LPIE Music Instructors
Meet the LPIE Music Community
LPIE is proud to provide funding that augments Lafayette School District funds for the following K-8 music teachers
LPIE'S Music Teachers
Acalanes High School
Lauren Gibson: Lauren grew up in Seattle, WA and completed her Bachelors of Music at the University of Montana with a double major in Music Education and Flute Performance. She then returned to Seattle where she taught K-5 General Music for four years at West Mercer Elementary. She then decided to continue her professional development and accepted a position as a Graduate Assistant at the University of the Pacific in the sunny state of California. She was the Instrumental Director at Las Lomas High School before accepting the position of Instrumental Music Director at Acalanes High School.
Bruce Lengacher: Bruce received his Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Arts in Secondary Education from San Francisco State University. He is in his eighteenth year as the director of choral activities at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, California and serves as the Chairperson of the Performing Arts Department, a position he has held for the past eight years. Bruce has served as the General / Classroom Music and Choral Representative for the Bay Section of the California Music Educators Association and is presently the CMEA Bay Section President Elect. In 2015, he received the Outstanding Choral Director Award from CMEA Bay Section. He holds memberships in the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education. Bruce has worked with Ragazzi Boys Chorus, the Peninsula Girls Chorus, Chanticleer and Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choirs. He has studied with Robert Shaw, Rodney Eichenberger, and Byron Macgilvray. He is a composer/arranger, a clinician, and a founding member of the Choral Project. He lives in El Cerrito California with his wife, Leslie.
Stanley Middle School
Bob Athayde has been the Director of Music Education at Stanley since 1986. He directs 5 bands, 1 chorus, and 2 jazz ensembles, serving over 300 students in his program. Bob is an award-winning music educator, in frequent demand as a guest clinician, adjudicator, and conductor. His classroom motto reflects his outlook toward life, as well as making music. It is simple: “We all play together.”
Loretta McNulty earned her Bachelors of Music Education and Masters of Music from the Indiana University School of Music. This is her twenty-third year at Stanley. In 2006 she was honored with the CMEA Richard L. Levin Orchestra Educator Award, and in 2013 she was the inaugural recipient of the Bay Section of CMEA's Outstanding Orchestra Educator Award. She has served string education for Bay Section and on national committees of the American String Teachers Association. Loretta is the Immediate Past President of the California unit of ASTA.
K-5 Music teachers teach general music and the district’s Music Core program, offering 4th and 5th grade students the opportunity to choose band, strings, or chorus for 2 half hour sessions each week.
Liz Brummel has been an elementary music teacher in the Lafayette School District since 1998. She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin-Wallace College conservatory and her Master of Arts in Music Education degree from The Ohio State University. From 1993-1997, Mrs. Brummel was on active duty with the Air Force as a member of the AMC Band of the Golden West, US Air Force, Travis AFB, CA. She has continued her military service (1999-present) as a memeber of the Det 1, 40th ID Band (formerly the 59th Army Band), US Army N.G.
Olga Corcoran: Olga became an LPIE Music Teacher in 2019-20. She is originally from Russia. She received her Master’s Degree in Piano Pedagogy from Holy Names University in Oakland CA, and Master’s Degree in Music Education from Moscow State Institute of Music & Education. Her life’s passion is music. She enjoys teaching general music, choir, music theory and piano at various programs and schools. She also performs in solo recitals and as an accompanist for choirs, violinists and vocalists. Olga teaches at Happy Valley, Lafayette, and Springhill schools
Angela Schmidt Angela has a degree in music education with choral concentration from University of the Pacific and a Masters of Music Education with a Kodaly Emphasis Orff Certificate Level I from Holy Names University. In addition to currently working for the Lafayette School District, Borba served as Director of Danville Girls Chorus Prep Choir, Director of Danville Congregational Church Children's Music Program and as a private voice teacher.
John Speers John graduated from University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in oboe performance. He attended both Stanley Middle School and Miramonte High School. Currently, he is teaching private lessons and playing with the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. He will be starting his master’s degree in oboe performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in the fall.
LPIE’S K-12 Music Aides, Mentors, Coaches, Master Teachers and Accompanists
LPIE instructors provide students more individualized attention to help them develop their music skills through small group instruction, giving students the opportunity to focus on specific techniques, increase their music reading skills, and further develop correct tone production.
Tommy Davidson: Professional Trombonist and Low Brass instructor Tommy Davidson has been an LASF and LPIE Artist in Residence since 2003, a brass and jazz educator in public schools since 1990 and a professional musician since 1978. After 17 years assisting Bob Athayde in the instrumental music program and co-directing the jazz program at Stanley Middle School, Tommy is now assisting Lauren Gibson with the Acalanes Jazz Band. He also works as a low brass coach, guest artist and jazz clinician with David Uyeno at Miramonte High School and Eric Thompson at Sequoia Middle School in Pleasant Hill.Tommy Davidson and his wife Deana arrived in the Bay Area from Texas in 2003. After Tommy struggled through 4th stage testicular cancer in 1999, including 10 surgeries, 4 months of intensive chemotherapy and a ruptured aorta, he came to the Bay Area with a new lease on life. Hooking up with brass great and bay area legend Mic Gillette of the Tower of Power and teaching great Bob Athayde at Stanley Middle School, Tommy worked and continues to work with some of the best musicians and most famous bands in the music business and teach alongside some of the finest music educators in the Bay Area.As a trombonist Tommy has worked with a myriad of famous musical artists such as "Doc" Kupka, TomPolitzer, Skip Mesquite and Mic Gillette of the Tower of Power, Rock legend Eddie Money, David Paische and Jon Smith (Toto), Keyboardists Merl Saunders and Frank Martin, sax icons George Brooks, Mary Fettig, Paul Contos and Johnnie Bamont, trumpet greats Marvin McFadden, Mic Gillette and Scott Englebrite, along with percussionist Alex Acuna among many, many others. And Tommy works and has played with many famous and legendary musical performers and bands over the years such as the Sons of Champlin featuring Bill Champlin of Chicago, the Mic Gillette Band, the Stevie “Keys” Roseman(Journey) All Stars, The Louie Bellson Orchestra, The Harold Jones Orchestra, The Stevie Wonder Band featuring Steve Madeo, and Motown greats the Temptations and the Four Tops. Tommy also played a stint with the Austin Symphony in 1995 and continues working as a trombonist and private instructor in the Bay Area.Tommy teaches low brass privately at his studio and lives in Moraga with his wife Deana and cat Samba.Tommy Davidson is Executive Director and Creative Director of his own non-profit Musicians InConcert.org lovingly known as MIC. The 501(c)3 public charity is devoted entirely to enriching young musicians lives by providing professional instruction free or at a very low cost to underfunded Bay Area music programs.
Xiomara DiMaio: Xiomara earned her degree in Percussion Performance at the University of Indiana. She began to help out in the music department in the early 2000's and has become a valued choral mentor and piano accompanist.
Victoria Ghulam grew up in Portland Oregon. She received a BA in music from Mills College and her California teaching credential from UC Berkeley. She was the general music teacher at Springhill before joining Mrs. Brummel in the string classes at three schools. Mrs. Ghulum teaches voice privately and conducts congregational singing at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Pleasant Hill.
Laurel Hall: Teaching music is Laurel's passion. She has taught in the Stanley Middle School LPIE Program since 2010. Additionally she maintains a private studio consisting of students of all ages and ability levels. To share her love of music with students, Laurel draws on 38 years of experience as a professional clarintist/teacher. Laurel received her education at Michigan State University, California Institute of The Arts and Yale Graduate School of Music. She has performed with the San Francisco Opera, SF Ballet, SF Symphony, and many other ensembles throughout the Bay Area and beyond. She has also taught music at many Middle Schools, High Schools and Colleges throughout the Bay Area. To hear Laurel play and find out more, please visit her website at ClarinetExperience.com
Zac Johnson: As a student, Zac Johnson received several music awards, including the Concord Pavilion's Dave Brubeck Scholarship and the Pacific Coast Jazz Festival Best Music Scholarship for saxophone performance. Zac earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in music performance on the clarinet from the California State University in Los Angeles in 1984. As a freelance musician residing in the San Francisco bay area for over 35 years, Zac has backed up numerous artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams, Huey Lewis, Eddie Money, and Billy Eckstein, as well as countless local performers. He has recorded with and currently performs regularly with the band 'Tumbledown House'. He also has recorded with artists such as Steve Erquiaga, Stevan Pasero, Canoneo, and Christopher Spheeris. He has been an active private instructor for saxophone and clarinet in the Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill/Concord region since relocating to the bay area in 1984. Zac has taught and continues to teach students of all levels, from complete beginners to professional musicians. He is a regular faculty member at the Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop.
Sarah Lombardo: New to LPIE in 2018-19, Sarah Lombardo has been playing flute for over 30 years, starting in Lafayette, as a student at Stanley with Bob Athayde and Acalanes with Rick Meyer. She majored in flute performance at SF State under the guidance of Linda Lukas. She performed with the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra, including performances with the Grateful Dead and MTT. Sarah spent 12 years between London and Madrid, exploring independent electronic music, before returning to Lafayette in 2013 to raise her children. Committed to supporting the arts in public schools, Sarah currently produces the school musical at LES, and has volunteered at Stanley where she is a member of the Julia Burke Memorial Flute Choir.
Jen Mathers: Jen is a cellist and pianist who studied music and environmental sciences at Northwestern University. She works as a freelance cellist as well as part-time in habitat restoration and native plant landscaping. She has performed in orchestras, chamber music ensembles, opera, ballet, and musical theater productions in the Bay Area for 20 years. She manages, performs in, and arranges classical, contemporary, and jazz music for Bay Area Strings (www.BayAreaStrings.com), which provides ensembles for weddings and other special events. She is principal cellist of Symphony Parnassus and the Solano Symphony, and has performed with many professional orchestras around the Bay Area.
Julia McLeod: Julia is an early childhood music educator, known in Lafayette through her work as a Music Together teacher. a violinist since the age of eight, she enjoys helping our 4th and 5th graders as they start out in the elementary strings program. She also plays violin in the Rossmoor Big Band.
Nicolas Perez: Nicolas Perez is a music director, vocal coach, and pianist for film and live theater. He is the resident collaborative pianist at Acalanes HS, Northgate HS, and Irvington HS where he serves as an accompanist, vocal coach, diction coach, and an extra set of ears to help directors ensure that the ensembles are utilizing their full potential. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Saint Mary’s College of California. As a pianist and vocalist, he has entertained crowds in Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Johannesburg, and Hong Kong, as well as his native Bay Area. He is equally talented in jazz and classical piano and voice. He can be seen from time to time playing at Martuni’s piano bar in San Francisco.
Eric Price: A double bass player and teacher living in Martinez. Eric attended Burton Valley, Stanley and Acalanes and was a proud beneficiary of many LASF/LPIE programs. His early teachers include Arlene Fox, Bob Athayde, Loretta McNulty, Rick Meyer, and Barry Green. Price then attended UC Davis for his undergraduate studies in music, followed by graduate studies at Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia where he earned a master's degree in bass performance. In addition to his work at Acalanes, he coaches at Stanley, and other schools as well as teaching in San Francisco through the SF Symphony education department. Price is also the founder and director of the East Bay Bass Ensemble which is an all-bass chamber music group for high school students.
Ginni Reynolds: Assists students with instrument rentals, repairs and other musical needs. She is and does many of the "behind the scenes things" so that Bob Athayde can be where he needs to be - in front of the kids.
Pat Scheidler: A clarinetist. She has been through the Stanley program with her two children and stayed long after they graduated Acalanes and UC Berkeley. She has helped develop the music testing program at Stanley. Ms. Schiedler began playing the clarinet in the 5th grade and currently performs with the Contra Costa Wind Symphony. Since 2002, she has enjoyed working as an LPIE music mentor with Mr. Athayde and the Stanley Middle School bands. As a certified substitute teacher, Ms. Schiedler handles a variety of subjects, including music, for grades 6-8 at Stanley.
Allan K. Smith: Jazz Band music mentor.
Theresa Srch-Nelson MT-BC is a Music Therapist working with the Special Needs class at Acalanes High School
Andy Strain: Andy received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance at the University of Nebraska, then studied and performed in orchestras and chamber ensembles across Germany and Mexico for five years. He came to Oakland in 2006 to earn a Master of Arts in free improvisation at Mills College, where he now teaches as a member of the performance faculty. He plays with the East Bay Brass Band, the Tamalpais Brass Quintet, and performs trombone tales in libraries, parks, and schools. He has recorded and performed with Roscoe Mitchell and toured with harpist Joanna Newsom.
John Trombetta: Jazz Band music mentor
Martha Uhey: LPIE flute coach and Julia Burke Flute Choir director Martha Uhey moved to the East Bay upon retirement from her dual careers as a public school teacher and orchestra piccolo/flute player. She also taught flute privately and was an active chamber musician. In retirement, Martha has redirected her passion for the flute to become a low flutes specialist, focusing on the contrabass and bass flutes. She performs with numerous professional flute orchestras and flute choirs both here and abroad. A chance meeting with Stanley music volunteer Kerwin Lee brought Martha to Stanley Middle School. Director Bob Athayde said "Sure!" when Martha asked if he'd like to have a flute choir at Stanley, and through his support and LPIE, Generations in Jazz, Rotary, and private donors, the Julia Burke Flute Choir was born. This year, LPIE also underwrites the expansion of our flute choir to Acalanes High School.
Jessica Winn-Hollis: Jessica Winn is a professional vocalist and educator with a true passion for music. She has been studying and performing classical music for over two decades, and has made her mark as a notable mezzo-soprano in the Bay Area classical vocal community. Her relationship with music started at age 9 with the Contra Costa Children’s Choir and she has maintained her classical vocal studies ever since. Along with her vocal studies, Jessica studied classical piano privately with Keith Snell for 7 years, competing and achieving high marks in regional competitions. Jessica went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Music at Mannes College of Music in New York City and finished her education at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she received her Masters for training in vocal pedagogy and physiology, as well as vocal performance. She has been maintaining an active voice and piano teaching schedule since 2011. Other teaching experience includes Master Vocal Instruction at Marin School for the Arts, Musical Theater Camp Director for the Heads Up Program at Head Royce in Oakland and Village Center for the Arts, giving private lessons, leading In-School Outreach Programs throughout the Bay Area, and heading their Musical Theater program. Making her professional vocal debut with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Stephen Montague’s Requiem, Jessica has taken both the operatic and choral stage, performing a vast array of styles and periods from Baroque to Contemporary. Hailed as a singer with “pure colors” that capture “ethereal qualities” in her performances, Jessica’s performance credits include Opera San Jose, Phoenix Opera, Berkeley Chamber Opera, Opera on Tap San Francisco, West Edge Opera and Marin Baroque. Jessica has also worked as a performer on the east coast, making her professional debut with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in 2011 and with The Manhattan Opera Studio.
Julie Wollan: Julie began playing the piano at age 9. Her love for playing grew with opportunities to accompany at school, church, and with performing groups. She continued her piano studies at Seattle Pacific University. Julie has been teaching out of her home studio for 30 years. She accompanies for choral performances in two East Bay school districts as well as private studio recitals. She has been the Danville Girls Chorus Preparatory Choir accompanist since 2006.
Laura Zucker: Laura grew up in Highland Park, New Jersey, attended Rutgers University and graduated with a JD from Rutgers Law School. She has been an LPIE Band instructor since 2013, working with all of the 4th and 5th graders in the district. Laura is a traveling performing songwriter with 5 CDs of original music. She also teaches guitar, songwriting and performance, is an author and creativity coach, and founder of Milestone Music — a producer of personal, custom-created songs for special events.