2009-2010 Faculty Activities

Professor Mark Anthony Chubb

Mark Anthony Chubb wrote the musical score for the short film “Drain Desert Tanner,” which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. The drama chronicles the adventures of forensic investigator Tim Tanner who is tricked into cleaning up a crime scene by a blind date who is part of a band of villains. “Drain Desert Tanner” was originally written as an entry for the Inland Empire 48-hour film competition hosted by the city of Riverside. Chubb won the best composer award in the competition, and the film also garnered additional awards for best actor, best director and cinematography.

To view the trailer for “Drain Desert Tanner” visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDbAq4lRU5c

Dr. Iris Levine

Iris S. Levine, professor and chair of the music department, has been appointed as the National Repertoire and Standards Chair for Women’s Choruses for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). In this position, she will provide support, vision and resources for conductors throughout the country.
In addition, Professor Levine was featured in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education entitled “For Advocate of Women’s Choirs, Fostering Student Engagement is a Song”.

To view the article visit http://chronicle.com/article/For-Advocate-of-Womens/66294/

Dr. Janine Riveire

Janine Riveire’s article A Sound All Its Own: Sydeman’s “For Double Bass Alone” Fifty Years Later was published in Bass World magazine in the early part of 2010. The article is an analysis of an unaccompanied bass piece that is now out of print by William Sydeman. Bertram Turetzky, who premiered the piece and who co-wrote the article with Riveire, believes the piece is a landmark in bass literature. Riviere studied with Turetzky while on sabbatical in 2007 and this article developed from their work together.

In addition, in March of 2010 Riviere worked with the San Luis Obispo Symphony as a consultant to focus and further develop their ‘Strings in the Schools’ educational program and how it feeds into their excellent youth orchestras

Dr. Dave Kopplin

Dr. Dave Kopplin was nominated to the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA) Board of Directors and elected by the membership last fall. He began his Board of Directors term in March of 2010 and will serve until March of 2012. Kopplin successfully argued the case to the Board to bring the international MEIEA conference to the West Coast next spring; it is planned for Los Angeles next April.

Dr. Nadia Shpachenko commissioned Dr. Kopplin to write a piece for her November Chamber concert. The new work – /Portraits of Pompeii/ for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano – was featured on two concerts in November 2009, one at the Glendale Noontime Concert Series and the other at Cal Poly Pomona. Featured were violist Karen Elaine, clarinetist Jerome Summers, and pianist Nadia Shpachenko.

Professor Kopplin premiered a new jazz work – /The Slow, Slow, Slow Bus Blues/, for Jazz Orchestra – at a concert at Cal Poly Pomona on March 10, 2010. The work, written to commemorate a particularly grueling jazz band trip to the Reno Jazz Festival in 2005, featured the Cal Poly Pomona Jazz Band with
renowned guest artist Christoph Luty on double bass.

Dr. Kopplin was a guest adjudicator at the annual Riverside Community College Jazz Festival, held May 8, 2010 at Riverside Community College.

Dr.Kopplin was again busy in the 2009/2010 season writing program notes for the University of Florida Center for the Performing Arts. These past season, he wrote for recitals presented by Haochen Zhang, Christine Brewer, Joshua Bell, Bella Hristova, Narek Hakhnazaryan, and Naoko Takada, as well as concert appearances by the celebrated Interpreti Veneziani, and The Five Browns, among others.

Professor David Grasmick

David Grasmick, Professor of Music at Cal Poly Pomona, retired after serving 34 years at the university. Grasmick was one of the first Cyberprofs and was featured in Cal Poly’s “In Celebration of Learning” as an outstanding faculty member dedicated to the honorable vocation of teacher/scholar using technology.

Dr. Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman

Proud parents Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman and Barry Werger-Gottesman would like to introduce you to their twin sons Ace Grizzly and Mondy Maritimus, born September 8, 2010.

Congratulations to Nadia and Barry!

Tom Luer

Adjunct Professor Tom Luer has been touring with Engelbert Humperdinck, including a month in Europe!


2008-2009 Faculty Activities

The first concert in the new Chamber Music Festival “Nadia Shpachenko and Friends” will be presented Friday, November 18th at 8PM featuring pianist Nadia Shpachenko with Jerome Summers, clarinet and grammy nominee, Karen Elaine, viola. The trio will be premiering an original piece written for them by David Kopplin as well as works by W.A. Mozart, M. Bruch and G. Kurtág.

Each year the Society of Singers presents its premier fundraising event, the ELLA Award, named for its first recipient, Ella Fitzgerald in 1989. ELLA honorees are carefully chosen for their contribution to the music world and for their dedicated efforts to benefit the community and worldwide humanitarian causes. Ana Guigui, one of the Music Department’s adjunct faculty members, was awarded the 2009 Herb Alpert Voice Scholarship (one of the ELLA scholarships), and was invited to the dinner in his and Lani Halls honor, at the ELLA AWARDS. Ana says “Herb still looks good AND, he still plays great“.

Ana Guigui just finished a sixweek L.A. run of her original, one-woman show, GOD BOX. Playing to full houses, audiences loved the show which was dubbed “Critics Pick” by Backstage. “But what makes this a standout in the crowded soloshow genre comes when Guigui sits behind the piano. “God Box” is two shows, and the second one—a re-creation of life as a lounge piano singer—is worth the admission price.”

Susan Burns was featured in an article last Fall in the San Gabriel Valley News Groups publications, highlighting her teaching career and dedication to music. “She cares a great deal about her students and treats them like family,” said Alyssa Cossey, San Dimas High School choir director, 2006 Cal Poly music graduate and alumna in the Burns-directed Charles Lindsley Memorial Vocal Scholarship Concert. “She tailors her teaching to what each of her students needs,” Cossey added.
For the full article, visit http://www.sgvtribune.com/living/ci_11082711

Gus Gil spent the month of July in Bali (cities of Ubud and Sading) with members of Gamelan Burat Wangi studying Balinese gong kebyar music, specifically music for the dance drama Ramayana to be performed at the Disney Center’s REDCAT venue on Nov. 6,7,&8. While in Bali the group performed at several ritual events and shared a performance with renowned Balinese group Bharata Muni.

Janine Riveire was a guest speaker at the AHIMSA institute, “Journeys of Nonviolence: Gandhi and King” in July, leading the group in an exploration of the cultural roots of the songs of the American civil rights movement. The group explored how the concept of Satyagraha is embodied in these songs and considered music’s power to define and take possession of a space--both then and now.

In July, Dr. Riveire taught a special music class for the Children’s Center KIDS UNIVERSITY! with assistance from MENC clubmember, James Rodriguez. The children learned to make music with their names, how to read simple rhythms, and how to play some instruments. Thank-you notes that are posted on the MENC bulletin board.

Dr. Riveire also wrote a comparative review of beginning string methods that will be published in CMEA’s October magazine.

Iris Levine leads Vox Femina in a Star Filled Year!: VOX Femina and special guest Florence Henderson in a sell out performance of SING FOR THE CURE® in March, photo right. For full Broadway World article visit http://broadwayworld.com/article/Photo_Flash_SING_FOR_A_CURE_W_Florence_Henderson_20090317

Broadway’s leading lady, Rachel York, performed in VOX Femina’s SING-ULAR SENSATIONS tribute to Broadway, directed by Iris Levine, last November at Zipper Hall to standing room only crowds. http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Photo_Coverage_ SINGULAR_SENSATIONS_with_RACHEL_YORK_20000101

Professor Chubb recently scored a Butterfinger commercial for the “Nobody’s Gonna Lay a Finger On My Butterfinger” Video Contest; contributed music to several shows, including Oprah’s Big Give, Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency and Dr. 90210; continues to work with several music libraries including Morris and Young and Summit Music.; and Is working on a community workshop on music technology and project studios to be presented in Winter 2010.

Professor Mark Chubb scored the short feature, Drain Desert Tanner, for the 48 Hours Film Festival, which won six awards including Best Musical Score.

Nadia Shpachenko performed many solo and chamber music recitals locally, nationally and internationally. Performance highlights include a solo recital, master class and TV and radio recordings in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the Bosnia International Music Festival, performance with the Biava quartet at LACMA’s Sunday’s Live series and at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York, as well as chamber recitals with clarinetist Jerome Summers in the US and Canada and with guitarist Peter Yates at Cal Poly and at UCLA (harpsichord/guitar/arpeggione).

Dr. Shpachenko was also honored to bring internationally renowned guest artists John Perry, Edward Auer, Victor Rosenbaum and Biava Quartet to Cal Poly to present performances and master classes.

Prof. Ana Marie Maldonado, principal cellist for the San Bernardino Symphony, Featured in Local Papers: Ana Marie Maldonado has played cello for over 50 years, is principal cellist for the San Bernardino Symphony, and also leads the San Bernardino Symphony Trio with violinists Todor Pelev and Tom Sender. The trio presented a free outreach concert , showcasing a variety of classical music in September. “It’s always fun introducing people to classical music,” says Maldonado.
Professor Maldonado has been an important part of the success of the San Bernardino Symphony, which has been led since 2001 by worldfamous Carlo Ponti, music director and principal conductor, and son of legendary actress Sophia Loren. But Maldonado said Ponti does not let his prestigious upbringing go to his head. “Carlo is not the typical Hollywood brat” she said. “He has no airs at all. He’s really kind-hearted, and he always wants to do his best.” The symphony’s new season begins October 10, 2009. For more information visit www.sanbernardinosymphony.org.


Fall 2008 Faculty Activities

Mark Chubb filmed and scored a short film entitled I Used To Be Afraid of the Dark, about life and death through the eyes of a woman with a bi-racial heritage. Professor Chubb added Bad Girls Road Trip and Property Ladder to the list of shows that have used his music. He produced WC Handy's Harlem Blues for an up-and-coming recording artist and wrote a trio of short minimalist piano pieces. In his spare time he redesigned his website which can be found at

Gus Gil and the CPP Salsa Ensemble, along with Chaffey College Latin Jazz Band, performed at the San Dimas and Glendora Farmers' Markets throughout the summer. Professor Gil performed with the Balinese gamelan group Burat Wangi at the Plaza de la Raza, East LA, for the Summer Arts Camp and at the Indonesian Consulate as part of their independence day celebration. His Latin Jazz group, Mambop, performed for the Claremont Friday Nights Live series.

Janet Noll and Susan Burns completed their 8th summer show at Claremont High School this year. They were the co-musical directors for the Wizard of Oz with alumni Joel Wilson as the director and Damion Frigillana on percussion.

Sandra Yang is featured in the Fall 2008 Panorama article Practical Application discussing her use of multiple means to present material to her students. “I used to rely heavily on a lecture format, but this year, I have tried to present all of my material visually, aurally and kinetically when possible,” says Sandra Yang, a lecturer in history and music. For the complete article visit

Iris Levine, Janet Noll and alum Alyssa Cossey are pictured on the cover, and Page 16, of Choir & Organ's On Course 2009 guide to choral conducting and organ courses at colleges, conservatoires and universities. The photo is of a conducting workshop with Alyssa Cossey's high school choir. For more on Choir & Organ visit their website at


Spring 2008 Faculty Activities

Dr. Nadia Shpachenko performed Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto in Oct. and Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1 in Jan. She also performed a solo recital “Composers Inspiring Composers” on the prestigious “Sundays Live” Series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and two Piano and Cello Duo recitals with cellist Marek Szpakiewicz at APU and at USC in March. In April Dr. Shpachenko will perform at a festival honoring composer Yury Ishchenko’s 70th birthday in Kiev, Ukraine. She will premiere his Piano Sonata No. 6 (dedicated to her), perform his Four Mazurkas and a Touch of Chopin (which she premiered at CPP) and his Piano Quartet No. 2 at the Kiev National Academy of Music and perform his Piano Concerto No. 2 (which she premiered last year) with the Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Shpachenko will also teach master classes to students of the Kiev National Academy of Music. For more information, visit her website at: www.ullanta.com/nadia

The Music Education program at Cal Poly Pomona is currently (January 2008) the only one in the state of California to be approved under the state’s new curriculum requirements for music subject matter programs. As such, our music education graduates will be exempt from taking the subject matter test before entering a credential (teacher licensing) program. For more information, see this link All universities:

Janine Riveire presented “Shriek! Beginners can Compose”, Peter Yates, Dave Cahueque and Buzz Gravelle presented “Don’t Be Afraid of a G-String--Starting your Guitar Program”, and Alan Mautner presented his LA County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) Orchestra in a new music reading session at CMEA-Southern Section’s annual Midwinter Conference held at Cal State LA.

David Kopplin delivered a paper at the International Association for Jazz Education annual conference & attended the NAMM show and tried out the colorfully etched didgeridoos, many of which dangled tags reading, “Authentic termite-eaten.” See the LA Times article at http://articles.latimes.com/2008/01/21/calendar/et-namm21

David Grasmick taught a graduate level course in the Master Degree program in Educational Multimedia Program GED 550 entitled Multimedia Audio in the Winter Quarter, designing the course so that students would be editing, creating, and presenting audio/music including a podcast on the web and in video/film. He will be teaching this class again next year as it has been extremely well received.


Winter 2008 Faculty Activities

Buddy Clements has recently started a music publishing and production company - Happy Tuba Music Publishing - registered with ASCAP and is currently writing an arrangement for band which will be performed in this year’s Hollywood Christmas Parade - featured on local and national television.

Gary Tole and the Legends of Swing have released their first CD One Kettle for Count nominated for Grammy awards for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album and several composing and arranging awards for composer/arranger Scott Whitefield.

Sandra Yang will be featured in the Winter DRC Newsletter in the featured faculty column for an article about how she is employing Universal Design for Learning methods in MU 100 courses.

Michael Millar has joined two-time Grammy Award-winning Southwest Chamber Music as Development Director.

Bill Schlitt performed Paul Creston's Concertino for Marimba, Op.21 with the Redlands Symphony on November 10th. See the program notes on page 4.

Linda Silva will be conducting woodwind ensemble rehearsals for the instrumental music program at Pomona College during Spring 2008. She also began a new position this Fall in the Fine Arts department at the Webb Schools of California (Private boarding school) as Wind ensemble instructor.

Ellen Johnson’s new CD “These Days” is in the nominating round for a Grammy in the Best Jazz Vocal Album which is dedicated to Sheila Jordan and features her in a duet on one of her most special original compositions.

Janine Riveire shares her Laban bowing techniques in the November 21st issue of Strings Magazine.
For the complete article visit http://www.stringsmagazine.com/article/default.aspx?articleid=21448


Fall 2007 Faculty Activities

Vocalist Ellen Johnson will make a rare New York appearance performing songs from her latest CD, These Days, which features and is dedicated to legendary jazz artist, Sheila Jordan. For a complete tour list visit her website at www.ellenjohnson.net

Susan Burns and Janet Noll have completed their seventh co-production with our alumnus Joel Wilson in the Claremont High School’s summer musical. This summer’s show was “High School Musical,” the Disney phenomenon.

Dr. Nadia Shpachenko was Associate Faculty at the prestigious Sarasota International Music Festival in Florida June 3rd-24th and on August 5th she performed a Piano and Cello Duo recital with cellist Marek Szpakiewicz at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s “Sundays Live “ series. The recital was broadcast live on KCSN-FM 88.5 and had the best audience attendance of the season (the hall was filled to capacity). For more information visit her website at www.ullanta.com/nadia

Tom Luer will tour with Queen Latifah as she promotes her new album “Trav’lin’ Light”, on sale September 25. The tour is scheduled until late November with performances throughout the U.S., including Dallas, New York, Las Vegas, and Southern California. For more information on specific tour dates and how to purchase tickets, visit www.queenlatifah.com. Visit Tom’s website for more information on his work at http://tomluer.com/home