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In 2000, during my final months at Juilliard, I enlisted the financial and creative help of real estate developer David Picket of the Gotham Organization, and founded the classical music ensemble TOC. I created the TOC as more than just a musical group.  While I’d always had an appreciation for classical music, it was undeniable that among my generation I was the exception and not the rule. Not willing to let classical music become a dying art, I realized that I could help introduce a new audience to the classical genre. Using our youth to our advantage, the TOC began adding new twists to our music to make the music more exciting. We even started performing at hip genres, like Studio 54 (which is the last place you'd find a Steinway Model M) and Crunch Fitness!

Today TOC is made up of some of the best young classical concert artists in the world. The group, which consists entirely of Juilliard alumni, has performed with numerous renowned guest artists, like Bobby McFerrin, Ben Jelen and Christina Courtin. TOC is governed by a 21 member Board of Directors, (which includes myself and co-founder David Picket), and a 9 member advisory board, comprised of world famous performers like Billy Joel, Wynton Marsalis and Sandra Bernhard, to name a few.

Giving Back

In addition to performing together, the TOC are dedicated to giving back to our community by providing musical education to today's youth through our pride and joy, the Directions Program. The Directions Program works to provide free musical instruction to schools which (due to budget restrictions) may not otherwise offer any music education at all. Numerous studies have shown that high quality music education can actually improve children’s test scores and grades,  and has even been shown to reduce a students risk of drinking and taking drugs.

The Directions Program

While the ETM program generously offers music classes to all students in participating schools, The Directions program works by pairing carefully screened Juilliard alumni with promising and exceptionally talented inner city children to provide individual instruction. Children who qualify for the Directions Program are not only provided with free instruction, but free instruments and mentorship, as well. Students in the Directions Program are encouraged professionally, as well: many have been invited to perform in concerts for their schools, and some have even performed live with the TOC outside of school!

For More Information

To see TOC live, please visit our website at www.tocmusic.com and check out our upcoming performance schedule. You can also have a listen to a few of my performances on the music page, and don't forget to take a look at some of my recent photos and TOC event photos on the pictures page.

For more information about the TOC Directions Program, please visit our Directions Program site www.directionsmusic.org.

You can also get more information on Ronnie Segev's MySpace page.