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  • Young boy carrying percussion sticks
  • Children singing
  • Children singing
  • Children singing
  • Humboldt Music Academy Class Session
  • Boy playing cello
  • Boy playing violin
  • Kids playing violin
  • In the String Orchestra
  • Girl carrying a violin
  • Girls playing fiddle
  • Boy playing piano, with instructor
  • Girl and boy playing piano duet


Faculty Biographies

Allison, Bill

(voice, piano, trumpet, bass guitar, Academy Jazz Ensemble) PhD in education research; M.A. in education, HSU; B.A. vocal jazz performance, Cornish College of the Arts; co-founder, Monterey Peninsula Jazz Orchestra; founder, Monterey Bay Youth Blues and Jazz Chorus; Artist in Residence, Seattle public schools; composer, arranger, professional jazz performer; private teacher.

Backstrom, Annika

(voice) DMA in vocal performance, supporting area ethnomusicology; teaches voice and lyric diction at HSU. Annika has a wide vocal repertoire from art songs to concerts and operas. She has sung leading roles in operas, such as La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute and the world premier of Wournos. She performs solo recitals in Sweden and the United States as well as teaches voice and leads workshops. She holds BFA and MA degrees in theatre and music. Her work about creativity in music and how to engage creativity and imagination in performance has brought her across the U.S., Canada and Sweden. She draws from her academic work and personal experiences in music, theatre, indigenous studies, foreign languages and body-mind work. Last year Annika was awarded an individual artist grant from the Oregon Arts Commission to help her further her work. More information about her is on her website.

Chandler, Dan

(Violin)Trained in Kodály method; plays Balkan and Greek music with the group "Musaic”; PhD in sociology. Dan teaches beginning students by ear, adding music reading after two or three years. He particularly enjoys, and finds effective, having a parent learn the violin along with the student for a time. A violin for loan to the parent may be available.

Davy, Karen

(chamber music) B.M., violin, Cleveland Institute of Music; M.S., music education, Queens College CUNY; specialist in the Kato Havas New Approach to Violin Playing; HSU faculty. See biography on HSU Dept. of Music website.

Diggins, Rob

(Violin/Viola/Guitar/Harmonium/Ensemble Coaching/Mindfulness) International performer and teacher, Post Graduate Cert. in historical performance from Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag, Netherlands, Member AFM Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA), and ASTA. HMA teacher since 1985. He is a Bhaktin or devotional musician, and a Samayacharin, as guided by the Himalayan Yoga Tradition, or Parampara. As such, Rob and his students have made the pledge to eradicate violence. In addition to teaching/coaching locally and abroad, Rob continues his work as a principal player with: the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica Baroque OrchestraMagnificat San Francisco and the Corona Del Mar Baroque Festival Orchestra. Concurrently, Rob is working towards the completing of his E - 500 hr RYT certification through the Teacher Training Program of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition (AHYMSIN)  with the direct guidance of his teachers, Swami Veda Bharati (Himalayan Yoga Tradition) since 1983 and Shree Vidya Chandramouli (South Indian Classical Music) since 2006, and their devotees.

Emerson, Howdy

Biography coming soon.

Fabian, Michael

Biography coming soon.

Jacobson, Carol

(cello) B.A. in music, HSU; credential, HSU; studies, Mozarteum, Salzburg; Royal Conservatory, The Hague, Netherlands; professional cellist.

Kramer, Terry

(violin) B.A., HSU; Suzuki violin registered training Books 1 and 2; violinist in Eureka Symphony and Viols, Recorders, Krumhorns and All.

LaForge, Dick

(trombone) B.A. in chemistry, Clark University, Worcester, MA; M.A. in chemistry, UC Berkeley; M.S. teaching credential, HSU. Active local musician since 1996.

Lambson, Nick

(guitar) B.A. in music, guitar performance, B.A. in music, recording arts, CSU San Bernadino; M.M. San Francisco Conservatory of Music; professional classical guitarist and private teacher; HSU faculty. See biography on HSU Dept. of Music website

Lopez, Aaron

(bassoon, saxophone) B.A. in music performace, HSU. Current member of Eureka Symphony, Humboldt Symphony, North Coast Wind Ensemble, Symphony of the Redwoods in Ft. Bragg and freelancer of chamber ensembles.

MacDonell, Holly

(violin, viola, chamber music, Junior Orchestra) B.A. English and music education, HSU; SS credential, HSU; K-12 general and instrumental music teacher, Fieldbrook and Coastal Grove; Eureka Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Redwoods, and many local chamber ensembles.

Marks, Sheila

(voice) B.A. in music, Lake Erie College; M.M., Yale University; HSU faculty, retired

MacCall, Summer

Biography coming soon.

McNeill, Sam

(violin, Academy Fiddlers) B.A. in music; music credential, HSU; registered Suzuki teacher training books 1a/1b and overview books 1-3; private music instructor. Sam is a multi-instrumentalist, having performed on violin, guitar, accordion, nyckelharpa, hardingfele, cittern, piano and others. He has studied with master fiddlers in Celtic and Scandinavian traditions, and currently performs with Good Company and Fingal.

Miller, Robin

(piano) B.M., M.M., University of Southern California; D.M.A., Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY; piano faculty HSU; extensive performances as soloist and chamber musician; private teacher, all ages and levels.

Mineva, Daniela

(piano) Professor of piano, HSU. See biography on HSU Dept. of Music website

Moore, Gregg

(HMA artistic director, trombone, tuba, mandolin) Music studies at Univ. of Utah and Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, 1970-75; B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, HSU; MEd, arts in education, Harvard Graduate School of Education; 30 years performing, teaching, researching, promoting, writing, arranging music in Europe based in Amsterdam, Holland and Evora, Portugal.

Moyer, Cindy

(violin, viola) B.M., M.M., M.A., DMA, Eastman School of Music; registered Suzuki teacher training books 1-6; HSU faculty. See biography on HSU Dept. of Music website

Petricca, Angela

(flute, piano) Northcoast Preparatory and Performing Arts Academy graduate; Artist Diploma for both piano and flute performance; Northern California Honor Band; Suzuki Summer Academy flute instructor; piano performance coach; Scotia Band, Bandemonium, Eureka Symphony Orchestra; two-time ESO Youth Soloist; experience in community musical theater events with Ferndale Repertory Theater, Humboldt Light Opera Company, and Apprentice Entertainment.

Petricca, Jill

(flute, saxophone, Flute Choir) B.A. in music, HSU; private music instructor.

Pitts, Katri

(Singing Games, Musical Theater) B.A. in music education and vocal performance, HSU; music teaching credential, HSU; Level 1 Orff-Schulwerk, Vandercook College of Music, Chicago. Music teacher, Cutten/Ridgewood School District, teaching general music for grades K-6 as well as band, strings, and choir for grades 4-6; North Coast Music Educator of the Year Award, 2014; active in local musical theater; Musical Director for several Humboldt Light Opera Company productions; board of directors, HLOC; Humboldt Light Opera Company’s KidCo instructor; private voice instructor; member of HLOC’s women’s chorus, “The Babes.”  Katri enjoys making music with her students and with her family.

Pitts, Larry

(Singing Games, Musical Theater, piano accompanist) B.A. in music piano performance, HSU; B.A. in history, HSU; teaching credentials in social science and music, HSU; former HSU staff accompanist; active in local community theater organizations; HSU faculty.

Post, Gwen

(violin) B.A. violin performance, CSU Hayward; Over 15 years of music teaching experience, both private and classroom; former music director/instructor Coastal Grove Charter K-8, Big Lagoon Charter K-8. She raised her own two kids to love and play music, so she has good ideas for how parents can help their children succeed. She loves sharing what she knows about the violin, and giving students the tools for a lifetime of exploration and expression.

Rand, Joanne

(voice, guitar, piano, theory, songwriting and performance) B.F.A., The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; B.A. in music composition, HSU; nationally touring singer-songwriter-recording artist for 25 years with 10 independently released CDs; 18 years teaching experience. More information is on her website.

Simmons, Lorenza

(voice, piano) B.A. in music; performs as a singer in various local groups; accompanist and co-director, Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir Youth Choir. Lorenza very much enjoys the opportunity to work with children and be part of their musical journey.

Thompkins, Carol, NCTM

(piano, bagpipes) Nationally accredited in piano pedagogy; Juilliard trained; specializing in a holistic and individual approach to guiding each student to their full musical potential; 30 years experience teaching classical, jazz, pop, improvisation, theory and composition including State and Regional Festival winners; Currently teaching piano locally and on Skype to students around the country; performer with Ad Libitum, a classical improvisational string ensemble, monster piano concerts, musical theater, High School choir accompanist, classical piano adjudicator and bagpipe player. More information about her is at and

Vaughan, Stefan

(violin/viola) B.A. in music education (cum laude) HSU. Completed one year towards a masters in violin performance at the Conservatory of Music in Seville, Spain, where he was a member of La Orquesta Betica Filarmonica de Seville. He has been teaching since 1985, and taught at the Acadamy for 18 years. He teaches all styles and is currently performing with a Jazz trio, the Lake County Symphony, the Eureka Symphony, and the Meadowood String Quartet.

Walker, Teresa

(Xylophonium) B.A. in English literature, Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.; M.A. in education, HSU; Orff Schulwerk Certification, Levels I and II, San Francisco International Orff Course, San Francisco; co-founder of Phoenix Rose Academy (now Six Rivers Montessori); Orff ensemble music specialist at Six Rivers Montessori. She loves to sing, dance, and play music with children. She plays piano, flute, recorder, drum, xylophone, metallophone, glockenspiel, and is learning ukulele. She loves musical theater, chamber music, and bellydance, too.

Weiss, Kira

Biography coming soon.

Zverrina, Andrew

Biography coming soon.


Private Lesson Instructors

For information about private lessons, including options and fees, see the Private Lessons page.