Message from the President & Head of School


Dear Idyllwild Arts Community,

This month I attended a series of rehearsals leading up to the first orchestra performance of the school year. I had a commitment that would cause me to miss the concert so I decided to do the next best thing and attend the rehearsal. As I was observing the musicians from the back of William M. Lowman Concert Hall, I realized that I was witnessing distinct and rare moments not available to the average concert-goer.

I watched as Concerto Competition winner Daisy Su ’20 rehearsed with the orchestra, taking great care to get the passages and transitions just right in Grieg’s Piano Concerto. Daisy’s instructor, Dr. Doug Ashcraft, listened while she played, his fingers clearly moving from muscle memory. I observed as Marshall Hawkins, founder of Idyllwild Arts Jazz Program, played alongside students in the bass section, his mere presence quietly suggesting that one should never stop learning. And I watched the professionals brought in to coach and play side-by-side with our students do so with respect and admiration for the talent and professionalism of our young musicians.

Idyllwild Arts Academy is a microcosm of the educational environment these young artists require in order to lead creative and fulfilling lives. Just like the top colleges, conservatories, and universities around the world, Idyllwild Arts provides the intensive training and strong foundation necessary for a career in the arts.

Dance alumnus Neal Beasley ’00 said it best:

“My time at Idyllwild was the cornerstone of my artistic development. The nurturing faculty—with their relentless encouragement, attention, and care—combined with the presence of like-minded, devoted young artists, fostered a profound sense of possibility, an abiding work ethic, and a core belief in myself as a person and artist. These qualities have paved the way for my life and career, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have called Idyllwild home during such formative years.”

If you did not have the good fortune to hear the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra perform on October 12, I encourage you to listen to the recording available on YouTube.

I have highlighted one performance among over a hundred performances, art exhibits, and film showings that happen each year at Idyllwild Arts. I hope you attend a performance or exhibit on campus or that you stay connected to our YouTube and Vimeo channels. Like me, you’ll see that you are witnessing great talent and life lessons, both of which will serve the students as well as humanity for decades to come.


Pamela Jordan
President and Head of School
Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program
September 2019