Meet Longy's Master of Arts in Teaching students

Members of this program have traveled to Los Angeles from across the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia. While all of our students are passionately pursuing a career in music that merges teaching, artistry, and socially conscious work, our MAT students bring a diversity of teaching experience and training to the program. Many hail from some our country’s greatest conservatories—including USC’s Thornton School of Music, Oberlin, and Longy—and others arrive already involved with El Sistema-inspired music education experience.

A hallmark of the program, all students will begin the MAT with a week-long intensive course modeled after Bard’s signature Writing and Thinking workshop. Here they will examine core beliefs and assumptions about music and education, and will begin to build the sense of community integral to the MAT.

Housed at the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), the year-long MAT provides its students with an onsite practicum—a rare opportunity to teach and learn in one place. Combining this learning lab approach with fieldwork in nucleos and public schools throughout the region, the program provides a highly focused curriculum designed to prepare a new generation of educators committed to the values of El Sistema.

 

Class of 2017

Quentin Bethea

Quentin Bethea

Quentin Bethea is an extremely gifted and multifaceted musician. As a pianist, vocalist, composer, music director, and educator, Quentin has traveled extensively both domestically and abroad, performing, conducting workshops, and directing music for shows. Beginning as a self-taught musician, his studies now include Berklee College of Music, Livingstone College, and Longy School of Music. Quentin is also a respected artist in his own right, with the release of his single, "Thank You For Your Grace" which remains in rotation on Sirius/XM radio and other stations nationally and abroad.

Armed with a passion to teach and a heart to reach the seemingly unreachable, Quentin founded Music Alive, Inc. in 2012 - a non-profit organization with a mission to make music lessons and instruments available to children of all types, and further, to use music as a catalyst for academic success and character development.

Quentin believes, wholeheartedly, in the ability and potential of every child to learn, grow and succeed when given the proper support and empowerment.

Jeremy Boersma

Jeremy Boersma

Jeremy Boersma graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BM in Theory and Composition then moved to Los Angeles. While pursuing commercial music, he became involved with church choral groups and became a founding member of the Traction Avenue Chamber Ensemble. His involvement with the Traction Ave. Ensemble led to further studies in cello, an instrument he fell in love with as a child. He continued performing with the chamber ensemble as well as freelance gigging with various bands in the L.A. metropolitan area. With time, he took on his own studio of private students and went on to receive his MM in cello performance from the University of Redlands, in 2014. His teaching work with the Community School of Music and the Arts (CSMA) while in Redlands, along with his continued private studio, brought him to a fuller realization of the power of community outreach through music. The Longy MAT program provides an inspiring next step towards becoming a more effective pedagogue, musician and active member of his rich and diverse community.

“I have lived in Los Angeles for two decades and only recently have come to understand the true necessity of active participation in my community. I am excited to be a part of the Longy MAT program’s hands-on El Sistema environment where I can develop my skills to build community through fostering a love and appreciation of music!“

Caroline Campos

Caroline Campos

Caroline Campos holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance from Universidade Federal da Paraiba (UFPB), Brazil. She has played in many professional orchestras in Brazil as ORSSE (Symphony Orchestra of Sergipe State), OSBA (Symphony Orchestra of Bahia State), OSPB (Symphony Orchestra of Paraiba State), among others. Carol started her teaching career in private studio and music schools. In 2010, she spent one year in Ireland to learn about Irish Folk Music, where she had the opportunity to play with two different Orchestras: DSO (Dublin Symphony Orchestra), and UCDO from University College of Dublin.

In Brazil she became involved with the El Sistema program and has been dedicated to it ever since. She has worked as a coordinator and Violin/Viola teacher in PRIMA (Program of social inclusion through Music and Arts), a music program in public schools that makes music accessible to hundreds of underprivileged children in Paraiba State, Brazil, directed by conductor and oboist Alex Klein.

Ms. Campos was also the Chair of the Strings department and General Coordinator in NEOJIBA (Nucleus of Youth Orchestras of Bahia), one of the most important El Sistema based programs in Trancoso, Bahia (Brazil), directed and founded by Ricardo Castro, pianist and conductor. Carol came to the United States in 2014 to pursue an Artist Certificate Program in Violin Performance at Azusa Pacific University, where she studied under LA Phil violinist, Ingrid Chun. Besides performing with some orchestras around LA area, she also has performed at Disney California Adventure and enjoys playing Brazilian Popular Music.

Also involved with El Sistema in the USA, she currently works as Upper String Teaching Artist in YOLA at LACHSA and studies at Longy under LA Phil violinist and concertmaster associate, Nathan Cole. Carol is excited to continue to learn and bring happiness to kids through music.

Melissa Constantino

Melissa Constantino

Melissa Flavia Constantino is a singer, songwriter and travel enthusiast from Los Angeles and holds a BA in Sociology from UCLA. With a combined passion for music, community building and cultural activism, Melissa explored many avenues before pursuing teaching. Melissa holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and worked as a martial arts instructor after graduating from UCLA in 2009; concurrent to this, she was engaged as a development and event planning associate at a variety of human service agencies serving homeless veterans and the youth. Throughout this period, she always found time to play music by collaborating with friends or busking on streets, most notably at the Sacre Coeur Cathedral overlooking Paris.

In 2010, she founded “Stop & Listen, LA,” a community arts project that engaged the public through live music performance on the streets of Los Angeles. It was in this frame, that Melissa discovered a passion for creative placemaking for her community and ultimately led to her decision to expand her skill set in nonprofit management. As an event planner and coordinator for the Sunshine Kids Foundation, Melissa was responsible for orchestrating and managing all-expense-paid excursions for children living with cancer. After three years of rewarding, and oftentimes emotional relationships with her charges, she was inspired to use her music as a creative tool for healing and solace.

She took a year off again to travel throughout Europe and Asia, to meet people, and to rediscover why music not only plays a prominent role in her life but how it also creates a binding effect among the people she has come across. Upon her return, Melissa became a Cultural Policy Activate fellow through Arts for LA, redesigning Stop & Listen music in the process. In 2016, Melissa joined the music department of Heart of Los Angeles, HOLA, an organization that once embraced her as a child. At HOLA she coordinates the Jazz and Rock band programs working with middle school and high school students living in and around Lafayette Park. It is here that she hopes to begin implementing the skills and philosophies acquired through the MAT program, and to develop the musicianship and potential of students.

Ben Ede

Ben Ede

Ben Ede is an active performer, arranger, and educator in the LA area. He teaches music elective classes on improvisation, performance anxiety, music technology, and songwriting with the LA Philharmonic's Youth Orchestra Program and is a member of the Jazz faculty at Heart of Los Angeles Music Studios. Ben also teaches music at Sequoyah High School in Pasadena. As a founder and former music coordinator of Kid City Hope Place, (a nonprofit afterschool program,) Ben led the music program and developed curricula dedicated to fostering youth leadership in low income communities.

Ben and his guitar "Jessie" perform regularly throughout Southern California with singers and instrumentalists in a variety of musical configurations including with The Wiseguys, a Vegas-style big band led by the Mayor of Montebello, Art Barajas, and the Pay It Forward Band, an organization dedicated to using music to effect changes in the nursing home system. On Sundays he can be found playing lead guitar with gospel choirs in the South LA area. When not out playing, Ben loves to indulge in comic books, cartoons, and video games (his oldest loves) while indulging his wife Jessie (his greatest).

Ben holds a B.A. in Philosophy and B.M. in Jazz Studies, with a concentration in composition and arranging from Cal State Los Angeles.

"I'm excited by the MAT program's focus on creating a connection between student, music, and society. For me, the pursuit of excellence in any craft should also place the performer, craftsperson, worker or student, in a meaningful relationship with their communities. With the skills I acquire I hope to inspire youngsters to use music to place themselves in positions where they can deliver messages to society that celebrate diversity, tolerance, and respect while speaking out against injustice."

Amber Hansen

Amber Hansen

Amber Hansen's love for music was cultivated at a young age. She sang her first solo in church at the age of 2 and performed regularly throughout childhood. She began her formal music studies in violin at MLK, Jr. Magnet and the Blair School of Music in Nashville, TN and then graduated magna cum laude from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance. While at MTSU she performed in solo and chamber recitals, attended the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, interned with the Murfreesboro Youth Orchestra, and co-directed the Smyrna Summer Strings Program. Her previous private teachers include Andrea Dawson, Mary Kathryn VanOsdale, Wei-Tsun Chang, and Toshie Miyake.

Currently she teaches private lessons, does studio work, jams on violin and background vocals with her band, and tries to absorb as much music education, business, and production knowledge as possible. Life is about the connections we make with others, and her mission is to use this knowledge of music to help foster a community of socially responsible people in order to build a better future for our society as a whole. The Longy MAT program provides a hands-on experience that centers around social change through music, so it is an incredible opportunity to learn how to bring this mission to fruition.

Holly Harrison

Holly Harrison

Holly Harrison is a violist, general music teacher, and string teacher from Sacramento, CA with a Master of Music in Viola Performance from UC Davis. She spent the last 4 years developing and implementing a PTA-funded general music program that serves over 600 children, K-6, at Sacramento public elementary school, Theodore Judah. The success of the general music program at Judah has symbiotically supported the robust after-school string program at the school site, providing multiple opportunities to reinforce musical concepts. Holly's areas of pedagogical interest include improvisation and composition at the elementary/middle school level, bluegrass and folk music in public schools, developing accessible music reading curricula, and music education advocacy and policy. Above all, she is passionate about working to create opportunities for access to high-quality music instruction for all children.

"I am thrilled to be a part of the forward-thinking Longy MAT program and couldn't imagine a better environment to earn my credential and Master's. What an opportunity to learn amongst and from educators who recognize, support, and cherish the impact of a thriving musical culture on its community."

Jessica Ivry

Jessica Ivry

Jessica Ivry is a freelance cellist and an instructor of music in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jessica taught strings, chamber music, ear training and music fundamentals at the College of Marin and in the San Francisco Unified School District. She was founding cellist for world music string & vocal ensemble, Real Vocal String Quartet (www.rvsq.com). With RVSQ, Jessica performed at Stern Grove Festival opening for Kronos Quartet, toured overseas as musical ambassador through the US State Department program, American Music Abroad, and was featured with a cover photo and article in Strings Magazine. Jessica has also performed for theater productions including A little Night Music, The Last Five Years (A.C.T. San Francisco); The Orphan of Zhao (A.C.T. San Francisco & La Jolla Playhouse); An Audience with Meow Meow, Pericles: Prince of Tyre, and Figaro (Berkeley Repertory Theatre) and in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Post Street Theatre, SF). Jessica composed original music for Death of a Salesman and The Bright River (A Traveling Jewish Theatre, San Francisco). She has performed and/or recorded with David J, Bauhaus, Feist, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Journey, Ty Seagull, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Mirah, Vienna Teng, and Beats Antique. She also recorded on Grammy nominated album, Blueprint of a Lady for jazz vocalist, Nneena Freelon. Jessica received her BA from Skidmore College and a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Bonnie Hampton and Mark Sokol. Visit her website at www.jessicaivry.com.

"I am excited to get back to school and get classroom teaching skills through the lens of the innovative El Sistema method. I am also excited to be in Los Angeles and participate in a vibrant and innovative music community."

John C. Kibler Jr.

John C. Kibler Jr.

John C. Kibler Jr. is a bassist, composer, and educator with a M.M. from the University of Michigan, a B.M. from Ball State University, and a Performance Certificate from Utrecht Conservatory in The Netherlands. His playing has been heard in a variety of musical settings including recordings with drummer Roy Haynes for National Public Radio, and performances at the Montreaux and North Sea Jazz Festivals. He has toured throughout Europe, North, and South America as a member of The Ricciotti Ensemble and has performed live with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, and John Williams. Currently, in addition to teaching privately, John is a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Teaching Artist Faculty, Music Director of the Zuma Ensemble, Orchestra Director at Santa Monica Alternative Schoolhouse, and he performs regularly with his Los Angeles based group, We Are The West.

Jessica Mesa

Jessica Mesa

Jessica Mesa hails from the small, rural town of Lordsburg, NM where she learned firsthand about the power of music in disenfranchised communities. Whether at football games or Tejano Music festivals, music united her town. From an early age, Jessica knew that she would someday contribute to her community by becoming a band director. She earned a B.A. in Music from Dartmouth College in 2014. While attending she was an avid singer, trumpeter, and actress. She especially enjoyed her experiences working with local youth as both a member and director of the Upper Valley Youth Winds.

After college, Jessica spent four years teaching Music and Spanish to preschoolers. This renewed her conviction that early childhood education is critical in the healthy mental and emotional development of youth. She received certification in Music Together in 2014 and is a firm believer that children learn best through play. Her community building efforts also led her to become a karaoke DJ in 2015. She fostered deep friendships and provided a fun, supportive environment for musical expression. She is excited to learn with, and more importantly from, the students of HOLA and YOLA and is looking forward to gaining a better understanding of how to enact change in the world of education.

“A band director gave me the love and support I needed to feel confident in following my own path. Music became my lifeboat and a solid foundation in a world of transitions. I know that the MAT program will enable me to offer the highest level of support and training to other children who have not been afforded the opportunities they deserve. I’m excited to learn how to most effectively enact change in my community and to pass on the resiliency, patience, love, and determination music helped me develop.”

Susana Obando Barquero

Susana Obando Barquero

Susana Obando Barquero started her music studies playing cello and double bass at the National Institute of Music in her hometown San Jose, Costa Rica. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Performance Cum Laude from Loyola University New Orleans in 2010, where she was also the winner of the Aria and Concerto Competition, and she earned a Master of Music in Performance from Lynn University Conservatory of Music in 2012. Her principal teachers include Timothy Cobb, David Anderson, and Allen Nisbet, and she has also participated in master classes with Klauss Stoll and Frank Proto. She has performed with a variety of ensembles including Tallahassee Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Florida Grand Opera, Pensacola Symphony, and the Costa Rican National Symphony Orchestra.

As an active advocate of music education, she is currently a staff member of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, working as a double bass coach for sponsored lessons, teaching assistant for Debut Strings, and cello and bass teaching artist for the Opus Community Project, an El Sistema inspired program. She has also worked as Strings teacher of the Children’s Creative and Performing Arts Academy in San Diego, double bass instructor at the University of West Florida, and continuing education instructor at Pensacola State College, as well as maintaining her own private teaching studio, where she enjoys helping her students prepare for auditions, achieve their goals, and gain confidence through music.

“I always thought my only passion was performing, but the opportunities that life has brought into my life have made me realize how exciting and meaningful teaching can be. Being a product of an El Sistema inspired program myself, I hope that with Longy I will be able to obtain outstanding teaching skills, truly understand and experience the philosophy of El Sistema, and bring passion and hope to everyone through music.”

Josiel Perez

Josiel Perez

Josiel Perez graduated from ISA (Instituto Superior de Arte) with a Bachelor in music and art an emphasis in on trumpet. Perez was part of the cast for the movie CHEF 2015. In that year, he was the winner with the best song Latin/World Beat at The AKADEMIA. In 2007, Josiel traveled to Barbados to participate in a Master Class with the Youth Symphonic Orchestra, performing alongside Adrian Husband Boo and some of the greatest musicians the island had to offer.

Currently residing in Los Angeles, California, Josiel has performed alongside top-level musicians, Luis Conte, Haakon Graf, Rayford Griffin, Hans Zermuelen, Dan Lutz, Stan Sergeant, Walfredo Reyes Jr., Luis Eric Gonzalez, Kamasi Washington, Jimmy Branly, Raul Pineda, Sawa Perez, Joey De Leon. He also led, composed for, and arranging music for the Afro Cuban Jazz Project, a nationally known group produced by PJ Oliva, and formerly led by world renowned Cuban percussionist Long John Oliva who passed away in 2004. Finally, Josiel Perez graduated from Shepherd University with a MA in film scoring. The Longy MAT program will be a great opportunity for him to help communities through the music, and give back all the education and knowledge that he received all those years.

Adrian Rendon

Adrian Rendon

Adrian Rendon graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in music in the fall of 2015, where he studied harmony and ear training techniques alongside distinct sociopolitical aspects of music. Adrian was awarded the David and Diana Menn Memorial Prize in the Performing Arts for outstanding creative talent in the performing arts and the Mary Nunes Souza Music Award granted for his commitment to Mariachi Luz de Oro de Berkeley.

Adrian was a member of the musical ensemble Mariachi Luz de Oro de Berkeley, playing an active role as a performer, and music director. As the director, he taught various mariachi techniques found in sones and diverse regional genres such as huapango to the organization’s membership. This served as an avenue for community building by performing at socially conscious and cultural events including two culminating performances alongside world-renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan.

Adrian is also a passionate rock guitarist and enjoys teaching and learning guitar as well as mixing different rock subgenres with jazz and various non-western styles of music. He has been a part of African Music ensemble under the guidance of C.K. Ladzekpo as well as Javanese Gamelan Ensemble.

“I hope to gain a wider understanding on the theory and practice of teaching in the context of El Sistema and even out education in regards to privilege. Through this, I hope to teach music to people from underprivileged backgrounds and develop their potential for us to grow together as musicians and people.”

Emily Rutherford

Emily Rutherford

Emily Rutherford is a composer from Denver, Colorado. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition from Westmont College and has done extensive composing and arranging for a wide variety of ensembles. Her music has been performed and recorded throughout the U.S. as well as internationally, and her works include choral music, orchestral music, chamber music, art song, and musical theater. An active cellist, singer, and conductor, Emily has performed with an assortment of musical ensembles in both California and her home state of Colorado.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Emily lived in Santa Barbara and began building a career as an educator. Alongside her private cello and composition studios, she taught classroom strings in a private school and served as a cello coach for the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony Junior Strings. She also worked as a lower strings Teaching Artist for the Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN), an El Sistema-inspired program that provides free, high quality arts education to children. Her time at iCAN inspired her to pursue a Master’s program rooted in the philosophy of El Sistema.

“I am excited for the unique experience that the MAT program provides to build my skills and grow alongside my cohort. Ultimately, I hope to be equipped for success in the classroom so that I can better serve my future students. Along the way, I hope to gain the tools to explore the intersection between education and composition.”