Artistic Leadership

Artistic Director

Eliza RubensteinEliza Rubenstein, the OCWC's Artistic Director since 2000, is also the Director of Choral and Vocal Activities and Chair of the Music Department at Orange Coast College, and the Artistic Director of the Long Beach Chorale and Chamber Orchestra. She currently serves on the Board of the California chapter of the American Choral Directors' Association as editor of Cantate. She studied choral conducting at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music before moving to California to earn her master’s degree at UC-Irvine. Eliza is a former animal-shelter supervisor and the co-author of a book about dog adoption; she even presented a seminar called "Sit, Stay, Sing!: What Choral Conductors Can Learn from Dog Trainers" at the 2006 ACDA western-division convention. She shares her home with a yellow lab named Dayton and a cat named Wilbur, and can always find time for Brahms, vegan Thai food, or anything to do with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Assistant Director

Sarah_HughesSarah Hughes, the OCWC's Assistant Director since 2013, is a 2011 graduate of the Conservatory of Music at Chapman University in Orange, CA.  She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education with an emphasis in voice and recently completed her Master of Arts degree in teaching at Chapman University's College of Educational Studies.

Sarah has a long history of singing in choirs. Some of her most memorable choral performances include singing with the OCWC in Chepstow Castle on their recent UK tour; singing Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Idyllwild Festival choir in 2013; performing at the ACDA Western Division Conference with the OCWC in 2012; and singing the soprano solos for Debussy's Salut Printemps with the Chapman Chamber Orchestra and University Singers.

Sarah currently teaches music to students in K-5th grade in Fountain Valley School District, maintains a private voice studio, and swing-dances in her spare time. She's a lifelong dog lover, but her current furry companion is Henry, a geriatric but energetic rat who will do anything for a bite of tortilla chips! 


Janelle Tag - AccompanistJanelle Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea, but has lived most of her professional life in the United States. She began her piano studies at age 7, and has been enamored with the instrument ever since; as far as she can remember music has been a part of every facet of her life. At the age of 15, she won her first piano competition and was given the honor to perform with the Saddleback Symphony Orchestra. During this time, she was also invited to perform in a master class with international concertizing pianist, John Perry, at the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles.

Ms. Kim has received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from California State University- Fullerton in piano performance. Upon her entrance to the university, she received a talent-based scholarship and became a student of Eduardo Delgado, one of Argentina’s most renowned pianists. During her piano studies at the university, Janelle Kim was invited to become a member of the honor society Pi Kappa Lambda. 
Currently, Ms. Kim is an active teacher and performer in the Orange County area, and serves as a board member for the Music Teachers' Association of California. She currently holds positions as staff accompanist at Orange Coast College and Our Lady of Peace Korean Catholic Center. She has recently been a featured soloist in concertos by Rachmaninoff and Beethoven with the Corona Symphony Orchestra, and in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the OCC Symphony. Ms. Kim is seeking to further her career as concert pianist and educator. Her artistic endeavors are leading her to seek a collaborative arts degree with an emphasis in vocal coaching. She is excited to work with such a talented group as the Orange County Women’s Chorus, and can’t wait to make some beautiful music!

Conducting Internship

In 2002, the Orange County Women’s Chorus launched its Conducting Internship program, an annual opportunity offered to a promising young woman entering the field of choral conducting. The internship may be renewed once, at the discretion of the Artistic Director. Since conducting continues to be a largely male-dominated field, and since it is traditionally difficult for aspiring conductors to gain experience at their craft, this paid internship is an important and innovative contribution to the musical community, and choruses across the country have used our program as a model for their own internship opportunities. Our conducting interns have come from the University of California, Irvine; California State University-Fullerton; and Chapman University. Past conducting interns are now conducting choirs in schools, churches, synagogues and communities—and sometimes in all of the above! A former intern describes her experience this way:

“The Orange County Women's Chorus provided me with the unique opportunity to serve as their Conducting Intern during my years as a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine. This internship offers a young female conductor the chance to regularly rehearse a professional-class chorus, experiment with warm-up exercises, and conduct in concert three or more times during a season. The OCWC performs such a wonderfully diverse and challenging collection of repertoire, I found that to be the most fascinating and valuable aspect of serving as an intern. It was quite special to have the opportunity to study and sing rarely performed works for women's choruses and also have the opportunity to premiere new works that the ensemble had commissioned. The Artistic Director of the OCWC is an incredibly intelligent musician and a terrific role model. I felt inspired by her and certainly believe that my current conducting style and rehearsal practices have been positively influenced by her. The Conducting Internship offered by the OCWC is an extremely valuable educational experience and I enthusiastically support its continuation.”

We are pleased to introduce our 2017 - 2018 conducting intern, Amy Hwang.