Regular Faculty

Professor Shanna Lorenz

Shanna Lorenz, Chair

Associate Professor, Music
Ph.D. New York University, Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh
Shanna Lorenz is a non-Indigenous scholar who lives and works on Tongva and Suquamish territories and whose expertise includes First Nations and immigrant music/performance traditions, Indigenous-led research, environmental and racial justice movements, and the digital humanities.
Desiree La Vertu

Desiree La Vertu, Co-Chair

Director of Choral and Vocal Activities; Resident Professor, Music
B.Mus., CSU Fullerton; M.M. University of Nevada, Reno
Desiree La Vertu is a highly accomplished conductor, soloist, and voice teacher in the greater Los Angeles area.
Stephen S. Hudson

Stephen S. Hudson

Assistant Professor, Music
B.A., University of California, Davis; Ph.D., Northwestern University
Stephen S. Hudson is an emerging expert on metal music, focusing on fans and musicians’ embodied experiences of rhythm, timbre, and song form.
Professor David Kasunic

David Kasunic

Associate Professor, Music
B.A., Amherst College; M.F.A., Ph.D.; Princeton University
David Kasunic teaches lecture courses on music history and opera, and seminars on music & food, music & literature, Mahler, and Chopin.
Professor Adam Schoenberg

Adam Schoenberg

Associate Professor, Music
B.M., Oberlin Conservatory of Music; M.M., DMA, The Juilliard School
Emmy award-winning and Grammy® Award-nominated Adam Schoenberg has twice been named among the top 10 most performed living composers by orchestras in the United States.

Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Joe Addington

Joe Addington

Director of the Afro-Cuban Drumming Ensemble, Visiting Instructor, Music
Joe Addington teaches applied Afro-Cuban drumming lessons, and leads the Afro-Cuban Drumming Ensembles at Occidental College.

Jongnic Bontemps

Visiting Instructor, Music Production
B.A., Yale University
Jongnic Bontemps, aka “JB”, is a classically trained composer with roots in the church and jazz world as a pianist. Read his Oxy Story profile.
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Stephen Cabell

Visiting Assistant Professor, Music
B.M., The Curtis Institute; M.M., The Juilliard School; P.h.D., USC
Stephen Cabell teaches courses in music theory.
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Anthony Cardella

Visiting Instructor, Music
B.A., Lawrence University; DMA, University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music (in progress)
Anthony Cardella is a dynamic and compelling, active performer who has performed in esteemed concert halls across the United States and Europe, and has won regional and national performance…
Cesar Castro

César Castro

Visiting Instructor, Music
César Castro is a master of son jarocho, a music genre that originated over 250 years ago in Veracruz, Mexico, combining Indigenous Mexican, African, Spanish, and Arabic influences.
Instructor Max Foreman standing next to a chair

Max Foreman

Director of the Choi Family Music Production Center; Resident Assistant Professor, Music
B.A., UC Santa Cruz; M.F.A., California Institute of the Arts
Max Foreman is a composer, producer, and audio engineer from San Francisco, CA.
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Ramona Gonzalez

Visiting Instructor, Music
A.B., Occidental College; M.A., UCLA
Ramona Gonzalez teaches songwriting, audio production, and music business.
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Julia Holter

Visiting Assistant Professor, Music
B.A. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; M.F.A., California Institute of the Arts
Julia Holter is a composer, performer, and recording artist based in Los Angeles. Her interest in sonic mysteries has led her to record in various settings--in her home, outside with a field recorder…
Edmond Johnson

Edmond Johnson

Director of Advising; Visiting Assistant Professor, Music
B.A., Lawrence University; M.A., Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara
Edmond Johnson is Director of Academic Advising and Core Program Coordinator. He also oversees the LA Encounters Program and teaches courses in Music History and Cultural Studies.
Chris Kim

Chris Kim

Choi Family Director of Instrumental Music; Resident Professor, Music
B.M., Northwestern University; M.M., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Chris Kim is the Choi Family Director of Instrumental Music and conductor of the Occidental Symphony Orchestra.

Lauren Kop

Visiting Instructor
B.A., San Diego State University
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Daniela Smolov Levy

Visiting Assistant Professor, Music
B.A., Princeton University; M.A., New York University; Ph.D., Stanford University
Daniela Smolov Levy is a musicologist who studies the history of popularly oriented opera in America. She is currently a research fellow (working remotely) at Tel Aviv University as part of a…
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Daniel Ryan Long

Visiting Instructor, Music
B.A., University of Virginia
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Celka Ojakangas

Visiting Assistant Professor, Music
B.A., Drury University; M.M., D.M.A., University of Southern California
Celka Ojakangas is an award-winning Los Angeles-based composer whose “work rates high on the bold and beautiful scales” and “takes molecular musical quirks and explodes them, then seizes precious…
Fabio

Fabio Paolizzo

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Audio/Music/Sound Engineering
B.A., 2 M.A., Tor Vergata University of Rome; Ph.D., University of Kent
Dr. Fabio Paolizzo investigates and teaches new methods and forms of expression for human and computational music creativity.
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Angela Park

Visiting Assistant Professor, Music
B.M., University of Texas at Austin; M.M., Yale University; D.M.A., University of Southern California
Oboist Angela Park completed her DMA in Oboe Performance and minored in Music Theory and Music Education from the University of Southern California. She received her Master's from Yale University and…

G. Simeon Pillich

Resident Professor, Music
B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Pillich teaches courses in the music of the world and jazz.
JR

Jonathan Richards

Visiting Assistant Professor, Music; Director of the Occidental Jazz Ensemble
B.A., USC; M.F.A., California Institute of the Arts
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jonathan is an active member of the music industry as a bassist, composer and educator.
Profile image of Alexander Zhu

Alexander Zhu

Visiting Assistant Professor, Music
B.M., New England Conservatory; M.M., DMA, University of Southern California
Alexander Zhu is a composer, producer, and arts administrator who teaches Musicianship and serves as the department's Production Manager.

Applied Music Faculty

String Instructors

Violin Instructor

“Emerging as if a highly burnished and glowing ruby,” violinist Aroussiak Baltaian has gained international attention through her extensive appearances as a prominent recitalist, soloist, chamber musician and recording artist. Baltaian is a Grand and top prize winner at numerous national and...

Classical Double Bass Instructor

As a teacher, orchestral musician, soloist and proponent of contemporary music, Ted Botsford enjoys a varied career, exploring the sonorities of the double bass and pushing back against its perceived limitations in the musical world.

Ted joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in August of 2017...

Violin Instructor
Dynamic violinist Jin-Shan Dai has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2010. Previously, he was a member of the Toronto Symphony from 2004 to 2010, and made his debut as a soloist with that orchestra in 2008 playing Vivaldi’s...
Viola Instructor

Violist Michael Larco joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2012 after seven seasons as Assistant Principal in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. A frequent participant of the LA Phil’s Green Umbrella and Chamber Music Series, Michael has also been a guest violist with The Capitol Ensemble at...

Cello Instructor

Cellist Gloria Lum, a native of Berkeley, California, attended both the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, graduating from the latter institution magna cum laude. A student of Gabor Rejto and Ronald Leonard, she was a member of the Oakland Symphony and...

Keyboard Instructors

Piano and Collaborative Piano Instructor

Galina Barskaya began studying piano at the age of four and started to perform professionally at the age of 7. Barskaya got her BM and MM at Kiev State College and Kiev State Conservatory where she studied piano, organ, conducting, music history, and composition. She toured extensively in Russia...

Piano Instructor

Japan-born Junko Ueno Garrett has captivated audiences around the world with her colorful tone, poetry, expressiveness, dynamic technique, and wide range of repertoire. She began playing piano at the age of three, trained at the prestigious Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo studying under...

Jazz Piano Instructor

Cathlene Pineda is a sought after pianist and composer in the Los Angeles area. In June 2020, Orenda Records released Cathlene’s third album of original music, “Rainbow Baby,” hailed by critics as “beautifully articulated” (Jazz Times). It chronicles her progression through motherhood, birth and...

Instructor of Applied Piano

Described as “phenomenal and fearless,” Grammy nominated pianist Vicki Ray is a leading interpreter of contemporary piano music. Known for thoughtful and innovative programming which seeks to redefine the piano recital in the 21st century, Vicki’s concerts often include electronics, video...

Voice Instructors

Jazz & Commercial Voice Instructor

Loren is an award-winning jazz vocalist and composer whose artistry was cultivated in Downey, CA. Her early exposure to gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop, contributes to her unique singing and songwriting style. With an Associate of Professional Music degree from the world renowned School for Music...

Voice Instructor

Scott Blois recieved his Bachelor of Music degree from CSUN in 1984. He has participated in the Aspen Music Festival and the Music Academy of the West, as well as having a number of guest artist appearances around Southern California. Blois has been involved in opera outreach for the San Diego Opera...

Voice Instructor

Praised by Mark Swed of the LA Times as “luminous”, Karen Hogle Brown is a coloratura soprano whose strong musicianship and flexible voice have helped her to champion and premiere new works, as well as reinvent traditional ones. An active soloist in the Los Angeles area, Hogle Brown’s unique...

Guitar Instructors

Ukulele Instructor

Originally from Hawai‘i, Jason Arimoto, Ph. D., is a Los Angeles-based ‘ukulele creative with a professional background in ‘ukulele performance, education, and retail. Arimoto performs and teaches across the U.S. and internationally, and is the co-owner of U-SPACE, L.A.’s premier ‘ukulele store and...

Classical and Jazz Guitar Instructor

Guitarist Ron Berman has been performing solo and group recitals of jazz, classical and original compositions in concert and on film, radio and television in the US and Europe for over thirty years. Performances include the US premier of George Russell’s Concerto for Two Guitars and group...

Instructor of Rock Guitar

Steve has toured extensively with the "legendary genius of soul" Ray Charles, pop icon Frankie Valli, and Chanteuse Anjani with her frequent guest the poetic Leonard Cohen.  He has performed at Exit Zero, and Playboy Jazz Festivals with Maceo Parker, toured the mid east with Alphonse Mouzon  and...

Classical and Jazz Guitar Instructor

Guitarist Riner Scivally has performed with Alan Broadbent, Larance Marable, Stacey Rowles and Putter Smith. He received a bachelor's degree from Occidental College, an MM from USC, and later studied at the Scuola Civica di Milano in Italy.  He is on the faculty of Pasadena City College and the...

Harp Instructor

Instructor of Applied Harp

Hailed by the LA Times as"a force field unto her own, yet joined in something bigger, " Alison Bjorkedal is a passionate ambassador for the harp and a specialist in performing the music of Harry Partch.
Her symphonic, operatic and ballet performances include The Industry, San Diego Symphony...

Woodwinds / Brass Instructors

Oboe Instructor

Catherine Del Russo received her Bachelor of Music Degree and Performance Certificate at the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Robert Sprenkle, and her Masters of Music Degree from Ohio University where she studied with John Mack in Cleveland. Since then, Del Russo has performed around...

Instructor of Jazz Trumpet

Jay Jennings is a 3x GRAMMY Award winning trumpeter known for his work with jazz supergroup Snarky Puppy. He is a founding member of the band which started at the University of North Texas in 2004.  Before meeting his Snarky Puppy family, Jay grew up in the small town of Grapevine, TX. He was lucky...

Clarinet Instructor

Sara Marsh (Canning) has built a sterling reputation as a clarinetist and teacher in the Western U.S. Hailing from Texas, she studied at the University of North Texas and UCLA. Early in her career, she served as second clarinetist in the Reno Chamber Orchestra and principal clarinetist in the Tucson...

Flute Instructor

Rachel Mellis enjoys a multi-faceted career as an orchestral, chamber, solo, and recording artist. She performs regularly throughout the U.S. and has toured internationally in Europe and Asia.  She has collaborated with esteemed artists across many musical genres, including Classical, Jazz, World...

Trombone Instructor

A native to Los Angeles, California, Erm Navarro began private trombone lessons and played in the public school system at age 12. Upon graduation from high school, Erm completed his Bachelors of Music in Jazz Performance and Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music (2005). During his time...

Saxophone Instructor

Daniel Rotem is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and educator.

Growing up in Israel by the Mediterranean Sea, Daniel fell in love with the freedom and potential for expression he found in Jazz after starting to play saxophone as a teenager. His musical beginnings in Israel's Thelma...

Bassoon Instructor

Allen Savedoff is a member of the Pacific Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and California Philharmonic, and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic New Music Group, LA Opera, LA Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, New West Symphony, Glendale Symphony, LA Master Chorale...

Tuba Instructor

Doug Tornquist received his B.M. from University of Southern California, his M.M. from Wichita State University and his D.M.A from University of Southern California. Tornquist has been principal tubist in the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, the New Sousa band and...

Percussion Instructors

Director of the Afro-Cuban Drumming Ensemble, Visiting Instructor, Music
Music

Joe Addington teaches applied Afro-Cuban drumming lessons, and leads the Afro-Cuban Drumming Ensembles at Occidental College.

Percussion Instructor

 A native of Kanagawa, Japan, Dr. Yuri Inoo is a musician and educator in the Los Angeles area. She has studied percussion under David Rosenthal at San Francisco State University, where she received her Bachelor of Music degree, graduating summa cum laude, and receiving the Most Outstanding Senior...

Drum Set Instructor

Since arriving in Los Angeles, Jamey Tate has become one of the most sought after musicians on the national touring and studio scenes. He has performed and/or recorded with a diverse list of some of the biggest artists in the music industry, including David Benoit, Al Jarreau, Jane Monheit, Gordon...

Alexander Technique Instructors

Alexander Technique Instructor

Frances holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Liverpool University and a Diploma of Education from Leicester University. Marsden's first experience with the Alexander Technique was when she was an acting student at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland. She was so...

Contact Music
Booth Hall