Nancy Mathison - Co-Director/band and woodwind teacher
Nancy Mathison taught elementary instrumental music for 15 years with the Santa Barbara Unified School District, and was the band director at La Cumbre Junior High. Since 2014 she has directed band programs for Goleta Union School District's elementary schools. She is the co-founder and former co-director of the Santa Barbara Symphony's BRAVO! Program, and has taught at Westmont and Cerritos colleges. As a clarinetist she is a member of the New West Symphony, Santa Maria Philharmonic, Symphony of the Vines, and plays principal clarinet/reeds for the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. She is a member of the Folk Orchestra of Santa Barbara, and also performs with the Santa Barbara Symphony, Orchestra Novo, San Luis Obispo Symphony and the San Luis Obispo Master Chorale. She has performed with Leonard Bernstein, the Hamamatsu Academy in Japan, American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, Houston Opera, American Ballet Theatre, Rudolf Nureyev Ballet, toured with Andrea Bocelli, was a member of the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, and played principal clarinet/reeds with the Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera for its 20-year tenure. Nancy attended the Music Academy of the West, and received her degrees in clarinet performance from the University of Southern California (bachelors), and UCSB (masters). She studied with Gary Foster, James Kanter and Mitchell Lurie.
Sandy Adams - Co-Director/band and woodwind teacher
Sandy has a passion for teaching and loves sharing the gift of music with her students. She has many years of experience teaching music and has shared her expertise with hundreds of children throughout Santa Barbara County. Her experience includes teaching woodwinds at Goleta Union School district elementary schools and Franklin and Washington elementary schools, Santa Barbara Symphony's BRAVO! and private lesson program, Santa Barbara Education Foundation's Nick Rail summer band camp, and Goleta Valley Junior High School. She taught band at El Camino and Hollister Elementary schools and co-directed band programs for Goleta Union School District's elementary schools. When not teaching, she hones her skills playing with the Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) Symphony, SBCC band, SBCC clarinet quartet, Westmont Reading Orchestra, and has played with the West Coast Chamber Orchestra and West Coast Symphony Orchestra. Sandy worked as the national Education Manager for SmartStar Corporation for 10 years and brings her management, education and marketing skills to the co-director position. Sandy is looking forward to working with her new students at the South Coast Youth Band and helping them find the beauty and fun of learning musical instruments!
Stephen Hughes - trombone teacher
Stephen's favorite part of teaching is helping his students get their very first note. From that point on, their possibilities are endless! Stephen is the band/orchestra director at La Colina Junior High School, where he has taught for 8 years. Additionally, he teaches trombone and tuba for Santa Barbara City College and Westmont, as well as brass students for the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony's the Camerata and Philharmonia ensembles. You might see Stephen playing in the "Slideways" Trombone Quartet or the SBCC's Monday Madness Jazz Band, Stephen is excited to meet new students in the South Coast Youth Band, and to see where their musical journey leads.
Dick Prato - percussion teacher
Dick was born and raised in Santa Barbara and attended local schools. He played in band, orchestra and jazz band in both junior high and high school. He studied percussion with studio musicians at Drum City in Hollywood, and attended the Music Academy of the West for two summers. Dick played percussion in the US Army band in Germany and Italy for 3 years. He taught teen jazz band at the Santa Barbara Recreation Center and also taught privately. He has been teaching percussion at Goleta Valley Junior High for the past 7 years, and at elementary schools in the Goleta Unified School District.
Ritchie Gonzales - flute teacher
As a winner of the National Flute Association’s Professional Flute Choir 2019 competition in Salt Lake City, Utah, Ritchie Gonzales enjoys an active career as a flutist and pedagogue. Mr. Gonzales has had the honor to perform in some of Europe’s great concert halls like the Mozarteum in Austria and Dvorak Hall in the Czech Republic. As a dedicated pedagogue, Mr. Gonzales teaches music at Notre Dame School amd is a teaching-artist with the Santa Barbara Symphony. Mr. Gonzales also coaches flute students at various elementary schools in SBUSD & GUSD. Mr. Gonzales' students have been accepted into the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony and Junior Orchestra.
One big contributing factor to his love of music was that at an early age he attended live classical performances with his elementary school. For this reason Mr. Gonzales is an advocate of having live classical music performances accessible to audiences of all walks of life, especially children. With that in mind, Mr. Gonzales founded the Santa Barbara Community Flute Ensemble which provides free concerts throughout the year.
Some recent performances of Mr. Gonzales include performing in UCSB's Montage Concert and with the Santa Barbara Symphony as a guest soloist in their Concerts for Kids series.