Pacific Crest Youth Arts Organization and Élan Youth Arts are proud to announce a new partnership, connecting two of Southern California’s most eminent youth performing arts programs.
The affiliation agreement was made official this past winter, and is announced today as Élan Percussion prepares for auditions for its 2023 season. While both organizations will continue operating independently, the new affiliation allows them to share resources — including shared Board of Director positions — and to provide staff and students with more opportunities throughout the year.
A percussion program with local history
Élan, based out of Covina, CA, was founded by two Pacific Crest alumni, Orlando Cazares and Edgar Sanchez. Its flagship ensemble Élan Percussion was established in 2013, and has since grown into one of Southern California’s top Open Class percussion ensembles, competing in local SCPA and WGI circuits for 8 seasons.
For Élan Percussion’s Executive Director Orlando Cazares, the partnership with Pacific Crest will accelerate this growth by widening the organization’s reach and leveling up its operations.
“Establishing this affiliation with Pacific Crest is opening a world of resources and exposure for Élan Percussion,” says Cazares. “From networking opportunities, staff development, and expanding the membership experience, this is an opportunity to elevate Élan’s operational capability and its reach across the marching activity. More importantly, we can achieve this with the support of Pacific Crest’s well-established infrastructure and years of experience.”
Two independent organizations, one vision
While Pacific Crest and Elan will each keep their own Boards of Directors, instruments, and facilities, Cazares and Pacific Crest’s leadership see the partnership as an opportunity for both groups to grow together.
“This partnership makes sense on so many levels,” according to Pacific Crest CEO Stuart Pompel. “Élan Percussion is a well-regarded program in Southern California. They are looking to make advances in their back-of-house operations, and Pacific Crest has some expertise in that space.”
Pompel also sees an opportunity for Pacific Crest to branch out in the indoor percussion space, adding, “Elan has served hundreds of students in our community. By affiliating with them, Pacific Crest will be able to participate in the winter percussion activity. With both organizations on the same team, we can provide more value for our industry partners, our instructors and designers, and most importantly our students.”
A bright future ahead
For the staff and performers at Élan Percussion, there is much to look forward to, with a new Percussion Leadership Team soon to be announced and the ensemble’s first trip to WGI Championships in Dayton. Meanwhile, it’s a chance for Pacific Crest to grow its own sphere of talent, giving both instructors and performers more opportunities to become involved in SoCal’s competitive indoor percussion scene.
Cazares considers the affiliation between the two organizations as “a bit of a homecoming of sorts.”
“With much of Élan’s founding administration direct history and experience with Pacific Crest, it made sense that both organization’s philosophies would be in alignment given our own experience and history with PC,” he says. “We look forward to further developing this new relationship in which we continue our own growth as an independent organization, as well as bringing a bit of ourselves to Pacific Crest.”