Faculty & Staff

Ryan Reithmeier

Ryan Reithmeier

Director

Teaches: Opera Scenes, Vocal Forum, Bel Canto Singers, Pat and Mary Dirk Vocal Scholarship Program

ryan.reithmeier@ocsarts.net

Dr. Reithmeier completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree (D.M.A.) in Vocal Arts and Opera at the University of Southern California, with supportive environment field work in Music Education, Directing for the Operatic Stage, and Arts Leadership and Entrepreneurship.

Regarded as a versatile performer, Dr. Reithmeier regularly performs with notable opera, operetta, and concert organizations throughout California. Highlights from recent seasons include appearances with the Operetta Foundation, Opera a La Carte, Soka Performing Arts Center, and Kallisti Ensemble. In addition, Dr. Reithmeier is a two-time winner of the Beverly Hills National Consortium Auditions, a winner of the NATS-LA Gwendolyn Roberts Auditions, and was a Western-Regional finalist in the NATS-AA competition. He has received grants from the Opera Buffs of Los Angeles and held a teaching assistantship at the University of Southern California. Dr. Reithmeier is in high demand as a competition judge, serving on the adjudication panel for the Los Angeles Music Center's Spotlight Awards, California Music Educator’s State Festival, and National Association of Teachers of Singing Los Angeles Chapter Collegiate Auditions.

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Kelly Adams

Kelly Adams

Instructor

Teaches: Sing OC, OC Musique, Advanced Musicianship

kelly.adams@ocsarts.net

Kelly Adams has been studying music since she joined her elementary school's French choir at age five. She began her training in classical music at the San Francisco Conservatory, then progressed to musical theater and pop songwriting/performance. Kelly is a twice-over graduate of the University of Southern California, receiving a Bachelor of Music in Music Industry, and a Master of Arts in Music Education. In 2013, she fell in love with Kodály's revolutionary methods and ideology, and became certified under Dr. Kathy Hickey. She continues to build Kodály-based curricula for the Santa Monica-Malibu School District, National Children’s Chorus and Orange County School of the Arts. When she's not teaching, Kelly performs, writes and records with the band Karmina, and sings in feature films (Pan, The Lorax, The Hive). www.karmina.com

Daniel Babcock

Daniel Babcock

Instructor

Teaches: Art Song Literature, Music History, Pat and Mary Dirk Vocal Scholarship Program

daniel.babcock@ocsart.net

Daniel Babcock earned a master’s degree in music in vocal performance from University of California, Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree in musical theater from the University of Redlands. 

Professionally, Mr. Babcock is in high demand as a soloist and chorister. In addition to many years of singing with Pacific Chorale and the John Alexander Singers, he has performed with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Bach Collegium San Diego, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and The Clarion Singers. Mr. Babcock is engaged as a chorister in four Los Angeles Opera Productions during the 2015-16 season. Additionally, he is a staff singer at St. James’ in the City Anglican/Episcopal church in Los Angeles. 

 

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Amalia Cisneros

Amalia Cisneros

Administrative Staff, Instructor

Teaches: Beginning Musicianship, Theory I

amalia.cisneros@ocsarts.net

Amalia Cisneros received her bachelor’s degree in music from California State University, Fullerton, where she studied piano with Allison Edwards. She has been teaching private piano lessons for over 10 years. She also sings soprano with the Long Beach Camerata Singers, under the direction of Robert Istad. Ms. Cisneros is continuing her piano studies with Nedda Black.

 

Carrie Dike

Carrie Dike

Instructor

Theory III

carolyn.dike@ocsarts.net

Dr. Carrie Dike holds a Ph. D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Limerick, Ireland, where she conducted field research on Irish traditional singing circles and interviewed Irish singers for an ethnographic study on the sustainability of tradition. She earned the prestigious Government of Ireland Irish Research Council Postgraduate Award, which funded her research endeavors. She has an MA in Music History and Literature from California State University, Fullerton, and a BA in both Drama and Music from the University of California, Irvine. She also studied Vocal Performance at Chapman University before transferring to UCI. Dr. Carrie is also a mezzo-soprano and has sung professionally in Southern California and Ireland, including in ensembles such as Los Angeles Master Chorale, Pacific Chorale, Horizon Music Group, and Choral Arts Initiative. She is very excited to be a part of the team at OCSA.

Denean Dyson

Denean Dyson

Instructor

Jazz Vocals

denean.dyson@ocsarts.net

A free-spirited Mezzo-Soprano with a genuine passion for music, this Vegas-born Chanteuse is a true artist fervently driven to share the beauty and influence music holds.  Classically trained yet accomplished in many genres, her additional vocal capabilities in R&B, soul, and jazz allow her to deliver a beautifully artistic sound imbued with skill and emotion.  Ms. Dyson received her B.A in music from Cal State Fullerton’s School of Music. She has gained exposure entertaining audiences in live solo and ensemble performances for public, corporate, and private events in the United States and abroad, and with that creative devotion to the performing arts, she has also ventured into stage and musical theater, Opera, and Cabaret.

Ms. Dyson’s vocal agility is beyond compare and has earned her the privilege of sharing a stage with many talented artists such as jazz and blues legend Barbara Morrison, and singer and actress Reba McEntire. She continues to showcase her vocal diversity throughout the world, and is often featured as a soloist in performances and recordings.  She is honored to have performed in ensembles for gifted conductors like Gustavo Dudamel, John Williams, Ludwig Wicki, John Alexander, Dr. Robert Istad, Keith Lockhart, and Carl St. Clair, in performances before large audiences in venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Staples Center, and many more.

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Sarah Gonzalez

Sarah Gonzalez

Choir Director

Teaches: Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Women's Chorus

sarah.gonzalez@ocsarts.net

Sarah Gonzalez holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in choral music from the University of Southern California. In addition to her job in the Classical Voice Conservatory, she serves as the Director of Music at St. James' Episcopal Church in South Pasadena.  In her spare time, Mrs. Gonzalez sings with the Golden Bridge Chamber Ensemble and the de Angelis Vocal Ensemble, based in Orange County.

Dr. Izumi Kashiwagi

Dr. Izumi Kashiwagi

Instructor

Theory II; On Stage!

izumi.kashiwagi@ocsarts.net

Izumi Kashiwagi has earned her masters and doctorate degrees in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from University of Southern California under the instruction of Kevin Fitz-Gerald. While at USC, Dr. Kashiwagi received a full-scholarship, Koldofsky fellowship, and teaching assistantship. She has been an active performer in the Los Angeles and Tokyo area, and has also been teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Vanguard University of Southern California and Cypress College. She recently joined as a faculty member at Orange County School of the Arts. In addition to teaching, Izumi has been working at the University of Southern California as a staff pianist of the studio of Ralph Kirshbaum.

Dr. Kashiwagi obtained a bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis on piano performance from California State University of Long Beach in 2005. Dr. Kashiwagi studied with Edith Hirshtal, Junko Garret, and Craig Richey while at CSULB. She has attended many music festivals and schools, such as the Aspen Music School and Festival, where she has studied with Joseph Kalichstein and Rita Sloan in 2003 and 2004. She also attended The Quartet Program in Boulder, Colorado in summer 2009, where she performed with Charles Castleman, the violin professor at The Eastman School of Music. Dr. Kashiwagi has recently attended the Song Fest in Los Angeles in Summer 2014. The recipient of many scholarships and awards, she won the 2003-2004 concerto competition at CSULB by performing the third piano concerto by Prokofiev. In 2006 Dr. Kashiwagi performed in the Geijutsu Theare Large Hall in Tokyo with her sister, as the Kashiwagi Sisters. She is also an experienced chamber musician and has performed with many renowned musicians. She has recently been acknowledged as Liszt scholar/Piano artist from Liszt international competition.

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Mark Lamanna

Mark Lamanna

Instructor

Opera Scenes

mark.lamanna@ocsarts.net

Information coming soon!

Gabriel Lawson

Gabriel Lawson

Accompanist, Instructor

Teaches: Barbershop Quartet, Men's Chorus, OCSA Vocal Ensemble, Opera from Scratch, Song Composition, Theory/Musicianship IV Accompanies: Chamber Singers

gabriel.lawson@ocsarts.net

Upon completing studies in piano performance and music education at California State University, Stanislaus, Mr. Lawson continued as a vocal/choral accompanist for its music department.

Concurrent to that position, he worked as the pianist and choir director at College Avenue Congregational Church, the beginning band instructor at Hughson High School, an accompanist for Stanislaus County Schools, and the Youth Entertainment Stage Company.

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Lee Ann Leung

Lee Ann Leung

Instructor

Teaches: Piano Class

leeann.leung@ocsarts.net

Lee Ann Leung has an MFA in music performance and certificate in ethnomusicology from University of California, Irvine. She also taught Class Piano and was the staff pianist for the Chamber Singers and the University Choir. She performed in immersive concert events across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, as well as Comic-Con International and E3 to revive classical music as an art form to diverse audiences. 

Julie Makerov

Julie Makerov

Instructor

On Stage!, Pat and Mary Dirk Vocal Scholarship Program

julie.makerov@ocsarts.net

The Toronto Star declares “Julie Makerov as Senta…was every inch the ringing life force Wagner intended.” As winner of the 2010 Dora Award, Canada’s most prestigious live theater honor, Ms. Makerov was recognized for her compelling portrayal of Senta in Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer and continues to captivate audiences internationally. This gifted young dramatic soprano’s voice has been described as “gloriously commanding” (la scena musicale), “sumptuous” (ArtsSF.com), and “soaring” (The Oakland Tribune).

The New York Times proclaims “Julie Makerov’s plush soprano voice and vulnerability were ideal for the godess Freia,” and of her debut with Los Angeles Opera, The Huffington post wrote “Julie Makerov is triumphant!” Ms. Makerov’s upcoming engagements include returning to Houston Grand Opera in their production of Strauss’s Elektra. Previous recent engagements include singing Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s Macbeth with Opera Theater Saint Louis, and making her debut with Houston Grand Opera singing Gerhilde in Wagner’s Die Walküre under the baton of Patrick Summers.

Ms. Makerov’s other engagements include singing Sieglinde in Die Walküre with the American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leon Botstein, singing the role of Chrysotemis in Elektra with Des Moines Metro Opera and performing the role of the Queen of Hearts in Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland with Opera Theater of Saint Louis.

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Arie Moriguchi

Arie Moriguchi

Choir Conductor and Summer Program Coordinator

Teaches: Class Voice, Sing OC! Summer Program

arie.moriguchi@ocsarts.net

Arie Moriguchi earned a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and music education form Azusa Pacific University. Before college, she studied for seven years in Osaka, Japan. Ms. Moriguchi is a Kodaly-trained music teacher and private vocal instructor. 

Aside from her work with the Classical Voice Conservatory, Ms. Moriguchi is also an instructor in the Instrumental Music Conservatory, a Kodaly instructor for National Children’s Choir, assistant director for California Children’s Choir, and continues to run a private voice studio. In the summer, she serves as a section leader for Idyllwild Choir Festival and continues to learn at the Kodaly Association of Southern California Certification Program.

 

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Tamara Paulino

Tamara Paulino

Instructor

Movement and Improvisation

tamara.paulino@ocsarts.net

Tamara studied voice at Carnegie Mellon University and earned her BFA in musical theater from the Boston Conservatory.  Her performing endeavors have taken her from many performances at the Three Little Bakers Dinner Theater in her home town of Delaware, to the national and international tours of Bye Bye Birdie, Nickelodeon’s Rugrats Live, and Dora the Explorer Live, both with unprecedented sold out performances at Radio City Music Hall.  She feels extremely blessed to have spent ten years performing on stages touring throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the Philippines. She is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association, the union representing professional stage managers and actors.

Tamara is currently a musical theater educator, director, and choreographer at several studios in the area, including Yorba Linda Spotlight Theater Company, Riverside Children’s Theater, and Acting Academy for Kids.

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Pepron Pilibossian

Pepron Pilibossian

Accompanist and Vocal Coach

Teaches: Art Song Literature, Class Voice, Opera Production Coach

pepron.pilibossian@ocsarts.net

Pepron Pilibossian holds a master’s degree in music and graduate certificate from the University of Southern California. She has served as studio accompanist at East Los Angeles College, Occidental College, the University of Southern California, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Ms. Pilibossian has established herself as a recitalist and chamber musician in high demand. A winner of numerous national and international competitions, she has performed in major cities throughout the United States, Canada, Spain, and Bulgaria. Recent appearances include performances at Disney Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Zipper Hall, and Soka University. 

 

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Heather Reithmeier

Heather Reithmeier

Instructor

Soprano, Heather Reithmeier is a native of Fairmont, MN but has called Southern California home for the past 13 years.  She holds degrees from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN (B.M. Music Education) and California State University, Fullerton (M.M. Vocal Performance).  She has performed with several Los Angeles opera companies portraying the roles of Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Tessa in The Gondoliers, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Lucy in The Telephone, and more. In 2010 she was awarded the NATS L.A. Young Artist of the Year and was featured as a soloist in the Pacific Symphony Rising Superstars concert. Ms. Reithmeier and her husband, baritone, Ryan Reithmeier, have been recurring soloists with the La Mirada Symphony for their annual POPS concerts and present collaborative recitals throughout the area. Currently, Heather is an adjunct professor of voice at Vanguard University.

She was a prestigious Stern Fellow at Songfest in 2010, won the Concerto Competition at Cal State Fullerton, and sang the Bachianias Brasilieras with the Cello Choir at Cal State Fullerton under the direction of Bongshin Ko.  She also has performed as a guest soloist with the Corona Symphony and the Opera San Luis Obispo’s Broadway by the Sea concert.

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Lukas Swidzinski

Lukas Swidzinski

Accompanist and Vocal Coach

Teaches: Bel Canto Singers, Opera Scenes, Piano/Vocal Collaboration, Vocal Forum

lukas.swidzinski@ocsarts.net

Lukas Swidzinski earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in piano and orchestral conducting from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, respectively. He has taught at the Capital University, Ohio State University, University of California, Irvine, University of Redlands, and Azusa Pacific University.