Krista Aasland
Woodwind & Piano Faculty Member
Krista Aasland began her music career at Boise State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Music, Magna Cum Laude.  She was then offered a teaching assistantship at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and received her Master of Music in Flute Performance degree.  

    John Allen
Strings Faculty Member
Bassist John Allen has been groovin� 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 Ryder.   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
Strings Faculty Member
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 Juneau Symphony. 

    Jonathan Bourke
Strings Faculty Member
Jonathan Bourke has spent 15 years playing the guitar. He graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle with a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Jazz Guitar Performance where he focused on studying Jazz, Brazilian, Funk, Rock, and Blues guitar. There, he played and studied with Seattle greats such as Jovino Santos Neto and Chuck Deardorf. Jonathan has taught guitar and worked as a freelance musician/hired accompanist in Seattle, Portland, and in Bend. Jonathan currently leads the Jon Bourke Quartet/Trio and plays in the 9-piece Funk/Soul-Jazz Band "The Cutmen." He has also played in the COCC Jazz Band and COCC Jazz Choir.

    Seth Burrows
Strings Faculty Member
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.

    Amy Conklin
Piano & Voice Faculty Member
Amy Conklin has been taking piano lessons since she was 6 years old and has taught private piano lessons since 2014. Throughout high school, she studied under Peter Brownlee in Bend, OR. During this time, Amy completed the 10 levels of OMTA Syllabus as well as participated in many competitions and festivals in the area. Amy went on to study Music Education at Pensacola Christian College under the direction of Artist in Residence Mrs. Daisy Jaffé. Amy has also studied voice, and had the opportunity to travel across the country performing with a vocal quartet. Having completed her bachelors degree this May, Amy has returned to beautiful central Oregon to share her love of music with aspiring musicians!

    Scott Foxx
Strings Faculty Member
Scott Foxx is a lifetime professional musician. He studied classical guitar as a music major at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Scott has performed for forty years in every state except for Hawaii and Alaska . He has also been a private music instructor for the last twenty years teaching guitar, slide guitar, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin. He has many happy students ranging from eight to sixty years of age.

    Matt Gwinup
Strings Faculty Member
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 Director, Piano Faculty Member & Ukulele Instructor
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. 

    Barbara Hogstad
Kindermusik Faculty Member
Barbara Hogstad is a certified Kindermusik instructor and teaches classes including Cuddle & Bounce, Sing & Play, and Wiggle & Grow at the Cascade School of Music.

    Meagan Iverson
Piano Faculty Member
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 Faculty Member
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
Strings Faculty Member
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

    Eric Phillips
Percussion & Drums Faculty Member
Eric began studying musical instruments at the age of four, and progressed to private piano study at the age of six. At the age of ten, he discovered his desire to play the drums, and has been playing ever since. He enjoys playing and practicing jazz as well as world rhythms. Eric also enjoys learning other instruments as well as music theory in order to better understand his musical role as a drummer. Eric has also studied the guitar, and is currently learning how to play the piano.

    Aaron Pugh
Strings Faculty Member
Aaron Pugh 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.

    Eddy Robinson
Strings Faculty Member
Eddy Robinson was born and raised in Salem, Oregon. He began playing the bass at age 9. He attended Sprague High School in Salem and was a member of the Salem Youth Symphony between the ages of 11 and 18. Mr. Robinson earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Oregon in 2004. He has studied bass privately with Forrest Moyer (assistant principle bass, Eugene Symphony) and Tyler Abbott while attending university. Mr. Robinson started the orchestra program in the Florence Unified School District in Florence, Arizona in 2005 where he taught grades 4-12 for seven years. Eddy was the 2012 co-chair of the Southern Arizona Honor Orchestra, and is co-conductor of the Central Oregon Youth Orchestra. In 2012 he joined the faculty of the Cascade School of Music teaching both private lessons and group instruction. Mr. Robinson is currently in his second year teaching orchestra at both Pilot Butte and Sky View Middle Schools in Bend, Oregon. 

    Michael Scott
Strings Faculty Member
Michael Scott has been a professional musician for 44 years, including 25 years as an orchestra  teacher and elementary music teacher for Bend/Lapine schools.  He played bass with the Central Oregon Symphony and the Cascade Festival of Music for 20 years.  His ability to teach technique and music interpretation, while believing in the many benefits of making music in enembles has made his beginning adult strings class and Desert Sage String Orchestra very popular. Currently Michael teaches adult beginning and intermediate strings.

    Brenda Simmons
Strings Faculty Member
Brenda Simmons received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Eastern Washington School of Music in 1999 and her Masters of Music Education from Boston University in 2013.  Ms. Simmons spent many of her formative years studying the Suzuki Methodology of string pedagogy at the Suzuki Institute Pacific University, and has attended workshops with John Kendall, US Suzuki founder, Dr. Suzuki, and Issac Stern. Moving to Bend in 1999, Ms. Simmons has been actively teaching and building the orchestra program in the Bend LaPine School District where she is a 15 year veteran orchestra teacher.  During her tenure in Bend-La Pine Schools, she spent 10 years as the Oregon Music Educators Middle School All-State Honor Orchestra manager.  In 2000, Ms. Simmons piloted the Awesome After School Orchestra and remained a primary teacher of this program until 2010.  She looks forward to teaching the Awesome After School Orchestra program again this fall.  When not teaching orchestra, Ms. Simmons enjoys hiking and camping with her 14 year-old son and two dogs.

    Julian Simmons
Strings Faculty Member
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
Strings & Piano Faculty Member
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.

    Sam Taylor
Strings Faculty Member
Sam is a violinist and guitarist with many years of teaching and performing experience in Europe and the US. His formal music education began at the San Francisco Conservatory and continued through some of the most prestigious schools in Europe. Sam has been a conductor, concertmaster and chamber player in Europe, and most recently in Whitefish, Montana. He is currently completing his Masters degree in violin performance at the University of Oregon with Kathryn Lucktenberg.

    Marianne Thomas
Piano & Voice Faculty Member
Marianne Thomas is a classically trained pianist and vocalist who holds both Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Music Teaching and Performance from Brown University and is also an Oregon Certified Music teacher.   Marianne has 20 years experience as a private piano and voice instructor and has taught Voice, Choir and General Music in public schools for several years.   She is a singer/songwriter/pianist and recording artist. Marianne also spent 10 years as the lead vocalist for several busy bands in Boston performing all styles of music from rock to dance to jazz. She was also a member of the Obsidian Opera Company in Bend and played the Principal role of Boe Peep in their 2006 production of The Mikado.   Her voice lessons focus on developing the building blocks of a healthy and confident voice which include correct, supportive breathing, posture, singing vowels, and the personal confidence to sing out!

    Cullie Treichler
Voice Faculty Member
Cullen Marie—known as “Miss Cullie” to her students—says, “Teaching is my passion. It is a way of connecting with human beings in creative relationship. I believe the voice is an instrument that expresses the soul of the person.” Ms. Treichler has more than 20 years of dedicated private voice study. She is committed to developing raw singing talent into an art and craft that inspires “life-giving expression” in her students. She has been a  voice teacher for 13 years; teaching both individual lessons and group classes of all ages. She established The Cabaret Connection, an acoustic performance company in 1999; producing and performing in numerous concerts and dinner theater shows for 10 years. She completed 2 years of an intensive practitioner’s training for the Feldenkrais Method; a somatic approach to learning and movement from 2006 - 2007. She received her Kindermusik Teacher’s license in 2008 and from there developed her own children’s music and movement company, Music with Miss Cullie, in 2009. She has facilitated vocal workshops for high school choirs, worship teams; and annual intensive music conferences.Cullie’s approach to teaching is holistic and process oriented; honoring the intelligence and intrinsic value of each person she works with. Her intention is to guide her students in discovering vocal freedom by exploring and developing healthy technique. To sing freely and beautifully is a complex coordination of the whole person; spirit, mind and body. It is an artistic discipline that requires respect, infinite patience, curiosity and tenacity! It is Cullie’s deepest desire to nourish the  joy of learning in her students.

    Hillary Van Gelder
Strings & Voice Faculty Member
Hillary Van Gelder is a native of south Texas and moved to Bend in November 2015, where she lives with her husband and daughter.  Hillary began playing the acoustic guitar and songwriting at age 12.  She graduated from Texas A&M Corpus Christi with a B.A. in music with an emphasis in voice.  During her college years, she enjoyed singing in the St. Patrick’s Cathedral on her tour of Ireland with the UTB Master Chorale.  After completing her degree and Senior Vocal Recital, she taught music for one year in Texas.  Hillary has most recently sung locally with the Central Oregon Mastersingers.  The majority of her experience began at 17 when she first began directing church music.  Over the years, she has had the opportunity to give voice and guitar lessons, lead a church choir and record her own music.  Hillary loves to recognize talent in students of all ages and help form professionalism and a lifelong passion of music!  

    Michelle Van Handel
Jazz Vocal Solos Director
Michelle is a graduate of the University of Oregon and the former Director of the University of Oregon Vocal Jazz Ensembles. She is a past winner of the Oregon Jazz Society's Best New Jazz vocalist award. She has been performing at festivals, clubs and concerts for many years, including numerous jazz festivals such as The Eugene Celebration, The Oregon Coast Jazz & Blues Festival , Bend's Summer & Winter Festivals & The Sisters Jazz Festival. She works as a studio musician singing radio jingles & teaches privately. Her discography includes Watercolor Music & Blue Vista. She performs with several progressive bands, including Blue Vista, The Michelle Van Handel Quintet; The Groove Merchants, Cascade Brass; and 5 Bones & Rhythm.

    Nathan Wegner
Woodwind Faculty Member & Rock U Director
Music has been a part of Nathan’s life since starting piano at the age of 7.  From playing saxophone in jazz ensembles to clarinet in symphonic ensembles Nathan tried to immerse himself in as many music projects as possible in his formative years.  Nathan went on to Mt. Hood Community College to study music and had the distinction of playing in their top jazz ensemble.  Once he earned his degree at Mt. Hood, Nathan studied audio engineering at Seattle Art Institute and Full Sail in Florida and ended up in Los Angeles working as a recording engineer.  After L.A. he moved back to Portland and worked as a live engineer for several independent companies as well as the local union working on large scale arena shows.  Upon his arrival to Bend Nathan began working sound for local companies and has earned the respect of many locals and traveling musicians.  Along with working sound for shows in Bend, Nathan currently plays bass with the local band Strive Roots (rock/reggae), was the bassist and sax player for Sweatband (funk) and has had the privilege to sit in with numerous local bands on bass, sax and piano. Nathan lives in Redmond with his wife Laura and their young daughter Rowan.

    Eliza Zandonatti
Woodwinds Faculty Member
Eliza Perkins has been classically trained on clarinet for eighteen years. She attended the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia during her youth where she studied under the direction of Old Dominion University’s clarinet professor Dennis Zeisler. She then pursued a music career at Oklahoma City University under the direction of Dr. Stacey DiPaolo and Professor Bradford Behn and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance in 2013. She has performed as principal clarinetist in countless musicals, operas, wind philharmonics, orchestras, and chamber groups throughout her career. Eliza loves teaching clarinet to all ages. Her style of teaching is individualized for personal growth of the student. Her philosophies are universally grounded towards self-expression, self-confidence, and a driven love and passion towards creating musical synergy.

    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.

Cascade School of Music, 200 NW Pacific Park Ln. Bend, OR 97701 541-382-6866 info@cascadeschoolofmusic.org
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