Brian Driscoll

Brian S. Driscoll, born and raised in Ohio, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music composition from California Institute of the Arts, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in organ performance from UCLA. For nine years, Dr. Driscoll was the director of music at The Church of the Epiphany (Oak Park/Agoura) where he directed five choirs, including the Conejo Valley’s Oaks Camerata, and organized the Epiphany Music Guild concert series. He started teaching at Santa Monica College in 2008 and then joined the faculty fulltime in Fall 2014. In addition to teaching, he enjoys an eclectic musical life as pianist, organist, choral conductor, accompanist, concert series presenter, arranger, and composer. Dr. Driscoll serves on the board of directors of the Association of Anglican Musicians as webmaster and was co-founder of the cooperative gardening and winemaking project Red Door Vineyard, for which he serves on the advisory board.

Janie Lee Docter

is the mother of two students, Jordan and Ethan, in the SMMUSD. In addition to being a member of the Brentwood/Westwood Symphony as an amateur violinist, Janie is an active volunteer for Elemental Strings. In her former life, she was the lead financial analyst for Opto-electronics Group at UCLA and managed over $5M/year overseeing all aspects of the research projects in the Electrical Engineering Department. Currently, a consummate volunteer, she serves the community in many ways from sitting as a board member/executive officer for numerous nonprofit organizations, to assistant teaching viola and cello at Grant Elementary School where she is also the resident pianist. Her most recent community service includes raising a puppy named Hugo for Guide Dogs of America for the visually impaired. Her son Ethan plays 3 instruments (sadly, none of them strings) and her daughter Jordan is an alumnus of Elemental Strings and is currently the concertmaster of the JAMS Chamber Orchestra.

Charles M. Stern

Charles grew up and attended public schools in Denver, then obtained degrees at Harvard (A.B. '65, LL.B. '68). He taught English at the Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio and legal writing at the Case-Western Reserve Law School in Cleveland, then came to Los Angeles in 1970 to take up the practice of business law, principally litigation. He was elected to fellowship in the American College of Trial Lawyers and served two years as State Chair. Appointed by then mayor James Hahn, he served a five-year term on the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission, two years of which he served as President. While his younger daughter attended Palisades Charter High School, he served on the Governing Council as a parent representative. He is presently serving a second term on the Board of Directors of the Opera League of Los Angeles and serves also as League Vice President and Parliamentarian. Charles and his wife Terri have lived in Brentwood for 45 years and volunteer in various community activities.

Jeff Kim

Jeff J. Kim is the Founder and Managing Principal at Larchmont Financial Management Co., specializing in 401(k) plans and corporate benefits. Prior to finding Larchmont Financial in 2011, he spent years at a boutique firm and a Fortune 100 Company, working with AT&T, Verizon and Northrop Grumman’s employee benefit packages as well as California’s government pension programs. Before transitioning into corporate finances, he worked in the front offices at UCSB Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Jeff grew up playing the cello and was a member of the New West Youth Symphony (now dissolved) and CSUN Youth Philharmonic throughout his middle/high school years. He earned his B.A. in Music with minor in Sports Management at UC Santa Barbara and furthered his studies at American College with concentration in Financial Planning. He holds Certified Financial PlannerTM designation with the CFP Board along with securities licenses issued by FINRA. Jeff balances his professional life with music, books, animals, sports and friends/family accompanied by good food and a glass of whiskey (or two).

Marcia Capparela

Marcia Capparela is the Assistant Head and Director of Admission at Westland School in Brentwood. Her career in education began in 1976 at Wildwood School where she served as business manager, facilities manager, admission director, and assistant head. Her experience includes serving on the board of trustees at Wildwood and working with many committees, including strategic planning, governance, and finance. She attended the University of Redlands and Pacific Oaks College where she earned an MA in Human Development.

Her love of music began in childhood and she is a experienced pianist, organist, and harpist. She currently studies with harpist Marcia Dickstein. Throughout her life he has enjoyed singing in formal choral groups as well as with friends and family.

Marcia has one daughter who is a graduate of SAMOHI where she was active in the choral music program. Marcia lives in Santa Monica with her husband, Classical KUSC's radio host Rich Capparela.

Colette Dill-Lerner

Colette Dill-Lerner, Senior Advisor MediaLink and Managing Partner of Steel+Pepper, is an 18-year industry veteran of direct response and a recognized industry leader in direct‐to-consumer marketing and technologies. Working with brands to brings an elevated strategic vision around digital direct to consumer advertising & marketing, she enables her clients to develop strong consumer digital acquisition and retention programs, and provides the existing or newly developed team(s) with the DTC best practices, embedding dependable digital competency within her clients’ organizations. Some of her clients have included: Guthy-Renker, PopSugar, Chinese Laundry, AARP,, Target, and Bare Essentials.

Colette is the mother of two, both children EM enrollees. Jackson is a cellist at JAMS who was in Elemental Strings and now in Academy Philharmonic. Penelope is at Edison Elementary School and participates in both Elemental Choir and Elemental Guitar. She has been a longtime supporter of the organization, donating both time and resources to support our mission in a variety of ways.

Cindee Hallian

Working as an agent in residential real estate with Gibson International - Santa Monica, Cindee loves selling, finding, and creating the perfect home for her clients all over greater Los Angeles.

A Santa Monica resident since 2001, Cindee and her two children, Chloe and Owen, began studying music at an early age and appreciate the benefits of and lifelong friendships made while performing in both large orchestras and small ensembles. Chloe continues to play the flute for fun at UC Berkeley while Owen is currently a member of the Harvard-Westlake Orchestra and participates in Junior Chamber Music ensembles through the Colburn School. Cindee practices piano most mornings, and Brody, the family's pit bull, loves to relax and fall asleep to Coldplay and Mozart.

Jeff Olsen

Jeff Olsen is the Director of Special Events for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he oversees the team that produces donor-focused events for the hospital. He came to Los Angeles from the Bay Area, earning his bachelor’s degree in music performance (percussion) and a master’s in communication management at USC.

He has spent his career working for non-profit organizations, primarily in the field of event production, beginning as the program coordinator for the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, before returning to his alma mater as USC’s Managing Director of Academic Events and Conferencing. In that role he produced the university’s largest events, ranging from a campus visits from the Dalai Lama to conferences in Seoul and London.

Ingrid Hutman

Ingrid Hutman joined the viola section of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1991. Her musical training began with piano lessons at age 5 and she first picked up the viola in the fourth grade at Loma Alta Elementary School. She played in many of the local youth orchestras including the Pasadena Youth Symphony, the Pasadena Young Musicians Orchestra, the American Youth Symphony, and the Young Musicians’ Foundation Debut Orchestra. Her teachers include Louis Kievman, Heiichiro Ohyama, and Robert Vernon. She studied at Pasadena City College, Cal State Northridge, Encore School for Strings, and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Ms. Hutman’s interest in training young musicians led her to join the viola faculty at the Colburn Community School of the Performing Arts in 1997.

Ms. Hutman, her husband, and their daughter have all played in public school orchestras. They live in Santa Monica.

Varina Bleil

Varina is the Executive Director of American Youth Symphony. Previously she served as Executive Director of Inside Out Community Arts for over four years, Development Executive at The Help Group, and development executive, producer and writer in the entertainment industry, including Senior Vice President at Weed Road Pictures, staff writer on the SyFy television series “Eureka”, and Associate Producer on the film Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Varina received a B.S. in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and a M.Ed. (Arts in Education) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Varina served five years on the Board of Directors of Elemental Strings.

Joni Swenson

Joni Swenson is in her thirteenth year as the Director of Orchestras at Santa Monica High School and is proud to be a part of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District. A graduate of UCLA, she taught in the Sacramento City Unified School District and in the San Jose Unified School District prior to her position at Samohi. Joni has served as guest conductor for many honor orchestras throughout California and has presented sessions at both the CMEA State and Bay Section Conferences, as well as at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra (SCSBOA) Fall Conference. In addition, she has served as the Orchestra Representative in both CMEA Capitol and Bay Sections and currently serves as the Vice-President of the California Orchestra Directors Association (CODA). In 2001, Joni was selected by San Francisco radio station KDFC Classical 102.1 as Music Educator of the Year. In 2004 she received the CMEA Le Blanc Outstanding Orchestra Music Educator Award and in 2010, she was selected as a finalist for the Los Angeles Music Center's Bravo Award.

Victor Zaud

As Creative Director, Victor Zaud is the founder of the strategic design and technology firm, Zaudhaus, where he helped conceive, shape, design, and build some of the most notable technology products and brands for such companies including Arena Solutions, Dell, J2 Communications, Microsoft and PureStorage as well as Sugarfish, Follow Your Heart, The Republic of Tea, and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Prior to Zaudhaus, Zaud was the Director of Product Design at NetObjects, a leading Web-Authoring Software company, where he was responsible for the development of NetObjects Fusion. Prior to NetObjects, Zaud was a principal designer and business consultant for The Understanding Business (TUB). He started his career in Apple's Creative Services department on projects including the introduction and definition of Desktop Publishing and Hypercard.

Anne-Christine Wille

Anne-Christine Wille was born in Berlin, Germany and moved with her family to Santa Monica in 2005. She is married to Andreas and is mother of Aaron and Adrian. She has been an amateur cellist since she was 8 years and has played in several orchestras and quartette in Germany. She holds a M.A. in Journalism from Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany and a certification in HR Management from LMU in Los Angeles. She was on the developmental team of a German Immersion Charter School in Los Angeles from 2007 - 2009 which developed the criteria to meet the school's state, county and IB accreditation. Today, she is an HR consultant for non-profit organizations and a substitute teacher.

Tim Tortora

Tim Tortora is currently CEO of Andrews, Sumitt & Allen Management, a financial management company specializing in Outsource CFO services for the entertainment industry. Prior to founding ASA, Tim was CFO of Benji Returns Distribution a film production and distribution company that independently produced and distributed Benji Off the Leash in 900 theatres domestically generating more than $4.2MM in box office revenue. Prior to that, Tim was in charge of worldwide production for ASA Management's production services partner Milk & Honey Pictures, headquartered in Los Angeles and Prague with offices and affiliates in Mexico, Italy, Canada, South Africa, England, Spain, Russia and Italy. Recently Tim was Executive In Charge Of Production for Oprah Winfrey's film production arm - Harpo Films. As head of production, he was in charge of all aspects of production from deal execution through delivery with an emphasis on financial/logistical execution and hi-definition delivery on such films as Tuesdays With Morrie (Jack Lemmon, Hank Azaria), Amy & Isabelle (Elisabeth Shue), The Wedding (Halle Berry) & Before Women Had Wings (Ellen Barkin). Prior to running production at Harpo, Tim was a production accountant for such projects as "Home Improvement," "Ellen," "The Fan" and "Metro." Tim started his career as a recording engineer at a post-production facility producing feature and record projects.

Kevin McKeown

Kevin McKeown, B.A. -' Music Education, M.M. -' Conducting, University of California, Los Angeles. K-12 Teaching Credential -' California State University, Los Angeles.

Kevin McKeown is Director of Bands at Santa Monica High School, where over 300 students participate in one of five concert bands, two jazz bands, piano, winter guard, and the Samohi "Viking" Marching Band. The ensembles at Samohi have consistently received high ratings at adjudicated festivals and have been recognized at the state and national level. Under his direction, the ensembles have performed at Chicago Symphony Center, Green Music Center (Sonoma State University), Eli and Edythe Broad Stage, Carnegie Hall, and at the 2016 California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC), the only high school wind ensemble in the state to receive this recognition and invitation. The Samohi "Viking" Marching Band have been an SCSBOA Marching Band Championship Finalist every year since his tenure and have received tournament 1st place and sweepstakes awards under his direction.

Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Kevin McKeown grew up in Santa Monica and later attended UCLA (B.A '98, M.M. '00). He was a four year Drum Major of the "Sold Gold Sound" UCLA Marching Band, and a Graduate Associate Conductor of the UCLA Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. He also has done doctoral level work at UCLA and holds a teaching credential certificate from Cal State Los Angeles. Prior to joining the faculty of Santa Monica High School, Mr. McKeown taught music at the elementary level for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School district, at John Adams Middle School, and the Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH). Former teaching/music positions include Cal State Northridge, Cal State Los Angeles, and Long Beach City College.

Kevin McKeown is currently the conductor of Wind Ensembles at the University of California, Irvine and Santa Monica College. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, California Band Directors Association (CBDA), Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), and the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). He is a promoter of new music for the wind band, having commissioned and collaborated on numerous projects featuring local composers, and is an active adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor throughout California. During his free time he enjoys playing golf, and is thankful for the support of his wife and son, Connor.

Angela Woo

Angela Woo is Director of Instrumental Music and Chair of the Department of Visual and

Performing Arts at John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica, California where over 400 students are enrolled in one of four concert bands or four string orchestras. The John Adams ensembles have consistently earned the highest possible ratings at performance festivals, and in 2011, the John Adams Middle School Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the California All-State Music Education Convention as the only middle school concert band in the state to be so honored.

An alumna of the University of California, Los Angeles, Ms. Woo holds the degrees Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Piano Performance, the Master of Education, and the Master of Fine Arts in Conducting. She also holds the Master of Arts in Educational Administration from California State University, Northridge. Prior to her appointment to John Adams in 1995, Ms. Woo was Director of Music at Corona del Mar High School and served as Director of Bands at Santa Monica College.

Ms. Woo first earned international acclaim as a conductor in Mexico City, where she was the first woman conductor to present premiere performances of the music of Karel Husa and Vincent Persichetti as well as being associate conductor for the music of George Crumb and William Schuman at the XIV New Music Forum, directed by Manuel Enriquez, Mexico's leading composer at the time.

Ms. Woo enjoys an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator with numerous honor groups, conducting symposia, and music festivals throughout the country. Her guest conducting invitations have included the 2004 Kentucky All-State High School Concert Band, the 2007 Oregon All-State Middle School Band, and most recently, Ms. Woo conducted the 2014 California All-State Jr. High Concert Band. In 2005, Ms. Woo was honored with the special invitation to be the inaugural conductor of the University of Colorado's first Middle School Honor Band. In addition, she served as a conducting clinician with the Florida International University Conducting Symposium from 2003 -' 2007. She has been invited by local universities as well as those around the country to lead professional development workshops for music educators at both the middle school and high school levels.

In 2005, Ms. Woo was recognized by the Santa Monica Rotary Club as the Santa MonicaMalibu District Teacher of the Year. She was honored at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic as a 2012 Legion of Honor Laureate by the John Philip Sousa National Foundation.

Buzz Gravelle

Buzz Gravelle—composer, multi-instrumentalist, business owner, and music educator—has been involved with new music for plucked strings for over twenty years. As a recitalist he is known for creative programming and has extended the repertoire of the classical guitar and classical mandolin through his own compositions, transcriptions, and the premiering of new works written for him. Buzz was a founding member of the Modern Arts Guitar Quartet (1991-1995), an ensemble of guitarists/composers that explored the leading edges of new music for classical guitar—prepared guitar, serialism, minimalism, aleatoric, and electro-acoustic music. He has performed throughout the western United States, in addition to Canada, Mexico, Italy, Austria, and Germany. Buzz holds both M.F.A. and D.M.A. degrees in Music from UCLA. Buzz serves on the music faculty of California Polytechnic University at Pomona. Buzz, along with his wife Jessi Spike Gravelle, are the founders of the Santa Monica Academy of Music, founded in 1997. Buzz is also it’s Director and Outreach Program Coordinator.