Jocelyn Francis

Instrument: Cello

Program: Orchestra Program

Matthew Keating


Programs:Orchestra Program, Suzuki Strings

  Our Faculty

Matthew Keating began cello studies as a young student at CCSM. After deciding to pursue music as a career, Matthew graduated with a B.M. in performance from California State University Northridge and attended the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen in Germany.

Not your garden-variety cellist, Matthew can be seen performing baroque, classical, and rip-snorting, knee slappin' tunes that challenge the traditional perception of cello performance.

Matthew also appears in performance as a conductor having worked with many orchestras across the globe specializing in youth orchestra education and development. He was a former director of the Punahou school orchestra program in Honolulu, HI working with over 500 students in 8 different orchestras. Performing with the Honolulu symphony, Matthew also toured to the various Hawaiian islands working with the community and bringing live orchestral performances to unique non-traditional public venues.

Matthew is the Executive Director at the Claremont Community School of Music where he continues to pursue his passion for music education with students of all ages and backgrounds working to preserve the arts for future generations.

Outside of music, Matthew is blessed with a wonderful family spending time with his beautiful and talented wife Jessica, daughter Colette and newborn baby Clara. Matthew is also an avid food truck connoisseur, and in his spare time, he enjoys a good weekend backyard southern BBQ.

Benjamin Pendergrass

Instruments: Bass, String, Bass, Electric

  Our Faculty

Bachelors of Music, University of Los Angeles

Masters of Music, University of Los Angeles 


Ben Pendergrass is a freelance bassist and bass teacher living in Los Angeles.  He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCLA studying double bass performance with Chris Hanulik. He currently performs regularly with the Pacific Opera Project and has been touring with Grammy winning cellist Antonio Lysy playing in his show Te Amo Argentina. He has also performed as a sub with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in concerts at Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl and has performed in the Lark Music Society’s Dilijan chamber music series. At UCLA, he was the winner of the Atwater Kent string concerto competition in 2010 and performed the Koussevitzky bass concerto with the UCLA Philharmonia in concerts at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall and at LACMA’s Bing Theater. In the summer of 2012, he was one of a small group of UCLA string players given the opportunity to attend Incontri in Terra di Sienna music festival outside of Montepulciano, Italy. In junior and senior years in high school, Ben was a member of the Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra and during college was member of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra. Outside of classical music, Ben enjoys playing jazz with his dad and brother and playing electric bass in his church’s worship band.

Dustin Seo

Instrument: Cello

Program: Orchestra Program

  Our Faculty

Dustin Seo is a cellist based in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he received his Bachelor's of Music, with distinction, in cello performance under the tutelage of Professor Alan Harris. Along with his performance studies, Dustin has received an honors academic major in Musical Arts as well as a Certificate in Arts Leadership.

Dustin’s interest as a cellist and artist lies in the performance and presentation of modern masterworks written in the 20th and 21st centuries. Dustin has served as the 2016-17 President of OSSIA New Music at the Eastman School of Music. He has worked with established composers such as Sydney Hodkinson, Chaya Czernowin, Jo Kondo, and Steve Reich as well as with many emerging young composers. Furthermore, as an avid chamber musician, Dustin has studied and performed alongside with musicians such as the JACK Quartet, members of the American Modern Ensemble, members of Bent Frequency, and many LA based chamber musicians.

As a teacher, Dustin has an undying passion to share his love for music with all his students, and strongly believes that every student deserves the opportunity to explore their inner artistry and musicianship. Along with private instruction, Dustin has served as a cello assistant at Harmony Project in Los Angeles, and serves as a faculty Cellist at the Southeast Asia Music Festival, in Bukidnon, Philippines.

In his free time, Dustin enjoys listening to all kinds of music, from Jazz to Hip-Hop, read modern fiction by authors like Haruki Murakami and Cesar Aria, and exploring Los Angeles and all its cultural gems, from its museums to its artisan coffee shops, and everything in between.