Oakland Civic Orchestra 
"In the Heart of Oakland and For the Heart of Oakland" 

Martha Stoddard,
Artistic Director and Conductor



        Oakland Civic Orchestra (OCO) celebrates its 26th season  in 2017-2018. The orchestra was founded in 1992 by Enric Zappa through the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Oakland Office of Parks and Recreation. Martha Stoddard was appointed as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor in 1997.

        A thriving community orchestra, OCO brings together musicians of all ages and backgrounds from throughout the Bay Area, to share in the joy and magic of music-making. The orchestra maintains a roster of 50 - 65 players who perform high quality, free, and accessible afternoon concerts in the beautiful lakeside setting of Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland. Our programming ranges from presenting beloved symphonic repertoire to showcasing emerging and established talents of local performers and composers.

        Offering free and accessible concerts to all is a major part of our mission.  We are particularly happy to welcome young children to orchestra concerts in a kid-friendly and comfortable environment with floor seating available. OCO also regularly extends solo opportunities to student musicians, enjoys collaborations with area choral ensembles, and recently served as the pit orchestra for a youth production of Les Miserables.

        Oakland Civic Orchestra is supported by the City Of Oakland, by patron donations, and through membership fees. Our fiscal sponsor is the Oakland Parks and Recreations Foundation.
       Please support OCO!

    The Bay Area is a wonderful place, but it can be an expensive place for the arts to flourish. 

    OCO is facing a significant rise in costs next season.  Please help us, if you can, to continue providing free concerts in Oakland! 

    We accept donations in many forms including cash, check, and on our new 
Go Fund Me page at:


The Oakland Civic Orchestra is grateful for your support and generosity!



Concert dates


October 28, 2018
Sibelius in Italy

February 24, 2019
Celebrating Black History Month

April 14, 2019
Joint concert with Holy Names Orchestra at HNU

June 2, 2019


Our concerts take place at Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, 1330 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland, CA.

Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., at Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, 1330 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland CA

New members are always welcome in the string section; interested string players should call or email for more information prior to attending rehearsal.

Winds, Brass and Percussion are accepted by audition as vacancies occur. Interested players are encouraged to contact the Director to learn about vacancies and arrange an informal audition.

Please direct all inquiries to ococonductor@yahoo.com
Admission to the Orchestra is at the discretion of the Director.

Visit us on FaceBook -- search for the Oakland Civic Orchestra and "like" us today!

Click here to download the OCO Member Handbook.


    The Oakland Civic Orchestra is proud to announce that we were named a semi-finalist for the Ernst Bacon Award for our performance of Martha Stoddard's Gait Changes. 

    This award honors outstanding performances of American music by community, youth and professional ensembles.

    Our submission is unique in that our conductor is also the composer!

    Read about it here:


Making a tax-deductible donation of any amount to the Oakland Civic Orchestra is as easy as writing a check!

Checks should be made payable to:  Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation

(be sure to memo: Oakland Civic Orchestraand mail to P.O. Box 13267, Oakland CA 94661

Credit card payments can be made to the foundation using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card:

Please note this link does not provide you with the option of designating the orchestra as the recipient.

 Or you can donate to OCO from our new