Faculty & Staff

Dr. John Reynolds

Dr. John Reynolds

Associate Director of Instrumental Music

john.reynolds@ocsarts.net

Dr. John Reynolds holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California as well as degrees from San Diego State University and Point Loma Nazarene University. Dr. Reynolds is well versed in instrumental conducting as he is a student of Larry Livingston (USC Thornton School of Music) and Sharon Lavery (Downey Symphony). He has conducted numerous wind ensembles, orchestras, and pit orchestras for various musical productions over the last 15 years.

Dr. Reynolds performs frequently with his own groups, the John Reynolds Jazz Quintet and the Gaslamp Quarter Jazz Orchestra. He has performed with jazz legends including John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Gerald Clayton, Rickey Woodard, Graham Dechter, Jackie Ryan, Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine, Bobby Shew, Frank Mantooth, Gilbert Castellanos, Marshall Hawkins, and many others. Other groups with which he has performed include the San Diego Symphony, Westwind Brass, Millennia Consort, and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra. In 2016, the SoCal Jazz Society recognized Dr. Reynolds as the “Jazz Educator of the Year.” In addition, San Diego State University awarded him “2016 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.”

Since its inception in 2014, the Jazz Studies program at San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SDSCPA), which Dr. Reynolds created and directed, has received high acclaim, including two invitations as finalists to the prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Students under Dr. Reynolds' tutelage have received admission to and scholarships from renowned institutions, including The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, USC Thornton School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Berklee College of Music, and many others. In 2019, the San Diego Unified School District Visual and Performing Arts Department presented Dr. Reynolds with the "Artistic Growth" award in recognition of his exceptional work at SDSCPA. Dr. Reynolds is a consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center, performing as a guest artist, clinician, and adjudicator for regional Essentially Ellington festivals across the country.

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Amy Bowers

Amy Bowers

Instructor

Teaches: Low Brass Master Class

amy.bowers@ocsarts.net

Amy Bowers attended the University of Southern California for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees, studying with Terry Cravens.

While in school, she won many awards, including the Pasadena Solo Competition, University of Southern California Concerto Competition, Pasadena Young Artist Concerto Competition, Sigma Alpha Iota Solo Competition, Young Musicians Foundation Debut Concerto Competition, and the University of Southern California Robert Marsteller Award. She is a highly sought after trombonist and teacher in California. She freelances in many orchestras including the Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Riverside County Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Santa Rosa Symphony, among many others. Miss Bowers teaches trombone and chamber music at the University of Southern California and has a large private studio of her own. 

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Lisa Cherry

Lisa Cherry

Instructor

lisa.cherry@ocsarts.net

Professor of 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. 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, 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 around the globe to Taiwan, Canada, México, and Italy.

An accomplished teacher, Ms. Cherry also has a home studio in Orange County where she teaches young players and adults alike. Lisa holds a B.M. in Music Performance from California State University (1981). Her extensive teaching background includes many top universities in Southern California, making her a very sought-after professor. She has taught many colleges, including UCI, Concordia University, Vanguard University, Riverside Community College and has been on the teaching faculty of Cal Baptist University since 2003. She joined the faculty as Professor of Horn at UCR in Fall 2016 and Orange County School of the Arts in August 2018. Visit Ms. Cherry’s website www.lisacherryhorn2tr.com

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Axel Clarke

Axel Clarke

Instructor

Teaches: Chamber Music, Sectionals, Percussion Master Class

axel.clarke@ocsarts.net

Axel Clarke has been active as a performer and instructor in the Los Angeles area for over 20 years. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Percussion Performance from Cal State Long Beach. As a teacher, he has been a member of the Studio Faculty at Long Beach State for 10 years and also directs the percussion program at the prestigious Orange County School of the Arts. He is also one of the founding members of the critically acclaimed IronWorks Percussion Duo. He currently tours internationally with the Beatle Tribute Abbey Road performing up to 150 shows per year in theatres and PACs.

Mr. Clarke’s performance and recording credits include work with Long Beach Symphony, Long Beach Ballet, Stephen Hartke, the Ojai Festival, Sara Haze, Chelsa Lena, Skanic, Kim Richmond Jazz Orchestra, The Robin Cox Ensemble, DMP, Next Exit, Mehdi, and several Steel drum ensembles. He can also be heard in numerous multi-media exhibits in museums across the country and in documentaries for Animal Planet and Discovery. As a composer he is published by Bachovich Music Publications and his works have been performed throughout North America, Asia and Europe. He is endorsed by Yamaha Percussion, Zildjian Cymbals, Remo Drumheads, Innovative Sticks and Mallets, and SKB Cases.

 

Mathieu Girardet

Mathieu Girardet

Conductor, Symphonic Band; Teacher

Teaches: Chamber Music, WE Sectionals, Symphonic Band, Guided Practice, Clarinet Master Class

mathieu.girardet@ocsarts.net

Born in Montpellier, France, Mathieu Girardet is a clarinetist, composer, arranger, and educator. Mr. Girardet holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and clarinet performance from California State University, Long Beach and a master’s degree in clarinet performance from the University of Michigan. As a graduate fellow at Michigan, he performed in the University Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Band, and the Instrumental Conducting Seminar. His clarinet quintet was awarded second prize at University of Michigan’s Briggs Chamber Music Competition, performing a series of his arrangements.

Mr. Girardet teaches music theory, chamber music, clarinet masterclass, woodwind sectionals, and directs the Symphonic Band. He also coordinates the Dragon Kim Foundation After School Program at OCSA, which provides music instruction to local elementary students. Mr. Girardet joined the faculty at Irvine Valley College in 2017 as the new director of the Wind Symphony and applied clarinet instructor. Upon his arrival, he established a Friday morning brass and percussion ensemble, consisting mainly of music majors and highly motivated non-majors. Recently, Mr. Girardet was named Coordinator of Winds and Brass with the Orange County Youth Symphony.

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Dr. John Hallberg

Dr. John Hallberg

Instructor

Teaches: Directed Practice, Saxophone Master Class, Saxophone Ensemble

john.hallberg@ocsarts.net

Dr. John Hallberg, a Southern California native, is highly in demand as both a performer and instructor. His career has allowed him to perform and teach throughout Europe, China, Hong Kong, and the United States.

Along with his teaching responsibilities at OCSA, Dr. Hallberg also currently instructs saxophone at California State University, Fullerton, and the Colburn School for the JumpStart Young Musicians Program. A dedicated teacher, his students have garnered high recognition and praise as saxophonists themselves, and have successfully won positions in several honor bands, and have been accepted into leading music programs, including the University of Southern California, University of California-Los Angeles, The Hartt School, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, California State University, Long Beach, California State University, Fullerton, and the University of the Pacific.

Dr. Hallberg received a Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance with minors in Music Theory, Music Technology, and Jazz Studies from USC. Dr. Hallberg also holds a Master of Arts from the University of Iowa, and a Bachelor of Music from The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach.

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Thomas Idzinski

Thomas Idzinski

Instructor

Teaches: Chamber Music, SB Sectionals

thomas.idzinski@ocsarts.net

Thomas Idzinski is a Freelance Tubist, Contractor and Educator. Mr.  Idzinski has performed in a lot of different places such as Hawaii, South Korea and many more. Mr. Idzinski has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music in tuba performance, and will be auditioning for his Master’s Degree in the fall of 2017. Since 2015, Mr. Idzinski has held the Principle Tuba position in the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra performing alongside musicians in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 2016, he won the principal tuba position of The Debut Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Idzinski also teaches for East Whittier Middle School as a brass instructor. He joined the Orange County School of the Arts family in 2016 teaching music theory A and symphonic brass and percussion sectionals. In his second year at OCSA he will also be teaching chamber music. In the fall of this 2017, Mr. Idzinski is excited to be starting a wind band program for the students Samueli Academy.

Victoria Hiromi Doo Lee

Victoria Hiromi Doo Lee

Instructor

Teaches: Chamber Music, Double Reed Master Class

victoria.lee@ocsarts.net

Oboist Victoria Hiromi Doo Lee (’07) holds a bachelor’s and a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Liang Wang.  An Orange County native, her versatility has led to numerous performances in all types of venues, from appearing with chamber groups at aquariums and art museums in California to touring as a soloist in France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  She is an active, in-demand musician who currently holds the principal chair of the Santa Monica Symphony and the Orange County Symphony.  

Anthony Mazzaferro

Anthony Mazzaferro

Instructor

anthony.mazzaferro@ocsarts.net

Dr. Anthony Mazzaferro was born and raised in San Francisco. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from San Francisco State University.  During his undergraduate years, he served as the Principal Tubist in the Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra. In addition to this he was the Assistant Conductor for both the Symphonic and Concert Bands.  After graduating with honors in 1978, Dr. Mazzaferro attended Northwestern University.  He pursued a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting where he studied with John P. Paynter.  In 1986 he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University.

His guest conducting and adjudication assignments have included Honor Bands and Orchestras throughout the Western United States, Canada, Singapore and New Zealand.  In 1994, 2001, and 2014 Dr. Mazzaferro was selected to conduct the California All-State Honor Band. In 2007 Dr. Mazzaferro also conducted the California All-State Junior High Symphonic Band. Dr Mazzaferro has also conducted the Alberta, Canada All-Provincial Honor Band and the Singapore “Junior College” National Honor Band.   As a clinician, Dr. Mazzaferro has worked with Concert Bands and Orchestras from The United States, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, and China.          

Dr. Mazzaferro is the 2007 recipient of the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) “Don Schmeer/Byron Hoyt Band Educator Award for excellence in Band Education and Performance”. Dr. Mazzaferro is active in several other musical affiliations outside of Fullerton College.  His most recent activities include serving on the Advisory Board for the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp in Northern California and serving as an Assistant Conductor for the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra (OCYSO).

Dr. Mazzaferro recently retired after 29 years as a full time faculty member of the Music Department at Fullerton College.  Dr. Mazzaferro currently is the Conductor of the Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble at the Orange County School for the Arts, Conductor of the Orange County Wind Symphony, and is Principal Tuba in the Symphony Irvine, Corona Symphony, and Dana Point Symphony Orchestra.

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Benjamin Smolen

Benjamin Smolen

Instructor

Benjamin Smolen has performed across the globe, including the United States to Europe, Russia, and Japan. He joined the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in 2011, where he holds the Valerie and Hans Imhof Principal Flute Chair. He has also performed as guest Principal Flute with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Pasadena Symphony. He has given solo performances with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Gardner Webb Symphony Orchestra, Princeton University Orchestra, Charlotte Civic and Youth Orchestras, and twice on National Public Radio's From the Top with pianist Christopher O'Riley.

In addition to his work on stage, Mr. Smolen is active in the Hollywood scoring industry and has recorded with many esteemed film composers including John Williams, Danny Elfman, Alan Silvestri, and Randy Newman. He can be heard on projects such as Star Wars: The Force AwakensX-Men: Apocalypse, The BFGGhostbustersMozart in the JungleMonsters UniversityNight at the Museum, and on Neil Young's latest album, Storytone

Mr. Smolen has given recitals around the world, including performances as a featured guest at the Japan Flute Festival and the National Flute Association’s annual convention. He won First Prize at the Haynes International Flute Competition and James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition and Second Prize at the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition and National Flute Association Young Artist Competition. His flute and guitar ensemble Duo Musagete, with guitarist Jerome Mouffe, has performed highly acclaimed concerts in the United States and Europe, and they recently released their debut album, Bach to Beaser.

Mr. Smolen has been a guest teaching artist at many esteemed educational institutions. Recent engagements include classes and performances at Chapman University, California State University, Long Beach, California State University, Fullerton, San Diego State University, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of California at Irvine, the Symphony Guild of Charlotte, the Long Beach Summer Flute Institute, and Jim Walker's Beyond the Masterclass.

Mr. Smolen completed his undergraduate studies in the Music and Slavic departments at Princeton University, during which time he also completed a Performance Diploma at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He earned a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance at the New England Conservatory and pursued additional studies at the University of Michigan and twice as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. His teachers include Paula Robison, Michael Parloff, Elizabeth Rowe, Jennifer Dior, Jayn Rosenfeld, and Amy Porter.

He is a William S. Haynes Artist and performs on a handmade, custom-crafted Haynes 14-karat gold flute. 

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Anthony Maiello

Anthony Maiello

Professor

George Mason University School of Music

Anthony J. Maiello, artistic director and conductor of the American Festival Pops Orchestra in  Washington, D.C., makes professional appearances both nationally and abroad conducting music festivals, adjudicating ensembles, and presenting clinics, lectures, and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Europe.

Presently a professor of music with George Mason University (GMU) School of Music, Professor Maiello teaches graduate and undergraduate Conducting, all levels of Aural Skills, and Jazz Theory & Arranging.  He founded and conducted the GMU Wind Ensemble, as well as the GMU Chamber Orchestra. He also served as associate director of the School of Music, conductor of the GMU Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Band, and director of the GMU Jazz Ensemble.

Throughout his career, Professor Maiello has published musical compositions for string orchestra and is the author of Conducting Nuances (GIA Publications, Inc.), Conducting: A Hands-On-Approach (Warner Bros./Alfred Publications), and co-author of The 21st Century Band Method (Warner Bros./Alfred Publications). In 2012, he was presented with the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia “Signature Award” for promoting music in America, and in 2013 was nominated for a GRAMMY Music Educator Award, a category created by the Recording Academy in partnership with the GRAMMY Foundation in recognition of music educators. This year, Professor Maiello will receive the Bandmaster of the Year Award from Phi Beta Mu, the International Band Fraternity, at the International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL.

“It has been a delightful pleasure and honor to be associated with Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble and Wind Studies program at the Orange County School of the Arts under the direction of Mr. Teren Shaffer. This world-class organization has performed at numerous national venues, including the International Midwest Band and Orchestral Clinic in Chicago.  It sets the standard for high school wind band programs throughout the United States of America.  In my opinion it is absolutely FIRST-CLASS!”

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Bob Mintzer

Bob Mintzer

Chair, Jazz Studies Department

USC Thornton School of Music

Bob Mintzer is a triple threat musician who has been active in the jazz community for many years, recording and playing alongside many greats, including Tito Puente, Buddy Rich, Thad Jones with the Mel Lewis Big Band, James Taylor, the New York Philharmonic, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Queen, the National Symphony, American Saxophone Quartet, Art Blakey, Donald Fagan, Bobby McFerrin, Nancy Wilson, Kurt Elling, Jaco Pastorius, Mike Manieri, and Randy Brecker.

He is currently on the faculty of USC’s Thornton School of Music, where he teaches, directs the Thornton Jazz Orchestra, and conducts a jazz workshop for incoming freshman and sophomore students. Mr. Mintzer also plays with the Yellowjackets, one of the premier jazz groups playing today, which has been nominated for thirteen Grammy Awards. He maintains a busy touring schedule, playing with the Yellowjackets, his quartet, big band, and as a guest conductor and soloist alongside college and professional bands.

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Frank Potenza

Frank Potenza

Chair, Department of Studio/Jazz Guitar

USC Thornton School of Music

Capri Records Ltd. recording artist Frank Potenza is a protégé of the legendary jazz guitarist Joe Pass. He is an active educator, composer, arranger, and performer with nine solo albums to his credit. He has performed in concert with Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Pass, Bud Shank, Mose Allison, James Moody, Brother Jack McDuff, George Van Eps, Mundell Lowe, Joe Sample, Ronnie Laws, Joe Diorio, John Clayton, Jimmy Smith, Benny Green, Buddy Collette, Andy Simpkins, Ernie Andrews, Eddie Harris, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and many other jazz luminaries.

From 1996 to 1999, he toured as a member of the Gene Harris Quartet. He is a featured soloist on Alley Cats, which was Harris’ final recording for Concord Records. Mr. Potenza has performed locally at the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.

Frank Potenza currently tours in support of his latest Capri Records Ltd. recording For Joe, a tribute to Joe Pass. Frank is a full professor and chair of the guitar program at the USC Thornton School of Music and the author of several texts for the USC Thornton Guitar Instructional Series, published by Mel Bay Publications, the world’s largest publisher of guitar materials.

“I’m delighted to serve on the OCSA Conservatory Program advisory board. It’s a joy to see each new generation of college students in their formative years and a labor of love to work with them. It assures me that the music is in good hands and that it will thrive for a long time to come. My interactions with the students have been nothing short of fantastic. In performance with them, I’ve found their playing to be at an incredibly high level, and their interaction at clinics and master classes is enthusiastic and stimulating. I attribute all of that to the high level of instruction that they receive daily, and to the inspiration that they derive from the thoughtful mentoring of the OCSA faculty. I’ve known some of them for many years, and I’m familiar with their ongoing careers and accomplishments. I feel fortunate to be involved in such a vital and forward-looking music program.”

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Christopher Sampson

Christopher Sampson

Vice Dean of Division of Popular Music

USC Thornton School of Music

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