Moderator: Jeff Schwartz, Santa Monica Public Library — Jeff is co-leader of the Decisive Instant large ensemble, principal bass of MESTO (the Multi-Ethnic STar Orchestra), a member of the Vicente Chamber Orchestra and Santa Monica Symphony, and is very active in Los Angeles’ improvised and experimental music communities. He has also performed with artists including Anthony Braxton, Glenn Branca, Dana Reason, Nicole Mitchell, Elliott Levin, Lisa Mezzacappa, and Adam Rudolph, and studied at St. John’s College, UC Santa Cruz, Bowling Green State University, the University of Texas at Austin, andf the Creative Music Studio. The author of a popular online biography of Albert Ayler and of Free Jazz: A Research and Information Guide (Routledge 2018), his writing has also appeared in the journals American Music, Popular Music, and Postmodern Culture, and in the 4th edition of A Basic Music Library. His day job is as a reference librarian at the Santa Monica Public Library, where he curates the Soundwaves new music series.
- Koko Peterson, McCabes, Producer/Concert Coordinator
- Crystal Starr, Little Voices, President/Recording Artist — Crystal Starr is a singer, songwriter, director, and producer. With her background singers “The Bowties”, Starr’s 300+ performances have captivated audiences around the globe, from receiving standing ovations in Japan, South Africa, Budapest, and Mexico, to touring with Paul Stanley, “KISS”, Ariana Grande, Andra Day, Kanye West and Drake. As an eclectic retro pop, R&B, indie and soul artist, Starr’s single, “I Still Love You”, has made the Top 100 Billboard Charts. As the Founder of Little Voices, established in 2011, Crystal Starr produces quality concerts for children in the foster care system and inner cities while providing internship opportunities with industry professionals. Serving more than 6,000 at-risk youth by inspiring and mobilizing, Little Voices uses entertainment and media production as a platform to give voice to those who lack adequate support and resources needed to thrive. “She Sessions” concerts have featured renowned artists and performers, such as Judith Hill, Common, Andra Day, and Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams. By sharing the message “You Are Enough”, and with a new partnership with Green Dot Public Schools (Los Angeles) in March 2019 to serve approximately 250 youth at 5 school sites in 2019, Little Voices has an opportunity to establish educational implementation, build awareness and generate resources for the at-risk, fostered and adopted communities through concert programming and economic development programs.
- Dr. Deborah How, Westside Music Conservatory, Exec. Director/Owner – Deborah H. How received her PhD from the USC Thornton School of Music, MA from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, and BA (music & theater) from Swarthmore College. She also holds an MBA from the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management and is a member of The Honor Societies of Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Kappa Phi, and Beta Sigma Gamma. She is a graduate of Santa Monica High School, Lincoln Middle School, and Franklin Elementary School, and a proud product of the SMMUSD Music Program. Dr. How maintains a private independent music studio with national-level competition winners in performance, theory, and composition; and she is the owner/executive director of the Westside Music Conservatory in Santa Monica. As a classically trained pianist and flutist, she concertizes regularly in ensemble groups and as a concerto soloist for community outreach concerts and fundraising events. Dr. How is widely known as a connection builder and fundraising architect for music education and performing arts organizations. She travels throughout the U.S. giving lectures/workshops on both studio management and pedagogy topics. She is president/co-founder of the Westside Music Foundation, a 501c3 public benefit charity for music education. She is also executive director/co-founder of the Moments of Music Foundation Piano Concerto Competition for Amateur Adults & Teachers; the executive director/co-founder of Poetry in Music; and the CEO/co-founder of BRAVURA innovations, a consulting company dedicated to virtuoso management, marketing, and branding solutions for the performing arts.
- Patrick Scott, Jacaranda Music, Artistic and Exec. Director -Patrick Scott, Artistic & Executive Director of Jacaranda Music, studied at UC Irvine, where he received the Chancellor’s Award and President’s Fellowship for painting, graduating cum laude. His schooling in the visual arts, dance, and stage design led to a 15-year career as a designer and craftsman for film, television, stage, opera, ballet, and video. Extensive work in arts education and arts advocacy followed. After years of board service (National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture, Long Beach Museum of Art, National Campaign for Freedom of Expression), he devoted a decade to honing his fundraising skills. As chief development officer of LA’s BEST after school enrichment program in the City of LA mayor’s office, he initiated artists’ residencies now in over 180 public elementary schools that have served over 19,000 students to date. He curated Found Horizon: Stravinsky in LA’s Progressive Music Scene 1949-66, a Pacific Standard Time event of the Colburn School Conservatory of Music.
- Phillip Ong, Vicente Chamber Orchestra, Artistic Community Member –
- Dr. Josephine Moerschel, Elemental Strings, Executive and Artistic Director – Dr. Josephine Liu Moerschel is the Executive and Artistic Director of Elemental Music and directs the Elemental Strings Chamber Orchestra. She has been on the faculty of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach, and the Long Beach City College. Josephine has also served as co-director of the Los Angeles branch of Junior Chamber Music and ViolaFest Los Angeles, and has served on the boards of the Southern California Viola Society and the Greater Los Angeles Area branch of the American String Teachers’ Association. Josephine can frequently be heard in the viola sections of many southern California ensembles. She is a member of the New West Symphony, and has performed with many other groups in LA, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Pacific, Pacific Symphony, Los Angeles Master Chorale and Long Beach Symphony. As a highly sought after private teacher and instructor, she has maintained a violin and viola studio on the west side for fifteen years. Josephine has taught for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified District in a variety of capacities, including as a sectional coach for Santa Monica High School and sectionals coach at John Adams Middle School and Lincoln Middle School. Her students have been heard performing in leading youth orchestras in Los Angeles, as well as conservatories and music festivals across the country. Josephine has also served as a consultant for the LA Phil Education Department. Josephine received a doctorate in viola performance from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003. Her primary teachers include Roger Myers, Donald McInnes, Masao Kawasaki, and Catharine Carroll.