Music Department Faculty


Reed GratzReed Gratz
M.M. (Jazz Composition) New England Conservatory;
A.B. (Music Theory) Manchester College.
D.M.A. (Composition) University of Miami School of Music

Reed Gratz is a Professor of Music and department chair at the University of La Verne. He has taught at Washington State University, University of Miami, University of Innsbruck, Utrecht Conservatory and Leiden University in the Netherlands, and Claremont McKenna College.

He is on the Advisory Board of the American Jazz Institute along with Mort Sahl, Lee Konitz, and Mark Masters. Gratz has been awarded a jazz composition grant from the NEA; a research grant in African-American music by the NEH; two Senior Fulbright Lectureships, one at the University of Innsbruck, the other, the Walt Whitman Distinguished Chair of American Culture Studies at the Leiden University; and the Excellence in Teaching Award for undergraduate faculty at the University of La Verne. He is a member of the University of La Verne Academy. Professor Gratz has received three Who’s Who Among American Teachers awards since 2002. Reed has worked with George Russell, Herb Alpert, Bruce Hornsby, John Patitucci, Barbara Morrison, Alex Acuna, Konstantin Ruchadze, and many others. He has composed music for a dozen plays. Five of his recent CDs are Below Sealevel and Piano, View From the South and The Reed Gratz Band featuring Michael O’Neill, and Quaadrille.

tel: 909.593.3511 Ext. 4915

Click here for Syllabi

Kathleen LamkinKathleen Lamkin
Professor of Music History, Kathleen Lamkin received the Ph. D. and Master of Music in Music History and Literature from Northwestern University and the Bachelor of Music Education from Baylor University.

A member of the University of La Verne faculty since 1981, she has received the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award for undergraduate faculty and in recognition of her contributions to research and scholarship, she was installed as a member of the University of La Verne Academy. Her teaching areas include music history and literature, music history and appreciation and opera. Interested in interdisciplinary courses, she has team-taught in the honors program with colleagues in disciplines outside the field of music.

Dr. Lamkin has served as chair of the music department and chair of the fine arts departments. In 1988-89 she was director of the Brethren Colleges Abroad in Marburg, Germany, a study abroad program for the University of La Verne with additional colleges and universities in its consortium in conjunction with Philipps Universität in Marburg. With her specialty in late 18th-century and early 19th-century central European music, Dr. Lamkin has been the recipient of grants for musicological studies and research from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the Internationale Joseph Haydn Privat Stiftung, and the University of La Verne. She worked for several summers as music librarian and member of the orchestra with the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. As faculty in musicology for the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria for over twenty years where she lectured on the historical and social context of the repertoire performed each summer, she also worked as the festival coordinator and performed in the festival orchestra.

Following years of performance and research of the music of Joseph Haydn, her work on the Esterházy Musicians from 1790-1809 Considered from New Sources in the Castle Forchtenstein Archives was published in 2007 as Volume 6 of the Eisenstädter Haydn Berichte. She was interviewed by BBC radio concerning her archival research. Prof. Lamkin, co-founder of the Haydn Society of California, is a charter member of the later established Haydn Society of North America. President of The College Music Society (2007-2008), she has also served as the Society’s national vice president and earlier as president of the Pacific Southern Chapter.

tel: 909.593.3511 Ext. 4916
website: The College Music Society

James M. Calhoun
Director of Choral Activities
D.M.A University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Dr. James Calhoun, is a graduate of the University of Southern CA, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree with a major in organ performance and a minor in church and sacred music. He completed 24 years of service as Organist, Choral Director, and Director of Music Ministries at the historic Second Baptist Church, Los Angeles (the oldest African-American Baptist congregation in Southern California). He currently serves as Organist at Holman United Methodist Church and Organist/Choral Director at the University Seventh-Day Adventist Church, both located in the Los Angeles area. As educator, he has served on the faculty of the following colleges and universities: Rio Hondo College (Whittier, CA), Loyola Marymount University (Westchester, CA), University of California at Irvine, Cypress College, and Los Angeles Harbor College. He brings to the university a highly diverse background in the performing arts.

Dr. Calhoun was featured in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Santa Maria Times, the Vineyard Gazette and the Vineyard Times, (Martha’s Vineyard) for his work as musical director for several productions of Ain’t Misbehavin. His musical expertise has taken him throughout the United States and abroad to countries such as New Zealand and Australia, where he performed at the World Expo (Brisbane, Australia). He has toured Jamaica and performed at the University of Kingston, West Indies. January 2006, he provided musical direction for Arizona Theater Company’s production of Crowns, which received rave reviews in Tucson, Phoenix, Portland, and Louisville. March 2006, Dr. Calhoun toured Munich, Frankfurt, Lucerne, Essen, and Vienna with the Paul Smith Singers and the Pacific Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Carl St. Clair. He recently performed in a masterclass given by Jean Guillou, internationally renowned organist and composer. Dr. Calhoun performed one of the composer’s seminal works, Toccata, one of the most technically challenging works in organ literature. March 2010 he performed with the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers in concert at Lincoln Center (Avery Fisher Hall), both as soloist and accompanist, and in May he will return to Carnegie Hall with the Gwen Wyatt Chorale of Los Angeles.

tel: 909.593.3511 Ext. 4918

Grace Xia ZhaoGrace Xia Zhao
Piano, Artist-In-Residence.
D.M.A., Piano Performance, University of Southern California.

Pianist Dr. Grace Xia Zhao is an award-winning, international solo and chamber music artist, with credits that include performances in the United States, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and China. Her performances have been broadcast on KUSC (Los Angeles) and KASP (Aspen) and her playing has been characterized as being, “performed at the highest level, with incredible musical sensibilities and beauty”

Dr. Zhao began her music education at the age of three in Sichuan, China. Awarded with a full-tuition scholarship to study at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, she went on to earn a BM, MM, and Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Piano Performance, with minors in Music Education, Ethnomusicology and Electro-Acoustic Media. Upon graduation, she was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lamda National Music Honor Society for her exceptional academic achievements. Her mentors include some of the most influential artists and teachers of our time, Antoinette Perry, Yang Hanguo, Zhen Daxin, John Perry and Andrzej Jasinski to name a few. Dr. Zhao currently serves as the Artist-in-Residence at the University of La Verne.

tel: 909.593.3511 Ext. 4919

Steve Biondo
Music Department Manager
Instructor: West African Drumming

Steve Biondo is a professional musician, drummer/percussionist and and graphic designer. He manages the Music Library and Music Office Staff and assists with studio recording and music software training.

Mr. Biondo is also the founder and director of the West African Drum Ensemble at University of La Verne. The ensemble was founded in 2001.

tel: 909.593.3511 Ext. 4917

Click here for Syllabi

Steve Alaniz
Professional Musician

Pebber Brown
B.A. Music,  University of La Verne
Magna Cum Laude with Departmental Honors 
Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Music Fundamentals

Roberto Catalano
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
World Music/Rock & Roll/Latin American Music

Moh-Wei Marge Chen-Hribar
D.M.A., University of Southern California
Piano/Piano Workshop,
Accompanist and Sight-singing & Ear-training
Ext. 5937

Danielle Cummins
M. M., Claremont Graduate University
Violin and String Ensemble

Bob Dominquez
Professional Musician
Drums and Percussion

Andrew Ford
M.B.Ed., University of LA Verne
Bass, Music Business

Adrienne Geffen
B. A., Northwestern University

Eileen Holt
M.M., University of Southern California

Richard Mooney

Michael Ryan
M.A., CSU, Chico
Guitar/Guitar Workshop/Songwriting
Ext. 4922

Carol Stephenson
M.M., B.M., University of Southern California
Voice, Voice Workshop, Musical Theatre and Barbershop Ensembles
Ext. 4914

Gayle Weiston-Serdan
D.M.A., University of Southern California
20th Century American Jazz Culture and Jazz History – Jazz to Hip Hop

Scott Strovas
M.M., Texas Tech University

Steven A. Biondo
Professional Musician
Music Department Manager

West African Drum Ensemble
Ext. 4917

Adam Kaplan
Dip., Grove School of Music
piano technician