals and performances.

  • Students may or may not have been in an orchestra in the past.

  • String Players age 8-13 or 3rd grade-8th grade will be considered for both orchestras.

  • Teach cooperation, not competition.

  • Students will share leadership roles via rotational seating.

  • Teach students to excel beyond the basics to present a high quality performance that includes phrasing, dynamics, articulation, and style specific to string instruments.

Our History

Prelude String Orchestra began its first season in fall of 1994 with advice and financial support from the Tustin Area Council for Fine Arts.  Annette Brower who was serving as Secretary to the Council at that time volunteered to manage the project.  She has continued to manage the Orchestra since the founding year.  Annette chose Helen Weed as the conductor because of her enthusiastic pledge of commitment to this orchestra which did not yet exist.  Ms. Weed chose the name of the orchestra, “Prelude,” to indicate the first orchestral experience for many children. Prelude Strings is a 501 c 3 non profit corporation.

All students study with private teachers and have been accepted based on an audition.  There are about 25 rehearsals on Saturday mornings between September and May and five performances.

Due to overwhelming interest, the Orchestra grew from a group of 8 violins and 2 cellos in its first season to about 100 musicians divided into two string ensembles.  Prelude String Orchestra is designed to meet the needs of intermediate level students and Prelude Chamber Strings is for more advanced students.  Orchestra members are in elementary and junior high school.  These musicians come from Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties.    

Since 1994, we have enjoyed performing throughout Orange County at various community churches, as well as Christ Cathedral, Santa Ana Zoo, Laguna Hills and Brea Malls, South Coast Plaza, Tustin Historical Society home tour, Laguna Woods, Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland, Soka University, Segerstrom Concert Hall and the Orange County Performing Arts Center

Prelude Strings wants to thank the many musicians, parents, private teachers and community patrons whose support has helped make the Orchestras a success.  It has been our great pleasure to bring fine music to the citizens of Orange County and enrich the lives of hundreds of young musicians.

Orchestra Policies

Attendance and Release: For the success and growth of the Orchestra, it is expected that you make every effort to attend all rehearsals. An absence affects your own learning AND the ability of other orchestra members to be fully prepared for a performance.

  1. There are three rehearsal periods per season: Sept.-Nov., Jan.-Feb., and Mar.-May. A maximum of two absences per rehearsal period is acceptable. We therefore strongly recommend that you use your absences wisely. If you have used all your absences and miss another rehearsal for ANY reason, you may not be eligible to perform in the next concert or you may be dropped from the orchestra.

  2. Three tardies equals one absence.

  3. Mandatory events: These are listed in bold on the schedule. Except for illness, school orchestra event, school sponsored outdoor education or Washington D.C. trip, there are NO excused absences from mandatory events. If a student misses a sectional, for any reason, they are required to do a make up, at their expense, from the sectional teacher on staff.

  4. If a student misses a mandatory event for ANY reason, we reserve the right to not have the student play in the next concert.

  5. Any unexcused absence from a mandatory event will result in loss of membership and orchestra fees will not be refunded. Additionally, refunds will not be given for any reason.

  6. If you are ill, you must contact the Manager ASAP or by 8:00 am on the day of the event. If you have an injury that prevents you from playing, you must come to rehearsal with your music and take notes.

  7. I understand that my likeness may be used on the Prelude Facebook page, website, YouTube channel, and/or other promotional materials.

Conduct: Orchestra members are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible manner. Courteous attention, punctuality and good manners will lead to a productive rehearsal for all involved. It is expected that these courtesies will be extended to fellow musicians, staff and volunteers. Inappropriate behavior may result in loss of membership. No cell phone use during rehearsal.

Rehearsals: Students need to arrive 15 minutes early in order to be tuned and ready to rehearse on time. Please take traffic issues into consideration as late arrivals are disruptive to a rehearsal. Parents who do not stay for rehearsal need to return on time. Students will not be left alone to wait for a ride. Parents and guests are welcome to stay and listen to all rehearsals except the rehearsal on the concert day. 
For rehearsal/concert times and locations, click here for the Rehearsal Schedule page.

Music: Orchestra members are expected to have their music folder and pencil at each rehearsal and concert. Lost music folders will be replaced at the cost of $10 each.  The binder is Prelude Strings' property and should be returned at the end of the season.

Seating: Our orchestras use rotational seating. We do this to encourage cooperation and not competition.

School Music Program: Orchestra members are expected to participate in their school music program to the satisfaction of their school music teacher, if there is a program for string instruments. We understand that there can be significant differences between school music programs and many times Prelude members are the most advanced musicians in their schools. If you are in this position, we encourage you to take a leadership role in your school program and set an example for your classmates who will often be inspired to reach the level of musicianship you have achieved.

Concert Dress:


  • black skirt or dress that is at least 4 inches below the knee in a sitting position

  • cellists may wear black dress pants

  • short or long sleeved black blouse

  • black nylons or tights

  • black dress shoes


  • black dress pants

  • black dress shirt

  • black socks - long

  • black dress shoes

  • black dress belt

Contact Information

Annette Brower
Executive Director, Prelude Strings
Home Office: (714) 973 - 0906
Office Email: director@preludestrings.org (for the quickest response)
Website: www.preludestrings.org

Mailing Address:
Prelude Strings
1831 E. 19th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92705

Rehearsal and Audition Location:
Calvary Church of Santa Ana, Choir Room
1010 N. Tustin Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92705

Concert Locations:
Calvary Church of Santa Ana, Samsvick Chapel
1010 N. Tustin Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92705

Rossmoor Towers, Lortcher Hall
24055 Paseo del Lago West
Laguna Woods, CA 92637

Segerstrom Concert Hall
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Christ Cathedral, Freed Theater
12141 Lewis St.
Garden Grove, CA 92840

Celebration Church
555 E. Memory Lane
Santa Ana, CA 92706