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Recent Distinguished Graduates

The BCCM wishes to acknowledge our recent outgoing grad students:

Alyssa Miller

Portrait of Alyssa Miller.
Alyssa Miller.

Alyssa Miller, flute and piccolo, is a M.M. candidate at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music. Originally from San Jose, California, she is studying with John Barcellona and works for the department as a graduate assistant for the band program and the music appreciation classes. Alyssa teaches out of her own private studio and freelances throughout the Los Angeles area.

Alyssa received a B.M. in Performance from Biola University where she studied with Gary Woodward, former LA Opera’s principal flute, and graduated as a perpetual member of the Torrey Honors Institute. She won the Biola University Concerto Competition two times, first with The Ballade by Frank Martin and second with the Nielsen Flute Concerto. Other competition winnings include the Biola PRISM competition, which she won twice. Alyssa has been the recipient of multiple scholarships including the Missy Belton Service Award and Scholarship. She spends her summers attending various masterclasses and festivals. Most recently she attended Jim Walker’s Beyond the Masterclass in 2020.

Often appearing at anti-human trafficking fundraisers and events, Alyssa plays her own compositions to bring awareness about human trafficking. In 2018 she collaborated with anti-trafficking organizations Love Never Fails and the Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition to write Circles, an original composition she premiered at the advocacy event Art for Justice. Alyssa’s research interests fall at the intersection of music and philosophy/theology as well as flute pedagogy.

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Kyle Myers

Portrait of Kyle Myers.
Kyle Myers.

Kyle Myers is an award-winning composer, arranger, and saxophonist based in Los Angeles, California. From orchestras to wind bands to small jazz groups, Kyle’s compositions are sought after by ensembles and individuals of all skill levels from across the nation and have been featured by the USAF Airmen of Note, the San Diego Symphony, and many others.

As a saxophonist, Kyle has studied with Charles McPherson, Brad Leali, and Sal Lozano and has performed with artists such as Kenny Werner, Arturo Sandoval, Melissa Aldana, and Gilbert Castellanos. He was also a part of the University of North Texas’ famous One O’Clock Lab Band where both his saxophone playing and compositions were featured.

Kyle is currently working towards a M.M. in performance, Jazz Studies at CSU Long Beach and continues to write, perform, and work as a clinician.

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Sean J. O’Connell

Portrait of Sean O’Connell.
Sean J. O’Connell.

Born in Massachusetts and raised in Long Beach, Sean J. O’Connell has been a passionate student of American popular music since his first piano lesson at the age of five.

He is a graduate of the Orange County High School of the Arts and holds a bachelor’s degree in Ethnomusicology from UCLA.

He has written extensively for DownBeat magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and more defunct alternative weeklies than he can remember.

His book, Los Angeles’s Central Avenue Jazz, embodies his passion for the rich history of jazz in Southern California through archival photos as well as his own extensive collection of swinging ephemera.

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Maria Peñaloza

Portrait of Maria Peñaloza.
Maria Peñaloza.

Maria Peñaloza is a master’s student pursuing her degree in violin performance. Maria completed her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance in 2020 at the BCCM where she studied with Andrea Byers, a student of Ivan Galamian. She performed with the BCCM Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Johannes Müller Stosch, and the New Music Ensemble, directed by Alan Shockley.

Being a violin student at the Bob Cole Conservatory is an exhilarating and empowering experience. She loves the rigorous academic culture, musicianship, and fellowship that is cultivated here through the leadership of Dr. Stosch and violin studies director, Moni Simeonov.

She co-founded the Viva Learning Center in Lakewood, CA, where she teaches music classes. She also teaches privately and freelances in the Los Angeles and Orange county areas. Maria’s ultimate goal is to establish music studios for families in disadvantaged areas.

Maria knows the road to violin mastery continues to help her overcome limiting perspectives, to acquire higher thinking, and to obtain freedom, leading to a more enriching life for her and everyone she teaches.

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Tristan Perez

Portrait of Tristan Perez.
Tristan Perez.

Tristan Perez earned his B.A. in music composition from the College of Creative Studies at UCSB in 2018, studying with Leslie Hogan and Jeremy Haladyna. During his undergraduate studies, Tristan primarily composed for band, orchestra, and silent theater, playing an active role in the community by arranging and composing for local schools and youth programs. He helped found and operate the UCSB Pops Orchestra, a student-run orchestra designed to allow students to get hands-on experience conducting, orchestrating, running rehearsals, and planning concerts for the community. Their performances were well-received, consistently drawing an audience of over 200 people.

In 2020 Tristan founded the Philanthropic Philharmonic, a virtual orchestra composed of members from around the country dedicated to recording cover songs to generate revenue for various charities. Tristan’s current focus involves writing music to help people cope with various forms of stress. He is currently researching Eastern philosophy, meditation practices and breathing exercises to inform his music.

Tristan believes that the most enjoyable aspect of music is the community that it creates and strives to encompass this value in his work. He has composed and arranged for various ensembles in the United States and abroad including the University of Nevada, Reno Contemporary Music Ensemble, Orchestre à Vents Péro-Phonique, Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, Menifee Valley Middle School, Cate School, the Ojai Pops Orchestra, and the Pops Orchestra at UCSB.

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Andrew Wilcox

Portrait of Andrew Wilcox.
Andrew Wilcox.

Andrew Robert Wilcox was born in 1990 into a non-musical family in Lakewood, but after joining a choir in elementary school, he discovered a love for the art of making music. He attended Long Beach City College where he performed in various choirs and musicals. He studied with Roger Przytulski and developed an interest in composition. He continued his education at California State University, Fullerton, where he studied music with Ken Walicki, Lloyd Rodgers, and Pamela Madsen. After graduating, he began a career as a composer and sound designer for theater, cartoons, and video games.

In 2019, Andrew was admitted to the Bob Cole Conservatory where he studied with Raymond Torres-Santos, Alan Shockley, and this year, with Martin Herman. Andrew will be graduating with a M.M. in Composition in 2021, after which he plans to prepare for his doctorate. He is currently researching musical theater through the lens of film noir, which he will explore in his master’s thesis.

Andrew’s compositions have been played by the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, The CSUF New Music Ensemble, and the Newgate Ensemble. His music is frequently featured at the Long Beach Playhouse, STAGEStheatre, and All The World Wide Web’s A Stage, where he has written original scores for plays. He is currently working with the non-profit organization Philanthropic Philharmonic to produce orchestral covers of various songs.

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Patrick Williams

Portrait of Patrick Williams.
Patrick Williams.

Patrick Williams is a second-year master’s student studying horn with Dylan Hart. In his time at the BCCM, Patrick has been a member of the Conservatory Symphony, Wind Symphony, Brass Ensemble, and the University Woodwind Quintet. He especially enjoys performing and listening to atonal, new, and experimental music. To that end, he commissioned his fellow Amherst alumnus, Dan Langa, to write Existential Crisis, a horn quartet that he hopes to premiere at his graduate recital in 2021. In addition to his studies, Patrick also serves as the Graduate Assistant for Dr. Alicia Doyle, director of Graduate Studies at the BCCM.

Outside of music-making, Patrick also enjoys German exophonic literature and culture studies, 20th century expressionism, and German experimental music. In 2018, he presented a paper titled, "Reality and Time in Alban Berg’s Wozzeck" at the Five College German Studies Conference in Amherst, MA. A two-time alumnus of the Middlebury German School in Middlebury, VT, he returned in the summers of 2018 and 2019 to work as a Bilingual Assistant for the German School.

Patrick graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 2018 with a B.A. in Music and German. During his time at Amherst, his primary musical advisors included Jean Jeffries, David Schneider, and Klára Móricz. Since 2019, he has been a recipient of the Edward Poole Lay Fellowship.

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Lisa Yoshida

Portrait of Lisa Yoshida.
Lisa Yoshida.

Lisa Yoshida is a M.M. major in Violin Performance under the tutelage of Moni Simeonov. Last year, she was a member of the prestigious CSULB University String Quartet for the two-semester appointment. Lisa is passionate about contemporary music and has premiered in many student compositions, particularly with Chapman University’s New Music Ensemble, where she received the New Music Ensemble Award in May 2018.

Lisa was the only violinist awarded a scholarship to attend the Domaine Forget Music Festival’s New Music Program in Saint-Irénée, Québec in June 2019, where she collaborated with the Montréal-based group Ensemble Paramirabo. She was also awarded a scholarship to return. Additionally, Lisa served as the 1st violin coach at the Wildwood Music Institute in July 2019.

Lisa earned her B.M. in Violin Performance from Chapman University in 2019 and was a recipient of both the American Celebration Talent Scholarship for Music and the Henri Temianka Merit Scholarship. While at Chapman she completed a minor in French, and through her membership in the French Honor Society (Pi Delta Phi), she was the first Chapman student to receive the Mary E. Gutermuth Full Scholarship Award which enabled her to study French for 5 weeks at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.

Lisa is actively teaching in the Irvine area as a private instructor and as an Instructional Assistant in the Irvine Unified School District for elementary strings, winds, and choir classes. Irvine is her hometown.

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Alumni Kudos

The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music alumni include many great performers, composers, and teachers. Here is a sampling:

Jeffrey Reynolds, bass trombone; Chad Wackerman, drums; Wayne Bergeron, trumpet; Tom Kubis, saxophone/composer; Andy Martin, trombone; Penny Watson, music director (Arsenio Hall); John Ryther, composer; Dwayne VanWye, clarinet; Garrett List, trombone; Bill Nichols, trombone; Eugene Corporon, conductor; Jim Cox, piano; Mike Higgins, guitar; Brent Pierce, composer; John Patitucci, bass; Clarence Padilla, clarinet: Basil Poledouris, film composer; Alan Baer, tuba; Bumette Dillon, trumpet; David Metzger, bass/compose; Jay Anderson, bass; Gordon Peoke, drums; Jeff Kashiwa, saxophone; Sal Lozano, saxophone; Mike Whitman, saxophone; Lamoyne Taylor, saxophone; Darren Mulder, trumpet; Mitch Fennell, conductor; Anders Swanson, bass; Bill Liston, saxophone/composer; Richard and Karen Carpenter, "The Carpenters"; Rich Bullock, bass trombone; Arleen Auger, soprano; John Hollenbeck, trombone; Jon Lewis, trumpet; Jim Rotter, saxophone; Jane Ring Frank, choral conducting; Jo-Michael Scheibe, choral conducting—just to name a few!

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  • California State University, Long Beach
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