Faculty: Session 1

Ensemble Directors

Michael gesme, music program director/orchestra director

Michael Gesme is Professor of Music and Chair of the Fine Arts and Communication Department at Central Oregon Community College in Bend, Oregon. He is the conductor of the Central Oregon Symphony, the Cascade Winds Symphonic Band and teaches various courses in music theory, ear training, music history, and conducting. In addition, Michael directs the Central Oregon Chamber Orchestra and is the principal conductor for OperaBend. He received his bachelor’s degree from Luther College (Decorah, IA) and his master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Michael’s daughter, Zeta, is a YMA counselor.

Scott Wright

Scott wright, band director/clarinet

Clarinetist Scott Wright is currently the Professor of Clarinet at the University of Kentucky, a position he has held since 2002. At Kentucky, he is also a member of the esteemed McCracken Faculty Wind Quintet, and Chair of the Winds—Percussion—Jazz Division in the School of Music. In a career spanning nearly three decades Dr. Wright has performed and taught in a wide variety of settings including the public schools, universities, chamber and orchestral ensembles, and as a soloist. Wright hashas been featured as both a conductor and clarinetist the conferences of the International Clarinet Association, National Band Association, College Band Directors National Association, the International Double Reed Society, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, the Midwest Clinic, and the American Choral Directors Association. Since 1997, he has appeared frequently with pianist Linda Halloin (Duo Pegasus) as a guest artist, and has presented numerous concerts and masterclasses at colleges and universities throughout the country as well as in Europe, Canada, and Asia.

In addition to a busy performing schedule, Dr. Wright has a passion for music education and working with youth and music educators. He continues to keep busy as a conductor and soloist with high school and middle school bands throughout the United States, and during the summer months he serves as clarinet instructor and band director at music camps and festivals in Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin—Green Bay), Oregon, and Kentucky, as well as a clarinet instructor and consultant for the American Band College-Sam Houston State University. Dr. Wright holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Arizona State University, and he is a Selmer Performing Artist. Wright resides in Nicholasville, Kentucky with his wife of 28 years, Eileen, and their three sons.

 

blake applegate, choir director

Blake Applegate is the Director of Cantores in Ecclesia, assuming leadership of the organization upon the retirement of his father, Dean Applegate, in the spring of 2010. Prior to his appointment as Director, Blake served as Assistant Director, conducting the adult and children’s choirs not only locally but while on tour in Europe. A highly respected singer as well as choral director, he has sung widely throughout the Portland metropolitan area with groups such as Capella Romana, the Trinity Consort and the Portland Baroque Orchestra. For over a decade he has been a member of the Schola Cantorum at Holy Rosary Church, where he serves as principal cantor for the parish. He and his wife, professional musician Anna Song, are the parents of two and deeply committed to the musical education and training of children and young adults.

AnnaSong.jpg

Anna song, choir director

Anna Song has been directing choirs and teaching music in the Portland area since moving to Oregon in 2001. She holds a B.A. in composition from UCLA, an M.M in Choral Conducting from Yale University, and an Ed.D in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has studied with Dennis Keene at the Keenefest Choral Institute and has appeared at the Oregon Bach Festival as a conducting fellow with Helmuth Rilling. Dr. Song is currently Associate Professor of Music at Linfield College where she serves as the Director of Choral Activities. A lover of early music, she is also Co-founder and Artistic Director of In Mulieribus, a professional women's vocal ensemble that has presented its own concert series in Portland for the past decade. Her past positions include Associate Director of Choral Activities at DePaul University in Chicago, and Assistant Conductor of the Portland Symphonic Choir.

JOHN HUBBARD, STRING ORCHESTRA/cello

John Hubbard is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, and the University of Southern California, where he studied cello with Gabor Rejto, Eleanore Schoenfeld, and Ronald Leonard. In Los Angeles he was a member of the Pasadena Symphony for ten years, during which time he substituted with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In Portland since 1989, he has acted as principal cello with the Portland Opera, the Oregon Ballet Theatre, and the Cascade Music Festival.  He maintains a private studio, and teaches cello at the Community Music Center and Reed College.  John has conducted student and adult string orchestras at the Community Music Center as well as the Portland Youth Philharmonic’s Young String Ensemble.

Catón Lyles

catón lyles, afro-cuban rhythm director

Catón Lyles has been active on the local music scene for over 30 years. As a musician and actor he has been featured on national and international television, in commercials, documentaries, and episodic programming. Catón specializes in traditional West African and Afro-Cuban styles of hand drumming, and continues to be a dance accompanist working with several school districts and world-renowned choreographers and dance educators. Currently he is performing with various groups including, Le Trio Ecletique; the Crazy 8’s; Kúkátónón and Pura Vida Orquestra and teaches privately and at Rhythm Traders in Portland. Catón also serves as camp manager at Caldera. 

 

Strings

Casey bozell, violin & chamber music program director

Casey Bozell, violinist, is a diverse and energetic performer based in Portland, Oregon. She is an active solo, chamber, and orchestral player, currently holding positions with the Portland Opera Orchestra and Oregon Ballet Theater Orchestra and performs as an orchestral and chamber member in the Oregon Coast Music Festival. Casey has a constantly growing violin, viola, and piano studio to complement her eighteen years of private teaching experience. She is adjunct professor of violin and viola and Concordia University Portland, and is also the director of their string ensemble. Her students have participated in the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Pro-Arte Youth Orchestra, and Oregon All-State Orchestra, and have won college scholarships and concerto competitions across the Pacific Northwest.

Casey’s former teachers include Gerardo Ribeiro, Richard Fuchs, and Harold Wippler. She received her Bachelors of Music Performance from the University of Northern Colorado, and her Masters of Music Performance from Northwestern University.  She plays on an 1874 Frederic Diehl violin.

HEATHER MASTEL-LIPSON, VIOLIN instructor

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Heather began playing the violin at age seven. Since then she has performed in music festivals in the United States, Europe and South America where she spent last summer touring Chile with the Orchestra of the Americas (YOA). As an orchestral player, Heather is a regular member of Portland Opera, associate concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony and recently won a position with Oregon Ballet Theatre. She has performed as concertmaster of several ensembles including the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, Eastman Philharmonia, Minnesota All-State Orchestra and the Brainerd Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician Heather performs with the Northwest Piano Trio and in a violin and guitar duo giving concerts with both ensembles around Portland and the Bay Area. When she is not performing, Heather enjoys teaching her private students and coaching chamber music. Heather holds a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a master of music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her primary teachers include Axel Strauss, Juliana Athayde and Frank Huang. Aside from playing the violin, Heather is an avid swimmer and loves swimming the butterfly across the lakes of Minnesota or the San Francisco Bay (in a wetsuit, of course!)

LindsayBohl.jpg

lindsay bohl, viola instructor

Lindsay Bohl had no idea what the viola was when it was chosen for her (by her mother), but as soon as she learned to play it, she fell in love with it and promptly quit her piano lessons. After completing her master’s degree from Northwestern University, Lindsay won a position with the New World Symphony, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. It was there that she discovered her passion for playing in an orchestra and a strange enjoyment of practicing orchestral excerpts for several hours every day. Other highlights of Lindsay’s career include performing with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and performing with artists Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham and others. Lindsay currently serves as the Associate Principal Viola of the Boise Philharmonic and member of the Boise Philharmonic String Quartet. In addition to playing with the orchestra, she maintains a private studio of viola and violin students. She is on the faculty of Young Musicians and Artists and served on the faculty of George Fox University before moving to Boise, Idaho.

JOHN HUBBARD, CELLO instructor/STRING ORCHESTRA director

John Hubbard is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, and the University of Southern California, where he studied cello with Gabor Rejto, Eleanore Schoenfeld, and Ronald Leonard. In Los Angeles he was a member of the Pasadena Symphony for ten years, during which time he substituted with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In Portland since 1989, he has acted as principal cello with the Portland Opera, the Oregon Ballet Theatre, and the Cascade Music Festival.  He maintains a private studio, and teaches cello at the Community Music Center and Reed College.  John has conducted student and adult string orchestras at the Community Music Center as well as the Portland Youth Philharmonic’s Young String Ensemble.

NinaDeCesare.jpg

Nina DeCesare, Double Bass Instructor

Nina DeCesare is a double bassist in the Oregon Symphony and recently completed her studies with Paul Ellison at Rice University, where she earned a Bachelor of Music Performance degree. She has attended the Tanglewood Music Festival, Domaine Forget Academy, Wabass Institute for the 21st Bass Player, Sarasota Music Festival, and the Moritzburg Academy in Germany.

In February 2014, Nina performed a solo on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, representing the Shepherd School of Music in the Conservatory Series. She also spent the summer of 2012 studying with the virtuosic and revolutionary François Rabbath in Paris, France, as a Wagoner Fellow, bestowed from Rice University.

She has performed in several competitions and won first prize in the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition in both the 14 and Under and the 15-18 age divisions, the University of Texas Bassfest Concerto Competition and the Chesapeake River Series Concerto Competition. Gayle Williams from the Sarasota Herald Tribune reviewed Nina as “riveting with her virtuosic display."

 

Woodwinds

sophia tegart, flute instructor

Dr. Sophia Tegart teaches at Washington State University, where she is Clinical Assistant Professor of Flute. Prior to this appointment, Sophia served on the faculties of Pacific University, George Fox University, and the University of Idaho. As a Yamaha Performing Artist, she has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, and she has been soloist with the Spokane Symphony, the Washington-Idaho Symphony, Chehalem Symphony Orchestra, and the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. Sophia has performed as a member of the Oregon Mozart Players, the Walla Walla Symphony, and the Des Moines Metro Opera. Additionally, she served as guest principal flutist in the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and performed regularly with the Kansas City Symphony. Currently, Sophia is piccoloist with the Colorado Mahlerfest and the Walla Walla Symphony, and second flute and piccolo in the Washington Idaho Symphony.

Dr. Tegart received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Flute Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance where she held the flute fellowship in the Graduate Woodwind Quintet. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Master of Arts in Music History and a Master of Music in Flute Performance.

Ryan Zwahlen, OBOE INSTRUCTOR

Oboist Ryan Zwahlen performs throughout California with groups including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Diego Symphony. Since relocating to the SF Bay Area in 2014, Ryan has been heard with the Santa Rosa Symphony, Opera San Jose, Santa Cruz Symphony and Ballet, Merced Symphony, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, and the conductorless chamber orchestra, One Found Sound.

From 2010-2014 Ryan was Music Department Chair and a faculty member at the Idyllwild Arts Academy, and he taught during the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program from 2012-2016. Also an avid chamber musician, he has been a member of the Vientos Trio (winner of the 2011 Beverly Hills Auditions), West Coast Wind Quintet (Finalist in the 2013 San Diego Chamber Music Competition), and Definiens.

Ryan holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Arizona State University, and pursued doctoral studies at UCLA. His principal teachers include Nancy Ambrose King, Martin Shuring, and Marion Kuszyk.

DR. SCOTT WRIGHT, CLARINET instructor/BAND director

Clarinetist Scott Wright is currently the Professor of Clarinet at the University of Kentucky, a position he has held since 2002. At Kentucky, he is also a member of the esteemed McCracken Faculty Wind Quintet, and Chair of the Winds—Percussion—Jazz Division in the School of Music. In a career spanning nearly three decades Dr. Wright has performed and taught in a wide variety of settings including the public schools, universities, chamber and orchestral ensembles, and as a soloist. Wright has performed with numerous ensembles including the Trade Winds Ensemble (Tampa, FL), The New Sousa Band, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra (Columbus, OH), the Arizona Opera Orchestra, Ensemble 21 (Phoenix AZ), The Green Bay Symphony, and the Lexington Philharmonic. He has been featured as both a conductor and clarinetist the conferences of the International Clarinet Association, National Band Association, College Band Directors National Association, the International Double Reed Society, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, the Midwest Clinic, and the American Choral Directors Association. Since 1997, he has appeared frequently with pianist Linda Halloin (Duo Pegasus) as a guest artist, and has presented numerous concerts and masterclasses at colleges and universities throughout the country as well as in Europe, Canada, and Asia.

In addition to a busy performing schedule, Dr. Wright has a passion for music education and working with youth and music educators. He continues to keep busy as a conductor and soloist with high school and middle school bands throughout the United States, and during the summer months he serves as clarinet instructor and band director at music camps and festivals in Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin—Green Bay), Oregon, and Kentucky, as well as a clarinet instructor and consultant for the American Band College-Sam Houston State University. Dr. Wright holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Arizona State University, and he is a Selmer Performing Artist. Wright resides in Nicholasville, Kentucky with his wife of 28 years, Eileen, and their three sons.

AnnKosanovicBrown.jpg

Ann Kosanovic-Brown, BASSOON

As the first female bassoonist to play with the Berlin Philharmonic (BPO), Ann toured and performed with the BPO under Herbert Von Karajan. She is a former member of the Oregon Symphony and has held principal positions with orchestras including Das Symphonie Orchester Berlin; Camerata Salzburg; and Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, South Africa. She has been guest principal bassoonist with the Seattle Symphony, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Eugene Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, Siletz Bay Music Festival and the Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavaria. Ann can also be heard in many film scores and TV Series, including Mr. Holland's Opus, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Air Bud, Little Toaster Goes to Mars, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Kosanovic-Brown completed her undergraduate studies at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, and continued graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati, Hochschule Mozarteum, and the Berliner Philharmonic Academy.

She was appointed to the University of Natal as associate professor of bassoon in Durban, South Africa and has also taught music minor bassoonists at the Oberlin Conservatory. She has served as a guest lecturer at George Fox University and was on the faculty at the Icicle Creek Summer Music Festival in Leavenworth, WA. Ann currently teaches at Oregon State University.

AdamPelandini.jpg

Adam Pelandini, Saxophone Instructor

Saxophonist Dr. Adam Pelandini teaches at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. He is an active performer, clinician and music educator based in the Pacific Northwest. Formerly an active performer in Boston, MA, his recent engagements include performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra where he worked with conductors Andris Nelsons, Robert Spano and Stéphane Denève in Boston’s historic Symphony Hall and the Tanglewood Music Center’s Koussevitsky Music Shed. During the Summers of 2011 and 2012, he was invited to perform with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in Lenox, MA where he worked with conductors Stephan Asbury and Miguel Harth-Bedoya performing staples of the orchestral saxophone repertoire and chamber music.

As a soloist, Adam has performed in numerous recitals and masterclasses across the United States. He was a featured performer at the North American Saxophone Alliance regional conferences in Salem, MA (2012) and the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY (2010).  A proponent of new music, Adam has collaborated with renowned composers including Gunther Schuller, Michael Gandolfi, Lei Liang, Matti Kovler, James Yannatos, Matthew Kaner and many others.


Adam holds degrees from the Boston University College of Fine Arts (DMA), the New England Conservatory of Music (MM) where he graduated with academic honors and was a recipient of the George Frederick Jewett Memorial Scholarship, and Central Washington University (BM). His principle teachers include Kenneth Radnofsky and Joseph Brooks, and has worked with legendary saxophonists Otis Murphy, Eugene Rousseau, Theodore Kerkezos and Claude Delangle of Paris, France in a variety of masterclasses and clinics.

 

Brass

danielle kuhlmann, french horn instructor

Praised by the New York Times for her “fearless” and “seductive” playing, Danielle Kuhlmann has traveled the world, performing with symphony orchestras and in chamber music concerts throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. A native of Seattle, Washington, she completed her undergraduate degree with Jerome Ashby at the Juilliard School and pursued graduate studies at Rice University under William VerMeulen. Following several years as a freelance musician in New York and Seattle, Kuhlmann has been serving as the 2nd Horn of the San Diego Symphony and recently was named a member of the Seattle Symphony.

She has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Houston Symphony, and the Cincinnati Symphony. An avid interpreter of new music, she was Principal Horn of the American Composers Orchestra, and performs with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). She has been a featured soloist with the Seattle and Manila Symphony Orchestras, Novus NY at Trinity Wall Street, and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, where she is also Principal Horn. In addition to classical performances, Danielle co-founded the pop horn quartet Genghis Barbie, and has been heard in various Broadway shows in New York City. In 2013, she performed several cycles of Wagner's epic Der Ring des Nibelungen with Seattle Opera.

Devoted to philanthropic work, Kuhlmann has traveled to the Philippines four times, volunteering for the group Cultures in Harmony, a New York-based NGO that promotes cultural diplomacy through music. The group works with both professional and student-level musicians in Manila, as well as with indigenous youth. In January of 2011, she volunteered in Kabul, Afghanistan, teaching and performing at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music.

TomBarber.jpg

Thomas barber, trumpet/jazz program

Thomas has been active as both a trumpeter and composer since graduating The Juilliard School in 2004. As a composer, he has written scores for over twenty independent films and t.v. shows, including the award-winning animated short film Operation: Fish (2006) for director/animator Jeff Riley, two feature documentaries for director Dan Schaefer, Mania (2008) and Kings Of The Road (2009), and the 10-part television series Rip City Stories (2009-2011) about the Portland Trailblazers for Comcast Sportsnet. He has performed with Paul Simon, Brian Blade, Joe Locke, Steve Wilson, Slide Hampton, Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Esperanza Spalding, Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess, Carla Cook, Tom Harrell, Nasheet Waits, and many more.

After he won both the Lionel Hampton High School Trumpet Competition and the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition in Gothenborg, Sweden in 1997, he attended the University of Northern Colorado, graduating with a degree in classical trumpet performance.  While at UNC, Thomas had opportunities to play with many of the musicians who passed through, including Louie Bellson, Pete Fountain, Nicholas Payton, Maria Schneider, Bob Brookmeyer, Conrad Herwig and Kenny Wheeler.  

Thomas currently resides in Portland, Oregon. As a bandleader, he leads his own Portland-based sextet, Spiral Road, which features Barber's original music. Thomas performs regularly in Portland with Darrell Grant, George Colligan, Alan Jones, the Portland Jazz Composer's Ensemble, and the Dick Titterington's Three Trumpet Band.

Michael Maier, LOW BRASS INSTRUCTOR

Originally from Cleveland, OH, trombonist Michael Maier has lived in Boise since 2012. He is widely in demand both as a performer, and as a music educator. He is currently Acting Associate Principal Trombone with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, and has been playing with the HSO since 2012. In the Fall of 2015 he guest taught the trombone and euphonium studio at Boise State University and played in the Mirari Brass Quintet. Maier has performed in a wide variety of groups, including most recently with the San Antonio Symphony, Utah Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Oregon Symphony. In the Idaho area, he has played with the Boise Philharmonic, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, the McCall Summerfest, Opera Idaho, and the Gene Harris Jazz Festival Super Band. He has also played with many other ensembles, including the Malaysian Philharmonic, the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and the Florida Grand Opera. In 2007-2008 he was a fellow in the Zurich Opera’s Academy program. As a member of this program, he performed extensively with the Zurich Opera Orchestra. He earned his Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University in 2007 and his Master of Music from The Juilliard School in 2011.

 

Percussion

Placeholder.jpg

Michael Roberts, PERCUSSION INSTRUCTOR

Hailed by the Boston Globe as a “fearlessly accomplished performer,” Michael Roberts is the Oregon Symphony's Assistant Principal Percussionist. He has also performed with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Detroit Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Portland Symphony (ME), New World Symphony, and Hyogo PAC Orchestra. Summer engagements have included fellowships with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, Spoleto Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Music Academy of the West, and the Tanglewood Music Center.

A native of Fairfax County, VA, Michael began his musical studies on piano at the age of eight and percussion at age ten. After high school, he moved to Boston, where he earned a B.M. from the New England Conservatory and his M.M. from Boston University. Michael’s principal teachers were J. William Hudgins and Timothy Genis.

In his free time, Michael enjoys publishing and promoting the piano and chamber works of his grandfather, composer Arnold Mysior. He is also a strong advocate for new music, and enjoys performing with Portland-based ensembles Third Angle and fEARnoMUSIC.

catón lyles, afro-cuban rhythm director

Catón Lyles has been active on the local music scene for over 30 years. As a musician and actor he has been featured on national and international television, in commercials, documentaries, and episodic programming. Catón specializes in traditional West African and Afro-Cuban styles of hand drumming, and continues to be a dance accompanist working with several school districts and world-renowned choreographers and dance educators. Currently he is performing with various groups including, Le Trio Ecletique; the Crazy 8’s; Kúkátónón and Pura Vida Orquestra and teaches privately and at Rhythm Traders in Portland. Catón also serves as camp manager at Caldera. 

 

Piano

chris engbretson, piano program director

Chris Engbretson holds a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music with a piano performance concentration. Over the past decade, Chris has worked extensively as a pianist, chorister, vocal coach and conductor both locally and abroad. His conducting/piano credits include Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors, Once Upon a Mattress, Spring Awakening, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and Linfield College’s Opera Workshop (The Marriage of Figaro, Così fan tutte). He regularly performs with several Portland vocal ensembles, including Cantores in Ecclesia, and Cappella Romana, and is an active member of the Oregon Music Teachers Association, where he serves as the grant writer and chair of the Romantic Festival. Chris is a visiting assistant professor of music at Willamette University where he conducts the treble chorus, Voce Femminile, and teaches voice. He has also served as a visiting professor at Linfield College where he taught applied piano lessons, beginning/advanced class piano, ear training and sight singing, music history, music fundamentals, and understanding music.

honey wilson, accompanist

Honey Wilson holds a BA in Piano Performance from Washington State University and a Certificate in Music Therapy from Willamette University. Honey previously maintained a large private studio in Yakima, Washington and has attended International Workshops-Piano in Graz, Austria. Ms. Wilson has experience working in theatre, opera workshops, church music, and has held positions as staff accompanist at Western Oregon University and Linfield College. Currently, she is the Administrative Specialist in the President’s Office at Willamette University, maintains a private studio and is a collaborative pianist for scholarship competitions, OMEA Solo/Ensemble, Salem-Keizer School District choral concerts and enjoys subbing at Willamette Valley area churches. 

 

 

Guitar

MARIO DIAZ, GUITAR PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Mario Diaz is a Guitarist, Singer and Educator whose musical activities have taken him across the U.S. and South America. Diaz’s work as both soloist and collaborator crosses over into a wide range of genres and styles from Classical to Rock. His most recent travels in 2016 have taken him on tour with the Dave Eggar Band and the Oregon Guitar Quartet. Diaz is inspired
by performing and sharing his music in a variety of venues from the time-honored concert hall to less traditional gathering spaces. As an educator, Mario maintains an active private teaching studio and serves on the faculties of Portland State University and Portland Community College.


In addition to teaching, Mario collaborates with other musicians as a means to transcend barriers and communicate a greater message of interconnection. Mario holds degrees from Portland State University and San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied under the tutelage of composer/guitarists Bryan Johanson and Sergio Assad. Aside from playing music Mario enjoys spending time with his wife and son.