Outreach Programs make up a very important and enjoyable part of the yearly activities for each PACO orchestra. During recent seasons, these have included performances at Stanford Hospital’s Bing Concert series, that benefits hospital patients and their families; an annual holiday concert in the rural, largely Hispanic community of Pescadero, California, to benefit local children’s programs; an annual performance in rural Dunsmuir, California, in support of that community’s botanical gardens; and performances at Stanford Shopping Center Prelude to Spring, in support of music in local public schools. PACO has collaborated with the National Brain Tumor Foundation in a fundraiser to help support that organization. PACO donates numerous tickets annually to local senior citizen homes, music teachers, schools and local causes for use as auction items.
PACO has had numerous collaborations with other groups including Ragazzi Boy’s Choir, Schola Cantorum, Peninsula Teen Opera, and in 2004 with several local church choirs in the performance of Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and performances with the Woodside Priory High School Chamber Symphony and the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra. In addition, in January 2005, PACO began a special new after-school program in collaboration with the Ravenswood School District in East Palo Alto, bringing string and vocal study to elementary school students at the Willow Oaks Elementary School. Through this program, advanced PACO students tutored 8 to 10 East Palo Alto students on a weekly basis at Willows Oaks Elementary School throughout winter and spring quarters. The program, known as the Sara Doniach Chamber Ensemble, has since tripled in the number of East Palo Alto students being taught.