Music Teachers

 

Jazz Improv

 

Chris Stevens

​Chris Stevens began teaching at Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 1996 after many years as a full-time professional drummer and percussionist, playing regularly at Disneyland as well as freelancing in a wide variety of musical styles throughout southern California. He graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from CSU Fullerton, and earned his teaching credential at CSU Long Beach.

 

Chris was named the  KKJZ 88.1FM Jazz Educator of the Year for 2014. He directs the jazz program at Long Beach Poly which includes over 120 students in 4 different curricular classes. He also directs the Marching Band and teaches AP Music Theory in addition to Piano. He recently finished an extensive service on the board of the California Alliance for Jazz in various capacities,including President. He directed the SCSBOA All-Southern Junior High Jazz All-Stars in 2007, and the Orange USD Middle School Honor Band in 2016. Chris has presented clinics on various topics at SCSBOA and CASMEC Conferences, as well as adjudicated many jazz festivals. Chris continues to play and perform as well as maintain a private teaching studio at his home in Lakewood.

Jimmy Emerzian

Jimmy Emerzian is a freelance musician and educator based in Los Angeles and originating from Selma, CA.  With a musical approach that balances introspective creativity and bold energy, he has found success as a saxophonist and writer in many styles of jazz and commercial music.  In addition to leading his own gigs and acting as a sideman with groups such as the the Ron King Big Band, Elliot Deutsch Big Band, Teryn Ré Big Band, and Eon Burchman Quartet, his performance credits include: vocal legend Engelbert Humperdinck, Matthew Morrison (GLEE), A.J. McLean (Backstreet Boys), Jordin Sparks (American Idol), Bobby Caldwell, Dianne Schuur, The 10,000 Maniacs, Swing Out Sister, Gregg Karukas, Jeff Jarvis, Patrick Williams, Van Alexander, Ralph Carmichael, Tim Simonec, and Tierney Sutton.

 

Jimmy is on the Jazz Studies faculty at CSULB’s Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, where he teaches jazz improvisation, theory, arranging, and combos.  He is also active as a clinician and woodwind coach at various schools in his area.  Jimmy has studied with Gary Foster, Billy Higgins, Harold Land, Kenny Burrell, Tom Ranier, Bobby Rodriguez, Jeff Clayton, Jeff Jarvis, Sal Lozano, Bill Liston, Mike Dana, Paul Shaghoian, Mark Ribera, and Larry Honda.

Doug Carter

Doug Carter grew up in Long Beach, California in a musical family.  His parents are both classical violinists, and his grandfather was, along with his brothers, a member of nationally renown Tamburitza Orchestra, the Crlenica Brothers. Doug's musical journey started at the age of 5, when he began learning the piano.  He ultimately gravitated toward styles of African-American music like Jazz, Soul, and R&B, and has been performing since high school.  He attended CSULB and earned a double major in jazz performance and philosophy. Following graduation with degrees in these two particularly lucrative fields of study, he waited eagerly for his ship to come in.

He performs regularly around Southern California with the Ryan Rost Trio, the Stonecutters, the Soul Foundation, Belle and the Beast, and his own ensembles.

Drew Zaremba

Drew Zaremba is quickly earning a worldwide reputation as a passionate conductor, award-winning writer, and fiery performer.  As a writer, he has composed and arranged pieces for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Wycliffe Gordon, Lee Loughane of “Chicago”, Chuck Findley, Eddie Gomez, Stefan Karlsson, Brad Leali, the Vietnam Classical Players, and Erin Dickins of the Manhattan Transfer.  In 2017, Drew spent two months as a composer-in-residence at the Contemporary Music Institute in Zhuhai, China, where he wrote a concert of music combining Chinese Opera and jazz.  He has published music through Sierra Music, and has recorded twenty of his pieces with the University of North Texas One and Two O’Clock Lab Bands.  As a performer and composer, Drew participated in the prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in 2013.  In 2015, Drew was awarded 1st prize of $10,000 in the Sherman/Barsanti Inspiration Award at the University of North Texas (UNT) for his premier concert with his orchestra, the Unity Orchestra, which featured Eddie Gomez. His original compositions “Race to the Finish” and “Blues for Gabe” have won awards through the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers award and the JEN student composers showcase, respectively.

 

Drew recently graduated from UNT with his master’s degree in jazz arranging and composition, where he played tenor and lead alto with the UNT One O’ClockLab Band, recorded on six One and Two O’ Clock Lab Band albums, directed the Four O’Clock Lab Band, and served as Rich DeRosa’s teaching fellow for the arranging program. While at UNT, he had the privilege to perform and work with Bobby McFerrin, John Clayton, Mike Clark, Carol Welsman, Walt Weiskopf, and Billy Harper. As a bandleader, Drew assembled The Jazz Fellowship Big Band his senior year, mixing some of the best students and faculty into one big band to play and record his compositions. They continue to perform in the DFW area today.

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Choral

 

Tammi Alderman

Tammi Alderman is director of Choral/Vocal Music at San Marino High School. She is also California State University Fullerton School of Music where she is a university supervisor for choral music education students. Ms. Alderman is head of the choral program at Arrowbear Summer Music Camp and is on the faculty the Choral Advantage Camp through the Pacific Chorale and CSU Fullerton.

Having taught college, high school and middle school choirs in Colorado and California for fifteen years, Ms. Alderman’s choirs consistently receive the highest ratings in festivals and competitions, locally and nationwide. Choirs under Ms. Alderman’s direction have toured Canada, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and China. Students from her choirs have been selected as members of honor choirs at regional, state, divisional and national levels in every year of her teaching.

Ms. Alderman has previously been on the choral faculty at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in choral repertoire, and at the University of Southern California where she conducted the Apollo Men’s Chorus. She holds both her Master and Bachelor degrees in Choral Conducting and Music Education from Washington State University where she studied with Drs. Lori Weist, Julie Wieck and Paul Klemme. Tammi is a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and is currently writing her dissertation on methods for teaching the selection of appropriate high school choral repertoire.

Eric Graham

Eric is in his 11th year as the Director of Choral and Vocal Music at Marina High School where he directs the Viking Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, Valkyrie Women’s Ensemble, Norseman Choir and the Siren Chorus. Under his direction the program has grown to include 150 singers, 7 choirs and various small singing groups. Eric received his Bachelor’s Degree in Choral-Vocal Music from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach.

He is currently working on his Masters of Music in Choral Conducting at California State University, Fullerton where he is the Assistant Conductor of the Titan Men’s Chorus and the Tenor Section Leader of the University Singers. He was recently recognized as one of the California League of High Schools Region 11 Educators of the Year. In the summers, Mr. Graham is on the choral faculty at Arrowbear Music Camp. He has studied conducting with Dr. Jonathan Talberg and Dr. Robert Istad, and voice with Dr. Katharin Rundus, Patricia Prunty and Robin Buck.

Stacey Kikkawa

Stacey Y. Kikkawa is the proud director of the Choral/Vocal Music Program at Beverly Hills High School, and is the Southern Representative for California Choral Directors Association. Ms. Kikkawa has led high school choirs in Northern and Southern California and has performed and placed in many Heritage festivals, Festival of Gold, and the Northern California Golden State Choral Competitions.  Ms. Kikkawa is completing her masters degree in choral conducting performance at California State University, Fullerton under Dr. Robert Istad, where she was the recipient of the Elliot and Kathleen Alexander Memorial Scholarship in 2012. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, and a Bachelor of Music in Performance with a dual emphasis in Conducting and Voice from Chapman University under Dr. William Hall and Margaret Dehning. Ms. Kikkawa also performs with the John Alexander Singers and Pacific Chorale.

Alex Koppel

 

~Collaborative Pianist~

Mr. Koppel is passionate about music and music education. He graduated from CSU Fullerton with a B.A. in Music Education (with dual emphasis on Choral Conducting and Voice) and an A.A. in Music (Piano emphasis) from Cabrillo College. He has conducted children’s and adult choirs, helped execute the artistic vision for one of the largest professional choirs in Los Angeles County, has taught music both privately and in classrooms throughout California, and served as faculty at music education programs, including Pacific Choral and Cabrillo College. Notably, he has sung under the baton of artists such as John Williams and Michael Tilson Thomas.

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1st Intermediate

Craig McKenzie

Band Conductor

Craig McKenzie is a Visiting Scholar and acting Assistant Director of Bands / Director of Athletic Bands at San José State University. His responsibilities at SJSU include directing the Spartan Pride Marching Band and Spartan Basketball Band, working with the Symphonic Band, teaching within the Music Education department, and supervising student teachers. Mr. McKenzie is currently pursuing a D.M.A. at the University of Miami, Frost School of Music where he studies instrumental conducting with Robert M. Carnochan. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master of Music with an emphasis in conducting from San José State University. During his time at San José State as a student, Mr. McKenzie also taught conducting classes and directed the Symphonic Band.

With sixteen years of middle school, high school, and college teaching experience, Mr. McKenzie most recently taught at Abraham Lincoln High School, a visual and performing arts school in San José, CA. His teaching duties included Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Concert Band ensembles, Mariachi, the Lion Pride Band, and two Jazz Bands. In addition, he directed the pit orchestra for each of the two musicals produced by Lincoln High School every year.

Mr. McKenzie is a long-standing member of the California Music Educators Association, the California Band Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the College Music Society. He was honored with the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Lincoln High School Foundation in 2012 and was recognized as Teacher of the Year by Lincoln High School in 2013.

Mike Martinez

Band Conductor

Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mike’s mom Yolanda loves telling the story of a five year old standing in front of the TV conducting the Boston Pop’s during their thanksgiving performance. In the fourth grade when band was first offered as an elective and thanks to dad’s luck one night playing poker, Mike got his first clarinet (he wanted a trombone…). In the seventh grade he was asked by his middle school band director, Mark Goodrum, at Harrison Middle School, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to conduct the National Anthem at a school assembly - and it was then that being a conductor became the goal. As a junior, became the drum major of his high school marching band and soon thereafter enlisted in the New Mexico National Guard as a clarinet player in the 44th Army Band. After a wise move to the Bay Area in 1995 and simultaneously transferring to the California National Guard, he honorably completed his military career with the 91st Division Band (Army Reserve) in 2001. This was also when Mike went back to college to get a music education degree and teaching credential from San Francisco State University, under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Busan.

 

Mike has been the Music Director at Kent Middle School since 2008 and has consistently instructed 400+/- students each school year in grades fifth through eighth in band, choir, jazz and rock. Other musical endeavors include: Conductor, First Intermediate Session at Arrowbear Music Camp; plays clarinet and is associate conductor of Deutscher Musikverein of San Francisco; winds and brass coach for the Marin Youth Symphony/Crescendo wind section and has twice conducted the MYSO winds as part of a MYSO performances; writes and arranges popular music for local rock/soul bands (Morgan, Lewis and Rockius and formerly Baby and the Luvies); and plays baritone sax in a saxophone quartet. In 2018, Marin Symphony name Mike as their county public school music teacher of the year. Mike lives in El Cerrito, California and is a proud husband and father to two fantastic boys, Xavier and Franklin.