Jason is a graduate from the University of California at Irvine with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Digital Arts. Starting private piano lessons at age 5, Jason has 13 years of private piano study and over twenty years of experience in piano performance, technique and theory. Having mastered the art of classical performance and completing the rigorous testing of the California Certificate of Merit, Jason went on to pursue the study of blues, jazz and funk improvisation on his own.
Today, Jason works as a teacher (since 2003), studio musician and performs regularly as a professional musician, touring and playing with acts like George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic and with members of Frank Zappa, Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marvin Gaye, James Brown and Fishbone. Jason also works extensively in the music industry as a producer, composer and songwriter for pop artists both here in the US and in Asia. He has also recorded an album of classical favorites from Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu to Debussy’s Clair de Lune. His music can also be heard on independent movies like Camjackers and has been a sought out songwriter in recent days and is also working on his own methodology for teaching beginning improvisation. He devotes his life to music and aims to influence the youth to find relaxation and peace of mind through the art of sound.
Drums, Piano, Voice, Music Production/Composition
Fred is a well rounded musician with many exploits in the fields of singing, keyboards, and percussion. Fred is an accomplished keyboardist with experience playing classical, jazz, pop and rock genres. He has been playing piano since age 7 and continues to expand and refine his repertoire every day. Fred’s latest project is an original Reggae Band called Mellow Grounds which has performed with Steel Pulse, the Expanders, Yellowman and Pato Banton.
Fred began singing in choirs in middle school and hasn’t stopped since, acquiring a large repertoire of solo and choral experience leading up to and during his time as a Choral Education major at California State University at Fullerton. During his time at CSUF, Fred performed under the baton of Maestro John Williams, Dudamel, Mauceri, and has traveled as far as South Carolina for choral festivals. He currently serves as the tenor section lead at an Anglican Church in Costa Mesa.
In high school fred picked up drumming Fredric Hallas has been a percussionist since high school. He played various ethnic percussion instruments for the choirs and played bass drum and marching tenors during and after high school in independent corps. Not long after Fred put his mind to learning how to play set and began integrating his knowledge of drumming and rhythm fundamentals into the drum set playing style. Fred has been playing set for four years and frequently writes music with his home set and plays drums for worship services at his church job in Costa Mesa, CA.
Fred enjoys working with people of all kinds, sharing his love for music and passion for piano, aiming to make private instruction and performance his mission in life.
Piano, Voice, Guitar, Drums, Music Composition
Will is an educator, singer and multi-instrumentalist with a degree in Music Education from California State University Fullerton. He takes a holistic, student-centered approach to teaching which emphasizes the development of musicianship and creativity in addition to technical proficiency.
As a singer, he regularly performs with the Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles, Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble, and Laguna Beach Chamber Singers. He’s appeared at the Hollywood Bowl frequently, singing in choirs for artists including Andrea Bocelli, John Williams, M93, A.R. Rahman, and Juanes.
Will has had a deep passion for do-it-yourself music groups since he picked up his first guitar and started his own garage band in middle school. He has been a drummer for 16 years and currently plays with the Long Beach-based rock band, Maneaters. He has also been playing keyboard for more than a decade and is well-versed in classical, rock, pop, and jazz styles.
He has served as teacher of general music (K-8) at CREER of San Juan Capistrano and has been serving as choir director for Community Presbyterian Church in San Juan Capistrano since 2014.
Sylvia graduated from the University of California at Riverside with a BA in Psychology. She started in private piano lessons since the age of eight, and she has over 10 years of private piano study in classical technique and theory, with over 20 years of classical piano performance.
Sylvia has received her diploma from the National Guild of Piano Teachers, a division of American College of Musicians, the most prestigious certification in piano, at the young age of 18, and also graduated in the top 1 percentile. She has performed in countless performances, events and had also competed in the Los Angeles Music Festival Piano Competition. Today, Sylvia concentrates most of her time teaching than performing, but she still plays for churches, occasional weddings and special events.
Classically trained and with the rare gift of ‘Perfect-pitch’, Sylvia has been teaching since 2005 in piano and also in violin. She teaches all age groups, from young children to adults, as well as students of all skill levels. Some of her favorite pieces are Beethoven Sonata No. 8, Schubert Impromptu #4 in A flat minor, and Chopin “Fantasie” Impromptu, Op. 66.
Guitar, Bass, Voice, Production
Russell is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer born and raised in the city Las Vegas, Nevada. Getting his first guitar at the age of twelve for a Christmas present would the beginning of a journey that would ultimately end up becoming his career. Through the years Russell has studied many genres of music including classical, jazz, blues, rock, r&b, pop, and hip-hop and he continues to do so saying “Guitar is something I feel can never truly be mastered; I am always learning new techniques and growing as a musician and guitarist everyday.”
With the support of major music companies such as Fender and Dean Markley strings Russell has toured the United States opening for national artists such as Rihanna, Lifehouse, Buckcherry, and Metro Station.
Most recently Russell has been keeping busy writing and producing songs for his upcoming album to be released later this year. Having over 7 years of guitar teaching experience under his belt Russ has a unique teaching style that is nothing short of amazing.
Midori graduated from Senzoku Gakuen Senior High School in Music and Senzoku Gakuen Music College in Japan. She began music study at the age of six and was classically trained in piano and vocal performance.
After coming to the U.S. in 1998, she joined the Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC). She has been teaching music to various age groups and levels for over 20 years in Japan and the U.S. She focuses on teaching not only performance skills but also works on proper posture, technique, music theory, sight reading, sight singing, and dictation.
Besides teaching music, she constantly performs as an accompanist for music events such as recitals, competitions, and CM performance evaluations.
Her teachers include Professor Emeritus Nakyong Chai and Yoshiko Karatsuma for piano and Yumiko Sasaki for voice.
Hannah started taking piano lessons at the age of four until graduating high school at 17. Growing up she played the piano and guitar for hwr chiexh choir She also played the piano for her school orchestra and participated in a school for gifted music program where she and the orchestra had the opportunity to perform at the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and Palomar Performing Arts Center in 1998.
She began teaching piano while at Cal State Fullerton while earning her B.A. In English as well as her Yoga Teacher Certification from Cloud Nine Yoga. She loves teaching piano, writing, and yoga to children and adults and continues to play her favorite composers such as Chopin and Hiromi.
Aaron began learning the violin when he was five years old. Aaron was Concertmaster of the UCI Symphony Orchestra in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years and was a recipient of the Robert and Marjorie Rawlins Scholarship, studying violin performance under the tutelage of Haroutune Bedelian. In May 2011, his sophomore year, he performed the Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 5 with the UCI Symphony Orchestra in the Irvine Barclay Theater under guest conductor Helena Bayo Delgado, visiting from Spain. In his freshman year, Aaron’s quartet performed in Christopher O’Riley’s university tour of From the Top and was also the second violin principal of the UCI Symphony.
Aaron graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) in 2009. In his senior year of high school, he was Concertmaster of the Olympia Youth Orchestra (OYO), which performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall in March of 2009 as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s International Youth Orchestra Festival under the baton of his former teacher and mentor Fung Ho. In the summer of 2008, he received a scholarship from the International Educational Exchange Association to perform in the Olympic Youth Cultural Festival preceding the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Aaron was a recipient of the Hennings-Fischer Foundation Scholarship, the Accelerated College Enrollment Program Scholarship at the California State University of Los Angeles, and the International Culture and Exchange Society of USA Scholarship. He has also received a number of awards in the Southwestern Youth Music Festivals, Taiwan Benevolent Association of California Annual International Chinese Young Musicians competitions, and American String Teachers Association competitions. Aaron has been a dedicated musician at St. Stephen Martyr Church, volunteering since he was nine years old, and coaches the OYO violin sections. He has participated in masterclasses under the Szymanowski Quartet, Renata Knific from the Merling Trio and Western Michigan University, Taiwanese violinist and winner of the 1985 Queen Elizabeth Music Competition, Nai-Yuan Hu, and founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, Menahem Pressler.
Violin, Viola, Piano
Violinist and violist of over a decade, Joanna Istrate is a Viola Performance Major at Irvine Valley College. In addition to being classically trained, she also performs and records with a diverse range of artists across a broad field of genres. She is passionate about collaborating with local composers and recently premiered award-winning work ‘Moonlight Metro’ by Joseph Biscuit. A dedicated and passionate teacher, she hopes to instill a sense of self-confidence and love of music in all of her students.
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