Patrick R. O’Connor is currently a Music Director and Conductor Finalist for the South Carolina Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and the Education and Outreach Interim Director for the South Carolina Philharmonic. Prior to moving to his home state, South Carolina in 2014, Patrick taught music and conducted ensembles for ten years in one of the top districts in the country, Township High School District 214 (Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois). His experiences include – Music Director and Conductor of the District 214 Honors Orchestra, an ensemble comprised of the most talented students from the district’s six high schools; Music Director and Conductor of the Prospect High School Symphony, Chamber, and Concert Orchestras; Director of the Prospect High School Instrumental Jazz Program; Assistant Music Director at John Hersey High School; and Guitar Instructor at Wheeling and John Hersey High Schools.
Under Mr. O’Connor’s direction, the District 214 Honors Orchestra was named an “American Prize Semi-Finalist” in 2014 for their performance of Carmina Burana. Prospect High School’s ensembles received awards and recognition for their performances nationally and internationally, including selection to perform at the Illinois Music Educator’s All-State Conference as “Honors Ensemble” on four occasions, and in the London New Years Gala Concerts twice. Prospect’s Music Department has been recognized as a six-time Grammy Foundation “Signature School Finalists,” and was recently honored with the GRAMMY Foundation’s top Gold Award.
During his tenure, Mr. O’Connor received the District 214 “Outstanding Commitment to Education Award,” and was selected to participate in the “Emerging Artists Program” at the Rose City International Conducting Institute on two occasions. He was an involved member of the educational community as a Department Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator, as well as a member of the Social and Emotional Learning, Staff Development, Arts Unlimited, and Endowment for the Performing Arts Committees at Prospect High School. Mr. O’Connor was the Music Education Editor for the Paris based company, EduPad™, which released a music education application for the iPad in 2013.
Mr. O’Connor earned a degree in Music Education from Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, Illinois) in 2005, and completed graduate coursework in School Leadership and Administration from Northeastern Illinois University. He has studied conducting privately and participated in seminars with the current/former directors of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic of London, Tallahassee Symphony, Cincinnati Concert Orchestra, Oregon East Symphony, and the University of Illinois, Illinois Wesleyan University, Boston University, and the University of North Carolina Greensboro Orchestras. As a clinician he has worked with and conducted numerous middle, high school, and university ensembles in rehearsals, concerts, and at state and district music festivals in the Midwest.
Aside from his commitment to music and education, Mr. O’Connor is an entrepreneur, real estate investor, and real estate consultant with the Midlands top real estate agency, Russell & Jeffcoat, Inc.