meet our advisory board!

Robert Cutietta is dean of the USC Thornton School of Music and the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.Dr. Cutietta has served as dean of the USC Thornton School of Music since 2002, and has overseen an expansion in endowment, programs, and space while building upon the traditional high quality of education that is the school’s trademark.

Peter Jon Pearce is one of the leading visionaries in the world. He was an employee of Charles Eames and was an assistant to Buckminster Fuller. He is the author of several books including “Structure in Nature Is a Strategy for Design.” His focus on high-performance design, and on achieving sustainability in his designs, is seen in the methodologies used in the design of the Cachet Chair his work on Biosphere 2, and in the design of the Pearce Ecohouse.

Dr. Sheila Woodward is Chair of Music and Associate Professor of Music at Eastern Washington University, USA. She is a native of South Africa and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town and a Performer’s Licentiate in Organ from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. She previously taught at the University of Southern California, the University of South Florida, and the University of the Western Cape. Dr. Woodward is President of ISME and serves on the editorial board of IJME. She has previously served on numerous professional boards; among them being two terms on the ISME Board of Directors (2004-2008), three terms on the ISME Early Childhood Music Education Commission (1992-1998, two as Chair), two terms on the NAfME Council for IN-ovations (2012-2014, one as Chair), and two terms on the NAfME Executive Board of the Society for General Music (2002-2006). Dr Woodward’s research focus is music and wellbeing. She explores these topics from before birth to adulthood, with studies on the fetus, neonate, premature infant, young child, at-risk youth, juvenile offender, and adult musician.

(Robert) Vijay Gupta joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2007 at the age of nineteen, after completing a Master’s degree in Music from Yale University and a Bachelor’s in biology from Marist College. His principal teachers have included Glenn Dicterow and Ani Kavafian. Gupta frequently appears on the Philharmonic’s Chamber Music and Green Umbrella new music series and is actively engaged in various LA Phil educational outreach initiatives. Vijay made his solo debut at the age of eleven in Tel Aviv with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta, has performed as a guest concertmaster with the Los Angeles Opera, Orquestra Comunitat de Valencia (Spain), and recently, as guest Leader of the Philharmonia Orchestra of London at the prestigious Three Choirs Festival in Worcester, UK.Gupta is a passionate and dedicated advocate for the presence of music in ostracized communities. He founded and serves as Artistic Director for Street Symphony, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing free, live music to men, women, and youth living in homelessness and incarceration. A gifted spokesperson for human and mental health advocacy through a musical medium, Gupta is a TED speaker and a 2011 TED Senior Fellow.

Judge Rand Rubin (Los Angeles Elected Judge)

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rand S. Rubin has had a 38 year legal career in the criminal justice system. He began as a defense lawyer primarily working with underserved populations, and now serves as a trial court judge in the busiest criminal court system in the nation. While working diligently to ensure that every defendant who comes before him receives a fair hearing, Judge Rubin has always been troubled by the high recidivism rates in Los Angeles County. Motivated by his passion to rehabilitate and empower those who are incarcerated, Judge Rubin has been instrumental in bringing Street Symphony concerts into the LA County Jails, to benefit inmates who are part of Education Based Incarceration. Judge Rubin strongly believes in reducing recidivism and promoting fresh starts through education and musical healing. Over 50 concerts have been performed in the Los Angeles County Jail system since 2011. Rubin opens each concert with a message of hope, inspiration and encouragement for the inmates to break the cycle of crime and transform their lives. For Judge Rubin, the most gratifying aspect of these Street Symphony concerts is witnessing the positive energy and excitement that emanates from the audience. While the inmates often respond with sheer joy, enthusiasm and gratitude, the musicians are equally moved by the experience. For the inmates, the Street Symphony musicians who perform bring much more than the gift of music – they represent humanity, generosity, and the true meaning of community. Judge Rubin is an enthusiastic amateur musician dividing his time between playing the viola and guitar. As a violist with the “Second Strings Chamber Orchestra,” he brings music to the underserved in Senior Homes in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Rickey Minor (born September 6, 1959) is a music director, composer, and music producer, now best known as the former musical director and bandleader on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno after Kevin Eubanks left. Minor was born in Monroe, Louisiana and raised by his mother, Helen Blevins, in South Central Los Angeles, CA. Much of his musical training was self-taught. Minor has served as musical director for numerous superstar tours, including: Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Ray Charles, Alicia Keys and Beyoncé and for television productions, including: the Grammy Awards, the NAACP Image Awards and the Super Bowl, of which he’s received four separate Emmy nominations in the musical direction category. In addition to his work as current musical director for American Idol.

A native of Berkeley, California, Gloria Lum attended both the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, graduating from the latter institution magna cum laude. A student of Gabor Rejto and Ronald Leonard, she was a member of the Oakland Symphony and the Denver Symphony before joining the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1985. A frequent participant of the Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella series and its Chamber Music Series, Ms. Lum has been involved in tributes to Elliott Carter, György Ligeti, Witold Lutoslawski, and most recently appeared in a solo work by David Lang. On the chamber music series, she has appeared with Andre Previn, Emanuel Ax, Lars Vogt, and Joshua Bell. Gloria Lum currently teaches cello and chamber music at Occidental College.

Canadian born, Los Angeles based, award winning film composer Lawrence Shragge, has written music for everything from feature films to television series, from theatre, dance, and documentaries to international advertising campaigns and even music for major art installations. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1990, Lawrence has written the music for more than seventy-five features, television movies, and series.

Cornelius “Corney” Mims has performed live, in studio, and on television with well-known artists throughout the music industry. His list of credits reads like a who’s who of the music industry’s elite. Names like Michael Jackson, Kenny Loggins, Natalie Cole, En Vogue, George Michael, Brandy, Phil Collins, Snoop Dogg and Beyonce only scratch the surface of his musical accomplishments.

Richards, based in Chicago, is a seasoned veteran with a highly successful career spanning over 25 years in the financial services industry, notably as Managing Director of Lehman Brothers and Head of Fixed Income/Managing Director at UBS Global Asset Management. In 2004, Tony founded Stairway Partners, a money management firm, and has served as director on many company boards. He retired from Stairway Partners in the winter of 2013 after selling the company. Tony has a long history with the company, serving as its interim CEO before starting up Stairway Partners and handing the reigns over to David Mainville. 

Sharon Pierre-Louis is a multilingual Haitian-American fluent in Kreyol, American Sign Language, and conversational French. She is a classical/Opera singer and has 5 siblings, including a Deaf older brother. She discovered her love of acting after performing a Langston Hughes poem in the 6th grade. That following year she was accepted into a performing arts middle/high school (Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts) that changed her life forever. Pierre-Louis went on to performing in community theaters, schools, churches and various programs to positively impact inner city youth. After receiving her BFA degree in acting (Cum Laude) from Florida State University, she made her big move to Los Angeles. Within her 1st few months there she landed a Toyota commercial, followed by a guest star recurring role on ABC Family’s Lincoln Heights. She has also guest starred on CSI: Miami, Suburgatory, and after having shot a couple of pilots, Sharon worked as a series regular on ABC Family’s The Lying Game. She also played the part of Lil Jody in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Currently Sharon is now working on ABC Family’s hit series Switched at Birth guest star recurring in the role of Iris. A project dear to her heart as the show includes the Deaf community and uses ASL.

Mark Hammond is an accomplished jazz and classical guitarist who has performed, recorded with, or taught a diverse spectrum of artists such as D’Angelo, Hubert Laws, Jesse Johnson, Bobby Lyle, Buckethead, Jimmy Wyble, Bunny Brunel, Bootsy Collins, and many others. He received his BA degree from Pomona College and is also a recipient of Jazz Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. He received his MBA degree from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business where he was a Consortium Fellow. He is currently Senior Vice President, Investments with Wells Fargo Advisors. Mark is dedicated to music education, and has taught guitar to hundreds of students, from beginners to many top-level recording artists.

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