Cynthia Adarkwa received her BFA in Dramatic Writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She splits her time between Idyllwild, where she teaches Screenwriting at Idyllwild Arts Academy, and Los Angeles where she was staffed on MTV’s SWEET/VICIOUS and YouTube Red’s, ME AND MY GRANDMA.
Sey Ahn, assistant conductor: A 2015 fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, Sey Ahn is the Assistant Conductor of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation’s Summer Music Festival and the Music for All Honor Orchestra of America held annually in Indianapolis. She recently served as the Music Director and Professor of Conducting at the University of California Santa Barbara, and has been a guest conductor of the all-state orchestras of Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Tennessee, Iowa, and Kentucky. Sey has led orchestral performances in Walt Disney Concert Hall and Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Benedict Music Tent in Aspen, and Alice Tully Hall in New York.She earned a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Northwestern University, and Master of Music degrees in piano and orchestral conducting from the University of Southern California, where she was a student of Larry Livingston. Sey is currently pursuing a Doctorate at the University of Kentucky, where she studies with John Nardolillo, and serves as Assistant Conductor to the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, the UK Philharmonia, Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras and the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre.
Allison Allport, Harp: DMA in harp performance, USC. Faculty at CSU Northridge. First place in the ASTA National Solo Competition and performed a solo recital at the World Harp Congress in Prague. Allison performs with the LA Opera Orchestra, LA Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, and Pasadena Symphony. Allison has recorded for numerous films and soundtracks, including Star Wars, The Last Jedi. Allison has been featured several times with the band Weezer.
David Bauman, (SAG/AFTRA, AEA) holds his MFA from U.C.L.A., and is an actor, director, and writer now living in Hawaii, where he is the new drama teacher at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. He has worked in Los Angeles with The Blank Theater, Sacred Fools, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, Evidence Room, and Buzzworks theater companies in classic and contemporary productions. Bauman has directed and been an acting coach at UCLA, StageCoach Schools, YADA, and the Unusual Suspects Theater Company. Most recently he directed an adaptation of Spring Awakening at HPA. Bauman has been creating original and adapted musicals for Idyllwild Arts summer musical program for more than ten years.
David Beatty, trombone: His performance credits include music for motion pictures, television, commercials, theatrical productions, CDs and a number of symphony orchestras. A composer, arranger, and music copyist, he is also in demand as an adjudicator and clinician for jazz clinics and festivals in Southern California. His ensemble experience includes directing Trombone Choir, Brass Choir, Jazz Combo, and Jazz Big Band. He is currently teaching in the commercial music area and directing the APU Jazz Ensemble.
Jeff Benedict, saxophone; Professor Emeritus of Music at the Califoirnia State University, Los Angeles. He holds a D.M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a student of Harvey Pittel. He is in demand as a classical recitalist and clinician and performs regularly with the Orion Saxophone Quartet. He is an accomplished jazz performer as well, and has produced 10 CDs that have received numerous favorable reviews have had frequent airplay.
Jason Bergman, trumpet; Assistant Professor of Trumpet at the University of North Texas. He served previously on the faculty of The University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as associate principal trumpet with the Santiago Philharmonic in Chile. He is currently principal trumpet with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with Dallas Symphony, Dallas Winds, Louisiana Philharmonic, and the Ann Arbor Symphony. He has performed recitals and master classes at more than 30 institutions worldwide. His solo album, On The Horizon, has received rave reviews. He is a performing artist for Bach Trumpets.
Heather Bishop, Choral Vocal Faculty: BM in Piano Performance, University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music in Piano Performance, Choir director and Department Chair of the Performing Arts at Clovis North High School, and CUSD Elementary Music Resource Specialist. Heather was named Teacher of the Year at Clovis West High School in 2003 and also received a special District “Innovator Award.” Her choirs have received top honors including performances at the Heritage Festival of Gold and World Projects.
Jason Bonham is the Principal Violist with Las Vegas Philharmonic. He has been a performer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic and guest principal violist with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Berkeley Symphony and Santa Barbara Symphony. As a chamber musician he has performed with members of the Emerson Quartet, Boston Chamber Society, Chicago Pro Musica, The New Russian Trio, The Beethoven Quartet and Fry Street Quartet.
Abbie Bosworth, Creative Writing, Theater: BA, Combined Honors in Theatre and Spanish, Birmingham University, UK; MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts, UC Riverside. Abbie began her career teaching English and Theatre in Manchester UK as well as being involved as a director and performer in the Manchester Arts Festival. She continued to work in educational and devised theatre when she moved to Southern California in 2000, collaborating with such diverse communities as inmates at Patton State Hospital, students through the Riverside and San Bernardino Arts Councils, and at Montessori in Redlands. Abbie devised curriculum and managed the Montessori of Redlands Middle School program between 2003 and 2005. Abbie’s short story, Glass Eye, was published in the 2006 Monsters and Villains edition of CRATE and her play Left Luggage was performed at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in February 2007. Her play, So Many Good Ways to be Bad was commissioned for, and performed by The San Bernardino Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance in collaboration with Cal State San Bernardino in January 2010. She had one of her plays, Greta in the Forest read at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica, where she is a member of a New Play Development program. She has taught Theatre and Playwriting at Idyllwild Arts Academy since 2006, and coordinated a yearly collaboration between the Creative Writing and Theatre departments. She has been the Chair of the InterArts department there since 2014.
Amy Bowers, Trombone: Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from USC where she currently teaches. She is a freelance musician and performs with many orchestras, including Pacific Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra. She has won many competitions including the Pasadena Solo Competition, USC Concerto Competition, YMF Debut Orchestra Concerto Competition, Pasadena Young Artist Solo Competition, and was the recipient of the Robert Marsteller Outstanding Brass Player Award from the Thornton School of Music.
John Brosio earned a BFA at University of California, Davis, with further studies at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena as well as the George Lucas Industrial Light and Magic facility in California. John has exhibited his paintings nationally in both solo and group shows. He teaches at the Laguna College of Art and Design and exhibits with Arcadia Contemporary in Los Angeles. www.johnbrosio.com
Wendy Bystrzycki; BA in French with a minor in Theatre from University of New Mexico and her Master’s in Education from New Mexico State University. She studied at L’Ecole de Danse de Paris. She taught French, theatre and dance for several years at Desert Hot Springs High School. She works for “On Your Feet” Dance Productions. Wendy is as energetic in life as she is on stage.
Allison Calderwood has 25 years of teaching experience in the primary grades and 9 years of costuming experience with the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program. She earned a BA in Liberal Studies with an Art Emphasis, as well as a Multiple Subjects Credential, from Cal State Northridge. Her performing arts experience spans 35 years and includes singing, dancing, acting, and costuming.
Paul Carman, Saxophone: A veteran of the Frank Zappa Band, Paul has led many of his own original jazz groups including Mother Tongue, E.S.P., Triorbits, Flying V, Fourbits, and the Quarket. He has released 4 critically acclaimed CD’s recorded and composed music for films. He has taught at USC, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Saddleback College, and numerous high schools around the country. Currently Assistant Director of Jazz Studies and saxophone instructor at Idyllwild Arts Academy.
Laura Carson (Film) (SAG-AFTRA) B.A. Theatre and Speech, College of William & Mary. She works extensively in the entertainment industry in a number of different fields. As a film and TV actress, she has appeared in American Crime, Grey’s Anatomy, Drop Dead Diva, Bruce Almighty and many others. The film she wrote and acted in, Dime Short, is screening in several film festivals this year and UnCorked, the webseries she wrote, produced and acted in will launch this fall. She has been a Theatre and Filmmaking instructor in the Idyllwild Summer Program for 12 summers and enjoys facilitating the creative growth and development of children’s imaginations.
Adrienne Carter (Film) is an actor, writer, producer and teacher. She co-authored the novel FAB, published by Doubleday, and wrote on the TV shows Eve, Las Vegas, Everybody Hates Chris, Brothers and Born Again Virgin. She is developing several projects for TV and film. Adrienne taught theatre at Prairie View A&M University, teaches writing at BGB Studios in Los Angeles and TV writing at UCLA. She holds a BA in Spanish from Yale College and an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama. Adrienne has taught for the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program since 2011.
Gina Coletti, Viola: Masters degree, Juilliard School; BA, Stanford. She has performed in China, Japan, Israel, Europe, and North America. She has performed with the LA Philharmonic, LA Opera, LA Master Choral and served as principal of the Mozart Chamber Orchestra. She has served on the faculties of UNLV, Ameropa International Music Festival in Prague and the Adriatic Chamber Festival in Italy. She is founder and director of ViolaFest Los Angeles. Ms. Coletti has also been the director of Junior Chamber Music Los Angeles.
Brendan Constantine is a poet based in Hollywood. His work has appeared in FIELD, Ploughshares, Rattle, ZYZZYVA, the Los Angeles Review and other journals. His most recent books are Birthday Girl With Possum (2011 Write Bloody Publishing) and Calamity Joe (2012 Red Hen Press). He teaches poetry at the Windward School and is an adjunct professor at Antioch University Los Angeles. He also conducts workshops for hospitals, foster homes, and with the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project.
Brent Crayon, accompanist: has had the privilege to collaborate with notable directors such as Stephen Schwartz, Daisy Prince, Richard Maltby, Jr., Scott Schwartz, Chen Shi-Zheng, Jon Rivera, Kay Cole, and Ed Harris. An accomplished and multi-faceted musician, Brent has been a featured performer in ensembles throughout Southern California, including Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra, The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, and the Ventura Chamber Orchestra.
Thomas Cuffari, Pianist; BM,Chapman University; MM, Manhattan School of Music. Currently on faculty at Western Connecticut State University as Resident Music Director for Theater Arts and Instructor in the Music Department. He has taught at Concordia College (Bronxville, NY) and Medgar Evers College (Brooklyn, NY). He is also a freelance theater music director, cabaret pianist and orchestral pianist in the New York Tri-State Area.
Dr. Ashley Cumming is the Assistant Professor of Horn at Murray State University. Hailing from Cambridge, Ontario, performances include principal horn with the COSI Opera Orchestra in Italy and Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and appearances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, UANL Symphony Orchestra in Mexico and Orchestre de la Francophonie in Quebec. As a recitalist, she has performed at the International Horn Society and International Women’s Brass Conferences and tours the United States with Spark Brass. Ashley holds a Doctorate of Music from Indiana University. www.ashleycumming.com
Lauren Daniels, MT-BC, is an elementary Library Specialist Teacher at Los Encinos School in Encino, California. Endorsed by Remo Drums, she is also a musician, and a board-certified music therapist. Lauren completed her music therapy education at California State University, Northridge and is currently pursuing a Master of Music Therapy. She holds a Bachelor of Music and Theatre from Belmont University in Nashville. Lauren was the Managing Director for the Foliage Theatre Project for seven years, which presented environmental Shakespeare performances on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and has worked at various theatres in Los Angeles.
Cameron Domingues, Saxophone: BM in Performance, CSU, Fullerton, MM in Performance from USC, and is currently working on her Doctorate of Musical Arts from USC. A freelance performer and teacher in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Mrs. Domingues has performed with the Fullerton Civic Light Opera, Cypress Pops Orchestra, Disneyland College Saxophone Quintet, and the Pacific Symphony Institute. Cameron is a member of the South Coast Saxophone Quartet and is a faculty member at Mt. San Antonio College.
Bob Domingeuz Instructor of Percussion, studied drum set and Latin percussion with Joe Porcaro, Billy Moore, Chuck Flores, and Todd Gregory. Bob Dominguez has given numerous orchestral and jazz performances in Southern California performing with Brandon Fields, Russell Ferrante, John Patitucci, Don Mock, Riverside and San Bernardino Civic Light Opera Productions, Bill Watrous, Les Brown, Bobby Shew, Redlands Bowl Symphony, Inland Empire Symphony, Les Hooper, Jack Blades, and Rocco. He is currently faculty at the University of La Verne, University of California at Riverside, Idyllwild School of Music, and the National Guitar Summer Workshop. Bob has provided instruction for twenty-two years at Lier’s Music Co., San Bernardino, California. He has served as a clinician at Hemet High School, and San Bernardino Valley, Crafton Hills, Chaffey, and Riverside Community Colleges.
Lisa Edwards, Pianist; is the pianist/music assistant for the Los Angeles Master Chorale under the direction of Grant Gershon. Her concert credits include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. On disc, Lisa can be heard on two Nonesuch recordings of Steve Reich’s music, You Are Variations and Daniel Variations.
Sam Fischer, Violin: graduated from USC and the Juilliard School. Concertmaster of the Riverside County Philharmonic and performs regularly with the Pacific Symphony, the Pasadena Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. Recent solo performances include the LA Doctors Symphony, the Golden State Pops Orchestra, Orchestra Santa Monica, and the Caltech-Occidental Chamber Orchestra. He has recorded extensively for motion picture soundtracks, record albums, and video game soundtracks. He is faculty member of the Colburn School of Performing Arts.
Lee Gause, trombone: Thirty years as bass trombonist and Leader of Navy Commodores jazz ensemble in Washington DC. With Commodores toured extensively throughout U.S., Europe and South America; performed at Newport and Montreaux jazz festivals and numerous performances at the White House. Performed with many giants in entertainment; Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet, Natalie Cole and Dizzy Gillespie, Christian McBride and Louis Bellson. Recorded numerous projects with Commodores, Bill Potts, Frank Mantooth, Ashley Alexander, New York Voices and Washington Winds.
Yehuda Gilad, clarinet: Educated in Israel and at the University of Southern California School of Music. Associate Professor of Music, USC, and Master Teacher, R.D. Colburn School of Performing Arts. Recipient of many awards including the Israel-America Cultural Foundation Scholarship and the Robert Simon Award in Music. Conductor of the Santa Monica Symphony, 1982–88. As a clarinetist, he has performed with the Marlboro Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West, the San Francisco Chamber Music Festival and the Israel Philharmonic.
Stanley Goldstein: BA from UC Santa Barbara, College of Creative Studies; Fellowship Yale Summer School of Music and Art. Stanley has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco City College, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program since 1998. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Triton Museum of Santa Clara as well as many private and corporate collections. Has been represented by the Jeremy Stone and George Billis Galleries, and many others, with solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. www.stanleygoldstein.com
Valerie Ann Gordon: MA, Art Education, Cal State, Northridge. She currently teaches as an Art Specialist at Los Encinos Elementary School in Encino, CA. In 2004, she was the summer art and music camp director for the Los Encinos Elementary School. In 2001 she was nominated for the BRAVO Award for Excellence in art education. She is also a past presenter for the California Association of Independent Schools, Los Angeles.
Tom Griep (Theater) is a busy orchestrator and composer. He has conducted in many of Los Angeles’ best theatres, including: Mamma Mia – Shubert Theatre, Ten Commandments – Kodak Theatre, Big River – Mark Taper Forum, The Dead – Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Camelot – Hollywood Bowl. Tom has worked with many talented singers; including Sutton Foster, Carol Channing, Nathan Lane, Rita Moreno, Cher, Tommy Tune, David Hyde-Pierce, Bobby Vinton, Paul Anka, Olivia Newton-John, Leslie Odum Jr. (2016 Tony Award for Hamilton). For more information check out Tom’s very popular web site for singers called PianoTrax.com.
Rodger Guerrero, Choral Vocal Faculty; BA, Loyola Marymount University, MM, University of Miami, and has completed all course work for a DMA in Choral Conducting from USC. Choirs under his direction have performed at state, regional, and national music conventions and have won many regional and national choral competitions. In addition to directing high school choirs for seventeen years and children’s choirs for five years, Mr. Guerrero has conducted collegiate vocal ensembles at Fresno State University, University of Miami and USC.
Tim Hall, born and raised in Southern California, Tim is a free-lance musician who is both a regular in major local ensembles and a seasoned touring musician. Equally adept in classical and jazz genres, he can often be heard with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Opera, the Pacific Symphony, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the California Philharmonic, the Long Beach Opera, the Pasadena Symphony, the Long Beach Municipal Band, and the Laguna Beach Pageant of the Masters Orchestra. The past year alone has found Tim on stage or in the pit for the Pacific Symphony, the L.A. Opera, the L.A. Master Chorale, the National Ballet of Canada, the Australian National Ballet, the Long Beach Chorale, and the Pacific Chorale, as well as in lighter concerts with Herb Alpert and comedian/singer Martin Short. He also shared a solo recital at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, in Newport Beach, where he has been an integral part of the music program for two decades. Tim has toured the United States, Europe and Asia with a variety of groups, in travels that included a five-year stay in Japan while performing in the orchestra in residence and in jazz ensembles at the Huis Ten Bosch resort. Inspired by the long teaching career of his principal mentor, the renowned Hollywood studio-musician Uan Rasey, Tim is committed to continuing his musical heritage through teaching. In addition to his work at Chapman University’s Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music, he serves on the faculties of Irvine Valley College, Saddleback College, Golden West College, Idyllwild Arts, and the Orange County School of the Arts. Additionally, Tim owns a teaching studio in Laguna Niguel called The Music Stand. Tim’s students include winners and finalists in the National Trumpet Competition, as well as pupils who have filled positions in the All Southern Honor Bands, the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble. Several students have successfully auditioned for Chapman University and continue their studies with him through the Conservatory. Tim lives in Mission Viejo California with his wife Yoko, whom he met during his residency in Japan, and with whom he has raised three (trumpet-playing) sons.
Evelyn Halus, has taught voice at UCLA, USC, UCI, Musical Theatre University and the Orange County High School of the Arts. Her clients include Sutton Foster, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Lane, Lindsay Mendez, Megan McGinnis, Kenneth Branagh, Jennifer Lopez, Olivia Newton-John, Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Morrison, Jessica Biel, Kerry O’Malley, Harriet Harris, David Gahan and Martin Gore from Depeche Mode, and Cher.
Kasaan Hammon, attended Northwestern University and CalArts. She has been a featured artist in clubs in Los Angeles and New York and had several of her songs debuted on Top 40 radio stations. As owner of Trigger Management, Kasaan has had the opportunity to observe, coach, and be a part of the writing and producing process. She produces and publishes her own catalog and work under the name Rigsi Productions. Currently Executive Director of the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP).
Matt Harris, Piano: BM, University of Miami, MM, Eastman School of Music; based in Los Angeles; keyboardist, composer/arranger; an active clinician, conductor and composer for high schools, colleges, and professional bands around the world. Recording debut as a leader on Voss Records; most recently accepted an appointment asco-director of Jazz Studies at California State University, Northridge Additional information, pictures, big band charts, CD’s, sound bytes, and contact information can be found at Matt’s web site. mattharrismusic.com
Maggie Hasspacher is a bassist, vocalist and songwriter based in the Detroit area. She performs regularly with AMMAduo, a jazz/classical duo with Amy K. Bormet, and also with Estar and Maggie, a singer/songwriter duo with Estar Cohen. Recently, the Lucerne Festival Academy Young Performance Program chose her to perform a newly-composed and choreographed touring show with five other musicians in September 2018 throughout Switzerland. Maggie also performs as guest principal bass with the Midland Symphony and permanent member of the Flint Symphony Orchestra.
Marshall Hawkins, bass: Born 1939 in Anacostia a community of Washington D.C. Performed with Shirley Horn, Donny Hathaway, Miles Davis, Richie Cole, Roberta Flack and many others. He founded the Jazz program at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in 1986. He has been a Jazz Bass coach in the Idyllwild Arts Summer program and was Co-founder of Jazz in the Pines in 1994. He was recently voted in to the Hall of Fame of the California Alliance of Jazz.
Jeff Hellmer, Piano: Director of Jazz Studies and University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He has performed and taught jazz in Taiwan, Russia, Denmark, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as throughout the United States. He has led the UT Jazz Orchestra in performances and recordings with many of jazz’s great names, including Kenny Garrett, Michael Brecker, and John Clayton.
Kim Henderson (Creative Writing) MFA, University of Montana. Currently the Creative Writing Department Chair for Idyllwild Arts Academy, she previously taught at the University of Montana and at the middle school level in New Mexico. Her chapbook of short stories, The Kind of Girl, won the Rose Metal Press Chapbook Contest and was published in 2013. Her stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Tin House Open Bar, Texas Observer, The Southeast Review, Cutbank, and elsewhere.
Judy Heneghan (AEA, SAG, AFTRA) Actor, playwright, director, Judy has taught acting, writing, and improvisation for more than 20 years. She studied theater at the UW-LaCrosse and UMN, studied improvisation with Paul Sills, and acting at the Uta Hagen Studio in New York. In addition to numerous acting credits, Judy was lead singer of an R&B band based in Ireland. Her teaching credits include improvisation and Page-to-Stage Story Theatre in Ireland and Minneapolis. In Los Angeles, she’s taught for the Virginia Avenue Project and Otis School of Design, and in New York at the Aaron Copeland Music and Arts Camp. She co-created, co-wrote and performs as Olive in the long running comedy musical The Martini & Olive Show. Judy’s play The Big Woop was optioned for film in 2016.
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Christopher Hernacki, a Los Angeles native,, is an international award winning freelance musician and has served as the bass trombonist of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Silicon Valley, the Phoenix Symphony, and the San Antonio Symphony. He has also performed extensively with the San Francisco Symphony, the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra among many others. An advocate for the arts, Mr. Hernacki strives to be an agent of change in helping performers realize their utmost potential, connecting audiences of musicians and non-musicians alike, and elevating the music field as a whole so that it will always have a place to thrive for generations to come.
Tom Hynes, Guitar/Director: An educator, guitarist and composer, Tom is a full time Professor of Music at Azusa Pacific University, and also serves on the faculties of Idyllwild Arts Academy and St. Catherine’s Academy. Credits include Hubert Laws, Liza Minelli, Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra, Pacific Symphony and the US Dept. of State. He has composed music for the Smithsonian Institute and the Orange County Museum of Art. Jazz recordings include The Sun Shop and Tom Hynes and Marshall Hawkins: Live at The Fret House.
Jeff Jarvis, Trumpet; Director of Jazz Studies at the Bob Cole Conservatory at CSU, Long Beach and is an owner of Kendor Music, Inc. A Yamaha trumpet artist, studio musician, solo performer, honors jazz band conductor, and clinician. Jeff is frequently commissioned to compose music for school, military and professional musical groups. He has co-authored The Jazz Educators Handbook, a jazz piano book with Matt Harris entitled The Chord Voicing Handbook, and with Mike Carubia, Effective Etudes For Jazz.
Matt Johnson, considered one of the West Coast’s most versatile drummers, The Los Angeles Times called him “a hurricane on sticks!” Noted for his jazz stylings, Matt is equally versed in all forms of Pop and World drumming and has performed with a range of entertainers, from singers Julie Andrews and Andy Williams to Surf-rock pioneers Jan and Dean and big band legends BillyMay and Les Brown. As a founding member of the Tony Guerrero Quintet, he currently tours with Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actress/comedienne Jane Lynch (Glee, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Best in Show) and singer/actor and American icon, James Darren. Johnson is in his 25th year as Adjunct Instructor of Drum Set at Fullerton College in Southern California. He is also an artist/clinician for Mapex Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Aquarian Drumheads, Roland US, Vic Firth Drumsticks, and is the current Industry Representative for the California Alliance for Jazz.
Donna Simone Johnson (SAG, AEA) is a Los Angeles based teaching artist who has appeared in a bevy of plays, films and television shows, including James Francos’ The Inheritors, the award winning film The Invisible Freedom Warriors, The Lion King at the Pantages, High School Musical 2 & 3, NBC’s Teachers and the acclaimed production of Xtigone, which world-premiered this year in San Francisco. Donna holds a BA in Theatre Performance from Vanguard University, a MA in Dance from NYU and a MFA in Acting from CalArts. www.donnasimonejohnson.com
Dani Kantrowitz has lived and worked all across the United States. Deeply passionate about art, writing, growing plants, and exploring the outdoors, she has found ways to interweave these interests in a range of projects. From farming to commercial design and museum installation, she uses narrative building and observation to find joy in the art of construction happening all around us. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
Janet Kao, pianist, a native of Taiwan, is an accomplished musician with extensive experience as a solo pianist, vocal/instrumental collaborator, and an opera coach. She has performed on many stages including Alice Tully Hall in New York City, Harris Concert Hall in Aspen, Preston Bradley Hall in Chicago, National Concert Hall of Taiwan. She has been invited to participate in several summer music festivals including Bowdoin Music Festival, the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival, and the Music Academy of the West. She has served as a staff accompanist at the Aspen Music Festival, Idyllwild Summer Music Festival, as a staff coach at Opera in the Ozarks, Arkansas and the American Institute of Musical Arts in Graz, Austria. Janet received her Bachelor and Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Peabody Conservatory with pianist Robert McDonald, and a Graduate Certificate in Collaborative Piano from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Jonathan Feldman and Brian Zeger. She completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California in Keyboard Collaborative Arts in 2009 under Alan Smith and was awarded Gwendolyn Koldofsky Scholarship Award for three consecutive years. Dr. Kao is currently an adjunct professor and a vocal coach at Fullerton College and Chapman University.
Connie Kupka, Violin: A founding member of the Arriaga String Quartet, which won the grand prize in the prestigious Coleman competition. She has performed for the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program, the Oregon Bach and Colorado Music festivals, the Santa Fe and Grand Canyon chamber music festivals, the Ojai, Mostly Mozart and Sedona festivals, and in Los Angeles she regularly performs on the South Bay and Pacific Serenades Chamber Music series.
Tracey Landworth has a master’s degree in photography from Pratt Institute and 30+ years as a professional photographer. Photographing Architecture/interiors, food, events and a cornucopia of other subjects. Along with commercial work, Tracey has been developing a body of fine art photography. For the past 13 years she has been inspiring students of all ages, beginners to advance photographers explore & expand their knowledge of photography at Creative Photography Workshops in LA.
Desirée LaVertu, Choral Vocal Faculty; Director of Choral Music at Occidental College in Los Angeles, a position she has held since 2009. Previously, she was the director of the Glee Clubs at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Additionally, she was on the voice faculties of Chapman University and the summer graduate program at California State University, Los Angeles. She is also a member of the choral-vocal faculty of the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program Festival Choir.
Shaunna Lehr, Visual Arts: BA, Photography, Brooks Insitute. Shaunna began her training in film-based photography before moving into the digital realm. Her background includes work in artistic and commercial photography. In addition to her expertise in traditional photography, Shaunna has extensive experience in Photoshop, DreamWeaver and Final Cut Pro. She currently works full time as a photographer and runs a commercial studio specializing in portraits. Shaunna currently teaches photography at Idyllwild Arts Academy.
Jane Levy, Viola: Jane has been a member of the Pasadena Symphony for 43 years and performed frequently with the LA Opera, LA Master Chorale, and Long Beach Symphony. She has played in the Oregon Bach Festival and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival for many years. Jane especially enjoys performing early music on period instruments and is a member of Los Angeles Baroque Ensemble.
Brent Levine is a saxophonist and educator in Southern California. He is currently a band director at Vista Murrieta High School, where he directs three jazz big bands, a jazz combo, and a wind ensemble. He also conducts the concert band and teaches applied saxophone at Riverside Community College. In addition, Mr. Levine teaches music theory and music history at Mt. San Jacinto Community College. He holds a BM in Music Education and a MM in Music Performance from the University of Redlands.
Jim Linahon, Trumpet; He created more than 300 recording projects for film, television, radio, musical theater and CD/DVD’s for a wide diversity of artists, studios and agencies. Jim has served as a United States Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department and his most recent projects include the first jazz recording in China for the Taipei Jazz Orchestra, a new CD Sherry Williams & The Erfurt Jazz Band and music for the film In the Land of Blood and Honey.
Larry Livingston, conductor, Mr. Livingston has appeared with the Houston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, at the Festival de Musique in France, with the Stockholm Wind Orchestra, the Leopoldinum Orchestra in Poland, the Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra in Rumania, and the Pan Pacific Festival Orchestras in Sydney. The lead jurist for the Besancon International Conducting Competition in France and the Winnipeg Symphony International Conducting Symposium, Maestro Livingston is also the Music Director of the Festival Orchestra at Idyllwild Arts. Since 2004, Mr. Livingston has served as guest conductor at the College Band Directors National Conference in Alice Tully Hall, led All-State Ensembles across the United States including Texas, where he appeared for a record ninth time. From 2004 to 2012 Mr. Livingston was Music Director of Thornton School Orchestras. In 2012-18, Maestro Livingston will conduct the All-State Ensembles of Arizona, New Mexico, Kentucky, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Iowa, Texas, Michigan, Washington, and California, as well as the Katowice Academy Orchestra in Poland. Mr. Livingston has held positions as Vice President of the New England Conservatory of Music, Dean of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, where he Chairs the Conducting Department. Mr. Livingston leads the national educational quest, ALL IN, is a consultant to the Conn-Selmer Company, and heads the Education Committee of the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium. In 2013, Mr. Livingston appeared in the “Lights Out” episode of Glee and was featured as a mentor in the USA Cable Network Television series, “The Moment.”
Rob Lockart, Saxophone: BM , MM from Eastman School. As a jazz artist he is a featured sideman with Steve Houghton, Bob Sheppard, Bill Cunliffe, Matt Harris, and Mitch Watkins for Enja records. In TV and film Rob has worked on Star Trek, Jag, Party of Five, Fish Police and many films including the jazz score of Dillinger with Charlie Haden. He has taught for over 20 years in New York, New Orleans, Austin and Los Angeles.
Ben Loory is the author of the collections Tales of Falling and Flying and Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, as well as a picture book for children, The Baseball Player and the Walrus. His fables and tales have appeared in the New Yorker, Tin House, Fairy Tale Review, and Weekly Reader’s READ Magazine, and been heard on This American Life and Selected Shorts. He is a graduate of Harvard and the American Film Institute and teaches short story writing at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. www.benloory.com
Sam Lopez, is a potter living in San Diego, California. Sam received his MFA from San Diego State University in Ceramics. He is a part time ceramics instructor at Riverside City College where he teaches both pottery and the long history that comes with ceramic art. He works in porcelain and makes sturdy pots that can withstand rigorous use while providing a pop of color into daily ritual.
Elizabeth Low, bassoonist, renowned for her musicality and warm sound, is quickly establishing herself in the Southern California music scene. She received her Bachelor’s in Instrumental Performance from Cal State Fullerton. As a fellowship recipient, she attended UCLA for her Master’s degree studying with John Steinmetz. Elizabeth is on faculty at Fullerton College and Concordia University, in addition to holding her own private studio. She maintains an active performing career playing around Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
Louise MacGillivray, Horn: MA in Music Performance, CSU Northridge. She is a freelance musician in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Currently on the music faculty at CA Lutheran University she also has an extensive private teaching studio and is a clinician/adjudicator/consultant for many local schools and youth symphonies. Her primary interest is in performing and coaching chamber music.
Parvati Mani has degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory. She has been to the Orford Music Academy, Atlantic Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Beijing International Music Festival, and Eastern Music Festival. She has performed in the United States, Thailand, Japan, and Germany. Parvati was a Lecturer in Piano at the College of Music, Mahidol University in Thailand from 2010-14. Parvati joined the faculty of Idyllwild Arts in 2014.
Patricia Massey, Clarinet: Principal Clarinetist with the Downey Symphony and the St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra and is a member of the South Bay Chamber Orchestra and the Opera Santa Barbara Orchestra. In addition she performs regularly with a number of other ensembles in Southern California. She is active in music in the schools with Campus Concerts and the Downey Symphony Quintet. Her principal teachers include Joseph Edwards, Clark Brody, Robert Marcellus, Mitchell Lurie and Yehuda Gilad.
John Matteson, piano; Composed and performed in original progressive rock and jazz fusion ensembles that let him share the stage with Eric Johnson, Hiroshima, Spyro Gyra and Sweet. Performed with the Four Freshman, Si Zetner, Don Menza and Bill Trujillo as part of the CSN Jazz Ensemble. Performed with Buddy Greco as part of the UNLV Jazz Ensemble. Holds the longest running weekly jazz gig of 11 years with his trio in Las Vegas with musicians such as Richie Cole, Robert Conti, Greg Fishman, and many local jazz players.
Johanna McKay: (AEA, SAG, AFTRA) has directed and written adaptations of musicals, myths, Shakespearean plays, and has taught acting for over twenty years. An award-winning actor herself, Johanna is on the theater faculty of PS Arts and LACC. BFA in acting: The Theatre School, DePaul University (Sarah Siddons Award). MFA: UCLA (Jack Nicholson Award). Johanna’s adaptation of “As You Like It” has been published by Playscripts, Inc. (Family Week, Mini Musical Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Intensive, Shakespeare’s World)
Michael McLean (Composer) is a musician and music teacher. He received his BA in Music Education from Eastern Illinois University. Before beginning his teaching career, McLean recorded and toured with Los Angeles based country rock band, The Lonesome Strangers (1984-1991). McLean is in his 20th year with the Los Angeles Unified School District. During his tenure, he completed two levels of Kodaly Training, taught several music method survey courses for the LAUSD Teacher Intern Program, and was a peer coach for the elementary music teachers in the LA Unified School District.
Carrie Meeker: BA in Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley; MA in Linguistics, UC Santa Barbara. Carrie returns to her eighth year at Idyllwild, bringing along her experience working with a variety of media including ceramics, watercolors, photography, fiber arts, and the written word. Her works in visual arts have received recognition and awards in public exhibitions.
Linda Miller currently teaches theater to the Middle and High School students at Pilgrim School in Los Angeles. Linda is also the Elementary musical director at Pilgrim. She also teaches Drama at John Marshall Elementary in Glendale. Linda also works with the Music Center of Los Angeles as a teaching artist, using a blend of improvisation, theatre games and storytelling techniques to bring classroom curriculum to life. She has been a member of We Tell Stories where she has been entertaining and educating children for over twenty-five years. She has spent the last eight summers directing young adults and chasing squirrels up at Idyllwild Arts.
Peter Middleton, Flute: Professor of flute; Northern Illinois University. He has performed at National Flute Association conventions and has published articles on flute and piccolo recordings, a co-author and consultant for a book on electronic music published by Macmillan, served as an editorial advisor for the Flutist Quarterly, and a founding member of the Pacific Woodwind Quintet. As a performer and producer he has made recordings for the Sony, CBS, Centaur, CRI, Focus, Crystal and Orion labels.
Joseph Modica, conductor: BM,Chapman University; MM, CSU, Long Beach; DMA in Choral Music, USC. He is Associate Professor of Music and Assistant Dean of the School of Music at the University of Redlands, Director of Music at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Hollywood, and Artistic Director of the Inland Master Chorale. He has taught at the University of South Carolina and Chapman University, adjunct at Biola University Orange Coast College and Cypress College. Dr. Modica taught high school choir for ten years at Mater Dei High School, and Redlands East Valley High School.
Valentina Violet Moeur received her BFA in Metal Arts from California State University Long Beach. She is a member of the CSULB Metal Arts Guild and the Metal Arts Society of Southern California. She is currently working on her own jewelry designs in her studio in Los Angeles. Her work incorporates sculptural cast elements, enameling techniques, etched surfaces and the use of rare or unusual stones. www.valentinavioletdesigns.com
Jim Morford is a Digital Media Arts and Multimedia instructor using Adobe Animate, 3ds max and Adobe Photoshop. He began his graphics career creating the AniMax computer graphics system and has designed graphics and facilities for the environmental field and contributes to the development of the Away3D rendering engine and the Blender 3D authoring environment. He directs VisualInteractiveArts, a studio creating digital, 2D and 3D interactive content for animation and game design and development, and leads workshops in animation for all ages.
Kristy Morrell, French horn: BM, Eastman School of Music; MM and DMA from USC; faculty member at the USC Thornton School of Music, and the Colburn School of Performing Arts. Member of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera, Pasadena Symphony, Pacific Symphony and the Los Angeles Bach Festival. Active soloist, chamber musician, and clinician, and is a respected recording artist, performing on numerous motion pictures, television soundtracks and records.
Ray Ben Moszkowicz: MA, Fine Art, Cal State, Northridge; Pilchuck Glass School, Seattle, WA, and Scholarship, Art Center School of Design, Pasadena, CA. Senior Designer for UltraGlas Studios, freelance artist, and Glass Working instructor at the college level. In the summers of 2004–07 he was the Ceramics instructor at Cal State, Northridge SAPEES program for elementary school aged students. Up until this year Ray taught both beginning as well as advanced level art classes including ceramics, at Palms Middle School, Los Angeles, CA. He currently teaches visual art and ceramics classes at Nobel Middle School in Northridge, CA.
Cynthia Moussas, Violin: BM, Juilliard. Member of the Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Long Beach Symphony. Active in the recording studios and as a private teacher in Southern California. She has been a coach with the Idyllwild Symphony Orchestra for 20 years.
Darren Mulder, Trumpet; BM in Music Education from California State University, Long Beach; MM, University of Southern California. He is a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and performs regularly with the Pacific Symphony, Opera Pacific, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Long Beach and Santa Monica Symphonies. He is the former Principal Trumpet of the National Orchestra of Mexico (UNAM) as well as the Festival dei Due Mondi, Spoleto, Italy.
Gene Nakanishi, Trumpet: Bachelor’s degree at Berklee School of Music. His graduate studies were at New England Conservatory and Harvard University. He received his Masters in Computer Science from South Eastern University where he wrote one of the first computer programs to teach children how to improvise in the jazz idiom. After 15 years with the Clark County School District he resigned and was enshrined to the Educators Hall Of Fame at the School districts Headquarters.
Paul Nickels, Piano: BA in Piano Performance from University of California, Hayward. Paul is a Suzuki Piano School specialist, and has studied with the founder of the method. Paul spent 20 years teaching piano full time in Las Vegas, independently and with Nevada School of the Arts. He continues to teach in St. George, Utah, and is active with several musical theater companies in Southern Utah.
David O, chair and director, Triple Threat Boot Camp, is a long-standing, critically acclaimed music-theater artist based in Los Angeles. He has received many awards for his work as musical director and composer in the LA theater scene, including the 2013 LA Drama Critics Circle Joel Hirschhorn Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre. David is a co-creator of Voices Within, an educational outreach of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. David’s work includes Musical Direction of the world premiere of Jason Robert Brown’s “’13.” www.davidomusic.com.
Cat Orlando (Fashion) earned an arts degree with an emphasis in three-dimensional design. She’s been teaching bearmaking during Idyllwild Arts Family Week since 2000 and since 2006, she has taught art, drama, movement and design during the Summer Program. She is the President of F.A.M.E., a non-profit group that raises funds to assist children who want to take classes in the arts. For the last 20 years, she has been the Director as well as an instructor for her dance company called “On Your Feet” dance productions. She absolutely loves teaching young ones as they discover joy in their creative process, in all genres of art. Her motto: “In art, we don’t make mistakes, we create originals!” www.onyourfeet.info.
Ceasare Orlando started dancing when he was three. He taught his first class when he was 13 and has been teaching ever since. He has trained in many different styles including Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical/Contemporary, Modern, African, Ballroom, Latin, Belly Dance and Swing. Some of the best training he has received, happened while participating in Idyllwild Arts Summer Program, where he was a student for five years.
Catalina Orlando-Parsons (a.k.a. Miss Kina) has been dancing for the past 19 years and is trained in many styles such as, ballet, jazz, musical theatre, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, and modern dance. She spent ten years attending dance, performance, musical theater and art classes at Idyllwild Arts Summer Program. Since the year 2005, she has taught several styles of dance for “On Your Feet” Dance Productions in the Palm Springs area. Her area of expertise is in choreography and performance.
Edith Orloff, Pianist – Music, Artist-in-Residence: Master’s Degree, CalArts. Edie is an acclaimed performer throughout the U.S. and Europe as recitalist, chamber musician, soloist with orchestra. Idyllwild Arts faculty member since 1976. Founding member of Pacific Trio, resident ensemble at Idyllwild Arts. Appearances with Houston Symphony Chamber Players, Ensemble Con Brio of Germany, Czech String Trio of Prague, and regular performances on numerous Los Angeles-based series. Has launched several series devoted to contemporary music. Recordings on Marsyas, Brio, Carlton,Yarlung, and Encora labels. Private teaching and master classes for more than 30 years. www.pacifictrio.com
Stephen Piazza, conductor, Wind Ensemble Intensive: For nearly 40 years, Stephen Piazza has contributed to Idyllwild’s summer program. As director of the Youth Band, Youth Orchestra, Wind Chamber Music, Festival and High School Wind Ensembles, he has always selected fascinating and significant literature. His LA Symphonic Winds have toured the U.S., Canada, Europe and China. As a member of the LA Opera Orchestra he performs with such musical luminaries as Placido Domingo and James Conlon.
Olga Perez Flora, Choral Vocal Faculty; Currently on the voice faculty at Muskingum University where she also conducts the Women’s Choir. She holds a Masters degree in Opera Theater from Arizona State University and two Bachelor’s degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Northern Arizona University. Dr. Perez earned her DMA in Vocal Performance at The Ohio State University.
Wendy Knudsen Pylko, Vocal coach: teaches private singing lessons and has been a teaching artist for the LA Opera Education & Community Services Department. She was Choral Director and director of musicals at Flintridge Preparatory School. She has performed in opera and musical theater, and been soloist on various recordings for TV and film, including Warner Brothers’ Animaniacs & the Stephen Spielberg documentary The Last Days. She loves teaching Song and Dance, which she has done since the summer of 2000.
Dan Radlauer, Rhythm; Composer for reality TV hits Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch, The Surreal Life, Flavor of Love, Ruby, Outback Jack as well as Set for Life on ABC and Same Name on CBS as well as TV and radio commercials. Feature films include We’re Not Broke and Mummy III. Dan has played bass, keyboards and guitar on thousands of recording sessions. As a teacher, he specializes in composition, orchestration and young Jazz performing groups. UC, Riverside.
Rendon Ramsey, Theater: BA, Speech Communication, University of Washington; AA, Acting, The American Academy Of Dramatic Arts; MFA, Acting Cal Arts. Rendon has been a working actor for over 20 years and is a member of SAG/AFTRA and AEA; he has had the privilege of teaching and directing at Idyllwild Arts Academy (as well as at other institutions, universities, and colleges in the LA area) since 2006. Rendon’s acting classes at IAA include Advanced Acting (Intro. To Classical Theatre), and Acting For The Camera. He has directed Medea, and Twelfth Night, among several others for IAA’s main stage and also works by Beckett and Albee for IAA’s Theatre Lab series.
Don Reed, Songwriting: co-founded the Songwriting Department at Idyllwild Arts in 2010, making the school one of only a handful of high schools in the U.S. offering a Songwriting major. He teaches numerous songwriting, music business, music history classes as well as private instrument lessons. Don is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and has been writing and performing for more than four decades. Reed’s work has been featured on hundreds of recordings as well as in television, film, theater, and beyond. Don will cover songwriting exercises, rut-breakers, pop music history, music business, workshop writing, live performance, private instrument lessons and more.
Noah Reitman, Double Bass: Assistant Principal Bass of the Vancouver Symphony. Noah was previously a member of the New World Symphony and has played with the symphonies of Pittsburgh, Detroit, Atlanta, and Nashville. He holds a BM from the University of Michigan and an MM from Indiana University.
Charlie Richard, Saxophone; He has performed with The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Lou Rawls, The Temptations, Orion Saxophone Quartet, Mark Masters Jazz Composers Orchestra and Hip Pocket. Charlie is currently a Professor of Music at Riverside City College. He has received the Downbeat Magazine award for Best Extended Original Jazz Composition and his CD The Hawk’s Out, by the Hawk-Richard Jazz Orchestra, was selected by New York’s Cadence Magazine as its Outstanding Big Band Recording of the Year.
Lori Marie Rios, Assistant Conductor; Associate Professor at College of the Canyons, Valencia where she is the music director of the Chamber Singers and Voices of the Canyons Community Chorus. Ensembles under her direction have sung all over the United States including appearances at the American Choral Directors Association Regional Convention in Las Vegas in 2004 and in 2007 were selected to appear at the ACDA National Convention in Miami. She is also on faculty at CSU, LA Summer Graduate Program.
Rebecca Rivera, bassoon: DMA in bassoon performance, USC. Rivera has recorded for film and music projects and performed with many ensembles throughout Southern California including Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Riverside Philharmonic, Golden State Pops Orchestra, Southeast Symphony, Torrance Symphony, Westchester Symphony, Peninsula Symphony and the Pasadena Symphony and Pops Orchestras. Rivera won the Southeast Symphony concerto competition in 2001. Rivera is a lecturer at USC and teaches reed-making workshops throughout the year.
Joshua Roach, conductor and wind coach: BM in Trumpet, Graduate Certificate in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television, MM in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Southern California; DMA in Wind Conducting from the University of Michigan. Current position: Director of Bands at The College of New Jersey. Before moving to the East Coast, Dr. Roach worked as a conductor, performer, music educator, administrator and composer in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. He was the Music Director for the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble from 2009-2014 and manager of the USC Thornton orchestras from 2006-2014. He also served as Interim Director of Bands at California Lutheran University and as assistant/cover conductor for the Pacific Symphony, Downey Symphony, and Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra.
Sarah Rosenberg (SAG/AFTRA) has been working in film and television since the age of 18. Sarah started her career as an actress working in theatre and has gone on to work on tv shows such as Cold Case and Southland as well as several feature films and various web series. She has also co written two feature length films and written, directed and produced a series of short films. Full credits can be found at imdb.com.
Billy Rugh & Michelle Benton have been choreographing musicals, original works, live concerts, and videos together for over 20 years; on artists such as Lily Tomlin, LeAnn Rimes, Joanna Gleason, Jennifer Holliday, Stephanie J. Block, Rachel York, Susan Egan, and Jason Graae; and at venues such as Disney Hall, the Ford Amphitheater, the Alex Theatre, Zipper Auditorium, the Saban, and the Long Beach Civic Auditorium; as well as internationally in the cities of Montreal, Rio, Santiago, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, and Arusha.
Eduardo Santiago (Writing) Eduardo’s first novel Tomorrow They Will Kiss was an Edmund White Debut Fiction Award finalist and won the Latino Book Award for Best Historical Fiction. His next novel, Midnight Rumba, won the New England Book Award – Best Fiction. His short stories have been published by ZYZZYVA, Slow Trains, and The Caribbean Writer, and his nonfiction has appeared in Los Angeles Times, The Advocate, and Out Traveler Magazine. Eduardo is also a prominent book coach and lecturer, teaches writing at Mt. San Jacinto College, and is the founder and curator of the Idyllwild Authors Series.
Sara Shakliyan, Pianist; MM in Choral Music, Bulgarian State Conservatory; MM, DMA in Choral Conducting, University of Southern California. In her fifth year at Harvard-Westlake School as a staff accompanist and vocal/ instrumental collaborator. She also leads the contemporary choir ensemble at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Hollywood. She is a published composer with Santa Barbara Music Publishing. Her Bulgarian folk song Sednalo e Djore dos was premiered at the 2005 American Choral Directors Association National Convention. She has accompanied the Southern California Vocal Association High School Honor Choir for the past several years.
Jonathan Sharp (Dance, Theater), Ballet/Pointe/Musical Theater: Trained at the School of American Ballet by master teachers Stanley Williams, Peter Martins, Andrea Kramarevsky, Suzanne Ferrell, Alexandra Danilova, Suki Schorer, and Sean Lavery. Danced professionally with the Boston and Pennsylvania Ballets. Appeared in the original casts of Broadway shows and revivals The Red Shoes, Carousel, The Rocky Horror Show Live, The Dance of the Vampires, and Fiddler on the Roof. Currently Associate Director of the Inland Pacific Ballet and International Master Teacher.
Robin Sharp, Percussion: BM, CSU Northridge; MM, USC; A freelance musician and composer, he is currently on faculty at Pasadena City College. Guest soloist with the San Luis Obispo Symphony Orchestra and has worked with conductors Esa Pekka Solemen, Michael Tilson Thomas, George Mester and has played in the Juilliard Orchestra, New York Youth, American Youth Symphony, Aspen Festival Orchestra and the Riverside Philharmonic. In 1998 he won the California State University Northridge Concerto Competition.
Shelly Short, Film Chair: has a B.F.A. in Photography and a M.F.A. in Film and Television from The Savannah College of Art and Design. She is an award-winning photographer, whose work has been shown in The Museum of Modern Art Georgia, and galleries around the United States. Her short films and live experimental film performances have been screened in several film festivals and performance venues. She is currently teaching Cinematography at Idyllwild Arts Academy and has been with the Idyllwild Summer program for several years. Shelly loves to help students develop their skills and explore their passions in filmmaking.
Colin Smith is an award winning artist and musician based in Idyllwild, CA. His art stretches across many disciplines and medias. Colin uses paint, pencil, ink, wood, tile, brick, stone, guitars, synthesizers, and drum machines to create several styles of art. He has been teaching art to children ages 5-14 for ten years.
Fabio Spinella, Trumpet: BM in MUED,USC, Masters in Conducting at SOU; Fabio has toured the US and the UK and has had performed alongside some of the most credited artists, jazz legends, and gospel musicians. Fabio freelances around LA, and is an adjudicator for field tournaments, jazz and wind ensemble festivals. He has teaching experience as the Director of Bands and Department Chair for the VPA at Workman HS, and also at Azusa Pacific University and Citrus College.
Laura Spitzer: Associate Professor of Music, New Mexico State University. Undergraduate studies completed at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where she was awarded the Bösendorfer Stipend and graduated with distinction. MM with Leon Fleisher, Peabody Institute. DMA with John Perry, University of Southern California. Her students have won the Theodor Presser Award, Vivien Head Competition, New Horizons Young Artist Competition, PMTNM competition, and El Paso Symphony Guild Concerto Competition.
Dan St. Marseille, Saxophone: MM, CSU, Fullerton; A professional musician and educator, and the Coordinator of Jazz Studies at the Orange County School of the Arts. He has performed as a soloist and alongside many renowned musicians. Dan’s recordings are heard internationally on jazz radio. In addition to local and national tours, Dan has performed in Europe, Canada and many jazz festivals. In April of 1999, he was inducted into the Saddleback Valley School Districts Hall Of Fame for excellence in performance.
Ted Sugata, oboe: MM, Cleveland Institute; BM, Manhattan School. Major teachers include John Mack and Joseph Robinson. He is an active freelance musician having performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and Los Angeles Opera. He has participated in summer festivals, including fellowships with the Tanglewood Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, and Music Academy of the West. Mr. Sugata is currently completing a DMA degree in oboe performance from USC under Joel Timm.
Scott Sutherland, Tuba: He is a founding member of the Presidio Brass, an internationally touring brass quintet based in San Diego. As a soloist, Scott has been featured with the San Diego Symphony, Riverside and Burbank Philharmonic Orchestras and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic among many other orchestras in Southern California. He attended USC and UCLA and is currently on faculty at the University of Redlands.
Saffron Symank is a professional artist residing in Idyllwild, CA. She has been teaching art to students of all ages for 15 years. She works in a variety of mediums including watercolor, acrylic, and pen and ink. She also enjoys creating a variety of fabric arts including that of batik and crochet. She attempts to have her students become comfortable with improving their technical skills, as well as exercising their imagination.
(Drawing and Painting for Junior Artists)
Marek Szpakiewicz, Cello: DMA and MM from USC Thornton School of Music, Graduate Certificate from Peabody Conservatory. Marek is on the faculty of Azusa Pacific University, where he serves as Director of Chamber Music. His performances have drawn praise from critics in Europe, U.S. and Japan, and he earned permanent residency from the U.S. government as an “Extraordinary Ability Artist. He has also contributed to film orchestration as a collaborator with Polish film composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, and among the scores he worked on, the music for the critically acclaimed movie “Finding Neverland” received the 77th Academy Award for Best Original Score. For more information: www.szpakiewicz.com.
Naoko Takada, World renown marimba soloist and Yamaha artist Naoko Takada has toured the world performing as a soloist in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Conzart Haus in Berlin, Santory Hall in Tokyo, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and Lincoln Center in New York. Takada’s talent was apparent at age eleven when she appeared as guest soloist with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. She has since performed concertos with numerous orchestras including the Tokyo Chamber Orchestra, Japanese Kioi Sinfonietta,China National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St Luke’s, Houston Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, West Los Angeles Symphony and the Xalapa Symphony in Mexico. Naoko Takada currently teaches marimba at the University of Southern California and is the chief judge for the Southern California International Marimba Competition. In addition to being a Yamaha performing artist and clinician, Takada also has her own signature series of mallets available from Encore Mallets, Inc. She has numerous arrangements and commissioned works are available through Studio 4 Publications under the Naoko Takada series.
Janisa Tharp began piano instruction at age 2 with her father, Suzuki-trained instructor Paul Nickels, and later studied with Muriel Adler. Piano performance major at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts under Mary Straub. Participated in numerous competitions including the Clark County School District Solo and Ensemble Piano Festival and the Bolognini Scholarship Competition. Received training at several Suzuki Institute classes with Cleo Brimhall and Dr. Haruko Kataoka.
Melissa Treinkman Weitenberner, vocal coach; In 2013 Melissa made her solo main stage debut in LA Opera’s production of Carmen (Vendor). Most recently she was a featured singer in The Ghost of Versailles with the LA Opera. A frequent performer with LA Opera’s Outreach Program, and has sung with the Utah Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera North, Cedar Rapids Opera Theater and Chicago Opera Theater. Melissa holds a BM from Northwestern University and a MM from DePaul University. More info at www.VoiceByMelissa.com.
Stirling Trent is a graduate of The Juilliard School, with a BM, and the University of Southern California, with both MM and DMA degrees. Student of Itzhak Perlman, Midori, and Jan Mark Sloman. Former Concertmaster of the New York String Orchestra Seminar, as well as the Moritzburg Festival Academy, in Dresden, Germany. Orchestra experience with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Los Angeles Master Chorale. Three years as tenured member of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and member of the Kansas City Symphony, beginning in 2015.
Pasha Tseitlin, Violin: As a classical concert performer, Pasha is distinguished by his virtuosity, intensity, and heartfelt sensitivity. Pasha has performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, the Glazunov Violin Concerto with the Ryazan Philharmonic, Szymanowski Concerto with the USC Symphony, Prokofiev No. 1 and Berg Concerto with the La Jolla Symphony and Paganini’s Perpetuo Mobile with the San Diego Symphony, among others.
Derek Tywoniuk is a percussionist and composer based in Los Angeles. As a percussionist, he has appeared with Wild Up, The Upside, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, the Ojai Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, the Lucerne Festival Academy, The Cleveland Orchestra, and the Smoke and Mirrors Ensemble, the last of which recorded two albums on the Yarlung Records label. As a composer, his works have been performed internationally, recorded on the Bridge and Yarlung record labels, and published by Edition Peters. Derek is an alumni of the Colburn Conservatory (AD, MM) and the Cleveland Institute of Music (BM). He is currently pursuing a PhD in music composition at UCLA. For more information, visit www.derektywoniukmusic.com
Amanda Walker, Clarinet: MFA, UCLA; Principal clarinet of the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, and has performed with the LA Master Chorale, Pacific Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, the Royal and Swedish Ballets, the LA Music Center Opera Orchestra, and the LA Chamber Orchestra. She has participated in the Bach Camerata of Santa Barbara, the Henry J. Bruman Summer Chamber Music series and the Summer Music series at the Getty. She has recorded for film, freelances and also teaches.
John Walz, Artist-in-Residence: A celebrated soloist and chamber music artist, he has appeared as soloist with more than 150 symphony orchestras on four continents. His performances of twenty-five different concertos include both standard showcases and rarities. In 1979, he, along with pianist Edith Orloff, founded the Pacific Trio. Now performing with violinist Roger Wilkie, this renowned ensemble has played more than 900 concerts throughout North America and Europe. He is currently the principal cellist with the LA Opera.
Rachel Welch: graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, receiving a degree in Art and Design with a concentration in Studio Arts. She spent a year at the Accademia Di Belle Arte in Florence, Italy, studying sculpture and drawing. She received the title of Artist of the Year for the Art Alliance of Idyllwild in 2009. She teaches painting and drawing at Idyllwild Arts. Her artwork has been shown throughout California as well as in Italy.
Roger Wilkie, Violin: Concertmaster of the Long Beach Symphony. He has appeared as soloist with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra and the LA Chamber Orchestra. He has given numerous solo recitals for the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, LA County Museum of Art/KUSC-FM broadcasts, Swiss National Radio, and National Public Radio’s Performance Today. His chamber performances include the Santa Fe, La Jolla, and Mainly Mozart Music Festivals, and the Camerata Pacifica.
Susan Willmering, conductor, Symphonic Band: is the Director of Instrumental Music at South Pointe Middle School in Diamond Bar, where she conducts over 400 students in various concert bands. The South Pointe Wind Ensemble, led by Ms. Willmering, has performed at local, state, and national venues; most notably Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center and Chicago Symphony Hall. Ms. Willmering was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, a National Music Honor Society dedicated to recognizing great music educators.
Wolfgang Wipfler, Guest Artist, Mentor (French Horn): At twenty he became principal horn with the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra and then appointed principal horn in the Stuttgart State Orchestra in 1988. In 2004, he was appointed principal horn for the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has taught for the Stuttgart Academy of Music and the Würzburg Academy of Music. Concert tours include Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Since 2010 he has been a solo horn member of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra.
Christoph Wyneken, Guest Artist/Mentor (Violin/Viola): Music studies in Berlin, Detmold and Austin, Texas. His performing career includes recordings, solo concerts and chamber ensemble tours. The artistic director of the State Youth Orchestra of Baden-Württemberg, Landesjugendorchester Bad.-Württ. His work with the Landesjugendorchester was honored with the Bundesverdienstkreuz (German Cross of Service), the European Music Award and the STAMITZ medal. 1991-2007 he was a faculty member at the conservatory in Freiburg. Guest professor at the TOHO Orchestra Academy and the Musachino Conservatory in Tokyo, Japan. www.christoph-wyneken.dewww.landesjugendorchester.de
Dr. Jeanette Louise Yaryan, Piano: BM, Youngstown State University; two MMs, The Cleveland Institute of Music; DMA, USC. Jeanette is a talented soloist and a gifted collaborator of many musical genres, and has taught at Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program since 2011. She is also a writer and arranger, and specializes in multi-disciplinary performances. Jeanette has taught at USC, Cypress College, El Camino College, and California Academy of Math and Science High School.
David Young, Double bass: BM, Eastman School of Music; MM, DMA, University of Southern California. Studies with Oscar Zimmerman, Peter Mercurio, and Dennis Trembly. Principal Double Bass, Los Angeles Opera and Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra; many other performing involvements. Faculty at the Colburn School of Performing Arts, and the Leader of the String Family Players string quintet with decades of experience producing and narrating children’s concerts. Other summer teaching includes the Golden Gate Bass Camp.
Santino Zafarana: BFA, St. John University; MFA in Photography, Pratt Institute. He has been a Commercial, Fine Art photographer and an inspiring educator for over 35 years. An early digital camera pioneer, he teaches an intensive photography program at creativephotoworkshops.com, a photography school in Los Angeles started by he & his wife. His latest book, Dreams, Fantasies and Illusions, is a look into the human psyche through the art of photography. His work has been exhibited both in New York and California.