Music Adjunct Professors | Pepperdine University | Seaver College

Music Adjunct Professors

Matthew Brown

Matthew Brown

Music Theory, Aural Skills

Professor Matthew Brown, a native of Southern California, Matthew Brown completed his masters and doctoral studies in music composition at the USC Thornton School of Music, where he studied with Morten Lauridsen, Frank Ticheli, Donald Crockett, Frederick Lesemann, Randy Newman, and Tamar Diesendruck.
His awards include the 2003 Hans J. Salter Endowed Music Award, the 2007 Jimmy McHugh Composition Prize, the 2007 VocalEssence Welcome Christmas! Carol Contest, the 2010 VocalEssence Essentially Choral Commission, and the 2011 C4 Composition Competition. His works have been performed throughout the United States and internationally, by groups such as The Crossing, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, VocalEssence, the Antioch Chamber Ensemble, the Young New Yorker's Chorus, the Cincinnati Boychoir, the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Midnight Winds, the USC Chamber Choir, the Los Robles Master Chorale, the De Angelis Vocal Ensemble, the USC Thornton Symphony, and C4.
He remains active in Los Angeles as a composer, copyist, arranger, performer, and teacher, and currently sings with many professional choral ensembles, including the L.A. Master Chorale, the L.A. Chamber Singers & Cappella, the De Angelis Vocal Ensemble, and Horizon Music Group.

Maria Casale


Professor Maria Casale, a world-class concert artist is the gold medal winner of the 1989 USA International Harp Competition, and has received numerous awards for her performances. Her solo debut recital in 1990 at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, brought her critical acclaim. She was a featured soloist this past summer at the World Harp Congress in Prague, Czech Republic and also in 1990 Paris, France.

As a concert soloist, she has enamored audiences throughout the world, including Japan, Europe, Israel, Mexico, and United States. Among the prestigious list of orchestras that Professor Casale has performed solos with are the Israel Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Orquesta Sinfonica National. Professor Casale has also performed with the Santa Barbara Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, San Louis Obispo Mozart Festival, and Peter Britt Music Festival (Oregon). Currently she is Principal Harp with the New West Symphony, the California Philharmonic and the Downey Symphony. In April of 1999 she played the "Andrea Bocelli West Coast Tour of the Americas". In addition to her busy performance schedule, she teaches harp at Pepperdine University and California State University, Northridge.

Professor Casale began her harp studies at the age of six with Sister Emerentia at Marylhurst College in Portland, Oregon. In 1980 she entered the Julliard School of Music, studying under Susann McDonald, where she earned both her Bachelor and Master Degrees.

KeumHwa Cha keumhwacha


KeumHwa Cha is a violinist, violist and educator who has given numerous concerts as a soloist, chamber musician and concertmaster in the United States and in South Korea. Before joining the Pepperdine faculty in 2016, Dr. Cha taught at Idaho State University as an Assistant Professor of Music. While at ISU, she initiated the string ensemble program and established the string quartet studies. She was recognized as a successful director of the ISU Chamber Orchestra and recruited highly qualified string students to the university. She has worked closely with public school music directors and youth orchestras, and has given frequent master classes to high schools and colleges. She has appeared as a presenter at IMEA Conferences and has served as a judge in major competitions in Idaho. Her students have received academic and music scholarships and various accolades for their accomplishments. One of her students recently won the Idaho State-Civic Symphony Young Artist Competition. Her pre-collegiate students have served as principal players in youth orchestras and have been selected to play with All-State Honor Orchestras. Dr. Cha served as a director of the string division for the ISU Summer Institute for Piano and Strings, and provided extensive outreach by recruiting talented musicians from surrounding communities. Prior to her appointment at Idaho State University, Dr. Cha taught at Chung-Ang University, Dankook University, Dongduk Women's University, and Sungshin Women's University in South Korea and the University of Rochester. Dr. Cha was a Teaching Assistant of Charles Castleman at the Eastman School of Music while pursuing her doctoral degree.

Dr. Cha has had the privilege of performing with maestros David Effron, Robert Shaw and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. As a concertmaster, she has performed with Chee-Yun, the Marcus Roberts Trio, Béla Fleck and Time for Three. Her recent performing highlights include a violin recital of French music, Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, Stravinsky's L'Histoire du soldat, and Erwin Stein's chamber edition of Mahler's Symphony No. 4. She has performed with the ISU Chamber Jazz Ensemble and as a soloist with the ISU Wind Ensemble. She has also performed with the Cornell Contemporary Chamber Players, the Binghamton Philharmonic, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Han-Eum Chamber Ensemble, and the Seoul Tutti Ensemble. She has served as concertmaster of the Idaho-State Civic Symphony and the Meadows Symphony Orchestra. Her summer festival appearances include performances at Kneisel Hall, the Castelman Quartet Program, the Philadelphia International Music Festival and the Lydian String Quartet Festival.

Dr. Cha has extensive experience in historical performance practice, studying with Paul O'Dette at Eastman and Malcolm Bilson in Ithaca, NY. She studied violin with Hyo Kang, Masuko Ushioda, Charles Castleman, and Chee-Yun Kim. She studied chamber music with Lucy Stoltzman, Katherine Murdock, Eric Shumsky, James Dunham, Norman Fisher, Alan Harris, Andres Diaz, Stephen Drury, Lydian String Quartet and Ying Quartet. Dr. Cha is the co-founder and artistic director of Project Musica, which debuts in South Korea in May 2016. Dr. Cha earned her M.M. and D.M.A. at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, her Artist Certificate at Meadows School of Arts, Southern Methodist University, and her B.M. in Violin Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Tamara Chernyak

Tamara Chernyak


Tamara Chernyak, originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, started playing the violin at the age of five. She studied with Michael Viman and graduated with honors from the Rimsky-Korsakov College, Conservatory and post-graduate programs with degrees in both performance and pedagogy. While studying, she became a member of the Mihaylovski opera and ballet theater and in 1972 she joined the Leningrad Philharmonic.

In 1974, Ms. Chernyak emigrated to the U.S where she spent the summer playing at the Sarasota Festival and was awarded the Leonard Bernstein personal scholarship to play in the Tanglewood Festival. There she participated in master classes with Richard Burgin, Josef Gingold, and Joseph Silverstein. In September, Ms. Chernyak was appointed Associate Concertmaster of Kansas City Philharmonic and Concertmaster of Kansas City Opera.

One of the first women from Russia to become part of a major symphony orchestra, Ms. Chernyak joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1976 and played 38 years in the Music Center, Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall stages. She has appeared as a soloist several times including performances of Bartok's Violin Concerto with Zubin Mehta and concertos by Vivaldi conducted by Christopher Hogwood and by Carlo Maria Giulini.

In her orchestral career, Ms. Chernyak has worked with world-renowned conductors and soloists including Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Lorin Maazel, Joshua Bell, Lang Lang, Itzhak Perlman, Emmanuel Ax, Sarah Chang, Midori, Evgeny Kissin, Leila Josefowicz, Gil Shaham, Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer, Yo-Yo Ma, John Williams and Gustavo Dudamel among others.

She has played in the Salzburg Festival, Austria; Stravinsky Festival, Paris; Shostakovich Festival, Los Angeles; and Mahler Festival, Caracas and performed on the most famous stages in the world, including La Scala, Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall, Concertgebouw, and Carnegie Hall.

Not a stranger to studio work, Ms. Chernyak has been part of hundreds of recordings, including iconic soundtracks such as Star Wars, ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Grammy award-winning Brahms Symphony No. 4. She has played with numerous jazz and rock artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Pink Martini, Herbie Hancock and performed with Andrea Bocelli and The 3 Tenors.

She is the founder of the Daria String Quartet and served as the Calabasas Chamber Orchestra's Concertmaster and soloist, performing throughout Southern California and touring in Europe. Ms. Chernyak's chamber music collaborations include her performances with Christian Zacharias, Lars Vogt and others. She was a founding participant of the Green Umbrella Contemporary Music series and regularly performed at the Japan American Theatre and Gindi Auditorium.

Ms. Chernyak has been recognized as one of the most dedicated and respected teachers in Southern California in both her private teaching practice and as a regular member of Gold Coast and International Beverly Hills festivals. She has served on the faculty of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and has been a member of the Pepperdine University music faculty since January 2015.

She currently lives in the San Fernando Valley with her family.

Rufus Choi

Rufus Choi


Rufus Choi has always felt that his American birth and Korean heritage have imparted an international aura and underlying wanderlust to his musical career, which is defined by passionate, sold-out performances in numerous countries across the globe. Based in California, Mr. Choi won First Prize and the People's Choice Award in the notable Jose Iturbi International Music Competition which offers one of the largest monetary prizes for piano competitions in the world.

Rufus Choi has performed widely around the United States and many of his performances have been broadcast on local television and radio stations, such as ABC, CBS, KKGO, and WQXR. Mr. Choi has enjoyed solo recitals at Lincoln Center and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City, a recent sold-out solo recital at Zipper Hall in Los Angeles to benefit the AMRON Foundation, and a solo recital in Savannah, Georgia, in the "On Stage" music festival. He has performed both Chopin Concerti with the South Bay Chamber Orchestra to sold-out houses on both occasions, and was the featured soloist in the season finale with fireworks at the Redlands Summer Music Festival. He performed with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra in Alexandria, Louisiana, after winning the Louisiana International Piano Competition, and has also performed at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, Pasadena's Ambassador Auditorium and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Internationally, Choi has appeared in recital at the prestigious Salzburg Festival in Austria, given various concerts and masterclasses in Nicosia, Cyprus, performed in the Philomusica Festival in Oxford, England, and was invited to perform at music festivals in Puigcerda, Spain and Locarno, Switzerland. He has given solo recitals in a palace concert in Tours and festival performances in Angoustrine and Osseja, France. In Germany, Mr. Choi performed as a soloist with the Goettingen Symphony Orchestra in a palace concert at the world-famous Herrenhausen Gardens with Martin Braus conducting the Beethoven "Emperor" Concerto, which was recorded and distributed for the Hannover Musik Hochschule. In Frankfurt Mr. Choi performed Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic under the baton of Juri Gilbo. In Italy, Mr. Choi was the top prize winner at the Rovere D'oro International Piano Competition. He has toured in South Korea on a number of occasions, and performed at the Seoul Arts Center, Hoam Art Hall, Busan Cultural Center, Sejong Hall, as soloist with the Puchon Philharmonic, and was top prize winner in the Han Romanson International Piano Competition. In Mexico, Mr. Choi took the top prize in the Parnassos International Piano Competition and performed in Monterrey. Mr. Choi was awarded the semi-finalist diploma in the International Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht, as well as diplomas in the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow on two separate occasions. In Taiwan, he won a major prize in the Taiwan International Piano competition and performed as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra in the National Chiang Kai-shek Concert hall.

Rufus Choi's musical training also reflects his international outlook. He is unique for an American pianist, in that he identifies strongly with the Russian school of technique and artistry. A graduate of The Juilliard School (BM, MM) in New York City, where he studied with Oxana Yablonskaya, Mr. Choi was awarded the Soloklassen Diploma, the highest degree attainable at the prestigious Musik Hochschule in Hannover, Germany, where he studied with Vladimir Krainev. Previous teachers also include Konstantin Sirounian, Bruce Sutherland and Abbey Simon.

In addition to his passion for performing, Mr. Choi also believes that an essential part of being a musician is sharing his knowledge with students who love music. Mr. Choi's experience in teaching began as an assistant professor to Oxana Yablonskaya, who taught at The Juilliard School. Since returning to Los Angeles in 2007, he has had the privilege of teaching and working with talented pianists, a number of whom have gone on to study in various conservatories such as the New England Conservatory of Music and Manhattan School of Music. He has also given masterclasses in Beijing, China, at the Two Cranes International Music Festival, Sara Compinsky masterclass series, Honors Piano Performance Seminar at the Colburn School in Los Angeles and various cities throughout the U.S. and in Busan and Seoul, Korea. Mr. Choi is president of Moments of Music Foundation, which provides music education and performance opportunities to young musicians as well as amateur musicians, and also serves on the Music Advisory Board of the Young Musicians Foundation. He recently joined the faculty at Pepperdine University in addition to Irvine Valley College.

Choi's debut album, A Musical Journey, was released by Cambria Recordings to critical acclaim, and most recently an all-Liszt CD recording, also on the Cambria label, that explores humanity's constant struggle between good and evil—a recurring theme in the colorful music of Franz Liszt.

Rufus Choi currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Ruth Choi and their two sons, Noah and Micah.

Please visit for more information.

Keith Colclough



Bass-baritoneKeith Colclough is equally at home as a performer and educator. As a soloist, Keith has sung with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Opera Project, and Opera Santa Barbara. He has been a vocal fellow at Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Opera Theater Center, and Songfest, and he will spend the summer of 2016 at the Tanglewood Music Center as a fellow in their vocal arts program. Keith is a former studio artist at Opera Santa Barbara and member of their improvisation based outreach program, Opera Lab, improvising operas at elementary schools throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura County.

As a student Fulbright Scholar to Mannheim, Germany, Keith studied voice with renowned pedagogue Rudolf Piernay at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik and performed with the Opernschule. Keith has been featured as a soloist with LACMA Sundays Live, Salastina Society, Santa Barbara Choral Society, UCSB Orchestra, Lompoc Master Chorale, Lompoc Music Association, as well as the Music Affiliates Hour on KDB 93.7 fm. Past operatic roles include Colline in La Boheme, Don Basilio in Il Baribiere di Siviglia, Truffaldino in Ariadne Auf Naxos, Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro, Der Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, and Reverend Hale in The Crucible. Other solo repertoire includes the bass solo in Stravinsky's Pulcinella, which he performed with the Music Academy of the West Orchestra under the baton of Matthias Pintscher. Keith also recorded scenes in the development of the opera El Canguro by Cynthia Ferrell and Peter Mike von der Nahmer.

Keith recently completed his Doctorate at UC Santa Barbara with a Chancellor's Fellowship, and is currently on the voice faculty at Pepperdine University (his alma mater) and at AMDA, Los Angeles. He is a member of NATS and also tunes pianos.

Anastasios Comanescu

Taso Comanescu


Anastasios Comanescu is a promising, young guitarist in the Los Angeles area. He was a finalist at the 2009 California A.S.T.A. competition and grand prizewinner at the 2011 Pacific Guitar Festival. His debut solo classical record, "Epitaphios" (2011), features the music of Narvaez, Tansman, Barrios and Theodorakis. It is available on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby.

In 2010 Comanescu began a new musical project with internationally acclaimed lyric tenor Charles Castronovo, performing guitar and arranging music for the ensemble. Their program, entitled Charles Castronovo's Italian Songbook, consists of popular Neapolitan, Sicilian and Italian folk songs. Past performances, including a debut at the famous Zipper Hall in Los Angeles, have been received with critical acclaim. Performing Arts Live writes of an "extraordinary performance.... A grand program of famous arias and Neapolitan Songs...(Castronovo) was accompanied by an impressive five piece musical ensemble." Their debut recording "Dolce Napoli: The Neopolitan Songs" is available on iTunes and Amazon. The 2012 - 2013 concert season will see the group perform around the world.

Comanescu is a founding member of the "Gi-táhr Duo", a successful collaboration with guitarist Austin Grant (2009). Their eclectic programming has garnered praise from guitar virtuoso Christopher Parkening as "an exciting, young, American guitar duo of this generation". More recently he has also shared concerts with esteemed Slovenian guitarist Mak Grgic.

Comanescu studied flamenco guitar with Charles Sedlak and classical guitar with David Dueñas prior to college. He earned a Bachelor's degree in 2010 from Pepperdine University where he studied classical guitar with Christopher Parkening. Comanescu completed his Master's degree at the University of Southern California under Scott Tennant in 2012.

In addition to classical guitar, Comanescu has studied contemporary, jazz and flamenco guitar. Past teachers include electric guitar virtuoso Steve Trovato and Falla Guitar Trio members Kenton Youngstrom and Adam Del Monte.

Anastasios has been a member of the music faculty at Pepperdine University since Fall 2011.

Andrew Cook

Andrew Cook


Andrew Cook, cellist, has excited audiences both as a soloist and ensemble artist with his "strong soloistic style and rich immediate sound" throughout the United States and abroad. Mr. Cook received his bachelors degree from the Peabody Conservatory under Stephen Kates and in 1987 went to study with Lynn Harrell as a scholarship student at the University of Southern California. Concert appearances have taken Mr. Cook throughout the United States, Mexico, France, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Central Asia and Egypt. As a member of the Peabody Honor String Quartet, Mr. Cook performed live broadcasts for National Public Radio and Radio France, a command performance for Princess Grace of Monaco, and a performance at the Palace of Versailles. In 1988, he joined the Valcoeur String Quartet who were artists-in-residence at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

In 1990, Mr. Cook represented the U.S. at the Ninth International Tchaikovsky Cello Competition in Moscow. He has been a guest artist with the Ensemble of Santa Fe and the Lark String Quartet and has also been a guest at the Cerventino International Festival, Musica Da Camerata Festival, Grand Teton Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West and San Miguel de Allende.

Mr. Cook is very active in the Los Angeles music scene and has been a regular guest with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, joining them on two recent European tours. He has also worked with the Pasadena Symphony and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. Cook was a founding member of the Vista Trio which has performed worldwide and has released two recordings on the Vision Records label. He has released his own solo compact disc of beautiful short concert pieces for cello and piano entitled "After a Dream". He is also working on a DVD of J.S. Bach suites for solo cello with AIX and BMG.

He has served on the faculties of Goucher College, Pepperdine University, and California State University Northridge. He is the co-founder and director of the Gold Coast Chamber Music Festival and Gold Coast Concert Artists. He has been a faculty member of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. He is currently professor of cello at Pepperdine University and Artist-teacher at Pasadena Conservatory and maintains an active private studio. Mr. Cook is also active in the recording, television and motion picture studios working on music scores for John Williams, Randy Newman, James Horner, Marvin Hamlisch, Barbara Streisand, Whitney Houston, and others. He is in great demand not only as a performer but also as a teacher, lecturer, and educator.

Nicholas Daley

Nicholas Daley


Originally from St. Paul, MN, Nicholas Daley is an active freelance trombonist in the greater Los Angeles area where he regularly performs with a diverse collection of ensembles ranging from orchestras to jazz, salsa and pop bands, while playing recording sessions for video game, television and movie scores. Noted performances include playing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, Broad Stage Celebrity Opera Recitals, MUSE/IQUE, Pasadena Master Chorale, Pete Myers Orchestra, Frank Stallone, Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars, Buddy Rich Band, Disneyland Band and early music ensembles Tesserae, San Diego Bach Collegium,Tenet and Dark Horse Consort.

Nicholas attended Oberlin Conservatory to study with James DeSano, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree. Subsequently, he moved to Los Angeles, attending the University of Southern California for a Master of Music degree. He maintains a private teaching studio in addition to work with the Oakwood Brass Outreach Project, Harmony Project, and Idyllwild Arts Academy.


Kevin Enstrom



Kevin Enstrom is an up and coming guitarist in the Los Angeles area. Originally from Ontario, Canada, Kevin has performed throughout the U.S, Canada, and Europe, playing works by Torroba, Tedesco, Rodrigo, Dyens and many more. In 2014 Enstrom co-founded the “Orpheo Guitar Quartet” along with guitarists Tomasz Fechner, Christian Cruz, and Sean Mulholland, premiering on KUSC’s radio concert hour at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The quartet began touring recital halls, schools, and correctional facilities showing the beauty and versatility of the classical guitar. Recently Enstrom and The Orpheo Quartet performed alongside Grammy-winning guitarists Scott Tennant, Andrew York, and Bill Kanengiser at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. The group was later awarded the “Outstanding Ensemble Award” from the Thornton School of music at the University of Southern California.

Outside of live performances, his love of many styles has given him the opportunity to record with many artists backed by both major and independent record labels. Some of his musical contributions have been heard at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival, on VH1, as well as MTV shows “Finding Carter”, “Awkward”, “The Real World”, and “Are You the One?”.

Enstrom received his bachelor's of music from Pepperdine University in 2014 studying under world-renowned classical guitarist, Christopher Parkening. And, in 2016, graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Masters of Music from the University of Southern California, where he studied under Scott Tennant of the LAGQ.

Michael Scott Harris



Michael Scott Harris is a versatile singer/actor finding great success as a performer here is Southern California. With a bachelor of music from the University of Arizona (education/conducting) and masters of music (voice) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he has spent his career creating and adapting a strong foundation in classical vocal technique into professional success in multiple musical genres including opera, operetta, oratorio, choral, musical theater, pop/rock, jazz, etc.

Recent performing highlights include South Pacific (Emile de Becque) with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, National Tour of the Phantom of the Opera (Ubaldo Piangi), Mary Poppins (George Banks) with Cabrillo Musical Theater, Jekyll & Hyde (Jekyll/Hyde) with the Candlelight Pavilion, and Camalot (Sir Dinadan) at the Granada Theater in Santa Barbara. While living in New York City, Michael starred Off-Broadway with the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players performing lead roles in The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Sorcerer, Patience, The Gondoliers, Trial by Jury among others. As a teacher, Michael has students who have successful careers performing lead roles on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theater, and the operatic stage. For more information visit

Scott Higgins

Scott Higgins


Scott Higgins has been a freelance percussionist in Los Angeles since 1975. Groups that he performs with on a regular basis include The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Pasadena. Santa Barbara, New West and Long Beach Symphonies. From 1976 to 2005 he was a frequent extra player with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has recorded with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl, Long Beach and Santa Barbara orchestras. His work in Opera and Ballet include Los Angeles Opera, Joffery Ballet, ABT, and New York City Ballet. For the past 20 tears, he has also been very involved in the performance of New Music . He has been involved in the world and west coast premieres of such composers as Pierre Boulez, John Adams, and William Kraft. He is a frequent performer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Monday Evening Concerts, and The Ojai Music Festival. Performances in Europe include the Lucerne, Edinburgh, and Salzburg Music Festivals. In addition to playing in the pit for Opera and Ballet, he has played a lot of the major Broadway Musicals that have been staged in Los Angeles. Shows include Cats, A Chorus Line, Miss Saigon, Candide, Swan Lake, Ragtime, and the 41/2 year run of Phantom of The Opera. His work in the recording industry includes motion pictures, T.V. film, jingles, and record work with popular artists. Motion picture credits include scores by John Williams, David Newman, Don Davis, Disney Animated features, and Earnest Troost. For T.V. Film he has played on many movies of the week, Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, weekly drama and cartoon shows . C.D. recordings include projects ranging from the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, to Judy Collins, Ray Charles, Coldplay and David Benoit.

Alma Fernandez


Alma Fernandez, violist, attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and UCLA, where she recieved a Master's Degree in Viola Performance. She performs regularly with such ensembles as the LA Opera Orchestra, LA Master Chorale, Long Beach Symphony, and Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. Alma is also active in the recording industry, having played for numerous motion picture soundtracks, television shows, and record albums. As a chamber musician, she has been described as "...a soulful violist.(--LA Times, Mark Swed). She is a member of the Denali String Quartet, resident ensemble of the Jacaranda Chamber Music Series in Santa Monica, which gave the world premiere performance of Ben Johnston's 'Revised Standards'. She has also worked closely with composer Tigran Mansurian, having given the west coast premiere of his Percussion & Viola duet in 2007. Alma participated in the Dilijan Chamber Music Series featuring Mansurian's third string quartet, with an interpretation that was described by the LA Times as a "gripping, expert performance..".

Mary Gale


Mary Gale, clarinetist with the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra for twenty-five years, played in the first production of Wagner's Ring Cycle in Los Angeles. She has played with the Santa Barbara Symphony, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Long Beach Opera Orchestra, Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, Royal Ballet Orchestra, Los Angeles Concert Orchestra, William Hall Chorale, and Honolulu Symphony. She is principal clarinetist of the Amara Ensemble and was featured as guest principal clarinetist with the San Diego Symphony. She performs in the Motion Picture, TV, and Recording Industry.

Known for her exquisite tone, musicality and sensitive ensemble playing, her major teachers were Mitchell Lurie, Harold Wright, and Larry Combs. She studied chamber music with Marcel Moyse and James Galway, and breathing techniques with Arnold Jacobs. She attended the Music Academy of the West with Maurice Abravanel, conductor, where she was a scholarship recipient and winner of the Simon Kovar Award for outstanding performance. She is a recipient of the Theodore Presser Foundation Award. A graduate of California State University, Northridge, she later was professor of clarinet there for twelve years. She was also a faculty artist at the Idyllwild Summer Music Festival for more than ten years and at the Fairbanks Alaska Music Festival. Other summer festival appearances include the Hindemith Festival in Oregon and California and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival.

Artists she has worked with include Plácido Domingo (as singer and conductor), José Carreras, Vladimir Chernov, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Eric Halfvarson, Anna Netrebko, Luciano Pavarotti, Samuel Ramey, Erwin Schrott, Frederica von Stade, Carol Vaness and Rolando Villazón, as well as conductors Richard Armstrong, Philippe Auguin, Richard Bonynge, Valery Gergiev, Grant Gershon, Kent Nagano, Julius Rudel and Simon Rattle. In musical theater, she has worked with Richard Burton, Christine Ebersole, Robert Goulet and Richard Harris.

Mary Gale is married to conductor James Martin and has two daughters and two stepdaughters who all share a love and passion for the arts.

Susan Greenberg

Susan Greenberg


 Flutist Susan Greenberg enjoys a versatile career as soloist, chamber musician, symphony player, and recording artist. The Los Angeles Times has described her playing as "brilliant," "elegant" and "supple," and has lauded her "panache" and "musical projection." As a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra from 1975-2011, she was a frequent soloist on both flute and piccolo, premiering a concerto for piccolo by Bruce Broughton and performing a concerto for flute, alto flute and piccolo written for her by Gernot Wolfgang. Ms. Greenberg has also appeared as guest soloist with the San Francisco and Oakland Symphonies, the Santa Monica Symphony, the Napa Valley Symphony, and at the Hollywood Bowl. She has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, L.A. Opera, New York City Opera, American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, as well as at the Casals, Ojai and Martha's Vineyard Music Festivals. Ms. Greenberg was the principal flutist for the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra's tour of Japan, and has received the "Most Valuable Player" award on the flute from the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Ms. Greenberg began her career performing throughout the U.S. and Canada, Europe and the Middle East, as principal flutist with the Roger Wagner Chorale and Orchestra. She was a fellowship recipient to Tanglewood and to the Music Academy of the West. She received both her B.A., cum laude, and her M.A. from UCLA. Ms. Greenberg is also a speaker for the Los Angeles Opera Speaker's Bureau. Ms. Greenberg is presently an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University and has also taught at California Institute of the Arts and Occidental College. Ms. Greenberg is the Co-Artistic Director of Chamber Music Palisades, now celebrating its sixteenth season ( She often performs at LACMA and at the South Bay Chamber Music Series. Ms. Greenberg has recorded for over 500 motion pictures and is the flutist for The Simpsons television show.

Hiroyo Hatsuyama

Hiroyo Hatsuyama


Born in Japan, Dr. Hiroyo Hatsuyama began playing the piano at the age of three. After earning BM with honors in Japan, Dr. Hatsuyama participated in numerous master classes with such renowned artists as Lubov Chimofeeva (Russia) and Klaus Shilde (Germany). She continued her music education studying with Professor Elena Shishko at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia and Professor Kevin Fitz-Gerald and Dr. Alan Smith at the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music in the United States of America.

As a recipient of full-tuition Dean Scholarship and Teaching Assistantship at the USC, she completed both degrees, Master of Music in Piano performance and Doctor of Musical Arts specializing in Keyboard Collaborative Arts with great interest in chamber music. She was invited to play for the master classes for Martin Katz, Midori Goto, Eudice Shapiro and Ruggiero Ricci.

As a versatile pianist and harpsichordist, Dr. Hatsuyama frequently performs as a recitalist and collaborative artist, and serves as an enthusiastic educator for musicians of all ages. Her teaching experience of more than 20 years includes coaching for Junior Chamber Music and Beverly Hills International Music Festival.

Dr. Hatsuyama has been successfully teaching not only piano instruction but also chamber music, harmony, music history, music theory and aural skills with global approach in her teaching method. After teaching at the University of La Verne and the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, she joined the Pepperdine University as an adjunct faculty in 2011.

Dave Holben

Dave Holben


David embarked on his musical journey in 1985 near Pittsburgh, PA, achieving degrees in music from the Eastman School of Music (B.M. '96), University of Arizona (MM, '00) and the University of Southern California (DMA, '11). His major teachers include Sam Pilafian, Daniel Perantoni, Jim Self, Norm Pearson, Cherry Beauregard and David McCollum; a list of iconic figures diverse in talent whose pedagogical ideas have helped Dr. Holben discover his unique sound and versatile style of playing. David has performed with the San Diego Symphony and Pops orchestras, Santa Barbara Symphony, Opera Santa Barbara, New West Symphony, Pasadena Symphony and Pops Orchestras, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, L.A. Opera, Nyobi and Sterling Brass Quintets and other professional ensembles across the Southwestern United States. He has performed with artists such as Victor Vanacore, Jeff Tyzik and Andrea Bocelli, and his solo appearances have taken him from Fresno to France, from Greensburg to the Great Lakes performing innovative programs of new music.

Leslie Lashinsky

Leslie Lashinsky


Leslie Lashinsky plays lots of low notes. Her orchestral credits include the L.A. Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, L.A. Opera, Bolshoi, ABT and Joffrey Ballets, Long Beach, Glendale and Pacific Symphonies, L.A. Chamber and Hollywood Bowl Orchestras, and many theatrical productions. She has played bassoon and contrabassoon on many soundtracks, including Jurassic Park, The Lion King, The Matrix Trilogy, Star Trek X, The Chronicles of Narnia and Enchanted as well as chamber music recordings.Leslie has toured the world with Zubin Mehta, Leonard Bernstein and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Her original music and multi-media works have been included in Lincoln Center's "Serious Fun Festival", The Los Angeles Festival, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and New Music Across America. Leslie holds an MFA degree from The California Institute of the Arts and a BA degree from Middlebury College. She has taught at Art Center College of Design and is currently on the faculty of Pepperdine University. She directs "Go For Baroque" Productions.

Kyung Lee

Kyung Lee


Dr. Kyung Lee is a gifted artist who emigrated from Korea to the United States at age 9. She made her debut with orchestra at age 10 and her first television appearance at age 11. She won numerous competitions from Florida Federation of Music Clubs and was awarded many scholarships, including a 10-year scholarship allegiance from Miami Music Club.

Upon entering University of Miami, she won the prestigious Van Steenberg Scholarship which is awarded to an incoming freshman at the university's music department open instrument competition. At age 21, she won the West Regional Chopin Competition in the 21 to 29-year age category. She was the winner of the Outstanding Keyboard Student of University of Miami Music Department where she received her Bachelor of Music degree with major in piano performance.

She continued her studies at University of Southern California where she earned both her Master of Music degree and Doctor of Musical Arts degree with Piano Performance Major. She is now a very active teacher and member of the Music Teachers' Association of California, having served as both Vice President and President of the MTAC-Conejo Valley Branch.

Dr. Lee's teaching experience spans over 20 years, that of Conejo Valley beginning in the year, 2000. Her students' accolades include winning SYMF competition, Southern California Junior Bach Showcase, and Conejo Valley Contemporary Fall Festival Gold Medal, among others. In addition to her private studio, she has taught group music lessons at a local music academy for 8 years. Her strengths lie in versatility of teaching styles and the depth of understanding her students. Such forte is reinforced by her minor fields in music education with emphasis on early childhood music, and piano pedagogy. Consequently, her expertise lies, not only on the technical and musical levels, but also on the levels of cognitive and emotional development.

Dr. Lee is active in the music community, and is an enthusiastic supporter of the performing arts and organizations, especially the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic. She is serving on the board of T.O. Philharmonic and is committed to giving back to the community by performing regularly in benefit recitals.

Lori Maier

Lori Maier


A graduate of the University of Miami with emphasis on Studio Recording and Jazz Vocal Performance, Lori has extensive vocal experience as a recording artist, commercial session singer and live performer, and her songwriting has earned her Billboard Magazine's Songwriter of the Year Award. She was the director of DePaul University's Jazz Vocal program from 1991-1997 and is a vocal clinician for the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (the GRAMMYS) with emphasis on jazz and contemporary vocal instruction. She currently teaches voice at Pepperdine University, is the founder and Executive Director of Chick Singer Night, a national performance network for female artists (, and is the founder and President of Breathe - A Foundation for the Artist, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to the needs of all artists.

Joe Meyer

Joseph Meyer smiles brightly in a classic head shot holding a brass instrument.


Joseph Meyer received his Bachelor of Music degree from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh in 1970. He has studied with Howard Hillyer, Forest Stanley, and Verne Reynolds. Mr Meyer taught elementary school for six years in Pennsylvania before moving to New York City to pursue a career in performing. This led to a series of national tours that brought him to Los Angeles where he eventually settled. A free-lance musician, he has played with the Joffrey Ballet, the Los Angeles Opera, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, California Brass Ensemble, Westwood Wind Quintet, Shubert Theater Productions, Long Beach Symphony, the Civic Light Opera and others. Meyer returns as soloist with the Santa Monica Symphony, having performed in 2003 the Horn Concerto in C minor by Franz Strauss. He has taught at Pepperdine University; California State University, Long Beach; and , UC Santa Barbara. He plays also in the studios for film, television, records, and radio. His studio work included: Star Trek the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Dr. Quinn, Rod Stuart: Unplugged and the Emmy Awards. More are Newsies, Out of Africa, Of Mice and Men, Under Siege, Batman, Scent of a Woman, and Hoffa. Mr. Meyer's recording credits include: The King and I, and The Gershwins in Hollywood. He has also played for recording sessions with entertainers Linda Ronstadt, Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle, Prince, and Madonna.

Beverly Min

Beverly Min


Native of Boston, Massachusetts, pianist Beverly Min Thiagarajan enjoys a versatile career in music as a soloist, collaborative pianist, opera coach, and teacher. She received her D.M.A. in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from the University of Southern California after receiving a M.M. in Chamber music and Accompanying from the Shepherd School of Music of Rice University, and B.M. and M.M. in Piano performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music.

She has participated in the Sarasota Music Festival, Banff Chamber Music Festival, Cours International de musique in Morges, Switzerland, and Aspen Opera Theatre Center as a fellowship pianist and coach. She has been a member of the Eastman Contemporary Music Ensemble, Shepherd School Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the USC Thornton School Contemporary Music Ensemble, performing on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series at Zipper Hall. As an accomplished solo pianist and chamber musician, she has performed in numerous venues across USA, Germany, Korea, Netherlands, and Switzerland. Her teachers include Natalya Antonova, Bernadene Blaha, Brian Connelly, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, and Alan Smith.

Dr. Thiagarajan is currently on the faculty at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and Chapman University in Orange, California, where she teaches piano, vocal and instrumental coaching.

Dustin McKinney


Originally from Des Moines, IA, Dustin McKinney is a Los Angeles based freelance trumpet player and teacher.
Prior to moving to Southern California, he studied trumpet at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Dustin has performed with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Santa Barbara Symphony, and Golden State Pops Orchestra. He can also be found playing lead trumpet in the orchestra pits of many Los Angeles area theaters, various big bands, and as a substitute with
the world famous Disneyland Band.
As an active chamber musician, Dustin is a co-founder 3brass, a Southern California based brass trio. This award winning ensemble released their first album, An Offering, in June of 2012 and is available on iTunes.
Dustin currently serves as the adjunct professor of trumpet at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Occidental College in Los Angeles, and coaches brass chamber music at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Dustin McKinney is a Yamaha Performing Artist.

Barry Newton


String Bass

Barry Newton, a Los Angeles native, studied at the University of Portland and received his B.F.A./ M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts. He has studied extensively with notable bassists including Tommy Thompson, Fred Tinsley, and Peter Rofe. His orchestral credits include Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, New West Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic. Barry has worked with such eminent conductors as Leonard Bernstein, John Mauceri, John Williams, and Boris Brott. He has accompanied Yes, Chicago, Moody Blues, The Scorpions, Elton John, Brian Wilson, The Three Tenors and Andrea Bocelli, among others. Barry's dedication to contemporary performance practice has included regular performances with the Cal Arts New Century Players directed by David Rosenboom. His jazz experiences have lead him to performances with Peter Erskine, Anthony Braxton, Buddy Childers and the Dave Pell Octet. Barry often works and composes with various Rock/Pop projects on the west coast. His current group 'Kiss the Frog' is an assortment of pop, electronica, and experimental improvisation. His interest in non-western music has guided him to regular performances with the Indonesian gamelan group 'Bali and Beyond' and Suzanne Teng's 'Mystic Journey' an eastern/western hybrid collaboration. Barry has been the recipient of scholarship awards by the Ahmanson Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the Doris Duke Charitable Trust Foundation. Barry currently lives with his daughter Hannah in Topanga, California.

Ida Nicolosi

Ida Nicolosi

Voice and Materials, Techniques and Skills in Music

Ida Nicolosi, a "bright, beautiful soprano voice" (Kansas City Star) holds both her Bachelors in Music Education and her Masters in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. She completed apprenticeships with the Des Moines Metro Opera and the Janiec Opera Company. Ms. Nicolosi has sung with the Spoletto Festival USA, Lincoln Center Festival in NYC, Kansas City Puccini Festival, Opera Iowa, Lyric Opera of Kansas City Educational Outreach Troupe, The Gotham Chamber Opera, The Des Moines Metro Opera, Brevard Music Center, Blacksburg Master Chorale, and the Kansas City Civic Opera. She has performed a variety of roles including Lisette (La Rondine), La Rana (La bella dormente nel bosco), Despina (Cosi fan tutte), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Sister Constance (The Dialogues of the Carmelites), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), and Lucy (The Telephone).

Equally excelling in opera, oratorio, and early music, Ms. Nicolosi has performed the soprano solos for such works as Bach's B-Minor Mass and St. John Passion, Handel's Dixit Dominus and Gloria, Mozart's Solemn Vespers, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Vivaldi's Gloria, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Vaughan-William's Dona Nobis Pacem. Ms. Nicolosi is also a sought-after performer of contemporary music and her performances of Olivier Messiaen's Poemes pour Mi and George Crumb's Apparitions received high acclaim. As a choral musician, she has sung with Armonia Early Music Ensemble, KC Collegium Vocale, and is currently a member of the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers.

This year's recent performances included the world premiere of James Eakin's Flowers Over the Graves of War at Carnegie Hall presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York and her fourth season with the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers. Upcoming concerts include an art song recital in Shreveport, Louisiana and a full period Messiah with the Kansas City Baroque Consortium.

Ms. Nicolosi taught voice at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City for five years shortly after pursuing an artist diploma in opera performance. She currently teaches courses in music education, music appreciation, and studio voice at Pepperdine University.

Ida Nicolosi is recognized for her command of a great breadth of repertoire that encompasses opera, oratorio, early music, and new music. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 singing the world premiere of James Eakin's Flowers Over the Graves of War presented by the Distinquished Concert International New York. Nicolosi has sung with the Spoletto Festival USA, Lincoln Center Festival, Kansas City Puccini Festival, Opera Iowa, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The Gotham Chamber Opera, The Des Moines Metro Opera, the Kansas City Civic Opera, the Jewell Early Music Festival, and the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers.

Ms. Nicolosi lives in Malibu with her husband and son and teaches voice and courses in Music Education at Pepperdine University. Ida taught voice at the University of Missouri-Kansas City for five years and holds both her Bachelors in Music Education and her Masters in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.

Joseph Peeples

Joseph Peeples

Organ, Theory

Joseph Peeples teaches courses in music theory and aural skills. He is also an adjunct faculty member at California Lutheran University, where he teaches applied organ and courses in music appreciation and keyboard harmony. Joseph serves on the faculty of the annual Brigham Young University Organ Workshop in Provo, Utah, where he has taught courses on a variety of topics, including organ registration, organ literature, pedal technique, improvisation, and music theory. Before joining the faculty at Pepperdine and CLU, he taught a wide variety of courses in music theory and musicianship at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana and Brigham Young University.

Joseph has a great love for organ and sacred music and its unique power to bring people closer to Christ. He has been a church musician for 20 years, with substantial experience in congregational and choral accompanying. This experience includes being Organist of Speedway Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Speedway, Indiana and accompanying the nationally-recognized collegiate choirs of Brigham Young University. He currently serves as substitute organist for churches throughout the Los Angeles area.

Recently, Joseph performed at St. Michael's Episcopal Church (Charleston, South Carolina) as part of the L'Organo recital series of Charleston's annual Piccolo Spoleto Festival. He has also given recitals at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church and the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He was a finalist in the 2014 Arthur Poister Scholarship Competition in Organ Playing and won second place in the 2009 AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists, Salt Lake City Chapter.

Andrew Picken

andrew in suit in front of brick colonial style home


Mr. Picken is Associate Principal Viola of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, Principal Viola of the Pasadena Symphony, and Principal Viola of the Los Angeles Master Choral Orchestra. He has lent his talents to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Oregon Bach Festival. In addition to his busy performance schedule, he teaches viola at Pepperdine University, The Colburn School in Los Angeles, as well as his private studio.
Mr. Picken is a dedicated pedagogue. His students have matriculated into many of the top music schools in the country including Juilliard, Oberlin Conservatory, New England Conservatory, Boston University, Colburn Conservatory, and USC. His students have won awards at numerous competitions, including the Johansen International, Mondavi Center Young Artists, Voce, Fischoff Chamber Music, Palisades Young Artists Award, and the Kiwanis Solo Competition in Los Angeles.
An avid chamber musician and founding member of the Pasadena String Quartet, Mr. Picken has performed with the Music Guild concert series in Bel Air, the Gold Coast Chamber Music Festival, the Rocky Ridge Music Festival, Chamber Music Unbound, the Green Lake Music Festival, Sunday's Live at LACMA, Lake Chelan Bach Festival, the Nevada Chamber Music Festival, the South Bay Chamber Music Series, the Seal Beach Chamber Music Festival, the Enlightenment Chamber Music Series, and has been an invited guest artist with the Felici Piano Trio, and the LaFayette String Quartet. Additionally, Mr. Picken records frequently in the motion picture studios and can be heard on the soundtracks of such movies as Ratatouille, Master and Commander and Finding Nemo.


Nicole Pryor

Pryor Pic


Nicole is thrilled to be back home in California after completing a 6 ½ year run, performing over 2600 shows in the Las Vegas Company of The Broadway Show, The Phantom of the Opera directed by the incomparable, Hal Prince.
Raised just thirty minutes from America's entertainment capital, Hollywood, California, Nicole always felt drawn to the performance spotlight. She began taking piano lessons at four and at age 12, she added formal voice lessons and began writing original music. Her hard work paid off with a scholarship to Pepperdine University for classical voice. She graduated with a degree in music and advertising in only three years.
The start of her professional performance career was in the role of Yonah in the musical, "Children Of Eden" at Cabrillo Music Theater in Thousand Oaks, California. That same year, she was crowned Miss Ventura County 2002 and was 4th Runner-Up to Miss California in the Miss America Organization, winning the talent competition at both levels as well as "Miss Congeniality". Nicole went on to perform the role of Sarah in the musical "Ragtime" in three southern California theaters, Rusty in "Footloose" at Moonlight Amphitheater and May Rose Cottage in the original opera by Michael J. Lewis, "Under Milk Wood." Wholesome and disciplined, Nicole was a perfect addition to Disney's popular a-cappella group, American Vybe, at Disney, Orlando. With this group, she also performed on The Wayne Brady Show.
In addition to her stage work, Nicole has been teaching privately for over 11 years both in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She has taught and currently teaches professional performers, of which over 20 have starred or currently star on Broadway or in Touring Broadway Companies.
In addition to her teaching and stage work, Nicole is also a recording artist. Her vocal recording of "Song of the Albatross" on Jim Centorino's "Three Dreams" album earned her a GRAMMY Award Nomination Submission. Nicole recently released her third album, "The Long Way Home," which can be purchased on her website and iTunes.
She thanks God, her family and friends for their support and guidance on this amazing journey through life.

Brian Scanlon

Brian Scanlon

Jazz and Saxophone

Brian Scanlon has been an active member of the Los Angeles music scene since 1987. As a saxophonist and woodwind doubler he has made his mark in the recording studios, on the concert stage and in nightclubs.

Born in Queens, New York and raised in New Jersey, Brian started playing the saxophone with Ramon Ricker at the prestigious Eastman School of Music where he earned both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music (1981 and 1983).

Brian's career highlights include touring with song and dance man Ben Vereen (1986 - 1999) and regular appearances on the "Tonight Show" as a member of the NBC Orchestra (1988 - 1992). He also toured with trumpeter Doc Severinsen (1988 - 1996) and briefly played lead alto with Buddy Rich (1986).

Brian can be heard on several soundtrack recordings such as "Monster's Inc.," "A Bug's Life," "Moulin Rouge," and "Analyze This." He has recorded with Randy Newman and Rosemary Clooney and performed with Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, and the LA Philharmonic. Saxophone soloist for Natalie Cole and Maureen McGovern are among his current gigs as well as extensive freelancing in the LA area. At Pepperdine University, Brian directs the jazz ensemble and teaches saxophone.

Ted Sugata Ted Sugata


Dr. Sugata, a native of Southern California, was a recipient of the ASCAP Leiber and Stoller music scholarship and semifinalist in the LA Music Center's Spotlight Awards Competition. He attended the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Joseph Robinson. He continued his graduate studies with the late John Mack at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where her received of Master of Music degree in 2002. During his time in Cleveland, he performed regularly as a principal oboist with the Erie Philharmonic and Youngstown Symphony. Dr. Sugata completed a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in oboe performance at USC in 2014 under Dr. Joel Timm.

Dr. Sugata is currently second oboist with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he was a member of the Sarasota Orchestra in Florida, and principal oboist with the Lyrique-en-Mer Opera in Belle-Ile, France. He performs regularly with the Los Angeles Opera, San Diego Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and the Pasadena Symphony. Since 2012, he has been a member of the Calico Winds, a resident woodwind ensemble with the Glendale Noon Concerts.

He has participated in several summer festivals including fellowships with the Tanglewood Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Music Academy of the West. Currently, his summer is spent teaching his Idyllwild Arts summer program where he has been on faculty since 2011. His students have gone on to careers in music and most recently accepted into the Julliard School, Cleveland Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Indiana University, and USC.

Alexander Treger

Treger Pic


Alexander Treger, noted violinist, giftededucator and accomplished conductor, has joined the Pepperdine University Music Department as an Artist-in Residence in Fall 2013. The Russian-born Treger, studied with renowned violinist David Oistrakh at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory – he often refers to these six extraordinary years as the most influential in his development as a musician. After a few years with the Moscow Radio Orchestra led by Gennady Rojdesvenski and with the Israel Chamber Orchestra, where he held the post of Concertmaster/Soloist, Mr. Treger moved to the United States and joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1974. He became Assistant Concertmaster in 1978, and was appointed Concertmaster in 1985, a position he has held for 25 years. Mr. Treger won high praise for his numerous solo performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and at the Hollywood Bowl, under the direction of Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, Simon Rattle, Pierre Boulez, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. He has also appeared as a soloist with other major U.S. orchestras, including the San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, and Houston Symphonies. An avid chamber performer, he has collaborated in concerts with Radu Lupu, Yefim Bronfman, André Previn, Bernard Greenhouse, and Emanuel Ax.

Recognized for his inspiring work with promising young musicians, he held the position of violin professor at UCLA from 1977 to 1997, and he has given master classes around the world. He is currently the Music Director of the American Youth Symphony and Music Director/Conductor at Crossroads School where he has developed a youth chamber orchestra of the highest caliber. Under his leadership, the American Youth Symphony has performed at Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Disney Concert Hall, and received the hands-on support of world class musicians, including Yefim Branfman, Sarah Chang, Midori, Johannes Moser, Alan Silvestri, and John Williams. He has developed the orchestra into a first-class training ground for young musicians of the 21st century.

Leonora Wagner

Leonora Wagner

Music History

After earning a B.S. in mathematics and a B.M. in violin performance, summa cum laude, from Biola University in 2003, Leonora Wagner continued her studies at the University of Southern California, receiving an M.A. in music history and literature. In the fall of 2012 she completed a Ph.D. in historical musicology at USC with a dissertation focusing on the writings and music of Michael Praetorius in relation to congregational singing in Lutheran Germany during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. She has taught music history survey courses at Biola University, the University of Southern California, and most recently at Pepperdine University, and maintains a private violin studio in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County.

Key Affiliations:

American Musicological Society
Society for Seventeenth-Century Music
International Heinrich Schütz Society
Pi Kppa Lambda National Music Honor Society

David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson


David Wilkinson is recognized as one of southern California's leading vocal accompanists and coaches. Mr. Wilkinson's performances as a collaborative pianist have taken place in major concert halls and universities throughout the United States and Europe, including The White House, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Yale University, the Verdi Conservatory and Oberlin Conservatory. Mr. Wilkinson has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Frederica Von Stade, Jane Eaglen, Markella Hatziano, Julia Migenes, Adrian Gans, Gloria Parker, and Laurie Rubin. While living in Italy he was an accompanist for the studios and master classes of operatic legends Tito Gobbi, Giuseppe Di Stefano, and Magda Olivero. Mr. Wilkinson is a graduate of both the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Southern California. His teachers have included such imminent artists as Graham Johnson, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Jeaneane Dowis, and Seymour Lipkin. Mr. Wilkinson is a member of the vocal arts and opera faculty at the University of Southern California, and has also served as guest faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara and California State University, Fullerton. Mr. Wilkinson joined the vocal arts faculty at Pepperdine University in 2011.