The Bob Cole Honors Festival provides a unique opportunity for High School students from grades 10-12 to interact and collaborate with guest solo artists, composers, and conductors. Festival participants will receive section coaching and masterclasses from the invited artists and other festival faculty.
Honors Festival string participants will not only perform as a large ensemble but will also perform as string quartets making the festival truly a unique experience for these students. High School music teachers will have an opportunity for Masterclass workshops about rehearsal and conducting techniques. Truly the Bob Cole Festival offers something unique and enriching for everyone who participates.
The Bob Cole Honors Wind Symphony is an ensemble made of the most talented wind musicians in Southern California. The Wind Symphony, under the direction of Professor John Carnahan, will host world-renowned guest solo artist Eric Marienthal on Saxophone. Eric will not only solo with the ensemble but will also give a Masterclass to Honors Festival students. Ensemble members will receive section coaching from our festival faculty and present a celebration concert for family and friends at the conclusion of the festival.
The Bob Cole Honors Concert Choir is an ensemble made of the most talented vocal musicians in Southern California. The Concert Choir, under the direction of Dr. Joshua Palkki, will host renowned conductor and arranger Dr. Iris Levine. Levine will work closely with Dr. Palkki to present a truly unique rehearsal and performance experience in preparing one of Dr. Levine’s arrangements for the closing concert. Ensemble members will receive section coaching from our festival faculty and present a celebration concert for family and friends at the conclusion of the festival.
The Bob Cole Honors String Chamber is an ensemble made of the most talented string musicians in Southern California. The String Chamber Ensemble, under the direction of Professor Moni Simeonov, will host world-renowned violinist Bing Wang, Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She will not only solo with the ensemble but will also give a Masterclass to Honors Festival students. Ensemble members will receive section coaching from our festival faculty and present a celebration concert for family and friends at the conclusion of the festival.
Coming from a musical family, trombonist Andy Martin launched his career while still in his teens. His technique and virtuosity quickly established him on the Los Angeles music scene. As an instructor, Martin has influenced countless young players. He has appeared at many colleges and universities throughout the country as a guest artist and clinician.
A world-class jazz musician, Martin is featured as leader or co-leader on twelve albums. These albums showcase his collaboration with other top jazz artists such as the late Carl Fontana, Pete Christlieb, Bobby Shew, and Eric Marienthal. He has also collaborated as a sideman with jazz greats such as Stanley Turrentine and Horace Silver. Martin had a long association with British bandleader and jazz promoter Vic Lewis, and was the featured soloist on many of Vic’s CDs.
Martin is well-known for his work as a lead player and featured soloist with virtually every big band in L.A. Martin is the lead trombonist and featured soloist with Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, the lead trombonist and soloist for The Tom Kubis Band, and was a featured soloist for the Bill Holman Big Band for 15 years. He has appeared in bands led by Jack Sheldon, Louis Bellson, Quincy Jones, Matt Cattingub, Bob Curnow, Patrick Williams, and Sammy Nestico, among others.
Martin has long been one of L.A.’s most prominent trombonists for commercial recordings, television and motion picture soundtracks and live theater. He has contributed on albums for many popular artists, including the Pussycat Dolls, Coldplay, and Michael Bublé. His television credits include the Grammys, the Emmys, the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Martin has been the lead trombonist on television shows Dancing With The Stars and American Idol, and has appeared regularly on the soundtracks of major television series such as Family Guy, American Dad, and King of the Hill. His motion picture credits span the soundtracks of over 150 major films.
Iris S. Levine
Nationally recognized for her excellence in choral conducting, Dr. Iris S. Levine is founder and artistic director of VOX Femina Los Angeles, L.A.’s premier women’s chorus. Through her extensive experience with women’s choral literature, and innovative concert programming, Dr. Levine has charted VOX Femina on an impressive 20-year journey, building its prominence in the choral community by way of numerous appearances at ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) conventions, and over 200 appearances throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Dr. Levine is the Interim Dean of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. Now in her 28th year at Cal Poly, Dr. Levine served as Department Chair and Professor of Music and conducted the Kellogg Chamber Singers, taught Beginning Conducting, Choral Conducting and Music Education courses. Dr. Levine earned her Doctorate in Choral Music from the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Rod Eichenberger and James Vail, and she holds a Masters degree in Choral Conducting from Temple University in Philadelphia, where she studied with Alan Harler.
Dr. Levine is the Artistic Director for the Master Chorus at Stephen S. Wise Temple, where her choral arrangements are frequently performed. Dr. Levine authored the chapter on "Working with the Women’s Community Choir" in the 2012 GIA publication: Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success. Dr. Levine is the editor for the Iris S. Levine Treble Choral Series with Pavane Publishing and is highly sought-after as guest clinician and adjudicator for choral festivals throughout the country.
Taiwanese-American violist Che-Yen Chen has established himself as an active performer and educator. He is a founding member of the Formosa Quartet, recipient of the First-Prize and the Amadeus Prize winner of the 10th London International String Quartet Competition. Since winning the First-Prize in the 2003 William Primrose International Viola Competition and the "President Prize" of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, Chen has been described by Strad Magazine as a musician whose "tonal distinction and essential musicality produced an auspicious impression," and by San Diego Union Tribune as an artist whose "most impressive aspect of his playing was his ability to find not just the subtle emotion, but the humanity hidden in the music."
Having served as principal violist of the San Diego Symphony for eight seasons, he is principal violist of the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra and has appeared as guest principal violist with Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. A former member of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two and participant of the Marlboro Music Festival, he is a member of Camera Lucida, Concertante Chamber Players and The Myriad Trio, which just released its debut album The Eye of Night. Chamber music festival appearances include the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music International, La Jolla Summerfest, Seattle Chamber Music Society and Taiwan Connection. In the summer of 2013, Formosa Quartet inaugurated their Formosa Chamber Music Festival in Hualien, Taiwan.
Currently teaching at both USC Thornton and California State University, Fullerton, Chen has previously served on the faculties of Indiana University South Bend, UC San Diego, San Diego State University and McGill University. He has taught and performed in programs such as National Youth Orchestra Canada, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Camp, and Mimir Festival, and has given masterclasses at the Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Longy School of Music, Rice University, University of Tennessee, University of Missouri Kansas City, UC Santa Barbara and various universities in Taiwan. As a laureate, Chen was invited to serve on the jury of the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition.
A native of Taipei, Chen is a four-time winner of the National Viola Competition in Taiwan. He came to the U.S. in his teens to matriculate at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, studying with such luminaries as Michael Tree, Joseph de Pasquale, Karen Tuttle and Paul Neubauer.