Dr. Thomas Lee is Professor Emeritus and Director of Bands Emeritus at UCLA. Dr. Lee holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He has been invited to guest conduct with All-State Bands and music festivals in all parts of the USA, Canada, Mexico, Western Europe, and Asia. Professor Lee has also given workshops on all aspects of conducting and interpretation of music with special emphasis in the area of non-verbal communication skills.
Angela Woo is Director of Instrumental Music and Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica, California where nearly 330 students are enrolled in one of three concert bands or three string orchestras. In 2011, the John Adams Middle School Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the California All-State Music Education Conference as the only middle school concert band in the state to be so honored.
An alumna of UCLA, Ms. Woo earned the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Piano Performance, the Master of Education, and the Master of Fine Arts in Conducting. She also holds the Master of Arts in Educational Administration from CSUN. Prior to her appointment to John Adams in 1995, Ms. Woo was Director of Music at Corona del Mar High School where she led the band, orchestra, choral, and jazz ensembles. She was also conductor of the Santa Monica College Wind Ensemble.
Ms. Woo enjoys an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator with numerous honor groups, conducting symposia, and music festivals throughout the country and internationally, her most recent with the 2018 State Honours Ensemble Program at the Queensland Conservatorium (Griffith University) in Brisbane, Australia. She has been invited by local universities as well as those around the country to lead professional development workshops for music educators at both the middle school and high school levels. Her guest conducting invitations have included the 2004 Kentucky All-State High School Concert Band, the 2007 Oregon All-State Middle School Band, the 2014 California All-State Jr. High Concert Band, and the 2016 Michigan All-State Middle School Band. Most recently, Ms. Woo guest conducted the 2019 Honors Performance Series Middle School Orchestra in Carnegie Hall (New York); she has been invited to return to conduct the 2020 Honors Performance High School Symphony Orchestra.
In 2005, Ms. Woo was recognized by the Santa Monica Rotary Club as the Santa Monica-Malibu District Teacher of the Year. She was honored at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic as a 2012 Legion of Honor Laureate by the John Philip Sousa National Foundation.
Sean Garnreiter is Assistant Director of Instrumental Music at John Adams Middle School where he has been on staff since 2011. He is also Director of the JAMS Jazz Band. Mr. Garnreiter earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from UCLA where he was Drum Major of the UCLA Bruin Marching Band. He is a former member of the Pacific Crest and Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, and has been a staff member with the UCLA Bruin Marching Band as a brass, woodwind, and marching clinician.
After student teaching at JAMS in 2008, Mr. Garnreiter served as an music teacher at four different elementary schools with the Los Angeles Unified School District. He also founded an instrumental music program at a middle school in South Central Los Angeles. After teaching in the LAUSD for three years, Mr. Garnreiter returned to JAMS as an Instructional Assistant and faculty member with the instrumental music program.
Mr. Garnreiter is recognized by the Santa Monica Junior Chamber of Commerce as 2017 Outstanding Young Teacher of the Year. This annual award is presented by the Santa Monica Jaycees to acknowledge the work of young professionals who are dedicated to leadership and development, and create positive change in our community.
Jim Wang is the Director of Orchestras and Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, California. As a native of Southern California, Mr. Wang was the Strings Director for all of Rowland Unified School District in Rowland Heights, California and also taught private violin and viola lessons for seven years before coming to Lincoln Middle School.
Under Mr. Wang's direction, Lincoln Middle School's Chamber Ensemble was invited to perform at the National Orchestra Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah as part of the American String Teachers Association Conference in the spring of 2015. The orchestras at Lincoln can often be found playing chamber works conductor-less and even setting dance to music as part of their annual Vivaldi's Four Seasons cycle. Outside of his work at Lincoln, Mr. Wang can be found coaching various chamber groups and conducting the SOL-LA Ensemble at the SOL-LA Music Academy in Santa Monica. In the summers, Mr. Wang is one of the conductors for the Pacific Blue Music Camp held at Lincoln Middle School.
Mr. Wang earned his Master's degree in Music Education at the University of Southern California. Prior to that, he graduated with honors from Biola University in La Mirada, California with a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance. Mr. Wang is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California working toward a DMA in Music Teaching and Learning.
In his spare time Mr. Wang enjoys the culinary arts, making the best cup of coffee, visiting unique restaurants/eateries in the Greater Los Angeles area, traveling the world with Mrs. Wang and spending quality time with his pups Pookie and Holly. Mr. Wang is also an avid Instagram-er. Follow him @maestro_wang.
Amanda Walker is a clarinet concert artist, studio recording musician, and teacher. A native of Great Britain, she graduated from the prestigious Royal College of Music in London with honors, and was an exchange student at UCLA where she earned the Master of Fine Arts with the acclaimed clarinetist, Gary Gray. She pursued additional studies at USC with Yehuda Gilad, Michele Zukovsky, Mitchell Lurie, and David Howard. Ms. Walker is in high demand as a studio recording artist, and can be heard on the soundtracks of numerous films, including The American President and Cast Away. She has also performed with the Pacific Symphony, Opera Pacific, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Opera, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Long Beach Symphony, the Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra. In addition to her annual coaching sessions at the Idyllwild School of the Arts Summer Program for the junior high school, high school, and college divisions, Ms. Walker is currently on the faculty of the UC Irvine Department of Music where she teaches clarinet. A strong advocate for music education, she currently has 40 students in her private clarinet studio, many of whom have been selected to participate in the California All-State Honor Bands and Honor Orchestras, the All-Southern California Honor Band and Honor Orchestra, and the Southern California Society of Bands and Orchestras.
A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Dr. Meghan Turner completed her initial schooling in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Turner received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Victoria, a Master of Music degree from the University of British Columbia, and an Artist Diploma from the Vancouver Academy of Music. In 2002, Meghan moved to Los Angeles to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, which she completed in 2006.As part of the UCLA Trumpet Ensemble, Meghan won First Place in the trumpet ensemble division in the 2005 National Trumpet Competition. Meghan was an artist in residence at the famed Banff Centre for the Arts during the summers from 2002-2006. Here she had the pleasure of performing with renowned artists, as well as premiering solo works. Meghan commissioned five new works for trumpet, french horn and piano, and premiered them in concert in 2013. Currently, Meghan is a freelance musician, teaching and performing in the Los Angeles area. As well, she is a member and founder of the "Resonance" brass quintet.
A versatile performer, Meghan has played in a variety of ensembles ranging from jazz and salsa bands, orchestras, chamber music and solo appearances. An advocate for music education, Meghan has been involved in music outreach programs through both UCLA and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. In the SMMUSD, Meghan is a Dream Winds instructor at Muir/SMASH, McKinley, Rogers and Edison Elementary Schools as well as being a temporary assistant at Lincoln Middle School. Meghan is currently the high brass coach at John Adams Middle School. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys volunteering at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center.
Chris Parise began playing the drums at the age of 11. He attended John Adams Middle School and Santa Monica High School where he was active in the respective music programs. Since then, he has played at a variety of concert venues ranging from the Jazz Bakery to Walt Disney Concert Hall. His resume includes performances with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the American Youth Symphony, the UCLA Wind Ensemble, and Grammy-nominated baritone Jubilant Sykes (also a JAMS alumnus). In 2010, Chris received his Bachelor of Arts in percussion performance from UCLA under the guidance of Mitchell Peters. Aside from performing and teaching music privately, Chris currently has a residency with the Q-Bet Quartet at the world famous Culver Hotel in Culver City.