North Coast Strings

North Coast Strings

North Coast Strings is a musical ensemble designed to be an entry point for adults who want to learn to play a stringed instrument (violin, viola, cello, bass) or for those who have played in the past, but haven’t picked up their instrument in a number of years.

The orchestra is hosted by the Museum of Making Music and directed by Paula Simmons.

About the Conductor

Paula Simmons received her bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Viterbo College, a fine arts college in La Crosse, Wisconsin. And her Master of Music in Viola Performance from Florida State University in Tallahassee. Before moving to San Diego, she performed with the El Paso Symphony, the Pro Musica Chamber Ensemble in El Paso Texas, and the Jacksonville Symphony in Jacksonville Florida. Since moving to California, Ms. Simmons has freelanced extensively in the San Diego area and the Baja with a variety of orchestras, chamber ensembles and guest performers including Starlight Theatre, San Diego Comic Opera, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Orquestra de Baja, Camarata de Ensenada, the Bolshoi and San Francisco Ballet, The Moody Blues, Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, Burt Bacharach, Dion Warwick, Natalie Cole, and Michael Crawford. For several years Paula was also the primary orchestra conductor of the Civic Youth Orchestra Organization.

The William & Violet Saxton Music Library

The North Coast Strings program at the Museum of Making Music has received generous support from the Saxton Family Foundation.  This support enabled the Museum to create the William & Violet Saxton Music Library.  Honoring violinist William Saxton, the library features nearly 200 beginner, intermediate and advanced musical works that the North Coast Strings use for their rehearsal and performance repertoire.

Current Offerings

Strings of Spring 2017

The North Coast Strings' Strings of Spring includes Beginning Ensemble and Full Orchestra opportunities for violin, viola, cello and bass.


Summer of Innovation: Technique Tuesdays 2017

Each summer, the North Coast Strings adult orchestra program explores something new. In summers past we have done a cello choir, small ensembles, and a chamber orchestra. This summer we will once again try something new! On Tuesday evenings, we will present “Technique Tuesdays” and on Thursday evenings we will present a “Chamber Orchestra” with opportunities for members to play solos.


Summer of Innovation: Chamber Thursdays 2017

Approximately 20 seats are open for this chamber group experience that will be conducted by Paula Simmons.  The term “chamber” is basically an adjective that denotes the space in which the music was to be performed. It comes from the French term “chambre,” meaning room.  In context, a chamber orchestra refers an orchestra (a group of musicians) who play in rooms rather than a full-sized concert halls.


Program Events

North Coast Strings Concert
June 11, 2017
Celebrate all levels of music making with a concert by the Museum’s North Coast Strings Program



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