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Full-time Music Faculty

  • Busch, Michael
  • Professor
    Director of Choral and Vocal Activities
  • Music 250
  • (949) 214-3414

Professor, Director of Choral Activities

Michael Busch

Biography

Dr. Michael Busch is professor of music at Concordia University Irvine, where he serves as Director of Choral and Vocal Activities. His teaching responsibilities include the areas of conducting, music theory, and choral methods. His work with the Concordia Choir and the Concordia Master Chorale is featured in an acclaimed concert series which annually attracts filled-to-capacity audiences to the Concordia Center for Worship and Performing Arts. He has led the Concordia Choir on concert ministry tours throughout the United States, as well as through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Italy. Most recently, he conducted the Concordia Choir on a tour through Germany and Austria to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, where they were featured at the impressive Berliner Dom, the Salzburg Residenz, and the Wittenberg Castle Church where Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses and started the Reformation.

Dr. Busch received the doctor of musical arts degree in the literature and performance of choral music from the University of Colorado, Boulder. His attained his master’s degree in both the fields of choral conducting and organ performance from San Jose State University. His work has been influenced by his studies with Charlene Archibeque, Lynn Whitten, Alan Luhring, and Roger Nyquist. Prior to his arrival at Concordia, he taught choral music at every grade level and administered large choral and orchestral music ministry programs in California and Colorado. It is his great joy share his passion for music and to mentor musicians desiring to serve as music educators and church music leaders.

At Concordia, Dr. Busch instituted the MasterWorks Concert series which features performances of major choral works with professional orchestra. Under his direction, these concerts have included such works as the Bach Mass in B Minor, Mendelssohn Elijah, Mozart Grand Mass in C Minor, Haydn Lord Nelson Mass, Poulenc Gloria, Honegger King David, Handel Messiah, Mozart Requiem, Bach Magnificat, Bernstein Chichester Psalms, Mendelssohn St. Paul, Vaughan Williams Dona nobis pacem, Duruflé Requiem, and the Bach St. Matthew Passion.

In addition to his duties at Concordia, Dr. Busch is active as a guest conductor, festival organist, choral adjudicator and workshop leader at clinics, conventions and festival events throughout the western United States. He has served as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Music in Worship for the western division states of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and has presented at conferences of the ACDA and Chorister’s Guild. He is the proud father of three boys and is happily married to his bride of over thirty years.

Education

  • San Jose State University, CA, B.M. Music, 1987
  • San Jose State University, CA, M.A., 1989
  • University of Colorado, Boulder, D.M.A., 1999

Teaching

  • Conductor, The Concordia Choir
  • Conductor, Concordia Master Chorale
  • Music Theory
  • Conducting
  • Choral Methods
  • Hauser, Christian
  • Associate Professor
    Director of Music Education
  • Composition
  •  

Associate Professor, Director of Music Education

Christian Hauser

Biography

Dr. Christian Hauser taught at Concordia University Chicago for nine years previous to his appointment as Associate Professor of Music at Concordia University Irvine. He completed his Ph.D. in music education from the University of North Texas received his graduate and undergraduate degrees from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Hauser is Kodály certified (Level II), Conversational Solfege (Levels I & II), Dalcroze certified and has completed all three levels of Orff certification, including a master class. In addition to teaching all the music education methods courses, he has taught Songwriting, Orchestration & Arranging, Music of World Cultures, Music Technology, Survey of Western Music, Exploration of Music and private piano and composition lessons.

Dr. Hauser is also an active composer. He wrote a 20-minute orchestral composition The Circus Train, which has been performed by the Houston, Colorado Music Festival, Sioux City and Nashville Symphony Orchestras as part of their Young Person Concerts. He received a commission from the Nashville Ballet Company to compose a jazz ballet which was performed over 30 times throughout Metro-Nashville Public schools as part of the Ballet’s educational outreach. He also has received multiple grants to compose, direct and produce children’s musicals and several research grants. He wrote and produced a CD entitled, “Johnathan Craine and the Thing That Goes Bump in the Jungle,” which received awards as the Best Children's Education Award category (ages 4-8) and Best Children's Spoken Word CD (ages 8-12) from the Children’s Music Web Awards contest.

Dr. Hauser has worked in the Nashville music industry and has received album credit for several national produced records as either as a songwriter, producer or recording engineer. He has also served as worship director at many churches he has attended. He plays a variety of instruments including the piano, organ, guitar, ukulele and djembe.

Dr. Hauser is an active clinician and researcher. He has presented at many national conferences and Kodály and Orff teacher training workshops. His research interests include creativity, composition and technology.

  • Held, Jeff
  • Assistant Dean - School of Arts & Sciences
    Director of Arts Activities
    Professor
    Director of Instrumental Activities
  • Music 256
  • (949) 214-3420

Assistant Dean - School of Arts & Sciences, Director of Arts Activities, Professor, Director of Instrumental Activities

Jeff Held Headshot

Biography

"A very strong musical personality." (Glenn Price)

Jeff Held is a multi-faceted leader and professor at Concordia University Irvine.

He leads Arts Activities and Music as an Assistant Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences. In that role, he has led the music faculty as they have made significant contributions to the build-out of the music department to its full scope, including an innovative music major, accreditation with NASM, major facilities upgrades, and student enrollment growth. He also supports the faculty of the art, graphic art, theatre, and dance programs.

Dr. Held is the music director of both the Concordia Wind Orchestra and the Concordia Symphony Orchestra. Since his appointment in 2005 as the founding full-time faculty member of these ensembles, he has established a programming structure that puts students in many orchestral ensemble roles - encompassing wind orchestra, symphony orchestra, baroque, church, and chamber music. Utilizing creative combinations of all of these options, he has become one of the most creative concert programmers for collegiate music ensembles, to the delight and edification of audiences and performers.

In a teaching capacity, Dr. Held introduces many students to the vast world of music and its history through his online class, MUS 112: Music in the Liberal Arts. This class serves Concordia's Q&I curriculum by addressing the question, "Why Art?" Dr. Held also prepares music majors to conduct orchestras.

Dr. Held received the Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Boston University. His research interest was comparing learning atmospheres for music majors between large and small universities. He received a master's degree from The American Band College at Southern Oregon University and an undergraduate degree in music from Valparaiso University. In addition, he completed the Lutheran Teaching Colloquy from Concordia University Irvine. His career began as band director and music department chairman at Orange Lutheran High School, where he established a prominent concert band, jazz band, and handbell ensemble.

Education

  • D.M.A. Music Education – Boston University
  • M.A. Arts and Letters – The American Band College (Southern Oregon University)
  • B.A. Music – Valparaiso University
  • Lutheran Teaching Certificate – Concordia University Irvine

Teaching

  • Music Director, Concordia Wind Orchestra
  • Music Director, Concordia Symphony Orchestra
  • MUS 412: Instrumental Methods and Repertoire
  • MUS 112 (OL): Music in the Liberal Arts
  • Mueller, Tom
  • Music Department Chair
    Associate Professor
    University Organist / Church Music
    Director of Keyboard Activities and Jazz
  • Organ, Composition, Jazz Piano, Harpsichord
  • Music 258
  • (949) 214-3651
Tom Mueller

Music Department Chair, Associate Professor, University Organist / Church Music, Director of Keyboard Activities and Jazz

Biography

Tom Mueller serves as Associate Professor of Church Music and University Organist at Concordia University in Irvine, California, where he directs academic programs in keyboard, composition, and jazz, and serves in chapel music leadership. An award-winning church musician, he serves as the Associate Organist at St. James’ Church in Los Angeles, where he accompanies the acclaimed Choir of St. James’ under the direction of James Buonemani. He is an active recitalist, clinician, and adjudicator.

Mueller was awarded first place in the 2014 Schoenstein Competition in Hymn-Playing, held in conjunction with the national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2015, he was honored by The Diapason as a member of the inaugural “20 Under 30” list of influential figures in the world of organ and church music.

He maintains an active concert schedule, and has performed across the United States and Europe. In 2010, he performed the complete organ works of J. S. Bach in a series of seventeen concerts in his native state of Maine. He has received numerous commissions for new choral and liturgical works, and performances of his compositions have been broadcast on national radio and television. Mueller is also an accomplished guitarist and mandolinist, and toured the country as a member of The Muellers, a nationally-recognized family bluegrass band. Their fourth album, The Muellers, was released in 2009. As an organist, his recording credits include Scott Perkin’s A New England Requiem and O Beauty Ever Ancient Ever New by the Choir of St. James’, both of which were released on the Gothic label.

Research interests include the early organ and keyboard works of J. S. Bach, the performance practice of organ continuo playing in the classical-era concerted sacred music of Germany and Austria, and the American reception of the nineteenth-century opera star Jenny Lind. He has presented workshops, masterclasses, and lectures for numerous organizations, including numerous chapters of the American Guild of Organists, and has served as a faculty member for the Guild’s Pipe Organ Encounter (POE) program for young organists. He currently serves on the national Committee for Continuing Professional Education (CCPE) of the AGO, as a regional president and national board member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and chairs the Organ Study Grant Program of the Orange County AGO.

Mueller earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with David Higgs. He also holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame (M.S.M. in organ), and the University of Maine at Augusta (B.M. in jazz composition and piano), where he graduated summa cum laude. He resides in Orange County with his wife and two daughters.

Publications

  • Mueller, Tom. “A New Evaluation of ‘Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern,’ BWV 739.” In CrossAccent 2020, no. 2: 16–25.
  • Mueller, Tom. “Mindful Hymnody and Leadership.” In In Tempo 2018, no. 2.
  • Mueller, Tom. “Towards the Recovery of Authentic Organ Continuo Practice in Haydn’s Concerted Sacred Music.” In Online Journal of the Haydn Society of North America 7, no. 2 (Fall 2017).
  • Mueller, Tom. “The 2016 EROI Festival—Breath for Singing: The Organ and the Human Voice.” In The Diapason 1293 (2017): 22.

Papers, Presentations, and Workshops

  • “Organ Consoles and Hymn Registrations for Church Musicians,” LCMS All Workers Conference, November 2020
  • “Leading the Church’s Song from the Organ,” Association of Lutheran Church Musicians Conference, Portland, OR, June 2019
  • “J. S. Bach’s Clavier-Übung III,” St. John’s Lutheran Church, Orange, CA, February 2019
  • “Text-Driven Interpretation and Leadership in Congregational Hymnody,” Lectures in Church Music, River Forest, IL, October 2018
  • “Musical Poetics: Rhetoric and Music in the Seventeenth Century and Applications for Modern Liberal Education,” Association for Core Texts and Courses 24th Annual Conference, Framingham, MA, April 2018
  • “Why Art? Music, History, and Faith Through the Eyes of Heinrich Schütz,” Concordia University Irvine Enduring Questions and Ideas Forum, September 2017.
  • “A Leader and a Servant: Preparing Hymns for Congregational Singing,” LCMS Institute for Preaching, Liturgy, and Church Music, Chicago, July 2017
  • “Organ Continuo Practice in Viennese Concerted Sacred Music,” American Guild of Organists National Convention, Houston, June 2016
  • “Jenny Lind Sheet Music in Pre-Lindomania America,” North American Conference for Nineteenth-Century Music, Andover, MA, July 2015
  • “Seventeenth-Century Influences on the Earliest Organ Works of J. S. Bach,” University of Notre Dame, October 2014
  • “A New Evaluation of ‘Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern,’ BWV 739,” American Guild of Organists National Convention, Boston, June 2014

Professional Service and Memberships

  • Region 4 President, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, 2018–present
  • Chair, Organ Study Grant Program, Orange County AGO, 2018–present
  • Member, Committee for Continuing Professional Education (CCPE), American Guild of Organists, 2015–present
  • Co-chair, Programming Committee, American Guild of Organists 2019 Regional Convention
  • Subdean, Orange County AGO chapter, 2015–2017
  • Member, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians
  • Member, Organ Historical Society
  • Member, Education Committee, Los Angeles AGO chapter, 2014–2016

Current Teaching

  • MUS 303 Music Theory III
  • MUS 304 Music Theory IV
  • MUS 305 Arranging
  • MUS 403 Orchestration and Instrumentation
  • MUS 430 History and Analysis of Modern Music
  • Applied Organ
  • Applied Composition
  • Applied Harpsichord
  • Applied Jazz Piano
  • Director, Concordia Jazz Orchestra and Ensembles
  • Director, Concordia Americana Ensemble

Past Teaching Assignments

  • MUS 102 Music Fundamentals
  • MUS 111 Experiences in Music
  • MUS 331 Music History I
  • MUS 332 Music History II
  • Young, Steve
  • Associate Professor
    Director of Commercial Music and Bands
    Director of the CUI Recording Studio
  • Keyboard Improvisation (contemporary/worship) and Composition
  • Music 051
  • (949) 214-3115
Steve Young

Associate Professor, Director of Commercial Music and Bands, Director of the CUI Recording Studio

Biography

Steve Young is Assistant Professor of Music and the Director of the Worship Arts Leadership Institute at Concordia University Irvine. He directs the commercial music program, leads the chapel worship bands, and teaches music theory, music technology, ensemble leadership, worship arts and keyboard performance. Steve also leads workshops and is a conference speaker throughout the country in the areas of music and worship arts.

Steve comes to Concordia Irvine with more than 25 years of professional experience as a studio and touring musician, composer, arranger, producer, creative consultant and church leader. An active music producer, Steve has produced projects in New York City, Nashville and Los Angeles, working with world class studio musicians and engineers. As a pianist and keyboard player, he has recorded and performed with recording artists such as Cheri Keaggy, Fernando Ortega, John Patitucci, Tony Award winner Nobert Leo Butz, The Maranatha Praise Band, Patty Cabrera and Crystal Lewis. An active arranger, Steve has written hundreds of arrangements for studio and stage. Steve also composes music for radio, film and television as well as concert music. His string quartet, American Hymn (2014) was recently premiered at the University of Pittsburgh. As a student at Concordia, Steve's original score for the play Hyppolytus (1990) won a meritorious achievement award from the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival.

Steve is the architect of the music technology program at CU. He has been published in numerous publications such as Worship Leader. CCM, Roland User's Group magazine and his book All About Music Technology in Worship was published by Hal Leonard Publishing in 2004.

As a church leader, Steve has served as Creative Arts Director at a Southern California megachurch, and has served as co-planter for two start-up church — one in Southern California and one in the New York City area. He has served on the advisory board for the Arts Movement at Willow Creek Community Church, been a speaker/clinician for Integrity Music, Maranatha Music, and a consultant and creative coach for dozens of churches in the U.S.

Steve has studied composition with Dick Grove, Henry Mancini, Lalo Schifrin, Lennie Niehaus, Clare Fischer, Bill Conti, Jonathan Bailey Holland, John Fitz Rodgers, Roger Zahab and Rick Baitz. He has studied jazz piano with Dick Grove, Lou Levy, Victor Feldman, Russell Ferrante, Joyce Collins and Terry Trotter.

Education

  • M.F.A. Music Composition — Vermont College of Fine Arts
  • B.A. — Concordia University Irvine
  • Graduate of Composing and Arranging Program — Grove Music (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Graduate of Keyboard Instruction Program — Grove School of Music (Los Angeles, CA)

Staff

Community Engagement Manager, Arts

Audio-Visual Engineer

Biography

Mario Gonzales is the Audio-Visual Engineer at Concordia University, Irvine. Mario is an accomplished trumpet artist, musical director, producer and audio engineer. He serves as the campus-wide leader in developing strategy for procurement and maintenance of AV equipment and budget, oversees AV operations for weekly chapel and worship services and is the primary recording and mixing engineer for the Concordia recording studio. Mario also assists music ensemble directors with creating high quality live concert and provides projection design expertise and management of projection operation.

Mario brings to Concordia Irvine more than 20 years of professional excellence in the audio-visual engineering field by way of his experience as an accomplished musician, composer, arranger, musical director, producer and engineer. Mario has played on many recordings as well as television and movie soundtracks. His vast musical performances include such artists as Christina Aguilera, Luther Vandross, Arturo Sandoval, Sheila E., Ricky Martin, Patty Austin, Roselyn Sanchez, Diana Ross, Sheryl Crow and Justin Timberlake. Mario has also performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live and CBS’ Wayne Brady Show.

Mario also served as faculty for San Diego State University’s Music Recording Technology and Audio Design program. Mario’s production and mixing credits include projects, “Live from Stern Grove,” album - Pete Escovedo; “Looking for Lenny,” documentary film; “Now and Forever,” album- Sheila E and the E Family.

Mario serves his local church in North County in the realm of sound design and mentors those interested in serving in this capacity. He is excited to share his gifts to serve the Body of Christ and is passionate about developing the talents and gifts of others for the Great Commission.

Mario received his Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies and Master’s Degree in Western Orchestral Studies from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.

Education

  • M.F.A. Classical Music Performance — California Institute of the Arts
  • B.F.A. Jazz/Jazz Studies — California Institute of the Arts
  • Avid Certified Instructor for ProTools Courses 101, 110, 201, 210 and 130

Staff Accompanist

Julia Oh Headshot

Biography

Korean-born American pianist Julia Oh began her piano training at the age of six and came to the United States at the age of fifteen for further studies. She earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where she was also on the faculty in the Extension Division. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, a Master of Music in Piano Performance/Pedagogy, and a Graduate Performance Diploma in Piano Performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Recognized as a Dean’s List honoree and a recipient of various scholarships at Peabody Institute, Dr. Oh was appointed as a student accompanist and subsequently awarded fellowship to coach and accompany a class in Musical Theatre styles, Peabody’s Opera Scenes program and voice majors including the studio of the late John Shirley-Quirk. Moreover, she was selected as one of the few qualified pianists to participate in the prestigious Leon Fleisher Seminar.

Dr. Oh is currently working half-time as staff accompanist at Irvine Valley College, and is pleased to join Concordia University Irvine as staff accompanist in the Fall 2020. Prior to relocating to Southern California in 2015, Dr. Oh taught at Texas Wesleyan University, University of Texas at Arlington and Tarrant County College. She served as pianist of the New Jersey Philharmonic, New York Concert Choir, and Casa Mañana Studios in Fort Worth, Texas. She has appeared as a recitalist and collaborative musician at major venues including Carnegie Hall, Bass Performance Hall, New York Public Library, Steinway Hall New York, Zimmerli Art Museum, Mannes College and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. She has performed with members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Baltimore Opera, Lyric Opera Baltimore and Metropolitan Opera among others.

Dr. Oh has performed in the masterclasses presented by Sergei Babayan, Vladimir Feltsman and the late Leon Fleisher. Her principal teachers include Brian Ganz, Susan Starr and Daniel Epstein. She frequently works with living composers and has premiered several works. Throughout her musical career, she is most grateful for the opportunities to serve God with her God-given talents in churches and mission fields. She has collaborated with Korea’s leading worship bands on their tours and served many local churches as accompanist since she was thirteen years old. She resides in Diamond Bar, CA with her husband and their daughter. When not engaged in musical activities, Dr. Oh enjoys baking, cooking, hiking, traveling and yoga.

Biography

Dr. HyeJung Shin, a native of Korea, is an active collaborative pianist and vocal coach. As a collaborative pianist, Dr. Shin has given numerous performances in Korea, the United States, Austria, Canada and Japan. Dr. Shin has worked extensively in recitals and masterclasses with renowned musicians, including Barbara Bonney, Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Jake Heggie, John Musto, Linda Watson, Gabriele Lechner, Jennifer Ringo, Speranza Scappucci and Warren Johnson.

Passionate about chamber music, she performed and studied at the Aspen Music Festival as a recipient of the Lynette Gutner Memorial Fellowship under Prof. Rita Sloan. Dr. Shin also appeared in many music festivals such as Song Fest, CA, Grandin Festival, OH, Brevard Music Festival, NC, Bay View Music Festival, MI and the Vancouver International Song Institute, BC, Canada. In the summers 2015-2018, Dr. Shin joined the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria as a repetitor and also performed in the International Double Reed Society Conference, Tokyo in Japan in 2015. Dr. Shin was the pianist for the University of Southern California (USC) Thornton Chamber Singers, under the direction of Jo-Michael Scheibe, a former national president of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA).

Dr. Shin received the Master of Music degree in collaborative piano with full scholarship under the instruction of Kenneth Griffiths from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Shin earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts as a teaching assistant under Dr. Alan Smith at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. Dr. Shin was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda by Eta Chapter of the National Music Honors Society in 2017 and is a recipient of the Gwendolyn and Adolph Koldofsky Memorial Endowed Scholarship, Keyboard Collaborative Arts Ensemble Award and the Keyboard Collaborative Arts Department Award at the University of Southern California. Dr. Shin has served as a principal musician at the University of California Los Angeles, Herb Alpert School of Music and currently works at Concordia University, Irvine as a vocal coach/collaborative pianist.

Worship Arts Ministry Staff

Director of Contemporary Worship Arts

Teaching

  • Praise bands
  • contemporary worship

Studio Faculty

Studio Faculty - Harp

Mindy Ball

Biography

Mindy Ball is principal harpist with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra with yearly seasons that include a classical, chamber, pops and children’s series along with intensive participation with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra’s training programs. Ball also performs as principal harpist for Opera Pacific and Pacific Chorale, as well as with major touring ballet companies such as the Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Kirov Ballet and American Ballet Theater. Along with a busy freelance and recording career, Ball also teaches harp at Cal State Fullerton, Biola, and Chapman universities.

Studio Faculty - Composition

Biography

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 of Carnegie Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Seoul Arts Center, Aspen Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival and Korean Composers Festival. Elliott has worked with many groups, including Pacific Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra members.

Elliott, two-time recipient (2012, 2014) of The Korean National Composer Prize (the most prestigious award for Korean composers), received the Susan and Ford Schumann Fellowship from Aspen Music Festival and School and numerous prizes including the 2017 Agape Church Music Festival, 2013 Indiana University Dean’s Prize, 2010 Bowdoin International Music Festival Composition Competition and 2009 First Music Commission.

Elliott has recently been commissioned by Pacific Symphony, Soli Deo Gloria Music Foundation, 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 many others.

Elliott, currently the director of the Instrumental Music Program at Crean Lutheran High School, an adjunct faculty member at Concordia and Biola Universities, received his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in composition from Indiana University where Elliott served as an Associate Instructor and Graduate Assistant 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.

Studio Faculty - Voice

Richard Chasin

Trumpet Instructor

Biography

Richard Chasin holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of Michigan, where he was a student of Armando Ghitalla, former principal trumpet with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Further study was done at the Aspen Music School and the Tanglewood Institute.

Richard has been teaching trumpet for over 25 years and has had many of his students perform with the All Southern California Honor Band as well as the California All State Honor Band at both the high school and junior high school levels. Richard's students have also been members of the Orange County Youth Orchestra and the Pacific Symphony Institute. Professor Chasin is currently a music faculty member at five colleges and universities. He has also taught trumpet at UC Irvine and Irvine Valley College.

Biography

Dr. Hyunjoo Choi received her M.M and D.M.A degree in piano performance from Michigan State University under Yong hi Moon. While completing her D.M.A. degree in Michigan State University, Dr. Choi has been recipient of scholarship with working as staff accompanist in the same school. Since she moved to California, she has served as a staff accompanist at Hope International University and Saddleback College. She was also teaching piano lesson in Flint School of Performing Arts and pianoforte. She has performed and studied in worldwide music festival such as the Millennium Keyboard Festival in Spain, The Banff Keyboard Festival and The Orford Music Festival in Canada, and The Chautauqua institute Summer Festival in New York. As a soloist and chamber musician, Dr. Choi performed Rachmaninoff 2nd concerto as keyboardist in Contemporary Music night with Flint Orchestra, The Real New Music 2009, and many solo recitals in Auditorium of Michigan State University.

Mina Choi

Studio Faculty - Keyboard Improvisation (Jazz Piano)

Biography

Mina Choi is a pianist, composer, and arranger from Seoul, South Korea. Mina has received a Master Degree of Music from California State University, Fullerton, where she studied piano and arranging with Grammy award winning jazz composer and pianist, Bill Cunliffe. Since her journey here she has also had the opportunities to write and arrange many pieces for jazz combos and jazz orchestras. Her big band arrangements of tunes by the legendary pianist George Cables were featured recently at a performance by the Harvard Jazz Band at Harvard University. Her arrangement of “Bolivia” was chosen by the ASMAC judging committee in the 2015 ASMAC Pete Rugolo Big Band Arranging & Composing Competition. Also, her original of “Paddle through the Lake” was awarded in the 2017 Bill Conti Big Band Arranging and Composing Competition.

She won the 38th Downbeat Outstanding Performance Award with her own original composition, “Sing ChaCha” and arrangement, “Falling away with you” of Muse. In 2016, she was selected Outstanding College Performer of the year, at the Reno Jazz Festival. Internationally, the Mina Choi Trio was a finalist at the 10th Bucharest International Jazz Competition. Her message to the world, that she wishes to share through music, is one of hope and love.

Studio Faculty - Drum Set

Mark Converse

Biography

Professor Mark Converse received his Bachelor of Music degree from California State University, Northridge where he studied with Karen Ervic-Pershing, Joel Leach and Jerry Steinholz. He also studied drum set with legendary musicians: Nick Ceroli, Ed Shaughnessy, Steve Schaeffer, and Peter Erskine. After completing his degree, Converse continued to study snare drum technique and drum set with Freddie Gruber and Latin percussion with Luis Conte.

Uniquely qualified as a teacher by both university and individual study with some of southern California’s most esteemed percussionists and drummers, Mark is busy as a free-lance musician and brings real world experience to his teaching philosophy. This philosophy balances technique, literature, and musicianship with practical application.

Professor Converse has performed and or recorded with a wide variety of ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, and the Pageant of the Masters Orchestra. He has had the privilege of backing up such noted artists and entertainers as Paul Anka, Maureen McGovern, Carol Burnett, Carol Channing, Jason Alexander, Robert Goulet, Joely Fisher, Peggy Lee, Dudley Moore, and Steve Allen, to name a few.

Converse is an accomplished teacher of drum set, Latin and ethnic hand percussion, and symphonic percussion. His students have been accepted into high school and collegiate honor ensembles and won scholarships to various four-year institutions.

Studio Faculty - Bass

Dana Decker

Biography

Dana Decker, originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, began his career as a touring bassist playing a wide variety of venues from intimate clubs to stadiums. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music as well as an Master of Music from CSU Los Angeles. Dana is an in demand session and live bass player, as well as a highly regarded audio instructor who has performed with The Pussycat Dolls, The Dan Band, Katherine McPhee, and Danny Seraphine. He has been seen as a performer on television programs: Matchmaker Millionaire, Fraiser, and Ally McBeal. Dana has also taught audio courses at major colleges and universities throughout the Southland.

Studio Faculty - Guitar

Andrew Doolittle has performed with a broad palette of artists representing a wide variety of styles, including Rita Wilson, Idina Menzel, Taylor Hicks, Joy Williams (The Civil Wars), David Tao (陶喆), A-Mei (阿妹), Patti Page, the Pasadena Pops and the Houston Symphony. He has performed on TV shows including the The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Today Show. Andrew earned his BM in jazz performance from The Oberlin Conservatory of Music and his MM in jazz performance from The New England Conservatory of Music. He keeps an extensive live performance schedule and his guitar work can often be heard in film trailers, video games and TV shows.

Studio Faculty - String Bass

Matthew Hare

Biography

Matt Hare is well known as a performer and educator. He is on faculty at the University of California at Irvine, Concordia University, Saddleback College, and is a string coach at Irvine, Laguna Hills, Trabuco Hills, and San Clemente high schools. He frequently gives recitals and master classes that often include his own transcriptions and arrangements.

Previously he was first director of educational programs at Lemur Music, a retailer that specializes in the double bass. He has been on faculty at Luther, Cornell, and Wartburg Colleges and the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival.

Dr. Hare freelances with many ensembles in Southern California, including the San Bernardino and San Diego Symphonies. He has been a regular member of the bass sections of the Quad Cities and Peoria Symphonies, and has played in the sections of many symphonies in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

He holds a BA from Bloomsburg University, an MM from Butler University, and a DMA from the University of Iowa. His major teachers were Mark R. Jelinek, Diana Gannett, David Murray, and Volkan Orhon.

  • Hauser, Christian
  • Associate Professor
    Director of Music Education
  • Composition
  •  

Associate Professor, Director of Music Education

Christian Hauser

Biography

Dr. Christian Hauser taught at Concordia University Chicago for nine years previous to his appointment as Associate Professor of Music at Concordia University Irvine. He completed his Ph.D. in music education from the University of North Texas received his graduate and undergraduate degrees from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Hauser is Kodály certified (Level II), Conversational Solfege (Levels I & II), Dalcroze certified and has completed all three levels of Orff certification, including a master class. In addition to teaching all the music education methods courses, he has taught Songwriting, Orchestration & Arranging, Music of World Cultures, Music Technology, Survey of Western Music, Exploration of Music and private piano and composition lessons.

Dr. Hauser is also an active composer. He wrote a 20-minute orchestral composition The Circus Train, which has been performed by the Houston, Colorado Music Festival, Sioux City and Nashville Symphony Orchestras as part of their Young Person Concerts. He received a commission from the Nashville Ballet Company to compose a jazz ballet which was performed over 30 times throughout Metro-Nashville Public schools as part of the Ballet’s educational outreach. He also has received multiple grants to compose, direct and produce children’s musicals and several research grants. He wrote and produced a CD entitled, “Johnathan Craine and the Thing That Goes Bump in the Jungle,” which received awards as the Best Children's Education Award category (ages 4-8) and Best Children's Spoken Word CD (ages 8-12) from the Children’s Music Web Awards contest.

Dr. Hauser has worked in the Nashville music industry and has received album credit for several national produced records as either as a songwriter, producer or recording engineer. He has also served as worship director at many churches he has attended. He plays a variety of instruments including the piano, organ, guitar, ukulele and djembe.

Dr. Hauser is an active clinician and researcher. He has presented at many national conferences and Kodály and Orff teacher training workshops. His research interests include creativity, composition and technology.

Tuba Professor

David Holben

David Holben embarked on his musical journey in 1985 near Pittsburgh, PA, achieving degrees in music from the Eastman School of Music (B.M. ’96), University of Arizona (MM, ’00) and the University of Southern California (DMA, ’11). His major teachers include Sam Pilafian, Daniel Perantoni, Jim Self, Norm Pearson, Cherry Beauregard and David McCollum; a list of iconic figures diverse in talent whose pedagogical ideas have helped David discover his unique sound and versatile style of playing. Dr. Holben has performed with the Pacific, San Diego, Santa Barbara, New West and Pasadena Symphonies, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and professional brass quintets across the Southwestern United States. He has performed with artists such as Victor Vanacore, Jeff Tyzik, Scott Copeland, Chris Botti and Andrea Bocelli.

Elizabeth Johnson

Biography

Professor Johnson teaches at Concordia as well as her own private violin studio. She has performed with The American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet, The Bolshoi Ballet and touring Broadway shows including "The Light in the Piazza", "The Color Purple", "The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber", "South Pacific", "West Side Story", Disney's "The Lion King" and "White Christmas". In addition, she is also an active freelance musician with local symphonies in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, a studio recording musician for the movies, and has performed with various artists including Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Bebe Newirth, The Vandals and Steve Perry.

Education

  • Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Music at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of Music at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Bachelor of Music - University of California, Irvine

Teaching

  • Individual Violin Lessons

Studio Faculty - Voice

Karla Kniss

Biography

Karla Kniss graduated from Oberlin Conservatory with a BM in vocal performance and music education. She received her masters from USC with William Vennard, studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and received a scholarship to study with Pierre Bernat for two years in Paris, France. She received a License de Concert at the Ecole Nornale de Musicue. She has performed recitals in Austria, France, and the U.S. under the auspices of the American Embassies. She is past president of the Los Angeles chapter of NATS and MTAC-Orange County West branch, member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honors Society, and is very active adjudicating.

Studio Faculty - Flute

Biography

An active freelance flutist in the Los Angeles area, Julie Long has played with nearly every major local ensemble at every major local venue. Hailed "a terrific flutist" by Julius Baker and called "the real deal" by Jim Walker, Julie is most comfortable playing a variety of classical genres: from early music to contemporary, from solo to large ensemble.

As an orchestral flutist, Julie has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Music Center Opera Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Los Angeles Master Chorale Orchestra and others. She became a member of the Riverside County Philharmonic Orchestra after winning the second flute audition in the Fall of 2005. As a studio recording artist she has played on dozens of major motion picture soundtracks, such as Fantastic Four, Superman Returns and Horton Hears a Who.

Julie became passionate about chamber music as a student at U.S.C., where she was recipient of the Outstanding Woodwind Chamber Music Student Award for two consecutive years. In 1999 Julie joined the new music group, Ensemble Green, which specializes in performing music of Los Angeles composers. She is also a member of the Resonance Flute Consort, a unique recording ensemble which recently released its second CD, consisting of original arrangements of movie and television music. With a D.M.A. minor in early music, Julie plays wooden Renaissance and Baroque flutes and has performed with the Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra and Bach Collegium San Diego.

Julie has presented dozens of solo recitals and was one of six finalists in the National Flute Association Young Artist Solo Competition in 2000 and 2002. Her knowledge and interpretation of the flute repertoire has led her to inspire many young flute students. She is currently flute professor at Long Beach City College and Concordia University, Irvine. She has been flute coach for the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program since 1997.

Education

  • B.M. Flute Performance - Cleveland Institute of Music
  • M.M. Flute Performance - University of Southern California
  • D.M.A. Flute Performance - University of Southern California

Teaching

  • Individual Flute Lessons
  • Director, Flute Choir

Bassoon Instructor

Biography

Renowned for her musicality and warm sound, bassoonist Elizabeth Low-Atwater, is quickly establishing herself in the southern California music scene. As a fellowship recipient, she attended UCLA for her Master's degree studying with John Steinmetz and received her Bachelor's degree from California State University at Fullerton with Dr. Rebecca Rivera. In the summer of 2010, she was invited to participate in the Hot Springs Music Festival and studied under Gwendolyn Rose.

Elizabeth maintains an active performing career playing with groups like the Dana Point Symphony, Center Stage Opera Company, as well as many other regional projects. As an avid chamber musician, she is a member of many different groups including the Neapolitan Trio, West Coast Wind Quintet, and Ensemble Christo. While in graduate work, she became a two-time finalist of the Coleman Chamber Competition, as well as participate in the UCLA Gluck chamber outreach scholarship program.

Elizabeth is an adjunct faculty member at three colleges and she provides musical coaching at two high schools. She also holds a private studio where her students have gone on to play in honor orchestras, chamber events, and received music scholarships in higher education.

Studio Faculty - Oboe

Siri Bloom

Biography

Siri Lyon received her Master of Music in Oboe Performance at the University of Southern California, and her Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance at New England Conservatory of Music. Her former teachers include David Weiss, Mark McEwen and Basil Reeve.

Known for her dynamic musical interpretations and expression, Siri has performed throughout the United States and internationally as an orchestral, chamber and solo artist. Based in Southern California, Mrs. Lyon has served as Principal Oboist for the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra, and has also appeared with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, the Dana Point Symphony and the 2012 Piatigorsky International Cello Festival Orchestra where she collaborated with members of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. She has played under the baton of many celebrated conductors including Hugh Wolff, Helmuth Rilling, Carl St. Clair and Mei-Ann Chen, and has performed in St. Peter's Basilica, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Renee & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Boston's Jordan Hall and Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

Mrs. Lyon has given solo recitals in Los Angeles, Boston and the Twin Cities. As a native Minnesotan, she returns regularly to give special concerts and has organized performances of Bach cantatas, traditional hymns and other vocal pieces with local musicians in addition to solo engagements. Committed to the education of young musicians, she has also offered master classes and private lessons to budding oboists in the area, including Concordia's annual Double Reed Day.

Robert MacNeil

Biography

Tenor Robert MacNeil has been praised by the Los Angeles Times for possessing a voice that is “clarion” and “clear”. After making his San Francisco Opera debut as the High Priest of Neptune in Mozart’s Idomeneo, he returned to perform in productions of Salome, Le Nozze di Figaro and in Werther, for which Opera News said Robert MacNeil “sang with panache.” Mr. MacNeil most recently performed with LA Opera in Lohengrin, after previous appearances including The Stigmatized, Fidelio, Il Trovatore, Der Rosenkavalier, Festival Play of Daniel, Tannhäuser, La Bohèmeand Il Tabarro. The tenor made his debut with the famed Ojai Festival under Kent Nagano in Orff’s Die Kluge and recorded the role of Martin in Copland’s opera The Tender Land, which was released on the Koch International Label.

An accomplished concert artist, the tenor has been soloist in more than sixty performances of Handel’s Messiah. He has soloed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in performances of Elijah, the Sydney(Australia) Choral Festival in the Berlioz Requiem and in Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Central Union Philharmonic in Beijing. He made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in Britten’s The World of the Spirit and appeared in Rome with the Orchestra Roma Symphonia in Verdi’s Requiem. He has appeared as a guest artist with the Oregon Symphony, Aspen Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Pacific Symphony, Oregon Festival of American Music, Pacific Chorale, Long Beach Opera, Pasadena Symphony, California Philharmonic, Angeles Chorale, Opera Santa Barbara, New West Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Bozeman Symphony and numerous concerts with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Third Angle New Music Ensemble, William Hall Master Chorale, Bakersfield Symphony, California Master Chorale and the Cascade Music Festival.

The tenor, a National Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, has his B.M. from Chapman University and M.M. from the University of Southern California. At the University of Southern California, he was a Marilyn Horne Scholar and was named Most Outstanding Graduate Student from the Thornton School of Music.

Studio Faculty - Saxophone

Biography

JAY MASON graduated from CSU, Long Beach, playing lead alto and soprano saxophone in that school’s top-rated wind ensemble, jazz ensemble and orchestra. In 1981 he was a featured soloist at the North American Saxophone Alliance national convention, and in 1983 the University Saxophone Quartet, of which he was a member, were finalists in the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition.

After graduation Jay has had a busy freelance performance career. Based in the Los Angeles area, he appears regularly on numerous live concerts and on many studio projects for motion pictures, television and video games. A few of the performers he’s worked with are Michael Buble’, Johnny Mathis, Michael Finestein, Peabo Bryson and Christina Aguilera, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Pacific Symphony. Live performances include Broadway shows such as Kinky Boots, Wicked, Spamalot, Jekyll and Hyde and The Addams Family, and he is a member of Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band which has toured throughout the United States, Canada and Asia.

Motion picture and television credits include American Dad, Disney’s ‘Frozen’, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Princess and the Frog, The Tonight Show, Dragon Tales, Toy Story 3 and a number of commercials for companies such as United Airlines and Ford Motor Company. He has also performed on recordings for artists such as Barry Manilow, Michael Finestein, and John Lithgow of Third Rock from the Sun fame.

Jay rounds out his activities by teaching at the Bob Cole Conservatory at CSU Long Beach, Concordia University, and his teaching studio in Irvine, CA. as well as appearances as a guest artist and clinician for high schools and universities throughout the United States. His students have consistently won chairs in the SCSBOA All Star Jazz and Wind Ensemble Honor Groups, are attending major music university programs at schools like Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, CSULB, University of North Texas, and Berklee College of Music. Several have gone on to careers in music as professional performers, educators and producers.

  • Mueller, Tom
  • Music Department Chair
    Associate Professor
    University Organist / Church Music
    Director of Keyboard Activities and Jazz
  • Organ, Composition, Jazz Piano, Harpsichord
  • Music 258
  • (949) 214-3651
Tom Mueller

Music Department Chair, Associate Professor, University Organist / Church Music, Director of Keyboard Activities and Jazz

Biography

Tom Mueller serves as Associate Professor of Church Music and University Organist at Concordia University in Irvine, California, where he directs academic programs in keyboard, composition, and jazz, and serves in chapel music leadership. An award-winning church musician, he serves as the Associate Organist at St. James’ Church in Los Angeles, where he accompanies the acclaimed Choir of St. James’ under the direction of James Buonemani. He is an active recitalist, clinician, and adjudicator.

Mueller was awarded first place in the 2014 Schoenstein Competition in Hymn-Playing, held in conjunction with the national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2015, he was honored by The Diapason as a member of the inaugural “20 Under 30” list of influential figures in the world of organ and church music.

He maintains an active concert schedule, and has performed across the United States and Europe. In 2010, he performed the complete organ works of J. S. Bach in a series of seventeen concerts in his native state of Maine. He has received numerous commissions for new choral and liturgical works, and performances of his compositions have been broadcast on national radio and television. Mueller is also an accomplished guitarist and mandolinist, and toured the country as a member of The Muellers, a nationally-recognized family bluegrass band. Their fourth album, The Muellers, was released in 2009. As an organist, his recording credits include Scott Perkin’s A New England Requiem and O Beauty Ever Ancient Ever New by the Choir of St. James’, both of which were released on the Gothic label.

Research interests include the early organ and keyboard works of J. S. Bach, the performance practice of organ continuo playing in the classical-era concerted sacred music of Germany and Austria, and the American reception of the nineteenth-century opera star Jenny Lind. He has presented workshops, masterclasses, and lectures for numerous organizations, including numerous chapters of the American Guild of Organists, and has served as a faculty member for the Guild’s Pipe Organ Encounter (POE) program for young organists. He currently serves on the national Committee for Continuing Professional Education (CCPE) of the AGO, as a regional president and national board member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and chairs the Organ Study Grant Program of the Orange County AGO.

Mueller earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with David Higgs. He also holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame (M.S.M. in organ), and the University of Maine at Augusta (B.M. in jazz composition and piano), where he graduated summa cum laude. He resides in Orange County with his wife and two daughters.

Publications

  • Mueller, Tom. “A New Evaluation of ‘Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern,’ BWV 739.” In CrossAccent 2020, no. 2: 16–25.
  • Mueller, Tom. “Mindful Hymnody and Leadership.” In In Tempo 2018, no. 2.
  • Mueller, Tom. “Towards the Recovery of Authentic Organ Continuo Practice in Haydn’s Concerted Sacred Music.” In Online Journal of the Haydn Society of North America 7, no. 2 (Fall 2017).
  • Mueller, Tom. “The 2016 EROI Festival—Breath for Singing: The Organ and the Human Voice.” In The Diapason 1293 (2017): 22.

Papers, Presentations, and Workshops

  • “Organ Consoles and Hymn Registrations for Church Musicians,” LCMS All Workers Conference, November 2020
  • “Leading the Church’s Song from the Organ,” Association of Lutheran Church Musicians Conference, Portland, OR, June 2019
  • “J. S. Bach’s Clavier-Übung III,” St. John’s Lutheran Church, Orange, CA, February 2019
  • “Text-Driven Interpretation and Leadership in Congregational Hymnody,” Lectures in Church Music, River Forest, IL, October 2018
  • “Musical Poetics: Rhetoric and Music in the Seventeenth Century and Applications for Modern Liberal Education,” Association for Core Texts and Courses 24th Annual Conference, Framingham, MA, April 2018
  • “Why Art? Music, History, and Faith Through the Eyes of Heinrich Schütz,” Concordia University Irvine Enduring Questions and Ideas Forum, September 2017.
  • “A Leader and a Servant: Preparing Hymns for Congregational Singing,” LCMS Institute for Preaching, Liturgy, and Church Music, Chicago, July 2017
  • “Organ Continuo Practice in Viennese Concerted Sacred Music,” American Guild of Organists National Convention, Houston, June 2016
  • “Jenny Lind Sheet Music in Pre-Lindomania America,” North American Conference for Nineteenth-Century Music, Andover, MA, July 2015
  • “Seventeenth-Century Influences on the Earliest Organ Works of J. S. Bach,” University of Notre Dame, October 2014
  • “A New Evaluation of ‘Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern,’ BWV 739,” American Guild of Organists National Convention, Boston, June 2014

Professional Service and Memberships

  • Region 4 President, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, 2018–present
  • Chair, Organ Study Grant Program, Orange County AGO, 2018–present
  • Member, Committee for Continuing Professional Education (CCPE), American Guild of Organists, 2015–present
  • Co-chair, Programming Committee, American Guild of Organists 2019 Regional Convention
  • Subdean, Orange County AGO chapter, 2015–2017
  • Member, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians
  • Member, Organ Historical Society
  • Member, Education Committee, Los Angeles AGO chapter, 2014–2016

Current Teaching

  • MUS 303 Music Theory III
  • MUS 304 Music Theory IV
  • MUS 305 Arranging
  • MUS 403 Orchestration and Instrumentation
  • MUS 430 History and Analysis of Modern Music
  • Applied Organ
  • Applied Composition
  • Applied Harpsichord
  • Applied Jazz Piano
  • Director, Concordia Jazz Orchestra and Ensembles
  • Director, Concordia Americana Ensemble

Past Teaching Assignments

  • MUS 102 Music Fundamentals
  • MUS 111 Experiences in Music
  • MUS 331 Music History I
  • MUS 332 Music History II

Adjunct Professor

Jenny Oh

Biography

Jenny Hyunseung Oh, cellist, has established her career as a soloist, chamber musician and instructor. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree from Seoul National University, and she earned a Master of Music Degree from Peabody Conservatory. She also received her Graduate Certificate in Music Performance at the University of Southern California.

Jenny has appeared as a soloist with Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra in Korea and North Hungarian Symphony Orchestra in Hungary. She also has performed as a chamber musician in numerous concerts throughout the United States, Korea, Germany and France. She is a passionate member of a chamber music, Charis Christian Chamber and W trio of USC alumni. She is also a coach of the Junior Chamber Music in Orange County. Since 2017, Jenny teaches as an adjunct professor at Concordia University.

Studio Faculty - Guitar

Biography

An Irvine, California native, Donovan Raitt started his musical career with the piano at the age of 5. At the age of 11, Donovan fell in love with the electric guitar and started taking private lessons. Unaware of his family's history with the electric guitar (Donovan's cousin is Grammy winning blues guitarist Bonnie Raitt), Donovan's love for the guitar grew as he started to perform regularly in a wide variety of styles. By the age of 18, Donovan had performed in many rock, blues, and top 40 bands and was a featured soloist with the University High school Jazz ensemble, performing at the Anaheim convention center, The Irvine Jazz Festival and Disneyland.

At the age of 18, Donovan started to teach private lessons in performance and composition in a wide variety of styles to aspiring guitarists of all ages. Donovan continues to further his love for teaching by holding teaching studios in the Orange County and Los Angeles areas. Donovan is an adjunct faculty member at Concordia University in Irvine, specializing in contemporary Christian music for the guitar. He also maintains a teaching studio at Jim's Music Center, the largest independent music store in California, and teaches beginning guitar classes in public schools with Excelsus Music Collaborators, a non-profit music education program. Donovan has also written, edited and published several online guitar lessons for www.zapguitar.com, www.strum-n-comfort.com and www.guitarschool.net. Donovan has also written his first guitar instruction book, "The Practical Guide to the Guitar."

In 2001 Donovan was admitted to the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in the Studio/Jazz guitar program, and was the recipient of the Paul LaRose memorial scholarship for guitar. While at USC, Donovan studied jazz and contemporary guitar styles with Steve Trovato, Richard Smith, Frank Potenza, and Pat Kelley, as well as classical, flamenco and finger-style guitar with David Oakes and James Smith. Donovan graduated from the studio guitar program with honors from USC in 2005. Donovan is currently working towards his master's degree in Jazz Studies from California State University, Long Beach under the direction of Ron Eschete.

Donovan works regularly as a performing guitarist in both solo performance as well as with several groups and ensembles. Some of Donovan's clients include Princess Cruise Lines, The Orange County Financial Society, Congressman John Campbell (R-California), Considerate Done Entertainment, the Embassy Suites Hotel, In Good Company Entertainment, and many more.

Donovan is currently endorsed by Strum-N-Comfort thumb picks as well as Line 6 guitars and effects and continues to perform regularly in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Donovan is currently working on a CD of original music for solo guitar, which he hopes to finish by the end of the year.

Studio Faculty - Percussion

Biography

William Schlitt

William Schlitt is an accomplished percussion performer and educator. A native to Southern California, he has been active in the music industry for over 35 years.

His teachers include Hollywood studio legends Hal Rees and Earl Hatch, as well as jazz great Chuck Flores and the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Raynor Carroll.

He has performed as a recording artist for a variety of motion pictures, television and audio recordings and was formerly principal percussionist with Music Theater of Southern California. He has performed under such conductors as Pierre Boulez, Robert Shaw, Christoph Eschenbach, and Esa-Pekka Salonen and premiered a work by composer John Cage. Continuing to be active as a freelance musician in Southern California, Bill works with groups such as the Angeles Chorale, the Crystal Cathedral Orchestra, and the Karousel Kids Theater Group. He also currently performs as timpanist with the Redlands Symphony, and as an extra percussionist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

As an educator, Bill has authored the drumset method book, Rock Connection, and is in demand as a percussion clinician. He currently serves on the faculty at Concordia University-Irvine, the University of Redlands, Azusa Pacific University, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, Vanguard University, and the Idyllwild Arts Academy. For the last eighteen years he has been on the faculty of the Idyllwild Arts Summer Festival where he coaches students from around the world to play at the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Clarissa Shan

Biography

Dr. Clarissa Shan joins the Concordia University Irvine Music Faculty in the Fall 2015 Semester. Dr. Shan received a doctorate of musical arts degree at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. She also holds a master’s degree from USC and a bachelor of arts degree from La Sierra University.

Dr. Shan is an active soprano performer throughout southern California. She has sung roles such as The Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Cendrillon in Viardot's Cendrillon,Lauretta and Nella in Gianni Schicchi, Crobyle in Massenet’s Thaïs,Giannetta in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, Cissy in Albert Herring, and Annina in La Traviata. Ms. Shan’s other major works include soprano solos in the Bach Cantata 140, Fauré Requiem in D minor, Handel Messiah, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Mass in C minor, Rutter Requiem and Magnificat, and the Vivaldi Gloria.

Ms. Shan has won first place in competitions such as the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artist Competition, the Redlands Bowl Young Artist Competition, and the grand prize in the Brentwood Symphony Young Artist Competition. Besides performing, Ms. Shan also shares her passion of music with the younger generation by teaching voice to undergraduate students as well as classes at USC.

Biography

Dr. HyeJung Shin, a native of Korea, is an active collaborative pianist and vocal coach. As a collaborative pianist, Dr. Shin has given numerous performances in Korea, the United States, Austria, Canada and Japan. Dr. Shin has worked extensively in recitals and masterclasses with renowned musicians, including Barbara Bonney, Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Jake Heggie, John Musto, Linda Watson, Gabriele Lechner, Jennifer Ringo, Speranza Scappucci and Warren Johnson.

Passionate about chamber music, she performed and studied at the Aspen Music Festival as a recipient of the Lynette Gutner Memorial Fellowship under Prof. Rita Sloan. Dr. Shin also appeared in many music festivals such as Song Fest, CA, Grandin Festival, OH, Brevard Music Festival, NC, Bay View Music Festival, MI and the Vancouver International Song Institute, BC, Canada. In the summers 2015-2018, Dr. Shin joined the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria as a repetitor and also performed in the International Double Reed Society Conference, Tokyo in Japan in 2015. Dr. Shin was the pianist for the University of Southern California (USC) Thornton Chamber Singers, under the direction of Jo-Michael Scheibe, a former national president of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA).

Dr. Shin received the Master of Music degree in collaborative piano with full scholarship under the instruction of Kenneth Griffiths from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Shin earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts as a teaching assistant under Dr. Alan Smith at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. Dr. Shin was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda by Eta Chapter of the National Music Honors Society in 2017 and is a recipient of the Gwendolyn and Adolph Koldofsky Memorial Endowed Scholarship, Keyboard Collaborative Arts Ensemble Award and the Keyboard Collaborative Arts Department Award at the University of Southern California. Dr. Shin has served as a principal musician at the University of California Los Angeles, Herb Alpert School of Music and currently works at Concordia University, Irvine as a vocal coach/collaborative pianist.

Studio Faculty - Clarinet

Biography

Margaret Thornhill has performed as a soloist in the United States and Europe, making her New York recital debut at Merkin Hall in 1982 and her UK debut at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in 1991. Critics have raved about her performances of the Mozart Concerto, K. 622 as being "music of incomparable grace and almost unbearable poignancy." "Thornhill's performance was as loveable as Mozart was loving" (Peninsula Times-Tribune), of the Stravinsky Three Pieces as "Thornhill's musicality, technique, and control are extraordinary" (Palo Alto Times). John Rockwell, former lead music critic of the New York Times, called her performances of Rorem, Brahms, Levy and Berg a recital "nicely planned and nicely played".

Margaret was for ten years founder/director and clarinetist with the Matrix Chamber Ensemble, a Los Angeles-based 20th century group which won numerous local, state and national grants and awards, was selected for the touring roster of the California Arts Council, and performed for Community Concerts. She collaborates as a chamber musician with Los Angeles Philharmonic, recording studio and LA Opera principals, and is a member of "Category V" woodwind quintet. She frequently performs as a duo with pianist Twyla Meyer.

On historical clarinets, she has performed and recorded for Centaur records with the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, with the Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra at the Getty Museum, and with the chamber groups Divertimento and Clarion.

Margaret writes a column about clarinet choir literature for THE CLARINET, the journal of the International Clarinet Association, and contributes articles on clarinet technique and pedagogy for British Clarinet and Saxophone and Australian Clarinet and Saxophone. She is founder/conductor of the Los Angeles Clarinet Choir, a 16 member ensemble which has been featured at the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest 2007 in Vancouver, Canada, 2010 in Austin, Texas, and 2011 in Los Angeles, and for standing-room only audiences at the South Pasadena Eclectic Music Festival and the Vandoren Clarinet Ensemble Festival at UCLA. In 2006, she founded the the Claremont Clarinet Festival, where she is the master teacher in a summer workshop for advanced clarinetists, in residence at Pomona College for a week in June. She coaches chamber music for CMNC (SF Bay Area) and the Chamber Music Society of Santa Barbara and conducts clarinetmasterclasses throughout California and the west.

A former member of the faculty of UCSC and Stanford University, Margaret was for five years professor of instrumental music at Occidental College, and is Adjunct Professor of Clarinet at Concordia University, Irvine.

Margaret currently has a flourishing private studio in Los Angeles where her advanced students typically describe her teaching as "transforming".

http://www.margaretthornhill.com

Studio Faculty - Viola

Phillip Triggs

Biography

Phillip Triggs holds his MM from Northwestern University and BM from Chapman University, both in viola performance. His teachers have included Roland Vamos, Robert Becker, Jeffrey Irvine, James Dunham, and William Fitzpatrick. He performs frequently with Pacific Symphony in Orange County and maintains a small private studio in Aliso Viejo, CA. Mr. Triggs is also on the music faculty at Santa Ana College and Concordia University Irvine.

Education

BM Chapman University
MM Northwestern University
Aspen Music Festival and School

Teaching

Applied Viola

Studio Faculty - Vocalist

Jaime Van Der Sluys

Biography

Jaime Van Der Sluys, originally from Snellville, Georgia, is an accomplished performer, educator, studio singer, arranger, and songwriter currently residing in Long Beach. She entertains audiences with her sincere approach, wide stylistic range, and natural presence. During her career as a vocalist she has performed at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Jazz Grill, the Dolby Theatre for the Pitch Perfect 3 Premier, The Queen Mary, Disneyland's Club 1901,The Blue Whale Jazz Club as well as many other exciting venues across the country. She can be seen performing regularly throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

Jaime was the featured vocalist in the Stars Wars for Kinect video game on the song “Naturally.” She was a member of the a cappella pop/jazz caroling group Snowfall which was created by Grammy-winning arranger and producer for the Pentatonix, Ben Bram. As a background vocalist, Jaime recorded with the indie/alternative rock band Lord Huron on their most recent album Long Lost. She performed their single “Mine Forever” on the Late Late Show with James Corden. Jaime was a member of the choir for the Rolling Stones tour at Petco Park in San Diego. She also sang with the Josh Tatum Band who were the opening act for Bon Jovi.

Jaime holds a Masters in jazz studies from California State University Long Beach as well as her Bachelors from the University of North Texas. While attending Cal State, Jaime studied under the renowned Christine Guter and was a member of the award winning vocal jazz ensemble, Pacific Standard Time. She has received numerous accolades, including the outstanding vocalist award at the Next Generation Monterey Jazz Festival and was the recipient of the Ella Fitzgerald scholarship. Jaime also received the 2017 Graduate Jazz Soloist award from DownBeat magazine.

Len Wicks

Studio Faculty - Trombone & Euphonium

Biography

Len Wicks attended Vanguard University and California State University, Fullerton, where he graduated with a B.A. in Music. He currently works as a music specialist with the N.M.U.S.D. as well as a member of the adjunct music faculty at Concordia University Irvine. He is also on the faculty at Mariners Christian School, where he is the band teacher.

Len’s work as a private instructor spans 30 years and includes Crystal Cathedral Academy and Brethren Christian Schools, and includes tutoring on all brass and woodwind instruments. Len also works as a professional musician and has performed with numerous bands, orchestras and ensembles throughout the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.

Education

  • California Sate University Fullerton School of the Arts B.A. Music

Teaching

Len teaches Brass Techniques, Jazz Band, and coaches Brass Ensembles for the University Bands and Orchestras. His private study studios include trombone, bass trombone, and euphonium.

Studio Faculty - Horn

Erika Wilsen

Biography

Erika Wilsen is an active freelance horn performer and an experienced educator. She maintains a large studio, including students hailing from across the country and overseas. Students range from young beginners to university students and beyond. A passionate teacher, Erika earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at UCLA in 2021. She was the recipient of several scholarships, including the Mimi Alpert Feldman and the Gluck scholarships, as well as a Summer Graduate Research Mentorship and a Graduate Research Mentorship fellowship. She worked as a teaching assistant for six quarters, including several Musicology courses such as Writing About Music and Creating Musical Community, as well as the 125ABC sequence of music history. She also served as a teaching assistant in the Comparative Literature department.

Most recently, she has performed with Pacific Symphony, UCLA’s Gluck Brass Quintet, Left Coast Quintet, and Pacific Sound Brass Quintet. She has performed extensively in Los Angeles, San Diego, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Erika was a founding member of the woodwind quintet Avenue Winds and performed with the ensemble for 11 years. In addition to playing principal horn for Peninsula Ballet Theatre and St. Peter’s Chamber Orchestra, she has performed with the symphony orchestras of Berkeley, Fremont, Santa Cruz and Vallejo as well as Opera San Jose, San Francisco Lyric Opera, and the San Francisco Choral Society. She has performed with Josh Groban and Barry Manilow. Erika graduated with a double major in English and Music (Honors) at Davidson College and holds her Master of Music in Horn Performance from the University of Michigan. Her mentors include Amy Sanchez, Soren Hermansson, Bryan Kennedy, Frank Portone, Robert Pruzin, and Louis Stout. When Erika is not playing or teaching, she enjoys spending time outside and with her family.

  • Young, Steve
  • Associate Professor
    Director of Commercial Music and Bands
    Director of the CUI Recording Studio
  • Keyboard Improvisation (contemporary/worship) and Composition
  • Music 051
  • (949) 214-3115
Steve Young

Associate Professor, Director of Commercial Music and Bands, Director of the CUI Recording Studio

Biography

Steve Young is Assistant Professor of Music and the Director of the Worship Arts Leadership Institute at Concordia University Irvine. He directs the commercial music program, leads the chapel worship bands, and teaches music theory, music technology, ensemble leadership, worship arts and keyboard performance. Steve also leads workshops and is a conference speaker throughout the country in the areas of music and worship arts.

Steve comes to Concordia Irvine with more than 25 years of professional experience as a studio and touring musician, composer, arranger, producer, creative consultant and church leader. An active music producer, Steve has produced projects in New York City, Nashville and Los Angeles, working with world class studio musicians and engineers. As a pianist and keyboard player, he has recorded and performed with recording artists such as Cheri Keaggy, Fernando Ortega, John Patitucci, Tony Award winner Nobert Leo Butz, The Maranatha Praise Band, Patty Cabrera and Crystal Lewis. An active arranger, Steve has written hundreds of arrangements for studio and stage. Steve also composes music for radio, film and television as well as concert music. His string quartet, American Hymn (2014) was recently premiered at the University of Pittsburgh. As a student at Concordia, Steve's original score for the play Hyppolytus (1990) won a meritorious achievement award from the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival.

Steve is the architect of the music technology program at CU. He has been published in numerous publications such as Worship Leader. CCM, Roland User's Group magazine and his book All About Music Technology in Worship was published by Hal Leonard Publishing in 2004.

As a church leader, Steve has served as Creative Arts Director at a Southern California megachurch, and has served as co-planter for two start-up church — one in Southern California and one in the New York City area. He has served on the advisory board for the Arts Movement at Willow Creek Community Church, been a speaker/clinician for Integrity Music, Maranatha Music, and a consultant and creative coach for dozens of churches in the U.S.

Steve has studied composition with Dick Grove, Henry Mancini, Lalo Schifrin, Lennie Niehaus, Clare Fischer, Bill Conti, Jonathan Bailey Holland, John Fitz Rodgers, Roger Zahab and Rick Baitz. He has studied jazz piano with Dick Grove, Lou Levy, Victor Feldman, Russell Ferrante, Joyce Collins and Terry Trotter.

Education

  • M.F.A. Music Composition — Vermont College of Fine Arts
  • B.A. — Concordia University Irvine
  • Graduate of Composing and Arranging Program — Grove Music (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Graduate of Keyboard Instruction Program — Grove School of Music (Los Angeles, CA)

Adjunct Faculty

Alex Guebert

Director of Concert Handbells

Biography

Alex Guebert is a composer, arranger, clinician, percussionist, music director and music teacher from Orange, California. Besides leading Concert Handbells at CUI, Alex is the Director of Worship and Music at St. John's Lutheran Church in Orange. He also directs two other advanced-level handbell groups: Cathedral Bells (at St. John's) and L.A. Bronze Ensemble. His award-winning handbell compositions and arrangements have been published and performed nationwide and overseas. Alex's compositional style is a result of his background as a percussionist, his love of film and video game score, and his desire to broaden the horizons of handbell repertoire. Alex holds an M.M. in Music Composition from Cal State Long Beach, where his graduate recital featured a 25-minute work for handbells, strings, and percussion. Some of Alex's most recent forays into the national scene of handbells include teaching classes at Handbell Musicians of America national and local seminars and leading several mass ring events. Alex lives in Orange with his wife Heather who works as a scientist in the Orange County Crime Lab, and little daughter Emma Joy, who shares her dad's love of music and her mom's scientific curiosity about the world!

Director of Spirit Bells

Christian Geubert

Biography

Christian Guebert is a composer and educator from Orange, California. He currently serves as an adjunct professor and handbell director at Concordia University Irvine. His commissioned secular and sacred works include published and award-winning pieces, settings, and orchestrations for instrumental and choral ensembles. He is a 12-time commissioned composer for the New Dimension Project under Concordia Irvine Orchestra Commissions for the creation of wind band and orchestral music for church use. In 2020 he received the inaugural G.O.L.D. (Graduate of the Last Decade) Alumni Achievement Award from Concordia Irvine.

Guebert holds a PhD from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music (2020), where he served as Teaching Fellow for musicianship and theory courses. As a frequent program director, he has headed several yearly concert series including community handbell ensemble concerts and sacred music festivals. He has served as adjudicator, clinician, and Composer-in-Residence for choral and instrumental topics, including three assignments as National Seminar faculty for Handbell Musicians of America (HMA) for a total of seven course topics. He has taught and helped design course curricula at the college level since 2012.

Recent compositions include “Voyaging,” a concert-length cycle of Walt Whitman sea poetry for choir, harp, and large handbell ensemble which incorporates “The Untold Want,” the prizewinning piece of the nationwide 2017 Pacific Chorale Young Composers Competition, performed by the John Alexander Singers. “Voyaging” premiered March 2019 as a culmination of Guebert’s composer residencies with Choral Arts Initiative in Orange County, CA.

Guebert is the Director of Music Ministries at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Orange. He lives with his clarinetist wife Megan and baby daughter Evangeline.

Education

  • Ph.D. Music Composition – UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
  • M.M. Music Composition – California State University Fullerton
  • Director of Parish Music teaching certificate and BA Music Composition – Concordia Univ. Irvine

Publication (selections)

  • Research: Timbral Use of the Handbell Ensemble: Background, Analysis, and Strategies (eScholarship, 2020)
  • Article: Incorporating Professional Musicians into Your Church Ensembles (Association of Lutheran Church Musicians: 2018, No. 3)
  • Music:
    • Voyaging for choir, harp and handbell ensemble (eScholarship)
    • Glad Adoration for handbell ensemble (Lorenz)
    • O Captain, My Captain! for choir and handbell ensemble (JW Pepper and the Brandon Elliott “ICON Choral Series” on MusicSpoke)
    • Silent Night (orchestration of Peter Anglea’s Silent Night) (Beckenhorst)

CUI Teaching Assignments

  • Applied lessons: Composition
  • Arranging
  • Aural Skills 3
  • Aural Skills 4
  • Handbells (Chapel Bells, Spirit Bells, Alumni Ensemble, administrative work)
  • Independent studies: Counterpoint, Handbell Conducting
  • Mentor for Director of Parish Music students (through Christ College)
  • Music Technology
  • Music Theory 1
  • Music Theory 3
  • Music Theory 4
  • Orchestration
  • Resident composer
Gretchen Kirby

Adjunct Professor of Music History

Biography

Gretchen Sheetz Kirby is a solo, chamber, and orchestral harpist in Southern California and an adjunct professor at Concordia University Irvine. While classically trained, Gretchen has enjoyed performances featuring a diverse range of repertoires, including jazz combo gigs, musical theatre shows (such as The Fantasticks and A Little Night Music) and new music premieres. Her freelance career has provided her with opportunities to accompany artists from the Metropolitan Opera and the Los Angeles Opera and play at unique venues, from The Montage hotel in Laguna Beach to the Soka Performing Arts Center. She has performed with the San Luis Obispo Opera Symphony, Irvine Symphony, and Masterworks Orchestra (Irvine, CA), as well as with orchestral and choral ensembles at multiple universities throughout Orange County.

Gretchen earned her Master’s in Music in harp performance from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee in May 2017, where she was a student of Ina Zdorovetchi; she completed her undergraduate education at Concordia University Irvine (B.A. ’14, music, Summa Cum Laude) and harp studies with Mindy Ball. While at Concordia, Gretchen received the Outstanding Senior Award and the Senior Music Performance Award. Her time in Boston included many performances at the Conservatory, services at Park Street Church, and a harp teaching position at Wellesley College. Additionally, she taught several music history courses as a graduate assistant. Her harp experiences also include masterclasses and private lessons with Susann McDonald, Jessica Zhou, Heidi LehWalder, and Yolanda Kondonassis, and performances with the Pacific Harp Ensemble and The Boston Conservatory Harp Ensemble. Gretchen currently serves as the Director of Music and Worship Arts at Aliso Creek Church, teaches music history classes at Concordia, and maintains private harp lessons and a busy freelance career. She shares her passion for music and education with her husband, Jordan Kirby, a high school choral director.

Emily Wood

Adjunct Professor of Church Music

Biography

A Bachophile with love for church modes and weirdly pretty melodies, California native Emily Wood has inspired audiences across the United States as a soprano and composer. Her vocal accolades include Third Place in the NATS-LA Collegiate Competition and the Outstanding Member award of Baylor Opera Theatre. As a soloist, she has sung Poppea and Fortuna in L’incoronazione di Poppea with Baylor Opera Theatre, and she has sung concert solos in Bach’s Magnificat, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, and Bach’s BWV 150. An avid and highly sought choral artist, Ms. Wood has sung professionally as a Voces8 US Scholar, a member of the Pacific Chorale, and a section leader at Idyllwild Arts Festival’s high school Choral Intensive. She is in demand as a church musician with an extensive track record in music ministry of different denominations, having served as soloist, choral singer, worship leader, and children’s choir director. Emily holds degrees from Baylor University, Concordia University Irvine, and Saddleback College with several awards and honors. She has studied voice with Amy Petrongelli, Karla Kniss, and Scott Farthing. Outside of music, Emily may be found reading, baking, or talking to her dog, Cashew.

Part-Time Music Faculty

  • Gray, Donavon
  • Resident Faculty, Director of Handbell Activities and Music Education
  • (949) 214-3412

Resident Faculty, Director of Handbell Activities and Music Education

Biography

Dr. Donavon Gray has recently accepted the position as Resident Professor of Music at Concordia University, Irvine. Previous to this position, he was invited to be the Executive Arts Director at Shantou University: Shantou, China where he guided nine professors and 3000 students within the Arts Education Center. From 1991 until 2015 Dr. Gray was at Azusa Pacific University. His varying responsibilities included: Associate Dean for the School of Music, Director of Bands, Wind Ensemble, Handbells, Graduate Music Education Chair, and conducting classes for undergraduate and graduate students. Previous music faculty positions include Biola University, Cerritos College, and Director of Bands at Bellflower Christian Schools in Cerritos, California. Dr. Gray has been a guest conductor, lecturer, performer, and clinician throughout the United States, China, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Greece, Thailand, Australia, England, Germany, Singapore, Indonesia, Armenia (directing the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra) and Carnegie Hall. His international experience also included duties as Faculty/Director in Residence at Oxford University: Oxford, England. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dordt College, Master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa, and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California.

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