Kimberly K. Amin, M.M., Piano (Classical)
Kimberly Amin performs regularly as a pianist and organist throughout the Southland. She holds a degree in Piano Performance with parallel studies in Music Education from Washburn University in Topeka, KS. She earned a Master of Music Degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from USC where she studied with Dr. Jean Barr and Gwendolyn Koldofsky. She has been on the music faculty at UCR since 1996, and also teaches at Riverside Community College. In addition to her performance and teaching, Ms. Amin is Organist at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Redlands, and La Sierra University Adventist Church in Riverside.
Spencer Baldwin, Bass (Classical Double Bass)
Bassist Spencer Baldwin holds a Bachelor's in Music from the University of Redlands and a Master's in Music from Azusa Pacific University. He did additional undergraduate work at the Conservatorium Van Amsterdam under the tutelage of Peter Stotijn. Mr. Baldwin is currently the Principal bassist with the American Youth Symphony and a section member with the Redlands Symphony. He currently teaches at Azusa Pacific University, Crafton Hills College, and U. C. Riverside. In 2017, he was named Program Director for MUSICA!, an El Sistema based string program located in San Jacinto, CA. Spencer’s principal teachers have included Tim Emmons, Tim Eckert, Nico Abondolo, David Murray, and Dr. Matt Hare.
Cory Barger, Bassoon
Cory Barger received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA before heading to London to study at the prestigious Royal College of Music. She loves touring, and her work has taken her throughout the European Union as well as to India and China. Cory has worked with such esteemed conductors as Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, and Leif Segerstam, and held posts as principal bassoon with Co-Opera Company and the Bombay Chamber Orchestra in addition to a busy freelance portfolio. She has performed in a twelfth-century chapel in France, on the side of a mountain in Greece, in a Sicilian wine bar, on the streets of Bayreuth, on Chinese television, and at the security line in Chhatrapati Shivaji airport. Here in California, she has worked with the Redlands Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, and Desert Symphony, and is preparing the launch of her chamber ensemble, Constellation.
Ralph Cato, D.M.A., Voice
American baritone, Ralph Cato has travelled 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 travelled extensively with the 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 for singers at UC Riverside and Los Angeles Valley College.
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 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 and 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 fall of 2016 and joined the faculty of Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) in August 2018. www.LisaCherryHorn2tr.com
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 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.
Robert D. Dominguez, Percussion (Drum Set)
Instructor of Percussion, studied drum set and Latin percussion with Joe Porcaro, Billy Moore, Chuck Flores, and Todd Gregory. Bob Dominguez has given numerous orchestral and jazz performances in Southern California performing with Brandon Fields, Russell Ferrante, John Patitucci, Don Mock, Riverside and San Bernardino Civic Light Opera Productions, Bill Watrous, Les Brown, Bobby Shew, Redlands Bowl Symphony, Inland Empire Symphony, Les Hooper, Jack Blades, and Rocco Prestia.
Dominguez appeared as the drummer in the 1988 CBS television series of “Dirty Dancing”, produced by Christopher Morgan and Mireiller Soria. Bob Dominguez is currently faculty at the University of La Verne, University of California at Riverside, Idyllwild School of Music, and the National Guitar Summer Workshop. Bob has provided instruction for twenty-two years at Lier’s Music Co., San Bernardino, California. He has served as a clinician at Hemet High School, and San Bernardino Valley, Crafton Hills, Chaffey, and Riverside Community Colleges.
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.
Eileen Holt, Flute
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 Heidleberg 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 free lance musician.
Gary Matsumoto, Piano (Jazz)
Throughout his career, Gary Matsumoto has developed a reputation for being a first rate pianist, composer, arranger, and educator in Southern California. Matsumoto was born and raised in Los Angeles, where he still calls home. And while he can still be seen playing regularly in the greater LA area, he also performs throughout the year in venues across the U.S. as well as internationally.
Matsumoto started playing piano at the age of 6, but his interest in music began to peak while attending the University of California, Irvine. There, in addition to classical lessons with Dr. Lorna Griffith, Matsumoto studied with Miles Davis pianist Kei Akagi. In 1999, he graduated with a B.M. in music performance and in 2002 received his master's degree in jazz studies from the California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with David Roistein. While in school, Matsumoto took every advantage to study and play with great musicians like Joe LaBarbera, Charlie Haden, Darek Oles, Larry Koonse, Wadada Leo Smith, and James Newton, among others.
Matsumoto has been a regular on the LA jazz scene for well over a decade. Playing and recording credits include Dave Damiani, George Benson, Henry Franklin, Bruce Foreman, Sara Gazarek, Jane Monheit, Azar Lawrence, Bobby Rodriguez, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Clayton Cameron, Ricky Woodard, Jeff Clayton, James Carter, Herman Riley, Sam Most, and Phil Ranelin. But the entirety of his career has seen him in a variety of settings. In addition to jazz, he has performed and recorded with rock, pop, country, and classical groups. Some of his earliest jobs were in musical theatre, where Matsumoto worked as a pianist and musical director.
In 2003, he went on tour with famed MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, opening for Cheap Trick. Matsumoto has also worked with film composer Nathan Wang on various projects, including performing in concerts with international recording artists Coco Lee, JJ Lin, Vivian Hsu, and Jenny Tseng.
In 2008, SP records released The Matsumoto Trio - Days Ahead, his first as a leader. He has also been featured on over a dozen recordings by other artists, including Dave Damiani's recent release Midlife Crisis on Hard Knocks Records.
Matsumoto can be seen regularly playing as a member of Dave Damiani and the Instigators as well as with the 16 piece No Vacancy Orchestra.
Frances C. Moore, M.M., Violin and Viola
Robert L. Scarano, B.A., Guitar (Jazz and Pop)
Robert L. Scarano has been a working musician since the early 70's as a touring player performing in over 30 states and continued to perform in divergent styles including Jazz, Classical, Pop, Rock, Blues, Funk, R&B, Dixieland, and Country in clubs, concerts, orchestras, pit bands and recording studios. He has accompanied such vocalists as: Vic Damone, Herb Jeffries, Giuseppe de Stefano, Rosemary Clooney, and Robert Goulet and entertainers/comedians: Carol Channing, George Burns, Don Rickels. Jazz musicians he has worked or recorded with include Howard Roberts, Lamont Johnson, Jay Migliore,
Ross Tompkins, Plas Johnson. His C.D.'s as leader/composer: Nonno's Running, All Blues Almost, Not Quite Django, Bossa Me Troppo, and Ritorna A Italia. He is very thankful to have been able to make a living playing and teaching music and is proud to be on the
UCR Music faculty for 35 years.
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 recent recognition by the state of California as an exemplary arts program.
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, 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 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.
Gary Tole, Trombone
Gary Tole was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA. After attended Duquesne University, Gary traveled on the road for four years playing 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 film, jingles, and major motion picture sound tracks.
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 the 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 fund raisers 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 2011to December 2011, Gary Tole became the leader and director of the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra and currently musical director and leader of the Tex Beneke Orchestra.
Presently, Gary Tole is producing many internationally acclaimed artists. He is well establish in this arena and recognized for his outstanding production work, all recorded, mixed and mastered at Capitol Records in Hollywood California. All 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.
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 Professor of History and Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of California, Riverside, her beloved daughter Lilia, and three unruly cats.
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.
Camelia Voin, D.M.A., Voice
Camelia Voin is a lyric coloratura soprano that has performed to critical acclaim throughout the United States and abroad as a recital soloist, in operatic and oratorio presentations as well as in orchestral concerts. Voin completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance at Claremont Graduate University. Her doctoral dissertation, “ A Guide to Understanding and Performing Romanian Vocal music,” is a comprehensive performance practice and ethnomusicological study of Romanian music. As soloist with the Pablo Sarasate Orchestra at the Teatro Gayarre in Pamplona, Spain, Voin has been described by the National Diary of Madrid as possessing a “beautiful timbre, superb melodic line, and extraordinary musical expression.” In her Carnegie Hall solo debut, Barry Alexander pronounced her interpretation as reflecting “depth, musicality, and technical expertise, needed to distinguish one's self in the world of professional performance.” Her active performance career continues in cities and stages across the world, including Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy, West Palm Beach Opera, Florida, Bucharest Philharmonic, Kammerochester Promusica Darmstadt, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, Academia di Romania, Rome, Redlands Bowl Summer Festival with the San Bernardino Symphony, Nevada Opera, Las Vegas among many others.
Camelia Voin is a laureate of many national and international vocal competitions, among them are: Metropolitan Opera Competition, West Palm Beach International Opera Competition, Concurso Internacional de Canto Julián Gayarre (President of the Jury José Carreras) in Pamplona, Spain, Der Internationale Koloraturgesang-Wettbewerb in Stuttgart, Singer of the Year 1996 at NATS Artist Audition, , Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, and others. Dr. Voin is currently on the voice faculties of the University of California, Riverside, Claremont Graduate University and California Baptist University. She has been teaching master classes in Italy for the Academia Filarmonica in Padova, and at The Barry Alexander Festival of Music in Abano. Voin is the Vice President of the Lyric Symphony Orchestra of the Inland Empire with which she performers annually in concerts. Dr. Voin is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Music Teachers National Association, and Music Teachers' Association of California.
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 “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.
Ian Whitelaw, Bagpipe
Ian Whitelaw is a devoted and extremely talented Bagpiper who brings 52 years of education, experience and expertise to his musical performances, competitions and special projects. What distinguishes Ian’s playing is his extraordinary passion, not only to create a remarkable sound of the instrument itself but for the unique way in which the music is expressed. Ian is world class champion piper and an Instrumental instructor at UCR (California, Riverside), the Music Director of the UCR Pipe Band and director of the music degree program for bagpipes in the Department of Music and has enjoyed a long career of work with pipe bands. His work with the UCR Pipe Band was key to the band earning the Champion Supreme Trophy of 2008, 2009 and 2010 as the best grade 4 pipe band in the Western United States. Ian was a driving force in the sound and success of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band helping them win the World Championship in 1999 in Grade 1 – the highest grade in the world’s competition arenas.
Ian speaks often of his special attention to connecting with the ‘story’ of the musical piece and fulfills this goal daily through his instruction of the bagpipes where he also helps to stimulate the students’ bond with the ‘heart and soul’ of the music.
Ian has been very successful taking the music of the Scottish Highland Bagpipe into the entertainment industry, working as a creative consultant and performer on top films and television shows including The Rundown, The General’s Daughter, The Simpsons, The West Wing, American Dad and Arliss. He is as comfortable and enthusiastic playing in a competition for world renowned judges as he is on stage at the Hollywood Bowl.
He currently works as a lecturer at UCR teaching MUS020 (Music of Scotland) and MUS021 (Scottish Classical Music for the Highland Bagpipes) – this is the language of the bagpipes and UCR is the only school where this ancient language is being taught – anywhere in the world!
Ian's goal is to bring the great highland bagpipe to the public ear with all the grandness and spirit this very special instrument has and to have it be presented as a majestic instrument of the woodwind family rather than that of a novelty, something it is thought of by the casual ear.
Matthew Wyckoff, Bass (Electric Bass Guitar)
Matt Wyckoff has been an in demand free lance bassist in the Southern California area for almost 20 years playing a variety of styles and situations, from original groups at rock festivals to musical productions, playing Jazz, top 40, latin music and country.