Faculty

Regular Faculty

Professor David Kasunic

David Kasunic, Chair

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 Irene Girton

Irene Girton

Professor, Music
B.Music, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music; M.Phil., Ph.D., Yale University
Irene Girton teaches courses in music theory and special topics in art song, Bach and the Enlightenment, and 20th-century music.
Professor Shanna Lorenz

Shanna Lorenz

Associate Professor, Music
B.A., Reed College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh; Ph.D. New York University
Shanna Lorenz teaches courses in ethnomusicology and popular music.
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.

On Special Appointment

Joe Addington

Joe Addington

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

Jongnic Bontemps

Non-Tenure Track 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.
Picture of Stephen Cabell

Stephen Cabell

Non-Tenure Track Instructor, Music
B.M., The Curtis Institute; M.M., The Juilliard School; P.h.D., USC ( in progress)
Stephen Cabell teaches courses in music theory.
Cesar Castro

Cesar Castro

Director of the Son Jarocho Ensemble; Non-Tenure Track Instructor
Shawn Costantino headshot

Shawn Costantino

Director of the Occidental Jazz Ensemble; Non-Tenure Track Instructor
B.Mus., Studio Music and Jazz, University of Miami; MM, Jazz Studies, De Paul University
Shawn Costantino is well into his second decade as the Director of Jazz Studies and Instrumental Music at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, where he oversees a diverse curriculum of 3 big bands...
Picture of Max Foreman

Max Foreman

Andrew G. Mellon Professor of the Practice in 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.
Picture of Ramona Gonzalez

Ramona Gonzalez

Johnston-Fix Professor of the Practice in Songwriting
A.B., Occidental College
Ramona Gonzalez teaches courses in songwriting and music business.
Photo of Edmond Johnson

Edmond Johnson

Director of Advising; Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor
B.A., Lawrence University; M.A., Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara
Edmond Johnson is Director of Academic Advising and Core Program Coordinator. He teaches courses in Music History and Cultural Studies.
Chris Kim

Chris Kim

Director of Instrumental Activities
B.M., Northwestern University; M.M., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Chris Kim is the Director of Instrumental Activities and conductor of the Occidental Symphony Orchestra. Read his Oxy Story profile.
Desiree LaVertu

Desiree La Vertu

Director of Choral and Vocal Activities
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.
Dina Ormenyi

Dina Ormenyi

Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Music; Piano Instructor
B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara; M.F.A., UCLA
Dina has been teaching piano since she graduated from high school in Ohio, where she studied privately with Robert Howat at Wittenberg University.
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.  

G. Simeon Pillich

Non-Tenure Track Professor, Music
B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Pillich teaches courses in the music of the world and jazz.

Applied Music Faculty

String Instructors
Aroussiak Baltaian headshot

Aroussiak Baltaian

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,...
Ted Botsford headshot

Ted Botsford

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...
Michael Larco headshot

Michael Larco

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...
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Gloria Lum

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 ...
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Lyndon Johnston Taylor

Benjamin H. Culley Teaching Artist in Residence, Violin
Violinist Lyndon Johnston Taylor is the principal second violinist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and an artist faculty member at Occidental College.  His musical career began at the age of...
Photo of David Tranchina, Jazz and Commercial Bass Instructor

David Tranchina

Jazz and Commercial Bass Instructor
Bassist, composer, and educator David Tranchina is a well-known musician on the Los Angeles Jazz and creative improvised music scene. As a bassist, he is known for his big warm sound, solid...
Keyboard Instructors
Galina Barskaya headshot

Galina Barskaya

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...
Hye-Won Cho

Hye-Won Cho

Piano and Collaborative Piano Instructor
Dr. Hye-Won Cho’s brilliant technique and sensitive musicality have garnered her countless accolades worldwide, including first prize at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, the...
Junko Ueno Garrett headshot

Junko Ueno Garrett

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...
Dina Ormenyi

Dina Ormenyi

Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Music; Piano Instructor

Dina has been teaching piano since she graduated from high school in Ohio, where she studied privately with Robert Howat at Wittenberg University.

Matthew Weisberg headshot

Matt Weisberg

Jazz Piano & Improvisation Instructor
Despite being a recent addition to the Los Angeles area, Matt Weisberg is already a prominent figure in the widely varied music scene. Weisberg has made a name for himself as an award-winning...
Voice Instructors
Loren Battley headshot

Loren Battley

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...
Scott Blois headshot

Scott Blois

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...
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Karen Hogle Brown

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...
Desiree LaVertu

Desiree La Vertu

Director of Choral and Vocal Activities
(323) 259-1333

Desiree La Vertu is a highly accomplished conductor, soloist, and voice teacher in the greater Los Angeles area.

Guitar Instructors
Jason Arimoto, guitar instructor

Jason Arimoto

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...
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Ronald Berman

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...
Almer Imamovic

Almer Imamovic

Advanced Classical Guitar Instructor
Internationally acclaimed guitarist, composer and arranger Almer Imamovic is one of the leading musicians of his generation. In 2007, Imamovic made his American Debut with a ravishing...
Riner Scivally headshot

Riner Scivally

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...
Harp Instructors
Amy Shulman headshot

Amy Shulman

Harp Instructor
Amy Shulman, harpist, received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the Juilliard School of Music. She has performed as a soloist in France, Canada and the USA including live television and...
Woodwinds / Brass Instructors
Shawn Costantino headshot

Shawn Costantino

Director of the Occidental Jazz Ensemble; Non-Tenure Track Instructor
(323) 259-2785
Catherine Del Russo headshot

Catherine Del Russo

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...
Larry Hughes

Larry Hughes

Clarinet and Saxophone Instructor
In addition to teaching clarinet and saxophone at Occidental, Larry Hughes regularly performs in first-class musical theater productions, such as the Sound of Music at the Ahmason Theater....
Rachel Mellis

Rachel Mellis

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.  ...
Erm Navarro

Erm Navarro

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...
Stephanie O'Keefe headshot

Stephanie O'Keefe

French Horn Instructor
Originally from Chicago, Stephanie O'Keefe has made her home in Los Angeles since 1987. A busy freelancer, O'Keefe enjoys a widely varied career, including performances and recordings with the...
Mike Rocha headshot

Mike Rocha

Trumpet Instructor
Mike Rocha has been performing and teaching for over two decades. In that time, he has toured the world, performed alongside some of the worlds most talented musicians, recorded on platinum...
Allen Savedoff

Allen Savedoff

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...
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Douglas Tornquist

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...
Percussion Instructors
Joe Addington

Joe Addington

Director of the Afro-Cuban Drumming Ensemble, Non-Tenure Track Instructor, Music

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

Part-Time NTT Percussion & Drumline Instructor

Yuri Inoo

Percussion & Drumline 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...
Music instructor Jamey Tate

Jamey Tate

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...
Alexander Technique Instructors
Frances Marsden headshot

Frances Marsden

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...