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To enroll in a private lesson, you will need to complete the CHASS Enrollment Request with the information of the class you would like to enroll in.


*The letter after the subject number refers to the instrument you are pursuing (e.g. MUS 180P is a 60-minute piano lesson). Please refer to the UCR Catalog for more information. Please be sure to contact the instructor directly to arrange the day and time of your lessons.

You will need to make sure that you are enrolling in the correct lesson (instrument, length of the lesson, units earned, instructor, etc.) as lesson fees are non-refundable. The private lesson fee is in addition to tuition and may be covered by financial aid (if available).

MUS 080 Series
Cost: $350/quarter
Length: 30 minutes per week
Units Earned: 1

MUS 180 Series
Cost: $700/quarter
Length: 1 hour per week
Units Earned: 2

Christine Araoka
Christine Araoka, Jazz Piano

Christine Araoka is a composer, performer, and educator from Southern California. She writes and arranges for a wide selection of ensembles including big bands, jazz combos, and brass bands, and has worked with groups such as Heartland Marimba, Lala Brass, and Pandemonium Prism. Likewise, Christine has recently returned from a tour of the UK with widely acclaimed pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck. Christine can be found as a working musician around the Los Angeles and Orange County area, playing jazz, pop, rock, and classical music. In addition to her performance career, Christine is also an accomplished educator, running her own private studio and teaching on faculty at UC Riverside. 

Christine began her piano education at an early age, learning from her mother. Expanding her music education, she also studied choir and percussion in high school. After discovering her fascination with extended harmonies, she pursued both jazz and classical piano as well as percussion at Riverside City College under the mentorship of Charles Richard, Joel Paat, Judy Johansen, and Steven Schmidt. 

Graduating Cum Laude, Christine received her Bachelor’s degree from the California State University of Fullerton in 2018. There she pursued her studies in Jazz Performance under the mentorship of Grammy-award-winning pianist Bill Cunliffe, pianist, and educator Alison Edwards, and established studio musician Francisco Torres. 

In 2021 Christine received her Master’s Degree in Composition, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Azusa  Pacific University under the mentorship of Phil Shackleton and Mark Gasbarro. ⁠

Currently, Christine is excited to present her new compositional work with Southern California Marimba, along with releasing her own music. As a composer, she strives to create cross-genre music that connects with listeners of all kinds.⁠

When Christine is not writing or teaching, she can be found in jazz venues, botanical gardens, or in her patio propagating her plants. 

Email: araoka.christine@gmail.com

Ralph Cato
Ralph Cato, D.M.A., Voice

American baritone, Ralph Cato has traveled the world extensively, telling stories in song using his warm, clarion baritone. A graduate of the University of Southern California and the University of California in Los Angeles, Cato has always been a champion of performance and education.

Cato studied musical theater with Paul Gleason and later with John Hall at UCLA. Later, he traveled extensively with Albert McNeil’s Jubilee Singers as a featured soloist. He sang his first Carmina Burana, with the Estonia National Symphony and it has become a work he has since sung numerous times to critical acclaim.  In Köln, Germany, he sang the Mozart Vesperes Sollennes de Confessore Mass with the Cologne Philharmonic and will sing the baritone role in Carmina Burana this spring. He has sung the title role in Gianni Schicchi, Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Marcello (La Boheme), Sonora (Fanciulla del West), Germont (LaTraviata), Escamillo (Carmen) and Tonio (I Pagliacci). In Porgy and Bess, he has portrayed Sportin’ Life, Porgy and Jake as well as Peter and Robbins all in different productions.  Cato has toured Europe, China, Canada, Australia, and the US as a featured soloist with the Irish dance show Riverdance. and was a part of the ensemble in Baz Luhrman’s La Boheme.  He has performed with Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Bangor Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, San Bernadino Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, Stockton Symphony, The California Philharmonic, The Pacific Symphony, The Southeast Symphony, The Pacific Chorale, Chorale bel Canto, and The Santa Barbara Choral Society.

When not performing, Cato teaches applied voice and diction to singers at UC Riverside and Los Angeles Valley College.

Email: rcato1@yahoo.com

Lisa Cherry
Lisa Cherry, French Horn

Lisa Cherry has been a professional musician since 1978. Upon completion of her degree in Performance in 1981, she won her first orchestra job in Veracruz, México. After the Veracruz orchestra job, Lisa returned home and has been “free-lancing” ever since!

A sought-after show player, she has performed with Long Beach Civic Light Opera, San Gabriel Light Opera, La Mirada Civic Light Opera, at the “Old Globe Theater” in San Diego, and La Jolla Playhouse. Her many symphony orchestras include Peninsula Symphony, Westchester/Marina del Rey Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, Santa Monica Chamber Orchestra, Torrance Symphony, South Coast Symphony (founding member), and Pacific Symphony. Ms. Cherry was in the “Hour of Power” orchestra from 2001-2010 at Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, which was televised all over the world. She has toured with orchestras all over the world to Taiwan, Canada, México, and Italy, Berlin, Poland, Prague, and most recently Varna Bulgaria.

An accomplished teacher, Ms. Cherry has a very successful horn studio in Orange County where she teaches young players and adults alike. Lisa holds a B.M. in Music Performance from California State University, Long Beach (1981). Her extensive teaching background has made her very sought after and includes teaching at top Universities all around Southern California, UCI, Concordia University, Vanguard Univ, Riverside Community College, and has been at Cal Baptist University in Riverside on their teaching Faculty since 2003. She joined the UCR faculty in the fall of 2016 and joined the faculty of Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) in August 2018. www.LisaCherryHorn2tr.com

Email: Horn2tr@cox.net

David W Christensen
David W. Christensen, M.M., Organ and Carillon

David Christensen graduated magna cum laude from the University of Redlands, receiving the BM and MM degrees.  While attending the U of R Mr. Christensen studied organ with Raymond Boese.  He continued his organ studies with Robert Anderson at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

In recent years, Mr. Christensen has performed organ recitals on the concert series of notable churches including St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco, and Trinity Episcopal Church in Reno, Nevada.  Mr. Christensen is currently an Organist and Director of Music at Eden Lutheran Church in Riverside.  He also plays for the Wednesday evening service at the First Church of Christ Scientist in Riverside.  Previous positions in Riverside have included the First United Methodist Church and the First Congregational Church.

At the University of California, Riverside, Christensen studied carillon with Lowell Smith and Margo Halsted.  In 1987 he was appointed University Carillonneur and currently is active in that position, playing weekly recitals and teaching carillon students.  He has performed concerts on many carillons throughout the United States and Canada including the University of Michigan, University of Toronto, Princeton University, Longwood Gardens, Valley Forge, St. John's Cathedral in Spokane, and others.

Two of Mr. Christensen's carillon arrangements are published by The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America.  A piece for handbells is available from the Lorenz Corporation.  Several pieces for organ have been published by the Kenwood Press.  Mr. Christensen can be heard playing the carillon on the Delos CD Christmas with Roger Wagner featuring the Roger Wagner Chorale with carillon and handbells.

Email: david.christensen@ucr.edu

Nick Gomez
Nick Gomez, Saxophone

Nick is a Los Angeles-based woodwind player who has recorded with Miles Tackett, Ramaj Eroc, Kato Walker, John Stratton, and CharlesBlack and performs regularly with Breakestra, Vatomico, and the Ron King Big Band. The Nick Gomez Trio can be heard at venues throughout Southern California, including at their monthly residency at Mantra Coffee. They play original music and various hidden gems from jazz history. Nick teaches Applied Saxophone at UC Riverside, employing a rigorous curriculum that focuses on sound development, sight-reading, improvisation, and doubling.

Hermann Hudde
Hermann Hudde, Guitar (Classical)

Hermann Hudde is a recitalist, having given performances at such distinguished venues as the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts, Graphik Museum “Pablo Picasso”, St. Elizabeth-Kirche and Lateinamerikanischen Musiktage in Germany, Maryland University, the Venezuelan Arts Gallery of New York, La Universidad Central de Venezuela, Fundación John Boulton, Casa de Estudios Latinoamericanos “Rómulo Gallegos", and Biblioteca Nacional de Venezuela in Caracas, Wasserstaawerk Concertgebouw in Holland, Sala Teatina in Florence, University of Chicago Fulton Recital Hall, El Instituto de Cultura y Educación de México en Chicago, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The Keller Room in New England Conservatory, MIT Guest Artist Concert Series, King's Chapel, The Loring-Greenough House, and St. Paul Cathedral, Bentley University in Boston, Dartmouth College Vaughan Recital Series, La Maison de l'Amérique Latine in Paris, and L’Université de Franche-Comtè in Besancon, France.

As a recording artist, Centaur Records released his newest cd "Iberoamérica" (2009) with liner notes by Lecturer Olmanda Hernandez-Guerrero from Simmons College. The German label Dreyer & Gaido produced Hermann’s first cd entitled “Trivium” (2003) with liner notes by the English composer John Duarte. Composer Miguel del Aguila wrote the guitar work Sambeando (2021) for Hermann. Together with the North/South Consonance Chamber Orchestra conducted by Max Lifchitz in New York City, Hermann premiered Suite Continental (2019) by composer Alex Rodriguez, a work dedicated to him. In addition, the Estonian composer Renée Eespere dedicated his solo guitar work Immutatio (2003) to Hermann, a piece that was featured in Soundboard Magazine.

Hermann Hudde earned a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of California, Riverside (2021) where he was awarded the prestigious Gluck Fellow Program of the Arts at the University of California, Riverside (2017-21). He also holds a Master of Music Degree with a Music-in-Education concentration (2008) at New England Conservatory in Boston, under the tutelage of Robert Sullivan, and a Master of Arts in Musicology from Brandeis University thanks to the support of scholarships. Hermann also earned a Bachelor's degree in music at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold Abteilung Münster, Germany (2003) and a Bachelor's degree in International Studies at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (1998). Hermann received a scholarship from the Mozarteum University in Salzburg to attend the Summer Academy (2004), where he met and later became a student of Edoardo Catemario at the Accademia Musicale di Firenze, Italy (2005-06). Hermann began his guitar studies in Venezuela with Rubén Riera and studied music theory with the composer Alvaro Cordero.

Email: hhudd001@ucr.edu

Ana Maldonado
Ana Maldonado, Cello

Ana Maria Maldonado received her Master of Music in Cello Performance from the University of Southern California where she studied with Gabor Rejto. She received her Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Texas Tech University. Ana Maria was awarded a J. D Rockefeller Fellowship to promote Western Classical Music in Bangkok, Thailand where she played in the Kennedy String Quartet. The Kennedy String Quartet traveled throughout Asia concertizing under the auspices of the United States Information Service. These concerts included playing in Vietnam, Laos, and Nepal. Part of the fellowship included teaching Thai children at the Royal Music Academy in Bangkok and playing with the Pro Musica Orchestra, which was sponsored by the Goethe Institut. After leaving Thailand, she auditioned and won a cello position in the Heidelberg Stadtisches Opera Orchester in Heidelberg, Germany. While in Germany, she taught cello to private students at the Wiesloch Musik Schule. Currently, Ana Maria teaches at Cal Poly Pomona, UC Riverside, Chaffey College, Cal Baptist University, and Riverside Community College. She also has a private studio. She has served as principal cellist of the San Bernardino Symphony since 1983 and is a freelance musician.

Email: ana.maldonado@ucr.edu

Todd Moellenberg
Todd Moellenberg, Piano

Todd Moellenberg is a pianist and artist based in Los Angeles. He specializes in both classical and contemporary repertoire, and has been featured as a soloist with Wild Up, Monday Evening Concerts, and the Palimpsest Ensemble. Todd has worked closely with composers Czaya Chernowin, Roger Reynolds, Yiheng Yvonne Wu, Rand Steiger, Thomas Meadwocroft, and Xavier Beteta, with recordings released on Deutsche Grammophon, Sideband, and Petrichor. His creative work encompasses composition, video, poetry, and performance art, and has been featured by Conrad Tao, Ryan Nestor, Autoduplicity, Music for Your Inbox, Meaningless Work, and artist Mariah Garnett. Todd received his DMA in contemporary piano performance at UC San Diego, under the mentorship of Aleck Karis. His dissertation demonstrates how the work of Maurice Ravel and Jean Barraqué can generate poetic forms and structures for durational performance.

Email: todd.moellenberg@ucr.edu

Frances C. Moore
Frances C. Moore, M.M., Violin and Viola

Email: frances.moore@ucr.edu

David Pittel
David Pittel, Trumpet

David Pittel is enjoying an active trumpet performance career in a wide variety of musical avenues. Known for his versatility and beautiful interpretation of tone, he has recorded for the film and television industry, played in numerous orchestras, performed with many of Los Angeles’ outstanding big bands and small ensembles, and presented solo recitals. Currently, Mr. Pittel holds the position of principal trumpet with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his accomplished performance career, Mr. Pittel teaches applied music at Riverside City College, Antelope Valley College, the Schwab Academy of Music at Ventura College, and the University of California, Riverside. Mr. Pittel holds a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Music degree from the University of California Los Angeles.

Email: david.pittel1@ucr.edu

Robert L. Scarano, B.A., Guitar (Jazz and Pop)

Robert Scarano has been a working musician for over 45 years. He has performed on Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, and Uke in a multitude of diverse musical situations including Jazz, Classical, Rock/Pop, Blues, and Country. His work as a touring musician spans over 32 States, as well as Mexico and Italy. He is a veteran pit musician supporting over 100 musicals of both local and traveling Broadway productions. Robert Goulet, Carol Channing, Mac Davis, Joel Grey, Loretta Divine, Lainie Kazan, Lorne Loft, Bebe Neurwith, and many more Broadway stars have been accompanied by Mr. Scarano’s playing. Mr. Scarano has also supported Star vocalists on the stage such as Rosemary Clooney, Vic Damone, Loretta Lynn, Dinah Shore, Giuseppe De Steffano, Clay Aiken, Frankie Laine, Herb Jeffries, Keely Smith, Wayne Newton, and many others. His on-stage accompaniment of entertainers and comedians include Rich Little, George Burns, Ed Ames, Don Rickles, Tommy Tune, Donald O, Conner, Myron Floren, and Sheree Lewis. As a highly sought-after jazz musician, Mr. Scarano has recorded with or performed live with Ross Tomkins, Patrice Rushen, Henry Cuesta, Lamont Johnson, Jay Migliori, and Howard Roberts. Mr. Scarano is the featured composer of an ensemble member of several Jazz and classical recordings. Mr. Scarano is currently an adjunct instructor of Jazz guitar at the University of California, Riverside.

Email: dopocena@hotmail.com

Leslie Schroerlucke
Leslie Schroerlucke, M.M., Clarinet

Leslie Schroerlucke has enjoyed a successful career both as a clarinetist and educator. As a student of the late Stanly Hasty, she earned her Bachelor's degree in Clarinet and the Performer’s Certificate at the Eastman School of Music. She has studied with many prominent clarinetists including, Mitchell Lurie at USC, Canadian clarinetist James Campbell, Frank Kowalsky at Florida State, and the late Peter Hadcock of the Boston Symphony. Leslie received a Master’s in Clarinet Performance at Florida State University. She served as Clarinetist with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Florida under the direction of English conductor James Judd, performed with the Miami Opera, was the Principal Clarinet of the Symphonia of the Americas, and premiered several works at Miami's New Music Festival. Leslie served on the faculty of Florida International University, Broward Community College, and the New World School of the Arts.

Leslie has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, Redlands and Long Beach Symphonies, the Spoleto Opera Festival, and as a soloist, clinician, and chamber musician throughout Europe and in Brazil. She performed with the Orange County Clarinet Choir in Assisi Italy in 2013. She is currently the clarinet instructor at UC Riverside and Principal Clarinet with the Orange County Wind Symphony. Schroerlucke received a Master’s in Music Education from Boston University in 2010 and has served as the Director of Bands at Chaparral Middle School in the Walnut Valley Unified School District since 2004. Leslie has brought Chaparral’s band program to national recognition with performances at the Kennedy Center at the John Philip Sousa Festival in 2015 and at the Percy Grainger Festival at Chicago Symphony Hall in 2011. As Chair of the Fine Arts Department, she was instrumental in receiving the 2015 NAMM SupportMusic Merit Award for Chaparral’s music programs and was recent recognition by the state of California as an exemplary arts program.

Email: lschroerlucke@aol.com

Scott Sutherland
Scott Sutherland, M.M., Tuba

A native of Los Angeles, Scott Sutherland is the tubist, pianist and primary music arranger for the Presidio Brass. He is also a member of the Redlands Symphony, and the Riverside County Philharmonic and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Opera, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, and the New West, Long Beach, and San Diego Symphonies. From 2005-2007, he was the principal tuba of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. As a soloist, he has been featured with the San Diego Symphony, Riverside County Philharmonic, Burbank Philharmonic, and the Idyllwild Arts Symphony Orchestra. Scott has played on motion picture and video game soundtracks, including the movie Pearl Harbor and has appeared with such artists as John Williams, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, and Jerry Goldsmith. Scott is also active as a composer and arranger, with performances by the Pacific Symphony, Aguascalientes Symphony Orchestra in Mexico, USC Elf Jazz Ensemble, and San Diego Winds.

As an educator, Scott is on faculty at the University of Redlands and the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program. He was a brass pedagogy teaching assistant while attending UCLA and spent a year as a certificated school band/orchestra director for the Pasadena Unified School District. Scott earned his Bachelor of Music degree from USC, a Master of Music degree from UCLA and has studied with Tommy Johnson, Jim Self, Norm Pearson and Doug Tornquist.

Email: tubaguy68@gmail.com

Christine Tavolacci
Christine Tavolacci, Flute

Christine Tavolacci is a Los Angeles-based flutist and educator specializing in contemporary and experimental music, yet equally well-versed and passionate about traditional repertoire. She has traveled across the United States and Europe to study and perform and has had the pleasure of working in close contact with many celebrated 20th and 21st-century composers, such as Christian Wolff, James Tenney, Larry Polansky, Clarence Barlow, and Jurg Frey. Christine has been involved in the premieres of many new works, including those by Alvin Lucier, James Saunders, Laura Steenberge, Michael Pisaro, Carolyn Chen, and Catherine Lamb.

Christine is active as a soloist, improviser, curator, and chamber musician both in California and internationally. She is CEO, co-founder, and co-­director of the acclaimed experimental music ensemble Southland Ensemble, member and board member of the Dog Star Orchestra annual festival of experimental music, and featured flutist and composer in 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018 Listen/Space Commissions. She is a frequent performer in the Monday Evening Concerts contemporary music series in Los Angeles, and has also performed with The Industry, Ojai Festival, LA Phil Noon to Midnight, the Vinny Golia Large Ensemble, and Microfest. She is also the principal flutist in the avant jazz large ensemble Gurrisonic, who was featured at the 2016 Angel City Jazz Festival.  Her playing has been released on Edition Wandelweiser, Orenda Records,  Slub Music(Japan), and Tzadik.

Christine holds a BFA from California Institute of the Arts, a Diplôme de Specialisation with mention très bien from the Conservatoire National de Region Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Contemporary Flute Performance from UC San Diego.


Gary Tole
Gary Tole, Trombone

Gary Tole was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA. After attending Duquesne University, Gary traveled on the road for four years playing their first trombone with the Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Jimmy Henderson.  In 1978, Tole made his permanent residence in Southern California. Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, Gary was hired to play first trombone with the Harry James Orchestra and performed on Harry’s last recording.  Another great opportunity opened and Gary was now performing with the Les Brown Band of Renown and recording television shows with legendary entertainer Bob Hope.   On stage as well as recording, Gary’s smooth but dynamic style placed him in constant demand with such stars as Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Rosemary Clooney, Johnny Mathis, Bernadette Peters, Kenny Rogers, Rita Moreno, Melissa Manchester, James Ingram, Peter Cetera, and Phil Collins.  He has been seen and heard on numerous television programs backing great performers such as Diana Ross, Sammy Davis, Pia Zadora, Sheena Easton, Peabo Bryson, The Pointer Sisters, and many more.  Gary has also spent numerous hours in the recording studios doing record sessions, TV films, jingles, and major motion picture soundtracks.

Gary has had a long and illustrious career in the big band world including performances with the orchestras of Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Ray McKinley, Tex Beneke, Stan Kenton, Ray Anthony, Benny Goodman, Xavier Cugat, Woody Herman, Louis Bellson, Bill Holman, Bob Florence, Buddy Childers and many more. Many years of performing every Broadway show that has toured Los Angeles are as well.

In addition to trombone, Gary also plays bass trombone and euphonium.  As an active clinician for Yamaha, (http://www.yamaha.com/artists/artistdetailb.html?CNTID=5162744&CTID=5070310) Gary participates in music education programs as a judge for jazz festivals, band and orchestra festivals, private teaching of the low brass instruments, and traveled throughout the country conducting various clinics.

Having a sharp eye for perfection, in 1984 Gary started his own entertainment production company Gary Tole Music Productions, Inc. From weddings of Hollywood’s elite to fundraisers at LA’s top hotels to corporate events internationally, Gary Tole has done it all. Gary has accomplished what seems economically and socially impossible in the new century also: his own sixteen-piece ensemble, Legends of Swing, has become one of the world’s most sought-after Big Bands, in heavy demand nationally and internationally for its white-hot tributes to icons like Glenn Miller, Stan Kenton, The Dorsey Brothers and Benny Goodman. In 2007, Legends of Swing released its second recording, the multiple-Grammy nominated “One Kettle For Count” (Summit), award categories of Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, Best Instrumental Composition, and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s).

Being known and recognized for his accomplishments and high standards, from January of 2011 to December 2011, Gary Tole became the leader and director of the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra and is currently musical director and leader of the Tex Beneke Orchestra.

Presently, Gary Tole is producing many internationally acclaimed artists. He is well established in this arena and recognized for his outstanding production work, all recorded, mixed, and mastered at Capitol Records in Hollywood California. All in total, Gary has been nominated for 9 Grammy’s over the last 10 years including his latest production, a Gospel album by Michel Bell “My Angel” with a 43-piece orchestra.

Email: tolemusic@aol.com

Lisa Geering Tomoff, Oboe

Originally from Northbrook, IL, Lisa Geering Tomoff is a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she studied oboe with Marc Lifschey and Jerry Sirucek. Prior to her time in Bloomington, she studied with Chicago oboist Robert Morgan. Lisa worked for many happy years as an arts administrator, first at the University of Chicago where she was Marketing Director of the University's Professional Concert Series and oboist in the University of Chicago Symphony of the baton of Maestro Barbara Schubert. Following her time at the University of Chicago, Lisa had the great pleasure of becoming part of the administration of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra where she served as marketing manager and listened, like a kid in a candy store, to countless spectacular live performances. When her husband's career brought her family to Southern California, Lisa decided to take her lifelong love of orchestras back onstage and she joined the Pasadena Symphony and POPS orchestra in 2002. As a freelancer around Southern California, Lisa has performed with many ensembles, including the Santa Barbara, Redlands, and San Bernardino symphony orchestras, as well as the Riverside Philharmonic. She has been featured alongside groups such as the Raincross Chorale and the Riverside Lyric Opera.

Lisa lives in Riverside, CA, with her husband Kiril who is a Professor of History and Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of California, Riverside, her beloved daughter Lilia, and three unruly cats.

Email: lgeeringtomoff@gmail.com

Martin Torres
Martin Torres, Bass (Jazz Upright and Electric Bass)

Martin Torres holds a bachelor's degree in composition and bass performance from Chapman University.  He received his MFA degree from the University of California at Irvine where he focused on understanding modern composition and improvisational techniques. He has continued his study of these disciplines with some of the most innovative pioneers in this field, including  James Newton, David Friesen, Kei Akagi, and Bertram Turetzky.

In 2006 Martin released his first CD as a bandleader creating a record that is the culmination of all the various influences and styles that make up his musical pallet. He wrote all of the compositions in “Poem” and his arranging displays a unique ability to balance several musical concepts within the framework of a single composition.

Martin has performed on several recordings as a sideman, group member, and co-leader. He has played on TV (Malcolm In The Middle) and Film (Hand That Rocks The Cradle) among others. His compositions have been featured on the HBO series “Girls”. He is a founding member and contributor of the Jazz Fusion group RedShift and remains an active performer throughout Southern California.

Celia Chan Valerio
Celia Chan Valerio, M.M., Harp

Celia Chan Valerio has been teaching the harp and playing the harp professionally for 20 years.  During this time, she has received many awards and prizes in various competitions including the Anne Adams Awards, American String Teachers Association--State and National Competition, American Harp Society Competition, Redlands Bowl Competition, and Music Teachers Association Competition and a semi-finalist in the USA International Harp Competition.  She has performed as a soloist for the American Harp Society National Conference, World Harp Congress Convention, Indianapolis Arts Council, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and Brandstater Gallery Concert Series.  She is the former principal harpist of the Sarasota Orchestra, Florida, and has performed extensively around the United States as well as Australia, Canada, France, and Mexico.

Celia holds a Bachelor of Music from La Sierra University and a Master and Doctor of Music in harp performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington where she completed her studies under the direction of Susann McDonald.

Email: celiaharp@aol.com

Joshua Welchez
Joshua Welchez, Trumpet (Jazz)

Josh Welchez earned a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Trumpet Performance from San Diego State University and a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from Azusa Pacific University.

In 2001, Welchez began teaching middle school band in Tustin, CA. Ten years later, he began his career in higher education teaching courses in jazz improvisation and conducting jazz combos at Azusa Pacific University. Since 2012, Welchez has directed the jazz ensemble and jazz combo and has taught trumpet and jazz improvisation lessons, as well as jazz theory courses at UCR.

As a clinician, Welchez has taught for the Idyllwild Arts Jazz Intensive Summer Camp, the Azusa Conservatory of Music Jazz Camp, and the LA Music Center's “Get Your Chops Back” Program. He has also served as an adjudicator for the Vanguard University and Fullerton College Jazz Festivals and the Claremont Rotary Solo Competition.
Within the jazz genre, Welchez has performed and/or toured with Larry Goldings, Karl Denson, Anthony Wilson, Gary Smulyan, John C. Reilly, the Clare Fischer Big Band, and the Cab Calloway Orchestra. Other recording and performance credits include Carlos Malcolm and the Afro-Jamaican Rhythms, The Lions, Jungle Fire, Dave Matthews, Breakestra, Syl Johnson, Jill Sobule, Freestyle Fellowship, and James Gadson.

Email: joshua.welchez@ucr.edu

Kirsten Ashley Wiest
Kirsten Ashley Wiest, Voice

Award-winning coloratura soprano Kirsten Ashley Wiest is firmly committed to the continuous evolution of classical vocal music. Her “bright, dazzling vocal technique” (San Diego Story) has captured the attention of composers worldwide, resulting in numerous world premiere performances and premiere recordings including works by Lei Liang (CN/US), James Erber (UK), Veronika Krausas (CA/US), Gérard Pape (FR), Rand Steiger (US), Jeffrey Holmes (US),  and Annie Hsieh (AU), among many others.

Kirsten has sung with the GRAMMY-winning Partch ensemble, Bang on a Can All-Stars, LA Phil's Noon to Midnight, San Diego Symphony, HEAR NOW Festival of New Music, the Industry, wild Up new music collective, La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, YMF Debut Orchestra, MiraCosta Symphony, kallisti chamber opera, Musica Vitale, and Joe Garrison and Night People, among many others. She has performed at venues including Walt Disney Concert Hall, REDCAT, Aratani Japan America Theater, Théâtre Le Palace (Perigueux, France), Autonomous University of Baja California, and the Moore Theater. Kirsten has given recitals on concert series' hosted by Harvey Mudd College, Chapman University, Tuesdays@MONK Space, UC San Diego's WED@7, and others. She was a featured soloist in the LA Philharmonic’s installation, Nimbus, and has recorded for several interactive operatic experiences and film scores.

Kirsten can be heard on recordings released by Sony Classical, Centaur Records, MicroFest Records, innova recordings, and Albany Records, among many others.

Kirsten holds a DMA in Contemporary Music Performance in Voice from UC San Diego, an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, and a BM cum laude from Chapman University’s Conservatory of Music. She founded UC San Diego's annual Undergraduate Opera in 2017, producing and directing full operas each Spring and a Fall scenes program comprised entirely of undergraduate Voice Majors. Kirsten currently lectures in Music at California State University San Bernardino and San Bernardino Valley College, and is an Instructor of Voice at the University of California Riverside.

Email: info@kirstenashleywiest.com