Dr. Ken Nagatani (Associate Instructor of guitar with distinction)
Received both a Master of Music and a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Manuel Barrueco, and completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Southern California in 2006 as a student of William Kanengiser. While at USC, he was the recipient of the Mary Pickford Foundation Endowed Scholarship in Classical Guitar and the Jack Marshall Memorial Scholarship. Ken has been active as a teacher and performer in Los Angeles area for the past 17 years, and is currently an adjunct instructor at East Los Angeles College, Long Beach City College, and Glendale City College. Vaccinated.
Online only, Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm
John McLean Allan (guitar, electric bass, mandolin, Scottish bagpipes)
After moving from Scotland to Los Angeles to pursue a music career, John has been lucky enough to be able to be a professional musician for over 25 years. John is a has played and recorded with various performers such as Korn, The Chieftains, Michael Flatley, Charlotte Church, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and The Tonight Show Band. John has performed at The Hollywood Bowl multiple times and at Coachella. He has also appeared and played in numerous movies, TV shows and stage comedies including Oscar-winning Best Picture, Million Dollar Baby, 911, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Austin Powers 2, Primary Colors, The Tonight Show, The West Wing, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Providence, and What About Dick?, among many others. John has written, produced and released four CDs and his music has been heard on over 100 radio stations all over the world including Sirius XM and KCRW.
Henry Zhao (Assistant Instructor of guitar)
Born and raised in the suburbs of Arcadia, Henry is one of the most promising young songwriters coming up though the L.A. Americana-roots music scene. He released his first eponymous debut album in 2019 with the help of Grammy-nominated Chad Watson as producer and on bass. His Dylan-inspired vocals, harmonica delivery lyrics has impressed folk legends like 60's era Troubadour Eric Andersen and Scarlet Rivera, Bob Dylan's violinist and close friend, who told him "you made Bob Dylan proud." Henry has been featured in American Songwriter for his performances at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, where he will return for his taping of his first live album. Henry holds a Philosophy, Politics and Law degree from USC and currently works as a freelance musician, performer, and writer. We are glad for Henry’s partnership in making our community a better place. Vaccinated.
On demand, Thursday 6:00am-7:00pm
Dr. Caster J. Teoh (Associate Instructor of trumpet & brass)
started playing the violin when he was 6 years old but switched to the trumpet in 1997. A native of Penang, Malaysia, he served a.s principal trumpet in the Penang Symphony Orchestra from 2000-2002. In 2015, he was appointed Principal Trumpet with Dream Orchestra of Los Angeles and has been performing with this wonderful ensemble since then. Since coming to the United States, Caster has appeared in numerous orchestras, including the American Youth Symphony, Orange County Symphony, Santa Monica Symphony, Quad City Symphony, Cedar Rapids Opera, West Coast Chamber Orchestra etc. While in college, he was one of the finalists in the Maia Quartet competition and was awarded outstanding Pi Kappa Lambda award in 2007. Caster has been performing with many professional ensembles, including the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Malaysia, Kumamoto International Orchestra, etc. under numerous conductors and artists, such as Kees Bakel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kurt Mazur, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, and many more. During the summers, he has performed in many countries, including Brazil, Italy, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Taiwan, Australia, Thailand, Canada, etc. A doctorate graduate from the USC Thornton School of Music, Caster was inducted as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society in 2007 and 2013. While at school, he was also a Fulbright scholarship student and has been awarded 2013 outstanding Brass Chamber Music award. For the past summers, Caster has been performing in many world-class music festivals, including the International Winter Music Festival in Brazil, Alba music festival in Italy, etc. In 2014, he was invited to perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 with West Coast Chamber Orchestra. His primary teachers include Andrew Balio, Boyde Hood, David Greenhoe, John Bourque and William Theis. Aside from being an orchestra musician, Caster has also served as Music Director/ Conductor of the Youth Symphony West Orchestra, Brass Coach at California Summer School for the Arts and Adjunct Professor of Brass at Grace Mission University. Caster is a much sought after teacher of trumpet. His students have won numerous music awards, admitted to credited universities, such as Michigan University, Eastman School of Music, University of California, Los Angeles, Cal state University at Northridge, etc. At the same time, Caster’s students also performed in music festivals, orchestras and competitions throughout the country, including the International Trumpet Guild competition, Colburn Youth Symphony and Jazz Orchestra, Pacific Youth Symphony, Idyllwild Music Academy, Colorado Youth Jazz Ensemble, etc. Fluent in Mandarin. Vaccinated.
Wednesday 3pm-6pm, Friday 2:00pm-6:00pm, Saturday 2:00pm-3:30pm
Kenny Elliott (Senior Instructor of percussion & drum set with distinction)
Kenny’s career as a professional drummer began at age 12 when he performed under the direction of the Red Saunders Orchestra at the Regal Theater. He was the staff drummer for Brunswick Records while teaching at the American Conservatory before moving to Los Angeles. Kenny toured with such greats as Lou Rawls, Aretha Franklin and Natalie Cole and performed with Ella Fitzgerald, Lucy Arnez, Diahann Caroll, Carol Channing, Ray Charles, Al Green, Eddie Harris, Al Jarreau, Chaka Kahn, Cheryl Lynn, Billy Preston, Helen Reddy, Dionne Warwick, and Stevie Wonder, and is currently the drummer for Jeff Goldblum. He enjoys teaching and working with people. Vaccinated.
Wednesday 1:30pm-5:30pm, Saturday 9:30am-4:30pm, Sunday 2pm-6pm, Additional availability upon request
Jessica Ornaghi (Instructor of mallets, percussion & drum set)
is a percussionist and drummer with experience in orchestra performance, ensembles, recitals, and teaching. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of São Paulo in Brazil. She recently received her master's degree in performance with full scholarship from Azusa Pacific University, with professors Raynor Carroll, Mark Converse, Yuri Inoo, and Bill Schlitt. In Brazil, Jessica played with several orchestras, participated in several festivals and competitions, and in 2016 she was part of the European tour of the YOA orchestra. Since Jessica arrived in the US, she has been playing freelance with orchestras and ensembles and teaching kids and adults of all ages.
Monday 4:00pm-8:00p Wednesday & Thursday 4pm-7:30pm Friday 2pm-7pm