Lexington native, Patrick R. O’Connor is the Education and Community Engagement Director for the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also an active clinician and conductor throughout the country, and a finalist for the Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra Conductor position. Prior to working with the Philharmonic, Mr. O’Connor taught for a decade in one of the top school districts in the country, Township High School District 214 (Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois). In District 214, he conducted and directed the District’s Honors Orchestra and the GRAMMY Award-Winning, and the Prospect High School Orchestra and Instrumental Jazz program. He also served as Prospect’s Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator for many years prior to accepting a district-level position.

Under Mr. O’Connor’s direction, the District 214 Honors Orchestra was named a 2012 “American Prize Semi-Finalist.”  His ensembles at Prospect High School received recognition and awards 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 received the top “Signature School Gold Award” in 2012.

Mr. O’Connor earned a degree in Music Education from Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, Illinois) in 2005, and has completed coursework in School Leadership and Administration at 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.

During his tenure, Mr. O’Connor was an involved member of the educational community as 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.  In recognition of his efforts in education and music, Mr. O’Connor received the Township High School District 214 “Outstanding Commitment to Education Award” in 2008, and has been selected to participate in the “Emerging Artists Program” at the Rose City International Conducting Institute on two occasions (2008 & 2010).  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.

To schedule a clinic with Patrick O’Connor and your students, please contact him directly at patrick.russell.oconnor@gmail.com or 803-243-0224.