Faculty & Staff

Dr. Nicholaus Yee

Dr. Nicholaus Yee

Coordinator, Strings and Orchestra Program; Orchestra Conductor

Teaches: Symphony Orchestra, 7/8th 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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Jason Bonham

Jason Bonham

Instructor

Teaches: Viola Master Class, Chamber Music

jason.bonham@ocsarts.net

Mr. Jason Bonham is known as a recitalist, chamber musician, principal violist, and educator. Currently, Mr. Bonham is the principal violist with both the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Pageant of the Masters Orchestra (Laguna Beach, CA). He is lecturer of viola at Cal State Long Beach and viola teaching artist at Biola University. He has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, among many others.

Mr. Bonham performed as guest principal violist of the Pacific Northwest Ballet for the 2016 live radio broadcast of Coppelia. He also has performed as guest principal viola of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Modesto Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Symphonies. As a chamber musician he has performed with members of the Emerson Quartet, Boston Chamber Society, Chicago Pro Musica, and the Fry Street Quartet.

In education, Mr. Bonham was the director of orchestras at Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts, founder and artistic director of the Tuacahn Summer Arts Institute, and viola faculty at Idyllwild Arts Summer Program. Additionally, he served on various boards including bthe American Viola Society, Kayenta Arts Foundation, and the Chamber Music Society of Southern Utah. In the past he has been a faculty member at University of Nevada Las Vegas, Brigham Young University and Dixie State University. Mr. Bonham lives in Dana Point, California with his wife Aimee and three children.

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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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Sorah Myung

Sorah Myung

Instructor

Teaches: Violin Sectional

sorah.myung@ocsarts.net

Sorah Myung received her bachelor’s degree in music from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and master’s degree from Yale University School of Music. She is also teaching at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa and conducting at Community Youth Orchestra of Southern California (CYOSC).

She has a busy musical career as a freelancer, chamber musician, and an orchestra player in Southern California. She was appointed as a concertmaster at La Mirada Symphony Orchestra in 2014. As a both violinist and a violist, she holds an assistant principal viola position at Mozart Classical Orchestra in Irvine, as well as a summer residency at American Institute of Musical Studies in Austria. She was formerly a member of Santa Monica Symphony, Concertante di Chicago, Northwest Indiana Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Eastern Connecticut Symphony, and Akron Symphony Orchestra.

As a dedicated pedagogue, Ms. Myung is in great demand as a teacher, coach, and lecturer. She has been invited to teach in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Capistrano International Chamber Music Festival, and Irvine Music Festival in recent years. She has also judged many competitions, including American String Teachers Association Orange County solo competition and Musical Arts Competition in Orange County, Music Teachers’ Association of California’s Irvine Branch Junior Ensemble Music Festival, Newport Mesa Solo and Chamber Ensemble Festival, Association of Christian Schools International Music Festival, and the New Mexico Fine Arts Festival.

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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.

 

Kelly Jiyeon 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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Sarah Silva

Sarah Silva

Instructor

Teaches: Introduction to Alexander Technique

Ms. Sarah Silva is an AmSAT-certified teacher of the Alexander Technique who maintains a robust private practice while also teaching the Alexander Technique at Chapman University’s Musco Conservatory of Music and Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA). She is well known for her master classes for classical musicians, and is sought after as a clinician and guest lecturer throughout Southern California. In addition to her certification, Ms. Silva holds a master’s degree in music with an emphasis in vocal performance.

Her recent engagements outside of her work at Chapman University and OCSA include work with Cal State Fullerton’s Voice Department, the UCLA FitWell Program, the Choral Department at UC Irvine, the National Children’s Chorus, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, University of La Verne, Los Osos High School, Sage Hill School, and Santa Ana College.

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Candice Tardif

Candice Tardif

Instructor

Teaches: String Literature & History

candice.tardif@ocsarts.net

Candice Tardif (’10) is an alumna of the Instrumental Music Conservatory at the Orange County School of the Arts. During the academic day, she is a full-time teacher of Literature and Composition.

Miss Tardif received her bachelor’s degrees in both English and History from University of Southern California, where she earned high honors for her thesis on First World War literature. She holds a teaching credential and master’s degree in teaching from the University of California, Irvine.

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Chloé Tardif

Chloé Tardif

Instructor

Teaches: Chamber Music, Music History, Theory

chloe.tardiff@ocsarts.net

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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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. Yao 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. Chih-Chen Wei

Dr. Chih-Chen Wei

Instructor

Teaches: Classical Composition

Dr. Chih-Chen Wei’s composition Between Stream and Hills V - Odyssey is available in the album Viola Works by American Female Composers, Centaur Records, recorded by violist Hsiaopei Lee and pianist Chialing Hsieh; Farewell in the album Ten Poems, recorded by flutist Cheng-Yu Wu. 

Her abstract, Synergy: Western Musical Practice and Asian Aesthetics, was selected by American Viola Society 2016, and was presented at Oberlin Conservatory. Her composition Odyssey was featured in the lecture-recital New Music for Viola by Victoria Bond and Chih-Chen Wei, in Music by Women Festival 2017.  Her proposal, Old Wine, New Bottle? was selected by the 45th International Viola Congress, and was presented in 2018 in Rotterdam, Holland, hosted by The Dutch Viola Society. 

Her works have been selected and performed in the concert of Clarinetfest 2016 at Lawrence, Kansas; the American Viola Society Festival 2016 in Oberlin Conservatory; Society of Composers, Inc., Region VI Conference (2010); 7th Annual Festival of Contemporary Music in San Francisco (2009); Asian Composers League in Korea (2009), and among others.

Born in Taiwan, she completed her Doctor of Musical Arts with academic honors and distinction, Pi Kappa Lambda, from the University of Southern California

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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 degree and Bachelor of Music degree 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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