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Westlake Instrumental Music Instructional Staff 2019-2020
(805) 497-6711

2019-2020 Instructional Staff
 
 
Brian Peter - Click for bio
 
Brian R. Peter
Band Director x3114
 
Brian Peter graduated from the University of Southern California in 2001 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education while studying percussion with Eric Forester, Dale Anderson and a year with Ndugu Chancler. In January 2009, he earned a Master of Music in Conducting from the American Band College, at Southern Oregon University. He attended the ‘16 Northwestern University Conducting Symposium, led by Dr. Mallory Thompson and H. Robert Reynolds. Brian has appeared in Westlake Malibu Lifestyle magazine, written for Bandworld magazine, and was published in The Instrumentalist three times, including a feature interview in March, 2013. He received the Conejo Valley Unified School District ``Teacher of The Month” - May 2014. Brian also worked six seasons as a Toy Soldier drummer in the Disneyland Christmas Fantasy Parade (1998-2002 & 2004), and was the Band Director at Valley View High School from 2002-2006.
 
Brian is currently in his 14th year as the Department Chair of Performing Arts and Band Director of the 200-member program at Westlake High School. He is a member of the WHS Leadership Team, a position held since his first year at Westlake. WHS ensembles have performed at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Hall, three times at the California All-State Music Education Conference, twice at The Midwest Clinic, three times at The Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, The Monterey Jazz festival, The Jazz Education Network Conference, The Chicago Natural History Museum, and at the U.S.S Missouri. Westlake commissions include composers Gordon Goodwin, John Daversa, Victor Goines, George Stone, Tom Kubis, Matt Harris, Jeff Jarvis, Matt Finders, Mike Kamuf, Alan Ferber, Craig Skeffington, Scott Director, Patrick Burns, and Matt McBane.
 
Brian performed with the Blue Devils "A" Corps playing top bass in 1997 and snare in 1998, and snare in the USC Trojan Marching band 1994-1998. He was on the Blue Devils "A" corps visual staff since 2000-2017, instructed the Blue Devils "B" Corps pit 1999-2001 and 2002 Blue Devil “B” visual caption head. He was the lead full time instructor for the 2015/2020 Blue Devils “International Corps,” traveling Europe for five weeks, culminating with ten shows at the Basal Tattoo. With the Blue Devils “A” Corps he has earned multiple visual titles, nine DCI World Championships, including three undefeated seasons, and the highest DCI score ever recorded, 99.65, in 2014. Brian has been a full time staff member for the American Band College in Ashland, OR for the past two years. He has also served as a Master Teacher for four CSUN student teachers.
 
Brian has adjudicated field tournaments and concert festivals for the SCSBOA, winter drumline for SJVCGPR, ADLA, & PPAACC, and visual for Kamehameha HS. Brian is also a regular attendee of JEN conferences & the Midwest Clinic. His professional affiliations include the SCSBOA, CBDA, JEN, NAfME and System Blue.
 
 
 
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Ari Shiller
 
Ari Shiller
Band Director x3116
 
Ari Shiller has been a band director at Westlake High School since the Fall of 2019. Shiller is also currently a band teacher at Conejo Elementary School and a band coach at Colina Middle School. Prior to his current positions, Shiller was a student teacher at the award-winning Santa Monica High School music program as part of his teacher training and credential work in the UCLA Teacher Education Program. Shiller graduated from UCLA in June, 2019 with a B.A. in Music Education, and a B.A. in Music Performance (Percussion) with Latin Honors, Magna Cum Laude. While at UCLA, Shiller studied percussion with Raynor Carroll, Theresa Dimond, and Greg Goodall.
 
Shiller has also taught general music, musical theater, guitar, voice, and violin students at the Elementary and Middle School levels as part of his training in the UCLA Teacher Education Program. At UCLA, Shiller was a member of the Marching Band (drumline section leader), Philharmonia, Wind Ensemble, Symphony, and Percussion Ensemble. Shiller served as the Secretary of UCLA’s NAfME chapter (National Association for Music Education) and represented UCLA at the California All-State Music Education Conference in 2018 and 2019. Shiller performed his Capstone Senior Percussion Recital in Jan Popper Theater in June, 2019. Shiller’s expertise also extends into the marching arts, as a performer in independent marching ensembles such as Gold Drum & Bugle Corps 2015, Orange County Independent Percussion 2016, and Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps 2016.
 
Born in Detroit, MI, Shiller began his musical journey shortly after he and his family moved to San Diego, CA. Encouraged by his musical family, he began studying guitar at a young age and took up percussion in his school’s music program. While in school, Shiller’s interest in popular music led him to taking up singing and founding his own band. Later, Shiller became deeply involved with his music program at Del Norte High School where he was a member of several ensembles, percussion section leader, and served as president of Del Norte’s Tri-M Music Honor Society. Shiller was also a recipient of the John Philip Sousa Band Award.
 
 
 
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Matthew Ray
Band Director x3116
 
Matt Ray has been a band director at Westlake High School since the Fall of 2019. Matt resides in Southern California where he has worked as an educator and designer for over 17 years. Throughout his career he has instructed a number of academic and independent programs in both movement and music including The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps, The Oregon Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps, Nogales High School, Upland High School, BOA Grand National Finalist Ayala High School, and the internationally recognized Riverside Community College Marching Tigers. In addition to his stateside endeavors, he has also worked extensively in Japan as a staff member for such groups as Hamasho High School, Ohtani High School, Yamato Drum and Bugle Corps, and Yokohama Scouts, and as a performer for the theatre production “Collab,” which premiered in Osaka. As a drill designer, Matt has written for numerous programs in Southern California including Etiwanda High School and Damien High School. Not happy to just write the dots, Matt is also an active band choreographer, production designer, and consultant.
 
 
Liz Blake - Click for bio
 
Elizabeth Blake
Orchestra Director x2110

Elizabeth Blake is a Pasadena native who began her violin studies at the age of three. She earned a Bachelor of Music Performance in violin from Northwestern University in 1989, and moved to Tennessee, where she served as Assistant Principal Second Violin in the Knoxville Symphony and Chamber Orchestras for seven years. During that time, Ms. Blake appeared twice as the featured soloist with the Chamber Orchestra, as well as in frequent performances for the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Music Series and on local radio broadcasts.

In 1997, Ms. Blake and her husband, David, returned to Pasadena, where she pursued a freelance performance career. In 1998 she was invited to participate in the Michael Crawford “Phantom of the Opera” National Tour as Assistant Principal Second Violin. Ms. Blake has performed locally with the Glendale and New West Symphonies; in addition, she has served as Principal Second Violin in the Riverside and Antelope Valley Orchestras, as well as Concertmaster for the West Coast Chamber Orchestra and the “Concertos With Orchestra Thousand Oaks” (CWOTO) program. In 2005 she appeared as guest soloist with the West Coast Chamber Orchestra, and in 2006 gave the United States premiere of a newly revived triple concerto by Mozart with the Crown City Chamber Players. Currently Ms. Blake is a regular member of the California Philharmonic Orchestra's Disney Hall Concert Series, for the 2006-7 season serving as Acting Principal Second Violin. Her performances can also be heard on soundtracks for Warner Brothers, Sony and Castle Rock Entertainment, and in recitals throughout Southern California with the Avanti Quartet. Avanti holds the Quartet in Residence title at Clemson University, and in 2005 released the first in a series of recordings featuring the string quartets of George Whitefield Chadwick.

Ms. Blake began her teaching career in 1981 at the age of 15, when she began giving private violin and viola instruction. While with the Knoxville Symphony, she was an active member of the KSO Youth Education and Outreach Program, bringing classical music into the Knox County public schools. Since then, she has obtained her teaching credential, and has acted as guest director for the Arrowbear Music Camp Elementary String Session and the Pasadena Summer Youth Chamber Orchestra. She is an ensemble coach with the Ventura County Youth Chamber Music Program, and in 2001 founded the String Orchestra Program at Los Cerritos Middle School in Thousand Oaks. The LCMS Advanced Orchestra currently holds an unbroken record of Superior ratings from more than a dozen festival performances over the past six years.

 

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Phil Idell
Percussion Caption Head

Phil Idell currently holds a B.A. in Music Education from UCLA, where he studied under Mitchell Peters and participated in the Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and several other university performance ensembles. Phil was also a section leader in the award-winning UCLA Marching Band, with whom he travelled across the county for various NCAA sporting events, and even internationally as a featured performer in the 2010 Ekitopia Festival in Nagoya, Japan.
 
Since graduating from UCLA in 2012, Phil has become an extremely active percussion instructor and arranger in the Greater Los Angeles Area. While teaching some private lessons, the bulk of his work has been in marching percussion education, with emphasis in front ensemble percussion. Over the past 5 years, Phil has had the privilege of teaching the activity’s most elite ensembles, including: Arcadia High School (WGI 2016 PSW Bronze Medalists), POW Percussion, Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps, and the 2013 DCI World Champion Carolina Crown. In addition to Westlake High School, Phil currently instructs Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps and the 2016 WGI PIW Bronze Medalists, Broken City Percussion.
 
Phil’s own marching experience includes: Pacific Crest 2009 and 2010, Blue Devils “A” Corps 2011 and 2012 (earning Percussion Performer of the Year in 2012), and RCC Indoor Percussion 2012 and 2013.
 
Phil, himself an alumnus of Westlake High School (Class of 2008 and 4-year member of the music program), is proud to be entering his fifth year as an instructor at his alma mater.
 
 
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Robert Guzman
Colorguard Caption Head

Rob Guzman graduated from Fillmore High School in 1997 where he was a saxophone player, Colorguard member and Drum Major. Once he graduated he went onto teach the Fillmore High School and Fillmore Middle Colorguards from 1998-2005. At the age of 21 Rob continued his performance career with Black Knights Independent Winterguard. From there he continued to perform with such groups as Riverside Community College 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, Fantasia Winterguard 2004 and 2005, and Diamante Winterguard in 2012

Rob has also been instructing with many Southern California Colorguard programs over the years including Buena High School (2015 SCSBOA 2A High Auxiliary, 2015 WGASC Gold medalist, 2015 WGI Finalist), Oxnard High School(2012 WGASC Gold medalist), Moorpark High School (2013 WGASC Bronze Medalist), Thousand Oaks High School (2006 WGASC Bronze Medalist, Adolfo Camarillo High School (2009 WGASC Gold Medalist, 2011 WGASC Silver Medalist, 2013 WGASC Silver Medalist) Gladstone High School (2014 WGASC Bronze Medalist), Diamante Winterguard, Mystikal Drum and Bugle Corps, Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, and Orange County Independent Winds Ensemble 2015 WGI Silver Medalist, 2016 WGI Bronze Medalist). He is currently Colorguard instructor for Westlake High School and Marshall Fundamental High School (2013 WGASC Gold Medalist, 2014 WGASC Bronze Medalist, 2015 WGASC Bronze Medalist)

In addition to his colorguard Career Rob has also been a visual and marching instructor for Fillmore High School, Buena High School (2015 SCSBOA 2A Gold Medalist), and currently Marshall Fundamental High School (2014 SCSBOA 1a Bronze Medalist) and Newbury Park High School. Rob currently resides in Northridge, CA

 

Jack Trieger

Jack Trieger 
Colorguard Instructor

 

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Azmi Baltagi
Marching Instructor

 

Mike Freed

Mike Freed
Marching/Music Instructor

 

Additional Staff Members:

  • Christopher Chervet - Visual/Brass
  • Vivian Kung - Visual/Brass
  • Mietron Shahbodaghloo - Battery
  • Alex Lam - Front Ensemble
  • Xochitl Villalobos - Colorguard
 
 
Our Booster Mission:
The mission of the WHSIMB is to support the WHS Instrumental Music Department by providing a high level of parental involvement, volunteerism and fundraising to promote a high quality comprehensive musical education program.
 
 
Our Organization:
 The Boosters organization is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization comprised of parents of students and alumni of the Instrumental Music department of WHS.
 
 
What We Do:
  • Fundraising - The Fundraising programs of the WHSIMB provide crucial funding for instruments, instrument repairs, music, Staff & Specialists salaries, trips, competition fees, enrichment opportunities and so much more.
  • Spirit Pack – The dollar amount we ask of each participant to support the program
  • Major Fundraising Programs – Food Truck Event, Westlake Jazz Festival, WHS IMD Yearbook, Patron Programs
  • Smaller Fundraising Programs –Patron Program, Muvico Discount Tickets, Popcorn Sales @ Football Games, Conejo food and drink donations,
  • Corporate Sponsorships – We solicit local business to donate and offer various forms of recognition.
  • Endowment Grants – We apply for educational grants from several organizations.
  • Program Support – The Boostersprovide manpower/womanpower to all aspects of the music program
  • Production support - provide supervision and labor for ensemble events and performances. This includes: Regiment semi-trailer and field show management, set up and teardown, building props, maintaining equipment.
  • Travel coordination and chaperones – Support ensemble travel by managing all aspects of the travel planning, transportation, lodging, and logistics and provide trained chaperones.
  • Food – Support ensemble events with meals, drinks and snacks.
  • Concert dress, uniform and spirit ware – support thepurchase, fitting, distribution, maintenance and inventory.
  • Publicity and communications – Provide publicity for ensemble events.
  • Communication Support – Provide multiple channels of communication among Booster Board, Parents, students, and WHS Staff. Website, Email Blast, parent meetings, social media, announcements.
  • Booster Organization Management – Manage all aspects of the Booster organization, recruiting, finance, coordination, planning, etc.
 
 
Charms:
Charms is the Boosters online database manager. It contains the student information that is necessary to administer our program. Parents have access to the system to input and update information. It is very important that your student’s information is complete and accurate. Most important is your email address. Email is our primary mode of communication. Having your email address is critical when there is a change in plans and we need to get that information to you.
 
 
What We Ask of You:
  • Make a Spirit Pack donation
  • Keep informed and follow up request
  • Get personally involved and volunteer
 
 
Booster Parent Involvement Opportunities!!
 
Production – Regiment Committees:
Truck Dads - 15 to 20 volunteers are needed.
Under the direction of the Head Truck Dads (moms are also truck dads) build props, maintain equipment, load and unload the truck, assist in the movement of pit equipment for football games and competitions.
Time commitment –Self-directed, since they operate as a team individual members can volunteer to participate in the events that fit their schedule.
 
 
Chaperones - 15 to 20volunteers are needed.
Under the direction of the Head Chaperone supervise students at various Band activities. These include: home football games, away football games, competitions, fund raising activities, and overnight trips.
Time commitment –Self-directed, since they operate as a team, individual members can volunteer to operate in the events that fit their schedule.
 
 
Food Committee Member- 15 to 20volunteers are needed.
Under the direction of the Food Team Leaders, prepares a component of a meal, sets up serving area with tables, serving dishes and other equipment. Serves band members and participates in clean up.
Time commitment - Self-directed, since they operate as a team individual members can volunteer to participate in the events that fit their schedule.
 
 
Uniform Committee Member- 5 to 10volunteers are needed.
Under the direction of the Uniform Director, assist in fitting session and the assignment of uniforms. Participates in the annual “Sweatshop” alteration sessions, assists in washing of uniforms and during Regiment events assist in the distribution of uniform parts. Solves regiment members problems with uniform issues.
Time commitment -Self-directed, since they operate as a team individual members can volunteer to participate in the events that fit their schedule. Typically 2 to 3 hours a week and one all-day session to prepare the uniforms for distribution.
 
 
Production – Ensembles Committees:
Concert Attire Committee Member– 2 to 3 volunteers are needed.
Supports the Concert Attire Director in managing the concert wear program. This includes the purchasing, inventory, distribution, cleaning, and storage of the tuxedos and concert dresses.
Time commitment –Most time is spent in the fall and spring, about 10 to 15 hours a month. Much less during the rest of the year.
 
 
Fundraising Committees:    
Fundraising Planning Committee Member -4 to 6volunteers are needed.
Under the direction of the VP Development Fundraising the incumbent assists in fundraising projects. This includes providing administrative support, coordination of activities and hands on support to the fundraising such as: Food truck event, WHS Jazz Festival, Year/Ad Book, grants, Patron programs and other ongoing programs.
Time commitment – Varies depending on when major fundraising events are happening, generally 6 to 8 hours per month.
 
 
Food Truck Event Planning Committee Member - 7 to 10 volunteers are needed.
Assist the Food Truck Event Director in managing all aspects of the Food Truck Event. This Includes: Finding the site, food trucks, Permits, logistics, entertainment, volunteers, parking, publicity, ticket sales and setup/teardown/cleanup.
Time commitment– fall term, 4 to 8 hours per week. All day on the day of the event.
 
 
Food Truck Event VolunteerThis is one of our large fundraising events that needs a large number of student and parent volunteers.
Performs assigned duty on a given shift during the event. . A sampling of the jobs are: parking supervisors, greeters, guides, concession workers, facility workers, security, ticket sales, and set up and cleanup workers. Detailed signup sheets are in the lobby.
Time commitment – One shift once a year.
 
 
Yearbook Planning Committee Member -4 to 6 volunteers are needed.
Assist the Yearbook Director in planning and executing the Yearbook. This Includes: coordinating the planning, design, obtaining photos and copy, managing the selling of business ads, selling student tributes, obtaining senior bios, and working with designer and printer.
Time commitment –winter and spring terms, 5 to 10 hours a month, more so as the production deadline draws near.
 
 
Westlake Jazz Festival Planning Committee Member - 7 to 10 volunteers are needed.
Assist the Westlake Jazz Festival Director in managing all aspects of the Jazz Festival. This includes: Facilities, set up and tear down, logistics, parking and bus supervision, hospitality room, tickets, vendors, concessions and volunteers.
Time commitment– spring term, 3 to 5 hours per month. More so as the event draws near.
 
 
Westlake Jazz Festival Volunteers - This is one of our large fundraising events that needs a large number of student and parent volunteers.
Assignments will be made through our website a month prior to the event. A sampling of the jobs are: parking supervisors, greeters, guides, concession workers, venue workers, security, ticket sales, and set up and cleanup workers.
Time commitment– spring term, one half or one day shift.
 
 
Volunteer Committee:
Volunteer Planning Committee Memberneed around 4 to 6 team members
Assist the VP Volunteers in fulfilling the Boosters’ needs for parent volunteers. Duties include soliciting parents to become volunteers, supporting the New Family Coordinator and Middle School Liaison, working the volunteer table at band events, assist in the scheduling of volunteers, and maintaining the volunteer database.
Time commitment–Varies depending on when major events are happening, generally 3 to 7 hours per month.
 
 
Communications Committee:
Communication Planning Committee Member - need around 4 to 6 team members
Assist the VP Communications in managing all aspects of communication for the Booster organization. This includes: formation of a communication strategy for all Music Department “audiences”, such as parents, Booster volunteers, students, general public, web site and social media management, publicity, press relations, and email blast. Support the Website and Social Media Coordinator and Publicity Leader.
Time commitment–Varies depending on when major events are happening, generally 3 to 7 hours per month.