Humboldt State UniversityHumboldt State University

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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


Current faculty and their biographies are listed on this page.

A list of available private instructors is available below.

Faculty Biographies

Allison, Bill

(voice, piano, trumpet, bass guitar, Academy Jazz Ensemble) 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.

Chandler, Dan

(Violin) Trained in Kodály method, plays Balkan and Greek music with the group "Musaic," Ph.D. 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

Gussin, Melissa

(clarinet, trombone) Undergraduate in music education, HSU.

Jacobson, Carol

(chamber music, cello) B.A. in music, HSU; credential, HSU; studies, Mozarteum, Salzburg; Royal Conservatory, The Hague, Netherlands; professional cellist. See biography on HSU Dept. of Music website.

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; MS 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. 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. HMA faculty since 2003.

MacDonell, Holly

(violin, viola, chamber music) B.A. English and music education, HSU; SS credential, HSU; K-12 general and instrumental music teacher.

Marks, Sheila

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

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

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) Music studies at Univ. of Utah and Westminster College in
Salt Lake City, Utah, 1970-75. Thirty years performing, teaching, researching, promoting, writing, arranging music in Europe based in Amsterdam, Holland and Evora, Portugal. B.A., HSU, Interdisciplinary Studies (Community Music), 2010,
M.Ed, Arts in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2012.

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

Oldfather, Felicia

(piano accompanist) B.A. in music, HSU.

Petricca, Jill

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

Pitts, Katri

(voice, Musical Theater, Singing Games) B.A. in music education and vocal performance, HSU; single subject teaching credential in music, HSU.

Pitts, Larry

(Musical Theater) B.A. in music piano performance, HSU; B.A. in history, HSU. Former HSU Staff accompanist, active in local community theater organizations. Teaching credentials in social science and music, HSU.

Post, Gwen

(violin)B.A. violin performance, CSU Hayward; current director, strings program, Coastal Grove Charter School; string teacher, Big Lagoon Charter School; 18 years private teaching.

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. Her website

Simmons, Lorenza

(piano, voice) Undergraduate in music, HSU.

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.,

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.


Private Lesson Instructors

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