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OCC Symphony Director Named Coast Faculty Member of the Year
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ric Soto Praised For Passion for Students, Music

Ricardo “Ric” Soto, director of Orange Coast College’s Symphony and head of the college’s Music Department, has been named OCC Faculty Member of the Year for 2013-14.

Soto, who lives in Cypress, was nominated for the honor by fellow faculty members Anna Hanlon, who teaches kinesiology and health education, and Georgie Monahan, a commuications professor. He was selected in a campus-wide election that includes employees, faculty and students.

Soto “demonstrates excellence in teaching through his expertise, enthusiasm and passion for his subject area. He truly cares for his students and wants them to be successful in all that they strive to achieve,” Hanlon and Monahan stated on the nomination form.

Soto joined the OCC faculty in 2001 and began directing OCC Orchestra in 2003. He also teaches a total of five classes including music history, theory, and musicianship. He helped create the curriculum for OCC’s music theory and voice classes. He also serves as a liaison for International Day, OCC’s Cinco de Mayo, and the Southern California Children’s Chorus. He also directed honors choirs and orchestras for the Santa Ana and Garden Grove school districts. When he is not on campus, Soto can be found at the Christ Cathedral, formerly the Crystal Cathedral, in Anaheim where he directs the Spanish Choirs for Catholic Masses every Sunday at 11:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Soto earned a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Southern California in 1993, graduating magna cum laude. He earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from California State University, Fullerton.

Download photo: http://www.photos.occ.cccd.edu/images/RicSoto.jpg

Orange Coast College, founded in 1947, is one of the nation's top transfer schools. With a student population of 22,000, OCC provides exemplary programs leading to Associate degrees and 145 career programs. The college's 164-acre campus is located in the heart of Costa Mesa.