Linda (Jacks) Champion
Class of 1974
Born into a musical family, where the question was not “Will she play an instrument?” but rather “Which instrument will she play?” Linda’s passion for music began at an early age. Her earliest memories include sitting on an organ bench, turning pages as her mother played the works of great masters. Because of this she learned to read music before she learned to read English.
While in high school, Linda played her first professional performance at age 16 in the San Jose Civic Light Opera’s production of Bernstein’s West Side Story. That same year she performed in Mexico City with the San Jose Youth Symphony and earned a Certificate in Performance from the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica. Following her graduation, she spent the summer on concert tour of Japan. Upon her return to the United States she studied at San Jose State University, majoring in music education with emphasis on violin. Her violin instructors included Dr. Lauren Jakey, Ruth Pfaff, and Kathleen Ash Barraclough (herself a former student of the great Jascha Heifetz).
Linda was a founding member of the South Valley Symphony and co-founder of the Valle Del Sur Chamber Orchestra. Other orchestras with which she has performed include California Youth Symphony, San Jose State University Symphony, SJSU Opera Orchestra, SJSU Chamber Ensemble, Nova Vista Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, San Jose Symphony, Scottsdale Symphony, Scottsdale Opera Orchestra, Los Gatos-Saratoga Symphony, and numerous orchestras for musical theater, ballets, and operas. She currently performs with the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra.
As an educator, Linda taught music to grades pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade. She founded string programs in three different schools, often supplying her own instruments to get the student ensembles up and running. Additionally, she had a successful practice as a private instructor in violin, maintaining studios in Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and Hollister.
Linda lives in Oakhurst with her husband, Bruce, and their three sons.
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