| || ||John Allen|
Upright Bass & Bass Guitar
Bassist John Allen has been grooving the Central Oregon
music scene since 1998. His versatility is evident in the genres that he
plays (jazz, classical and pop) and that he plays both upright & electric
bass. John performs with Valori Farrell, The Groove Merchants, Deco Moon Jazz,
Michelle Van Handel, Rich Hurdle, Kate MacKenzie and most recently, Downhill
In his former career as an orchestral musician he shared the
stage with Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern, Al Jarreau, Doc Severinsen, and Arturo
Sandoval among many others.
| || ||Julia Bastuscheck|
Violin, Viola, & Cello
Julia Bastuscheck moved to Bend in September 2009 after
retiring from a 21-year career teaching beginning strings and orchestra in
Juneau, Alaska. She currently teaches at the Cascade School of
Music, where she is conductor of the Desert Sage Orchestra, a string ensemble
for developing musicians, and is a teacher of the Awesome After School Orchestra
program. Julia is co-conductor of the Central Oregon Youth
Orchestra, a symphony orchestra for musicians ages 6-18.
Julia received her B.A. in music at Western Washington
University, where she studied viola with Charmian Gadd and chamber music and
orchestra with Barton Frank. She enrolled at the University of
Washington in 1985 to complete her teaching certification, and studied viola and
chamber music with acclaimed violist Paul Coletti.
Julia plays viola in the Central Oregon Symphony, the North
State Symphony in Chico/Redding, CA, and flies up to Alaska to play with the
| || ||Rick Buckley|
Rick took his first piano lesson in Norfolk VA. back in the late 60s before moving to Chicago where he became a part of the progressive rock scene over the next 20 years. His inspirations were acts like ELP, Moody Blues, Kansas, and Genesis, who wove a tapestry of classical and rock music. Rick performed his own similar brand of music and unique arrangements of, and variations on, classical music in a rock band format for nearly a decade in and around Chicago. Since moving to Bend, Rick has toured with the 234th Army Band and can be found around Central Oregon playing in local clubs in the 80s rock band FunBobby. He has served as Musical Director for 7 different musical theater productions, adapting musical scores for rock combos in productions of Evil Dead: The Musical, Disaster!, Reefer Madness: The Musical, and the rock opera Tommy. He's also a sponsor for the Sunriver Musical Festivals annual Piano Showcase, held at the Tower Theater. Five decades after taking his first piano-lesson, it's his first piano teacher he thinks of most often, with fondness and appreciation. He aspires to send his students into each of their futures, with love for all types of music. His biggest hope...that all of his students will still be playing and enjoying music five decades after taking THEIR first piano-lesson.
| || ||Seth Burrows|
Guitar & Bass Guitar
Originally from Breckenridge, Colorado, Seth has been playing guitar for 30 years, and teaching for 25 years. Inspired by instrumental rock virtuosos like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, Seth attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. While at Berklee, he was taught by Bruce Bartlett, Tomo Fujita, Kevin Barry, and Pat Pattison. He Graduated Summa Cum Laude. After Berklee, Seth lived in Nashville for several years, playing guitar, producing demo recordings and learning about guitar building. Since moving to Central Oregon in 2013, he has had stints in several groups, and has been the guitar player for a handful of musical theater productions, including Avenue Q, Evil Dead the Musical, and RENT. His guitar lessons emphasize developing the student's ear, cultivating their innate creativity, and giving them the tools they need to become a great musician, not just a great guitar player.
| || ||Aaron Elston|
Guitar & Bass Guitar
Aaron Elston is a professional musician and native of Bend, OR. He has been
playing his guitar, loudly, for anyone that would listen for the last 15
years and professionally for 7 of those. During that time, Aaron
attended South Plains College (SPC) in Levelland, TX, where he earned a
degree in commercial music with an advanced degree in guitar. At SPC, he
earned accolades such as bluegrass and pop instrumentalist of the year.
He has been the guitar slinger in several different bands throughout
the years, including his most recent band, Sol Tax, and his solo
“Blues-Stomp” project, The Breaker. Proficient in many styles of guitar,
Aaron’s focus on teaching is the role of the guitar in modern music.
Rock, country, blues, and funk are among his favorite genres to dig
into. He views the guitar as an ever-changing and versatile platform,
and strives to achieve all manner of tones, moods, and feelings from the
instrument. Working hard every day to achieve a level of mastery, to
transcend being just another guitarist, is what motivates him to play
and pushes him to help others learn.
| || ||Matt Gwinup|
Classical Guitar, Guitar, Ukulele, & Piano
Matt Gwinup started his musical
life at age five, on the piano, which he continued to study until age sixteen.
During those years he participated in numerous festivals and competitions,
mostly in Bend, Oregon where he grew up. At age twenty Matt
moved to Ashland, Oregon to pursue his Bachelor of Arts in
Music Performance from Southern Oregon University, which he received in 2007.
During his time at SOU his musical focus was classical guitar but he also took
part in many other ensembles on campus, including: Guitar quartet, Jazz
ensemble, Jazz combo, Concert Choir, Indonesian gamelan ensemble, West African
drumming ensemble, and on a few occasions, Percussion ensemble. He also
performed in many Master classes for visiting guitarists, the last of which was
for composer/performer Andrew York. Since his graduation Matthew has been
teaching and performing. Immediately after graduating he taught Beginning
Guitar at SOU for the 2007-2008 school year. In the Spring of 2008, Matt was
hired to perform in the Oregon Cabaret Theatres production of the musical
comedy Altar Boyz. During this time he continued performing with the Ashland
Guitar Quartet, a group that evolved from the SOU Guitar Quartet directed by
David Rogers. Their most recent performances were at the Oregon Shakespeare
Festival Green Show in the fall of 2010. Matthew also took part in the Camelot
Theatre company’s production of “Always, Patsy Cline” in the Fall of 2010, a
musical comedy full of classic country tunes. After teaching at SOU, Matt
taught private lessons to students in Ashland
and Medford, Oregon. He also performed around the Rogue
Valley at wineries, art galleries, special events, private parties, weddings,
musicals, and just on the street.
| || ||Julie Hanney|
Kindermusik Educator, Piano, & Ukulele
Julie Hanney has had a long and varied career in music including being a piano teacher, published composer, gospel choir director, school music teacher, arranger, church praise team director, licensed Kindermusik Instructor and more. She received a B.A. in Music from the University of Oregon's School of Music where she focused on composition and piano and she did graduate work in composition. When Julie isn't sharing her passion for music with her students she is over at Bend Church United Methodist where she is the Director of Children and Family Ministries as well as the Contemporary Music Director. She firmly believes in the power of music and how it benefits everyone of all ages. In her spare time she loves kayaking, camping, hiking, reading, baking, and watching old shows like the Twilight Zone.
| || ||Jonathan Harnum|
Trumpet, Guitar, Percussion, Djembe, Conga, & Beginning Band Instruments (Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, French Horn)
Jon has been playing trumpet for over 40 years, guitar for over 20 years, and has been a teacher both in the public schools and privately for over 25 years. He has a BA (U of O), MA and Ph.D. (Northwestern University) in music education, with a research focus on practice and community music. Jon has also written several popular books on music (www.sol-ut.com) which his students receive free of charge. Jon’s lessons emphasize creativity, improvisation, and practice efficiency, and help students build a solid foundation in all 5 musical elements. Most importantly, Jon believes lessons should be fun, engaging, and rewarding. Jon plays around Bend in several groups, most frequently with The Hot Club of Bend (trumpet & guitar), Big Band Jazz at COCC (which he directed in the fall of 2018), and Cascade Winds Symphonic Band. You might also hear him sitting in with Chiringa, The Nomads, or other groups around Bend.
| || ||Meagan Iverson|
Meagan Iverson holds degrees in piano performance and theory and taught private music lessons in southern Oregon for many years emphasizing music theory, piano lessons, and audition coaching for teenagers and adults. With experience as Music Director, Conductor, Accompanist for professional and regional theaters in Ashland, she dove into the thriving central Oregon music community by music directing productions at 2nd Street Theater, Cascades Theatrical Company, cocktail cabarets, and accompanying the Central Oregon Mastersingers, Academie de Ballet Classique, and multiple churches and schools. Meagan also works for Guitar Center digital marketing and year-round in production for the Sunriver Music Festival.
| || ||Meshem Jackson|
Percussion & Drums
Professional musician Meshem Jackson has a passion for
drumming and teaching drums. Meshem grew up in the island town of Ketchikan, Alaska where he started playing drums on a “practice pad” in the 5th
grade. He eventually moved up to a full drum set in junior high school. Meshem played in many ensembles in high school and at Central Oregon Community College, including
concert bands, chorales, marching bands, winds ensembles, and jazz bands. Meshem led many of the percussion
sections, where he discovered that he really enjoys performing and showing others how to obtain skills in drumming. His mentors saw his
strength in instruction and encouraged him to teach as
well as perform.
Today, Meshem performs with various artists from Seattle to Los Angeles to
Nashville, as well as several musicians and bands in Central Oregon. When he is not
performing he actively pursues his other passion – music education. Meshem has
been on the faculty at Cascade School of Music since 2011, where he teaches private
lessons to students ages five through adults, from beginner to advanced. Meshem also teaches several of the School’s various drum ensembles and most recently the
Musician’s Path introductory summer class in Drums.
Meshem exudes enthusiasm for all-things drums. He states, “I am always excited to have
the opportunity to work with students on their journey as musicians. It can be
fun and inspiring for everyone involved.”
| || ||Randy McRill|
Randy McRill holds a Master of Music degree in
Composition from California State University, Fullerton, where he also studied piano. Having been a guitarist
since youth, he has been in many bands and began songwriting at a young age. He has
written, performed, and recorded 6 CDs: The Rithian Fast songs (acoustic rock);
and the solo piano works "Glimpses" and "Rills," as well as
being the author of two published novels: “The Self-Story of Rithian Fast” and
“Fabled in Dividualism,” and a textbook on Songwriting, written for an online
high school. He has enjoyed teaching Music and English as a Second
Language at various educational institutions, and lives happily and humbly
with his sweet wife. He is currently teaching various
guitar courses including the Guitar Orchestra at Cascade School of Music
in Bend, Oregon. To learn more about Randy, check out his website: http://www.rithianfast.com/index.html
| || ||Carson Perl|
Upright Bass, Violin, & Piano, Emerging Educator Program
Carson started studying music at the Cascade School of Music in the 4th grade and is now a local college student with notable musical experience and aspirations for a career in music technology. Carson started playing the violin at age seven, grew to love classical music, and, at age nine, he began piano lessons, completed all ten levels of syllabus repertoire by age 16. Furthermore, he started playing upright bass in middle school, and is his primary instrument to this day. Carson has performed in numerous invitational ensembles such as the All-State Orchestra, All-Northwest Orchestra, and Western International Band Clinic, as well as placing top-five in the Oregon State Solo Competition for several years in high school. He is also a current member of the Central Oregon Symphony.
| || ||Sharon Schwatka|
Violin & Piano
Sharon Schwatka grew up in a family of musicians right outside of San Diego, California and has been a professional musician from the early age of 14! Starting young with piano lessons, Sharon soon taught herself many other instruments including fiddle, mandolin and vocal harmonization in her family band. Featured in the United Service Organizations, Sharon was blessed to have traveled across the nation, entertaining for active duty military and recruits. Then, touring with bands, Sharon learned to appreciate every type of music, from multi-cultural influences to classical music. Bring yourself (whether beginner spirit or advanced player) of any age to a place of acceptance, challenge, and creativity! All lessons are completely tailored to your individualism. Thirty years music teacher on piano, violin, and other instruments with a heavy emphasis on music theory.
| || ||Julian Simmons|
Cello & Violin, Emerging Educator Program
Julian Simmons started his music studies at the age of 5 with the violin and transitioned to the cello at age 8. At the age of 17, he has been a member of the Central Oregon Youth Orchestra, played at Carnegie Hall, participated in State and All-State individual and group competitions, and has been voted the 10th best high school cellist in Oregon by the Music Educators Association. Julian is currently a member of the Central Oregon Symphony. His teaching experience has been developed in his co-teaching role with our Awesome After School Orchestra and Summer Strings programs for the past 3 years. In addition to supporting student classroom experiences, he has been providing private lessons over the past 4 years. Julian is a very professional, polite, and helpful educator with a great passion towards teaching and music.
| || ||Rebecca Hillary Smith|
Harp, Piano, & Ukulele
Rebecca Hilary Smith ("Becky") went to grade school in Sisters, high school in Redmond, and college at COCC before hopping the Cascades, graduating from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Music in 1986.Although involved in singing and piano playing from a young age, she took up study of the harp while at U of O and now counts it as her primary instrument. Her splendidly checkered music career since then has included 5 years of teaching as a music specialist in the public schools, directing a church choir, doing an after-school music program for young children, and playing folk and classical music in various small groups and orchestras. She and her husband just returned from 11 years in Hawaii where she freelanced full-time as a harpist and private teacher. When not relearning the many words for "snow" "ice"and "cold", she looks forward to finding many new friends in Central Oregon, finishing a CD, and teaching private harp lessons.
| || ||Jeff Woodruff|
Teaching ukulele with Bend-La Pine School District for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years, Jeff builds on what the student is already doing well. A strong desire to develop rhythm, timing, technique and ensemble players, Jeff looks for that 'A-HAH!' moment when a student experiences an inspirational breakthrough. Drawing on a background as diverse as Central Oregon Symphony to Bend Ukulele Group (BUGs), Jeff has worked with bands including Anvil Blasters, The Reputations, Range Benders and Whiskey Jacks. As one of the original members of BUGs and the founder of High Country Ukulele Players (HICUPS) serving south Deschutes County, Jeff is clearly devoted to the people, players and the instrument. A Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), he possesses a keen sense of 'body language' and the ability to keep interactions positive. Membership in the local Toastmasters chapter has provided him with leadership proficiency and ways to achieve outcome-based objectives. Jeff has been playing for close to ten years with an impulse to learn, innovate, experiment and draw a variety of tones and percussive elements from this little gem of an instrument. From Hawaiian, folk, traditional and gospel styles, Jeff can get a group strumming and singing, in a way that makes people want to smile, dance and play! His background as a drummer and bassist support his strengths as a disciplined, rhythmic player. His focus as a teacher is more on whatever it takes to inspire the student, and bring smiles to their young faces. A bit of music theory is presented as your student grows in their learning, and begins to make sense of how that develops the brain - and the person - as they mature in their own unique ways.
| || ||Adam Zukaitis|
Piano Faculty Member
Adam has always had a love and passion for music. Growing up in Bend, his first musical experiences were taking piano lessons in elementary school, playing percussion at High Desert Middle School, and singing bass at Bend Senior High School. While formative and influential, music at this early age was approached very casually and recreationally. It wasn't until picking the piano back up in his mid-twenties that Adam began to pursue music more seriously and with a career in mind. In 2009, Adam moved to Eugene, OR, and began studying music at Lane Community College, where he focused on jazz performance and shared the stage with amazing musicians such as Donny McCaslin, Randy Porter, and Mike Williams. After earning a Two-Year Music Certificate and being awarded the “Outstanding Musical Growth” award, Adam transferred to the School of Music and Dance at the University of Oregon. While at U of O, Adam had the opportunity to perform with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra; work with artists-in-residence Matthew Halls and Simon Carrington; and participate in the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium where he worked with Grammy winning artists Craig Hella Johnson, Stephen Hartke, and members of the acclaimed vocal ensemble Roomful Of Teeth. After graduating from U of O with a B.S. in Geography and a Minor in Music, Adam moved back to Bend in 2015 and quickly reconnected with an old friend and began playing gigs as a jazz duo. Craving more noise and energy, Adam formed the funk band The Same Coin in early 2017, and is also a member of the jazz fusion band Groovasaur. Outside of music, Adam is a cliché Bendite who loves to hike, ski, rock climb, cycle, and further explore our cozy little mountain playground. He also loves a good book and his cat, Michio.
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