The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music is a project of Music Is eXtraordinary, Inc, (MIX), a California 501c3 which provides music education for people in urban areas. Music Is eXtraordinary(MIX) was founded in 2001 by Musician/Educator, Angela M. Wellman. Ms. Wellman consulted with schools to develop music programs that reflected each school's culture. In 2004 MIX became a 501c3 non-profit and opened its first music center, the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music (OPC) in 2005. OPC is part of a broader agenda to build a national network of Public Conservatories with a unified teaching philosophy and teaching practices that engender equity, belonging, and empathy through the music.
OPC opens the world of music to all through access to quality, economical instruction in a nurturing environment. We value rigor and scholarship in our quest to preserve the musical traditions of Oakland.
Oakland's diverse communities will make and hear music everywhere. Everyone experiences healing, harmony, non-violence and safe streets through learning and playing music together. Our music and educational process resonate with the aspirations of our communities and our native artists by reclaiming spirit and culture, illuminating ancestral authenticity.
Since 2005, Oakland Public Conservatory has delivered masterclasses, performances, workshops, and community events by local and international artists. These guests have included world-renowned Count Basie Orchestra, two-time Grammy winner and NEA Jazz Master Slide Hampton, Sam Burtis and Sonny Bravo (of the famed Tito Puente Latin Jazz Ensemble), trombonist Steve Turre, Zimbabwean master Ronnie Daliyo, former Harry Belafonte vocalist Branice McKenzie, John Santos, Airto Moreira, Marcus Shelby, internationally acclaimed Afro-Peruvian percussionist Juan Medrano Cotito, Rhiannon Giddens and the Carolina Chocolate Drops and a host of professional musicians living in the Bay Area. The conservatory has been featured in several local publications touting the success of its programs and initiatives. Upon invitation by the United States Embassy in Peru, our Frederick Douglass Youth Ensemble represented the United States in the First Festival of Music and Dance of African Descendants in Lima, Peru. In 2016, founding director Angela Wellman was presented with the Cultural Key to the City of Oakland by Mayor Libby Schaff.