Cathy Olinger

Cathy Olinger

String Methods + University Mentor


Cathy Olinger earned her Bachelor of Music degree with graduate work at California State University, Long Beach. She has taught all levels of instrumental and choral music. As the founding Director of Instrumental Music program at Tesoro High School in the Capistrano Unified School District, she developed a comprehensive music program with over 500 students enrolled in the music department. In 2015, Tesoro High School was recognized as a GRAMMY Signature School for its consistent level of excellence in all facets of its music program, making it one of only five high school programs nationwide to receive the award.

Olinger serves as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout California and was honored to conduct the All-Southern California Middle School Honor Orchestra in 1999 and 2015. Currently, she serves as President for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association.

Her recognitions include Educator of the Year for the California League of High Schools, the Irene Schoepfle Award for distinguished contributions in Orange County Music Education, the Encore Award for outstanding achievement in Music Education, and Honorary Life Member for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. Olinger was also presented the Golden Baton Award from the Philharmonic Society of Orange County in 2023.

Olinger teaches string methods and supervises student teachers at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music. Additionally, she conducts the Orange County Youth Symphony String Ensemble and is General Manager for the Orange County Youth Symphony.

Most importantly, she is grateful to her husband Lynn, Music Educator/Performer, and their children for their continued support and encouragement.