Faculty & Staff

Dr. Nicholaus Yee

Dr. Nicholaus Yee

Coordinator, Strings and Orchestra Program; Orchestra Conductor

Teaches: 7/8 Grade String Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Music

nicholaus.yee@ocsarts.net

As a violist, Dr. Nicholaus Yee completed his doctoral studies at the USC Thornton School of Music, where he was the teaching assistant to Dr. Pamela Goldsmith and Professor Donald McInnes, and attended as a full fellowship recipient. In addition to his viola studies, he is trained as an instrumental conductor, early music specialist, and music educator, topics he minored in as part of the rigorous and multifaceted program at USC. 

Dr. Yee has been a member of the USC Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, the USC Early Music Ensemble, and Pacific Symphony. Dr. Yee has performed with such musical legends as Yo-Yo Ma, Bobby McFerrin, Lynn Harrell, Doc Severinsen, Gary Graffman, and David Shifrin. Conductors he has worked with include Carl St.Clair, John Williams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sergiu Comissiona, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, and Lucinda Carver. Dr. Yee is a member of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra and the Redlands Symphony. 

A dedicated educator, Dr. Yee has taught privately for more than 20 years and in various capacities at public schools and youth orchestras. His teaching philosophy centers on the love of music, fostering achievement through discipline and methodical practice, and he encourages a close partnership in teaching and learning music with his students.

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Evan Bornemann

Evan Bornemann

Instructor

Teaches: Introduction to Alexander Technique

evan.bornemann@ocsarts.net

Mr. Evan Bornemann is a lifelong performer and a recent graduate from the Alexander Technique Institute of Los Angeles. He trained as a vocalist and a pianist from an early age, and spent much of childhood and adolescence singing and performing in a variety of genres. Mr. Bornemann toured London with the South Bay Children's Choir, where he was first exposed to the Alexander Technique at age 10. He chose to focus on classical music as an undergraduate at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). There he was a frequent soloist with the university choruses and sang title roles in three of its operatic productions. At LMU, Mr. Bornemann enjoyed engaging with new music, performing and premiering the works of both students and faculty. He received the opportunity to study and perform in Salzburg, Austria at the University of Miami’s Salzburg Program as well as singing in the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival’s 2016 production of Le nozze di Figaro. Mr. Bornemann graduated from LMU with honors in May of 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music.

It was also at LMU that Mr. Bornemann began to seriously study the Alexander Technique. After graduating, he chose to pursue a teaching certificate in the technique, as his Alexander Technique lessons had opened up his singing and musicianship in unexpected ways that traditional pedagogy had not achieved for him. In addition to OCSA, Mr. Bornemann now teaches in Long Beach, CA.

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Dr. Linda-Rose Hembreiker

Dr. Linda-Rose Hembreiker

Instructor

Teaches: Harp Master Class

Described by the Denton Record-Chronicle as “evangelizing for the harp,” Dr. Linda-Rose Hembreiker is dedicated to sharing the beauty and grace of her instrument. From performances at Yale’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas, the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, and the Soka Performing Arts Center, to local libraries and schools, she conveys the joy of the harp everywhere she plays.

Dr. Hembreiker has had articles published in the American Harp Journal on Alexander Technique and on the history of the Northern California Harpists Association. She has also given presentations about various aspects of teaching for the American String Teachers Association National Convention and the American Harp Society National Conference and Institutes. She teaches at Cal State University Los Angeles, Irvine Valley College, and Orange County School of the Arts. Her students have performed at The National Catholic Educational Association Convention and the American Harp Society Summer Institute. Several of her students have received competitive awards including the Julia Louise Herman Scholarship and the Valeria Finzi Scholarship, and have been accepted as harp majors at Indiana University, Cal State Fullerton, and Wellesley College.

Being drawn to the harp after seeing Disney’s The Aristocats as a young child, she began Celtic harp lessons with Sylvia Fellows. Her studies quickly progressed to the pedal harp; Dr. Hembreiker holds a Bachelor of Music degree in harp performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history from the University of Southern California, and Master’s of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in harp performance from the University of North Texas. Her principal teachers include Ellie Choate, JoAnn Turovsky, Ellen Ritscher, and Heidi Lehwalder. In addition to the harp, she is devoted to her three cats, Patrick, Opal, and Theodore.

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Dennis Kim

Dennis Kim

Instructor

Teaches: Violin Master Class, Chamber Music

Mr. Dennis Kim was appointed concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) in the spring of 2015. A citizen of the world, Mr. Kim was born in Korea, raised in Canada, and educated in the United States. Before coming to the BPO, he spent over a decade leading orchestras in Asia and Europe.

Mr. Kim was first appointed concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra at the age of 22. He then served as the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, before going on to lead the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland. As guest concertmaster, Mr. Kim has performed on four continents, leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Montpelier Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra of Navarra. He served as guest concertmaster with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra on their 10-city tour of the UK, and led the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in their BBC Proms debut in 2014.

A dedicated teacher, Mr. Kim is currently on the faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada’s PRISMA festival, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts as valade concertmaster in the World Youth Symphony Orchestra summer program. He has also been on the faculty of the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Korean National University of the Arts, Yonsei University, Tampere Conservatory, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Atlantic Music Festival, and Suolahti International Music Festival. His students have been accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music, Colburn School, Juilliard School, Peabody Conservatory, and the Queen Elizabeth College of Music and play in orchestras around the world. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and Yale School of Music, Mr. Kim's teachers include Jaime Laredo, Aaron Rosand, Peter Oundjian, Paul Kantor, Victor Danchenko and Yumi Ninomiya Scott. Mr. Kim plays the 1701 ex-Dushkin Stradivarius, on permanent loan from a generous donor.

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Chien-Chien Lee

Chien-Chien Lee

Instructor

Teaches: Double Bass Master Class, Chamber Music

chien-chien.lee@ocsarts.net

Ms. Chien-Chien Lee started playing double bass at an early age. Her extensive musical studies have spanned multiple continents. This includes Ms. Lee’s undergraduate degree which she earned from Taipei National University of the Arts in Japan and her post graduate advanced Certificate of Performance from the Berlin University of the Arts in Germany where she studied with renowned bass professor Michael Wolf. She further pursued her formal education by engaging in multiple master classes with many notable bassists, including Ludwig Streicher of the Vienna Philharmonic, Thomas Martin of the London Symphony, and Eugene Levinson of the New York Philharmonic.

Ms. Lee is also very committed to passing on her knowledge by teaching advanced double bass technique to accomplished Southern California students.

Musical highlights: Principal, Assistant and section bass responsibilities with numerous symphonies throughout Southern California and Taiwan. In addition to the symphonic format, Ms. Lee has also performed with many chamber music and solo ensembles.

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Kelly Jiyeon Neff

Kelly Jiyeon Neff

Instructor

Teaches: Collaborative Pianist

Pianist Ms. Kelly Jiyeon Neff, First prize and top prize winner of the Wideman International Piano Competition, Piano-Ohio of Cleveland International Piano Competition, and Kingsville International Music Competition, San Jose International Piano Competition, the Texas Christian University’s Cliburn Institute Concerto Competition, Seoul Philharmonic Concerto Competition, and Cooper International Piano Competition.

Her recitals and orchestral performances were held in North America, Asia, and Europe.

On radio, she has performed for the WQXR (New York), WCLV (Cleveland), KDB (Santa Barbara), and KXMS (Joplin).

Ms. Neff attended the renowned Music Academy of the West, PianoTexas international Festival, Banff Centre International Keyboard Festival, Mannes International Keyboard Institute & Festival studying with artists such as Boris Berman, Wha Kyung Byun, Pavlina Dokovska, Jerome Lowenthal, Julian Martin, John Perry, Jerome Rose, Russell Sherman, Támas Ungár and many others.

 

Ms. Neff received her bachelor's degree from Oberlin Conservatory and master’s degree from The Juilliard School.

Highly influenced by her music mentors, professor Jerome Lowenthal, and Haewon Song, she has been a dedicated educator in New York City and Orange County for over 10 years.

Ms. Neff joined the OCSA strings & Orchestra faculty in Fall 2019 as the first Strings Master Class Collaborative Pianist.

 

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Dr. Jacob Sustaita

Dr. Jacob Sustaita

Instructor

Teaches: Symphony Orchestra

jacob.sustaita@ocsarts.net

Dr. Jacob Sustaita is the newly appointed assistant conductor of Pacific Symphony and Orchestra Director for the Orange County School of the Arts. Since 2015, he served as director of orchestral studies at Sam Houston State University where he led the university symphony, chamber, and ballet and opera orchestras. In 2016, Dr. Sustaita and the orchestra performed the American premiere of the original Linz version of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 1 with high praise from the American and European Bruckner Societies.

Dr. Sustaita is a frequent guest conductor and clinician across the country and he recently made his debut conducting the Juilliard Orchestra. In 2015, Dr. Sustaita was selected to serve as assistant conductor for Charles Dutoit and the National Youth Orchestra of America by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute. He regularly conducted and coached the orchestra during its New York residency and on their seven-city tour of China and Hong Kong.

A native of Texas, Dr. Sustaita completed his Doctorate and Bachelor of Music at the University of Houston where he served as assistant conductor and guest music director for the Moores Opera Center for three seasons. He also earned a Master of Music from both Penn State and Rice University.

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Chloé Tardif

Chloé Tardif

Instructor

Teaches: Chamber Music, Music History, Theory

chloe.tardiff@ocsarts.net

Ms. Chloé Tardif is a passionate musician based in Orange County, CA. Ms. Tardif received her Master of Music from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music as a student of Paul Kantor. She completed her Bachelor of Music at Chapman University as a student of William Fitzpatrick. In 2014, Ms. Tardif toured Seattle, WA after her Chapman Duo won the Francis Walton Chamber Competition, performing in public concerts, at schools, and for a live broadcast on KING FM.

While studying at Rice University, Ms. Tardif collaborated with fellow Shepherd School student, harpist Chloe Tula, and received a Richter Grant for their outreach project in 2017. They performed their educational concerts at children’s hospitals and museums in Houston, TX throughout the year. After returning to Southern California, Ms. Tardif became the Principal Second Violinist of the Long Beach Symphony in June 2019. She also plays in the Pacific Symphony and works as a recording musician in Southern California. A proud alumna of Orange County School of the Arts, Ms. Tardif now teaches Chamber Music, Music History, and Music Theory there as well. Ms. Tardif also serves as Assistant Director of the MusiShare Young Artist Program alongside its Director William Fitzpatrick.

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Phillip Triggs

Phillip Triggs

Instructor

phillip.triggs@ocsarts.net

Mr. Phillip Triggs is an orchestral viola player, active throughout Southern California. He can be heard playing his viola as far north as Santa Barbara County where he is Assistant Principal Viola of the Santa Barbara Symphony. He can also be seen in Ventura County as Principal Viola of the New West Symphony, in Los Angeles County as a section member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and in Orange County where he is First-Call substitute with the Pacific Symphony. You can also hear Phillip playing on numerous soundtracks and recordings for film, television, streaming, and video games.

Mr. Triggs was trained at Chapman University where he earned a Bachelor of Music under the tutelage of Robert Becker, and Northwestern University where he earned a Master of Music with Roland Vamos. His summers were spent at Aspen Music Festival, studying with James Dunham and Jeffrey Irvine. Early training was with renowned violin pedagogue William Fitzpatrick.

A dedicated and sought-after teacher, Mr. Triggs is on faculty at Chapman University, Concordia University Irvine, Santa Ana College, and Orange County School of the Arts. He maintains a studio of private viola students at his home in Mission Viejo where he lives with his wife, Adriana, and two children.

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Yao Wang

Yao Wang

Instructor

Teaches: Chamber Music

Mr. Yao Wang, a cellist, was born in Xinjiang, China, and began cello study at the age of five with his father. After attending Shanghai Conservatory in China from 2004 to 2005, he completed his Performer’s Certificate at La Sierra University in Riverside under the study of Professor Pin Fei Tang. Accepted to the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, Mr. Wang began study with Eleonore Schoenfeld in 2006, and received his Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance as a full scholarship student under the instruction of Professor Alexander Suleiman (Student of Deniel Shafran and Natalia Gutman) and Daniel Rothmuller (a formal principal assistant cello of Los Angeles Philharmonic). In 2013, Mr. Wang received his master’s degree in music performance under the instruction of Dr. Marek Szpakiewicz at Azusa Pacific University.

In 2000, he was awarded second Prize in the National Competition and top prize in the Central Conservatory String Competition in China. In 2002, he received a full scholarship to the Itzhak Perlman Music Program, and performed with Mr. Perlman in that year. Also in 2002, Mr. Wang was a featured soloist in a performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto with Xinjiang Philharmonic. Mr. Wang won first Prize in the American String Teachers Association (ATA) competition in Redlands, Los Angeles, and California State divisions in 2005, followed by a full scholarship to the International Cello Master Program Gregor Piatigorshy Seminar that year. He attended ATA’s Summer Institute for Chamber Music in 2007. In 2008, he became one of winners in Sigma Alpha Iota Competition. He has been invited to play in many concerts in Hollywood and was principal cellist of the Corona Symphony Orchestra from 2008 to 2010.  While working on his master’s degree at Azusa Pacific University (2010-2013), Mr. Wang was pointed to be a teaching assistant of the school’s cello studio. In 2013, he played as a soloist with Corona Symphony Orchestra, and he was invited immediately after the concert to give cello master classes and lecture recitals in La Sierra University, California State University, Dominguez Hills, and Los Angeles City College.

Mr. Wang currently plays the principal cello in Dream Orchestra since 2015 and coaches the cello section in the Young Artists Orchestra of Los Angeles. He has taught chamber music at Orange County School of Arts since August 2016.

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Dr. Leif Woodward

Dr. Leif Woodward

Instructor

Teaches: Chamber Music, Cello Ensemble, Cello Master Class, Low Strings Sectional

leif.woodward@ocsarts.net

Cellist Dr. Leif Thomas Woodward is an alumnus of the USC Thornton School of Music where he was granted the Colburn Foundation Scholarship for studies in Early Music Performance and graduated Pi Kappa Lambda. In addition to holding a Doctorate degree from the University of Southern California, Dr. Woodward also holds a Master of Music and Bachelor of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Dr. Woodward works with groups such as: Los Angeles Musica Angelica, Los Angeles Master Choral, Pacific Choral, Santa Barbara Symphony, Bach Collegium San Diego, Angeles Consort, and Tesserae.

He appears at the Carmel Bach Festival, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Corona Del Mar Baroque Music Festival, and on the chamber music series at the John Paul Getty Museum, Norton Simon Museum, “Sundays Live” at LACMA, Les Salons de Musiques, Redlands Chamber Music Society, Musica Angelica Chamber Music Series, and at Centrum’s Chamber Music Series in Port Townsend, Washington.

In addition, Dr. Woodward is an active soloist and section player in the Los Angeles studio-recording industry. He has worked on film, television, and video game soundtracks for composers: John Williams, James Newton Howard, Bear McCreary, Christian Linke, Sebastien Najand, Alex Temple, Austin Wintory, and Tom Holkenborg. Dr. Woodward thoroughly enjoys working with young musicians. He is the Instructor of Violoncello Performance and Chamber Music at Mount Saint Mary’s University and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California, University of California Riverside, and the Colburn School of Music.

Dr. Woodward is also on faculty for orchestral and chamber music studies at Orange County School of the Arts and Poly Technic High School in Long Beach. He coaches the All Southern California High School Honor Orchestra, Orange County Youth Symphony, and adjudicates for competitions such as the Los Angeles Spotlight Awards, MTAC State Finals and Regionals, CMEA, and the Long Beach Mozart Festival.

 

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