Master of Music, University of Los Angeles
Nicholas Casillas currently teaches saxophone and clarinet at CCSM, saxophone at Cathedral City High School, woodwinds at Paul Revere Middle School, and private woodwind instruction out of his house in Rancho Cucamonga.
He currently performs with his own jazz group the Cucamonga Collective around the local area. He can be seen monthly at Canters Kibitz room with the Adam Steinberg Jazz Collective. He also is musical Director of the Allan Wasserman Jazz Ensemble which performs monthly at Pinocchios Pizza in Pasadena. Nicholas plays clarinet and soprano sax with the group Swing Riots which has performed at the Coffee Gallery and Equinox Festival in Northridge. He recently formed a saxophone quartet which looks to make its debut in the near future.
Nicholas has also premiered new music and arrangements by Matt Brown, Ben Phelps, Dante De Silva, Nick Depinna, Isaac Shankler, Paul Reale, Aaron Rothe, Adam Roberts, Allen Menton, Ben Stapp, Evren Edler, Josh Salsbury, and Joseph Trapanese.
In the past year Nicholas has performed in musicals, Bar Mitzhvas, weddings, coffee Shops, jazz clubs and a theatre production about the life of the saxophonist, Sonny Rollins.
Master of Fine Arts, California Institute of the Arts
Hailed as “possessing rich, mellow flute playing, lovely lyrical style, and excellent breath control” by ClassicsToday.com, flutist Michelle Matsumune is a fourth generation Californian and an avid chamber music performer. In addition to concertizing regularly and releasing the CD Postcards with the woodwind trio Ceora Winds, she has released two CDs with the Resonance Flute Consort (Flute Tootin’ Yule and Lights, Camera, Flutes!), as well as Duo Arioso’s flute and harp CD of Medieval music entitled Cantico. Michelle performs as a singer and flautist for both the choral group Wagner Ensemble and the Independent Opera Company. As a soloist, Michelle has performed flute concerts in Europe, Mexico, and throughout the United States, and at music festivals in Mexico City and Geneva, Switzerland. She toured as the featured soloist with the Southern California Balinese Gamalan Group as well as with Persian pop singer Moein, and has worked closely with many contemporary composers including James Tenney, Eugene Kurtz, Adrienne Albert and Nancy Bloomer-Deussen. She is married to composer Mat Matsumune, and has premiered all of his flute works. Michelle studied flute with Peter Lloyd at Indiana University and received her MFA at California Institute of the Arts. She is the Woodwind Coach for the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra and teaches privately.
Bachelor of Music, California State University, Long Beach
DONNA MARIE MINANO, musician and music educator, is a veteran of all aspects of the musical stage in Southern California, from pit musician to singer to conductor. She received her bachelor’s degree in oboe performance from California State University, Long Beach.
She currently conducts the chorister program at Claremont United Methodist Church. From 1995 to 2003 she was Director of Music Ministries and choir director for Our Lady of the Assumption Church. During her tenure, her choirs traveled to Rome to perform at the Vatican.
As a vocalist, Mrs. Minano has performed onstage locally at the Candlelight Pavilion, Grove Theatre in Upland and Victoria Gardens Cultural Center in Rancho Cucamonga, and also with the chamber trio Seamless Achord and the IVRT Dickens Carolers.
Mrs. Minano teaches general music in the Claremont Unified School District. Besides teaching general music, Mrs. Minano teaches voice, recorder and oboe at the Claremont Community School of Music.
Mrs. Minano is general manager and co-founder with her husband Frank of the Inland Valley Repertory Theatre company (IVRT) which performs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Candlelight Pavilion in Claremont.
Mrs. Minano’s philosophy of teaching is influenced by Helen Kemp and David Osborn. Her ultimate goal is to to help students find their voice, and her mottos are “Body, mind, spirit, voice, it takes the whole person to sing and rejoice,” “Practice makes permanent” and “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Her greatest joy in life is hearing children make music, especially her two beautiful and talented daughters Amanda and Katherine.
Master of Education, University of Florida
Bachelor of Music, Stetson University.
Studied with Paul Jenkins, Willis Bodine, Anton Heiler, Gustaf Leonhardt. Orff-Schulwerk Training, UC Riverside. Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honorary; American Association of Orff-Schulwerk; American Recorder Society.
Clarinet (Master Teacher)
Doctor of Musical Arts, Clarinet Performance, University of Southern California
Master of Music, Clarinet Peformance, Yale School of Music
Bachelor of Science, Music Education, Lebanon Valley College
Dr. Wellwood has performed in orchestras and chamber groups throughout the United States. He is currently principal clarinetist with the Torrance Symphony Orchestra and bass clarinetist with the American Concert Winds/ Long Beach Municipal Band. He has recently performed on the Distinguished Faculty Concert Series at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. Other recent performances include the Long Beach Opera, Symphony in the Glen, the Hollywood Bowl (American Concert Winds), the Zipper Orchestra, the Redlands Symphony Orchestra, and the IAMS Faculty Concert Series. His appearances as a soloist have included concerts with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band, and the Pomona College Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Wellwood is on the faculty of La Sierra University, the Bellflower Institute of Art Music and Science, the Claremont Community School of Music, and the Colburn School of Performing Arts. He is a member of SYMF and MTAC, where he serves on the Board of Directors and as the VOCE Chair for the MTAC San Gabriel Valley Branch. He has completed studies with Yehuda Gilad, David Shifrin, David Howard and Kalman Bloch.