Campus News


Soka University welcomes Soka Performing Arts General Manager David Palmer

Aliso Viejo, CA -- After 19 successful years with the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts at Whittier College, David Palmer is taking on a new challenge – opening the new 1000-seat Soka Performing Arts Center at Soka University in Aliso Viejo.  As the new General Manager for Soka Performing Arts Center, Palmer has the rare opportunity to staff the new facility and to program its first season – which will open on September 17, 2011 with a Grand Opening concert.

Interested future concert goers can get a “sneak peek” at the new Center by taking one of Soka University’s daily walking tours, offered at 10 am and 2 pm Monday – Saturday and departing from Founders Hall.  (Register for free tours online at  “My first impression when walking into the Soka Performing Arts Center was “Wow…This is incredible!” says Palmer with a smile.  “This is one of the most beautiful halls that I’ve ever been in.  The acoustical consultant was Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics – who also did the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.  We recently tested the acoustics with a rehearsal by the Pacific Symphony and we invited all of the construction workers to come and hear the results of all of their hard work.  It was a wonderful evening – and the sound was amazing.”

Palmer is currently working on staffing the new facility and programming the first season.  He will initially be focusing on classical and traditional music that will be enhanced by the hall’s rich acoustics.  “We’ll start with just a few fine programs as we explore the Center’s capabilities,” he added.  “We expect to include both international, national and local talent – and I also look forward to working with our local schools.”

Palmer noted that the Soka Performing Arts Center is also being submitted for a LEEDS Gold rating, citing its solar panels, glass shading, green roof and environmentally sensitive construction.

A five-minute interview with Palmer is available online at
More information about the Soka Performing Arts Center is available at

Soka University is a private, four-year liberal arts college and graduate school located on 103-acres overlooking a wilderness park in Aliso Viejo, CA.  SUA offers a 9:1 student/faculty ratio and study abroad for every undergraduate student.  Soka University is founded upon the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights and the sanctity of life and is open to top students of all nationalities and beliefs.  About half of SUA's students come from the US and half from more than 40 other countries.  SUA offers free tuition to eligible admitted students whose annual earned family income is $60,000 or less.