Private Music Lessons

An integral part of our music department is the private music lesson offerings, in which all students are eligible to study on campus during the school week with outstanding musician/teachers from the Central Coast area. Lessons are currently offered in voice, piano, violin, viola, cello, bass (upright and electric), flute, clarinet, saxophone, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and percussion. The school has six practice studios equipped with Steinway pianos. Music students have an opportunity to participate in regional and state honor orchestras and in certification programs such as the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and the Certificate of Merit.

Meet Our Instructors

Nancy Bennett — Voice

Mrs. Bennett has had 40 years experience teaching voice. After receiving her M.A. in vocal performance, she taught at the university level in Los Angeles and at Hartnell College. Mrs. Bennett has performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Carmel Bach Festival, and the Roger Wagner Chorale.

Madeline Borquist, Ph.D. — Piano

Dr. Borquist has degrees from Eastman School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Miami. She has appeared with various orchestras as a piano soloist, given numerous recitals, and been the pianist for chamber music ensembles. Dr. Borquist taught piano and chamber music at Michigan State University, the University of Miami, the Blossom Music Festival, and the New College Musical Festival.

Lyn Bronson — Piano

Born in New York City, Lyn Bronson is a graduate of Yale University and the Yale University School of Music. After studying with Artur Balsam and Bruce Hungerford in New York City, he completed his graduate studies at California State University Fullerton, where he became a member of the piano faculty. He has been an active performer on the Monterey Peninsula and has given over 40 solo recitals during the past 30 years at Hartnell College, Monterey Peninsula College, CSU Monterey Bay, Sunset Center, and other local venues. He has also appeared as concerto soloist with the Pancultural Orchestra and six times with the Monterey Peninsula College Orchestra. A former piano instructor at Hartnell College in Salinas, he was a member of the faculty of CSU Monterey Bay from September 1996 until his retirement in June 2007. He has given piano master classes at CSU Monterey Bay, San Jose State University, and Pasadena City College.

Donna Coletti — Piano

Mrs. Coletti has taught at Santa Catalina since 1987. She holds a B.A. from Creighton University, with additional practical theory from Trinity College. She has been a pastoral musician for 30 years and has prepared piano students for Certificate of Merit exams for 25 years.

Margie Dally — Cello

A founding member of the Monterey String Quartet and a native of Salinas, Ms. Dally studied locally with Louise Vadetsky and joined the Monterey Symphony at the age of 16. She graduated with honors from Mills College, where she studied with Sally Kell, Joan Jeanrenaud, and the Kronos Quartet. Margie maintains an active teaching studio in Carmel Valley and is involved with various educational programs for young musicians.

Rose Marie Dunsford — Violin and Viola

Ms. Dunsford is a professional violinist and violin and viola instructor. She is the Monterey representative of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, teaching the program from the grade school through the college level. She is a violinist with the Monterey County Symphony, the Monterey Bay Symphony, and the Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the American Federation of Musicians.

Lucy Faridany — Piano

Ms. Faridany holds a postgraduate diploma in piano accompaniment with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied with Geoffrey Pratley. She has worked with the Carmel Bach Festival, the Monterey Symphony, the Carmel Opera Project, the Pacific Repertory Theater, and the Western Stage.

Michelle Galindo — Piano and Upright Bass

Mrs. Galindo teaches students of all levels, including those who are preparing for recitals, Youth Music Monterey, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music program, and the Certificate of Merit. She is the principal pianist for the Monterey Bay Symphony and often works in local theaters, both in the orchestra and as a conductor. She has a B.S. from the University of the Pacific, a master's in music technology from the University of Newcastle, and an M.B.A. from National University.

Lynn Jones — Flute

Mrs. Jones has taught at Santa Catalina for more than 20 years and has been a soloist and ensemble member in the Monterey Peninsula area for 30 years. She has extensive musical theater experience and an active private studio.

Ruth Jordan — French Horn

A professional musician and teacher in the Monterey Peninsula area since 1985, Ruth Jordan has taught at Santa Catalina since 2017. She has performed with many groups around the Bay Area. She recently toured with a wind ensemble throughout Spain. Mrs. Jordan was privileged to study with the great Dr. James H. Winter. His professional guidance still shapes her approach to performance and life. The importance of being an ambassador of music and guiding students onto a successful path as they study is as important as playing well.

Arlyn Knapic — violin and viola

Freelance violinist and violist Arlyn Knapic performs frequently in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties as an orchestral, chamber and recording musician. She has performed with the Monterey String Quartet as well as the Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus, Western Stage, I Cantori di Carmel, and Ensemble Monterey. Mrs. Knapic holds a BA in English with a minor in music from University of California Santa Barbara, and an MA in Violin Performance from San Jose State University. Her former teachers include Mildred Kline, Ronald Copes of the Juilliard String Quartet, Cecily Ward of the Cypress String Quartet, and Diane Nicholeris of the San Francisco Symphony.

Layne Littlepage — Voice

Ms. Littlepage has taught voice at Santa Catalina since 2002. Her teachers in New York were Marion Freschl of the Julliard School, Martin Rich of the Metropolitan Opera, Franco Iglesias, and Dan Marek. She is a member of the New York Singing Teachers’ Association and has achieved their DVP (Distinguished Voice Professional) Certification. Her voice students have been chosen for many honor choirs and have been finalists in the National Classical Singer competition.

Robert McNamara — Guitar, Bass, Ukelele, and Mandolin

Mr. McNamara is the director of the Monterey Peninsula Academy of Music and a faculty member of Monterey Peninsula College. As a cultural ambassador with the U.S. State Department, he has performed in the Middle East, North Africa, and South America. Mr. McNamara has taught guitar at Santa Catalina since 1988.

Stuart Reynolds — Clarinet and Saxophone

Stu Reynolds began teaching at Santa Catalina in 2002. He directed the school’s Jazz Ensemble from 2006-2010. He is a music clinician with the Monterey Jazz Festival’s traveling clinician program, teaching in high schools and jazz camps. Playing the tenor, alto, and soprano saxes as well as clarinet and bass clarinet, Mr. Reynolds has extensive national performing and recording credits.

Mike Shannon — Percussion

Mr. Shannon studied drums and percussion at the University of Northern Colorado and at San Jose State University with the renowned classical percussionist Anthony Cirone. Mr. Shannon’s book, The Rudimental Handbook, helps students develop the hand technique, reading ability, and drum set coordination within many styles of music to develop a deep foundation and understanding of the instrument. He has taught in a variety of academic settings, including master classes with Stanford University and University of California, Santa Cruz.

Mary Christine West — Piano

Chris West began teaching piano at Santa Catalina in 2017. She received her B.A. and M.S. in Music Education at Florida State University and Florida International University. Ms. West taught music to grades K-8 at Stevenson School from 1998 to 2017. She has prepared students for concerts, programs, and recitals. In 2015 the California Music Teachers Association's Central Coast Section named her “Outstanding Music Educator."