Faculty & Staff

Nicholaus Yee

Nicholaus Yee

Coordinator, Strings and Orchestra Program

Teaches: 7/8th Grade String Orchestra, Chamber Music, and Viola Sectional

nicholaus.yee@ocsarts.net

Violist Nicholaus Yee completed his doctoral studies at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, 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 multi-faceted program at USC. An avid chamber musician, he was honored to perform with the renowned violinist Midori Goto shortly after her faculty appointment at USC. Dr. Yee has been heard in broadcast on KUSC 91.5 both in chamber and orchestral music performances.
 

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

As principal viola of Del Gesu Strings, he toured South America in 2009 and 2010, playing concerts in Panama City (Panama), San Salvador (El Salvador), Quito (Ecuador), and Santiago (Chile). Locally, he has collaborated with various musicians presenting chamber music concerts, and joined the Chamber Players of Los Angeles in 2011.

A dedicated educator, he has taught privately for over 20 years and in various capacities at public schools and youth orchestras since 1995. 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. From 2008 to 2011, he was a conductor for the Irvine Young Concert Artists orchestra. Dr. Yee is a coach for Junior Chamber Music in Orange County. Prior to his appointment at OCSA, he served as viola coach for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) program at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts from 2015.

 

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Christopher Russell

Christopher Russell

Symphony Orchestra Conductor

chris.russell@ocsarts.net

Christopher Russell received his master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Indiana University and his bachelor’s degree in composition from California State University, Fullerton. He is also an associate professor and heads the orchestral program at Azusa Pacific University.

As a conductor of contemporary music, Mr. Russell has conducted many world, national, and local premieres. Recent guest conducting engagements include the MasterWorks Festival in Indiana in 2013 and 2014 and the International Orchestra Festival in Zhengzhou, China in 2015. His recording of previously-unknown music by 19th century composer Leopold Damrosch was released internationally by London based company Toccata Classics. Mr. Russell is also a frequent pre-concert lecturer for both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. For the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he has hosted post-concert discussions with conductors and guests, including Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Emanuel Ax, and Dawn Upshaw.

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Elliott Bark

Elliott Bark

Instructor

Teaches: Concert Orchestra

elliott.bark@ocsarts.net

Described by the New York Times as “…abrasive outbursts…monstrous climax…yearning melody in a rapturous surge,” music by Elliott Bark (b.1980) has been performed in many venues, such as Stern Auditorium and Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Sejong Center, Aspen Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Korean Composers Festival, Festival of New Music at Florida State University, Saugatuck Chamber Music Festival, Musco Center, Bonita Center, Midwest Composers Symposiums at Universities of Indiana (‘07), Iowa (’08 and ’12) and Michigan (‘09), North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, Belvedere Chamber Music Festival, United States Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, and the 2010 GAMMA at University of Texas in Austin.

Dr. Bark, two-time recipient (2012, 2014) of The Korean National Composer Prize (the most prestigious award for Korean composers), received Susan and Ford Schumann Fellowship from Aspen Music Festival and School and numerous prizes including 2016 Agape International Church Music Composition Competition & Festival, 2013 Indiana University Dean’s Prize, 2010 Bowdoin International Music Festival Composition Competition, 2009 First Music Commission, 2008 Kuttner Quartet Composition Competition, 2007 Beethoven Club Composition Contest and 2003 Korean Episcopal Church Composition Competition. Dr. Bark has recently been commissioned by The New York Classical Players (for Grammy-nominated flutist Carol Wincenc), Barkada Saxophone Quartet (Fischoff Competition Grand Prize Winner), Linda Strommen (Indiana University Oboe Professor), among others.

Dr. Bark has held other artistic positions such as pianist in the Republic of Korea Navy Symphonic Band, music director of many churches, and assistant director of Indiana University New Music Ensemble. Dr. Bark has participated masterclasses with Jorma Panula, Filippo Maria Bressan and Harold Faberman and conducted Berlin Sinfonietta and Bulgaria's finest orchestra Sofia Philharmonic. He directs not only classical repertoire, but has also premiered more than 50 compositions by living composers. In addition, he was the first conductor for the first-ever Double Exposure project, a unique collaboration between composers and film students at Indiana University where live music is performed to silent films.

Dr. Bark currently is a music director/conductor of Concert Orchestra of Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), Christian Youth Symphony of Irvine (CYSI), Kenosis Chamber Choir, Ensemble Christo - Los Angeles, Bethel Choir & Orchestra of Bethel Church (Irvine, CA). Dr. Bark was recently invited to conduct Die Fledermaus, a production with student singers and professional orchestra musicians at Biola University where Dr. Bark also teaches composition. He is a composer/arranger-in-residence of Petar Jankovic Ensemble.

Dr. Bark received his doctoral degree in composition from Indiana University where Dr. Bark served as an Associate Instructor in the composition department. He has studied composition with Claude Baker, David Dzubay, Don Freund, Jonguk Kim, P.Q. Phan and Sydney Hodkinson and instrumental conducting with David Effron, Arthur Fagen and Cliff Colnot.

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Su Jin Susanna Cervantes

Su Jin Susanna Cervantes

Instructor

Teaches: Music Literature & History

Su Jin Susanna Cervantes is professional freelancer actively working in the greater Los Angeles area. As a cellist, she has played in multiple ensembles such as Hollywood Youth Orchestra, USC Thorton Symphony, and APU Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed in multiple chamber groups performing works by Barber, Brahms, Borodin, Franck, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, and many more. She has performed in masterclasses with Daniel Hoffman, Lynn Harrell, and Alyssa Weilerstein. 

Ms. Cervantes also frequently collaborates with singer-songwriters such as Sleeping At Last, whose hits are featured on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy; grammy-nominated artist, Michelle Bloom; Actress, comedian, and singer, Jackie Tohn; and American Christian singers, Paul Baloche and Matt Redman. 

Since 2011, she has been a pianist and a music associate at First Baptist Church of Glendale. She has been teaching cello privately throughout Southern California since 2010. With Suzuki and Russian School influence, she emphasizes ear-training, theory, and sight-reading in her teaching methods to develop more practical cello skills in her students. Her private studio currently boasts of over 10 students, of varying ages and levels. Ms. Cervantes received her Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Azusa Pacific University, and icurrently studying with Christopher Russell at Azusa Pacific University to receive her Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting.

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Judy Huang

Judy Huang

Instructor

Teaches: Chamber Music

judy.huang@ocsarts.net

Dr. Judy Huang, Grand prize winner of the 2004 Carmel Music Society Piano Competition, made her professional debut at age eleven with the Fine Arts Orchestra in Taiwan. She has given concerts in Taiwan and in the U.S., as well as in Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, England and Poland. She has also appeared as a soloist with Peninsula Symphony, Rio Hondo Symphony, Redlands Symphony, Riverside Symphony, Westchester Symphony, Palermo Orchestra, Titisee-Neustadt Orchestra, Valley Symphony Orchestra, Palisades Symphony, YMF Orchestra, Crossroads Orchestra, and UCLA Philharmonia Orchestra.

 

Dr. Huang was a member of the Pro Arte Trio, which performed in the Young Artist Peninsula Music Festival and was featured in live performances on KUSC 91.5 FM. The trio was awarded first prizes in both the Chamber Music Society of Monterey Peninsula Competition and the Music Teacher Association of California VOCE Chamber Music Competition. Her performances have been broadcasted on KUSC 91.5 FM (Southern California), Minnesota Public Radio, WCLV 104.9 FM (Cleveland Ohio), Bavarian Radio (Germany), Polish TV (Poland), Taiwan TV, Taiwan National Public Radio. Sharing her passion of chamber music, Dr. Huang is dedicated to community outreach programs and has collaborated with members of Pacific Symphony and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. A graduate of UCLA (BA, MM, DMA), her principal teachers include Robert Turner, Ming-Qiang Li, Aube Tzerko and Vitaly Margulis. She has taught piano and theory classes at UCLA, Los Angeles Valley College, International Institute for Young Musicians, and currently serves on the faculty at Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana.

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Xika Huang

Xika Huang

Instructor

Teaches: Chamber Music

xika.huang@ocsarts.net

Recognized for her virtuosic technique and superb artistry, violinist Xika Huang has performed on four continents in major concert venues. Since her solo debut at the age of seven, Ms. Huang has performed with members of the New York Philharmonic under the leadership of Maestro Lorin Maazel at the Shanghai Grand Theatre. She has performed as the soloist with the China National Symphony Orchestra, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, Fujian Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, OCSA Orchestra, LA Dream Orchestra, The Colburn Conservatory Orchestra and more. Ms. Huang has served as concertmaster of the USC Thornton Symphony Orchestra, the Colburn Conservatory Orchestra the Shanghai Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and the LA Dream Orchestra.

Ms. Huang is the winner of the National Violin Competition of China, Gold Prize winner at the 3rd Manhattan International Music Competition in 2018, the Artist National Competition in Fujian, and the Bo De Chamber Music Competition in Shanghai, China. She has also won top prizes in the Long Beach International Music Competition, Mu Phi Epsilon Loeb/Louviere International Music Competition, Menuhin International violin competition in Beijing, 2012, and the Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition in Brussels, Belgium in 2015. 

Ms. Huang has participated in a number of Festival programs. She performed as a full scholarship scholar in the Holland International Music Sessions in 2013. She was a New Horizons Fellow in the Aspen Festival (2010-2013). In 2007, she participated in the Goslar Music Festival in Hannover, Germany at the invitation of the renowned Hatto Beyerle. She was also in a music exchange program for distinguished young musicians in Australia.

Born in Gulangyu, China, Ms. Huang began violin lessons with her father at age five. Subsequently, she received professional education at the University of Southern California, the Colburn Conservatory of Music, and Shanghai Conservatory on full scholarships. Her prominent artist teachers include Glenn Dicterow, Robert Lipsett, Arnold Steinhardt, Nathan Cole, and Xiaolei Ding. She also performed at master classes for Midori Goto, Hatto Beyerle, Gary Graffman, Elizabeth Pitcairn, Gil Shaham, the Tokyo String Quartet and the Ébène String Quartet.

Currently, Ms. Huang is on the violin faculty of Azusa Pacific University and Orange County School of the Arts. Ms. Huang’s goal is to share the beautiful musical fabric that she creates with audiences throughout the world.

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Arie Lugo

Arie Lugo

Instructor

Teaches: Music Appreciation, Theory

arie.lugo@ocsarts.net

Arie Lugo 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. Lugo is a Kodaly-trained music teacher and private vocal instructor. Aside from her work with the Instrumental Music Conservatory, Ms. Lugo is also an instructor in the Classical Voice Conservatory, a Choral director at Cerro Villa Middle School, faculty with CSArts Academy, and continues to run a private voice studio. She additionally sings with the local chamber choral ensemble called Tonality.

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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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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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Adriana Triggs

Adriana Triggs

Instructor

Teaches: Violin Masterclass and Chamber Music

adriana.triggs@ocsarts.net

Adriana Triggs holds a master’s degree in violin performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and a bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance from Chapman University Conservatory of Music.

She studied under Mark Lakirovich and William Fitzpatrick. In January 2016, she joined the first violin section of the Mozart Classical Orchestra. Recently, Mrs. Triggs was featured as a soloist for the motion picture, A Date With Miss Fortune. She also maintains a violin studio at home in Mission Viejo.

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Phillip Triggs

Phillip Triggs

Instructor

Teaches: Chamber Music and Viola Masterclass

phillip.triggs@ocsarts.net

Phillip Triggs earned his master’s degree in music from Northwestern University and his bachelor’s degree in music from Chapman University. He also studied during the summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

His teachers have included Roland Vamos, Jeffrey Irvine, James Dunham, Robert Becker, and William Fitzpatrick. He is currently assistant principal viola of Santa Barbara Symphony, a section member of New West Symphony, and frequently performs with Pacific Symphony. In addition to teaching at the Orange County School of the Arts, Mr. Triggs is an adjunct professor of music at Concordia University and Santa Ana College. He served as a coach for Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra, Community Youth Orchestra of Southern California, and Capistrano International Chamber Music Festival.

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Leif Woodward

Leif Woodward

Instructor

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

leif.woodward@ocsarts.net

Cellist 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, Mr. Woodward also holds a Master of Music degree and Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  Mr. 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, Mr. 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.  Mr. 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.

Mr. 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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