Welcome to
Harmony Project Ventura

Mission

Promote

To promote the healthy growth and development of children through the study,
practice, and performance of music;

Build

To build healthier communities by investing in the positive development of
children through music;

Develop

To develop children as musical ambassadors of peace, hope, and understanding amongst people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs.

 

The Harmony Project is breaking through barriers for our students who need it the most. For the first time we are seeing students that were once held back from full participation in the arts thriving at the highest levels.

Natalie Spevak, Asst. Principal, DATA Middle School, Ventura

Get Involved

We continue to flourish because of generous donations.

We know that music saves children’s lives, but we also know that music lessons aren’t cheap. For many of our families, acquiring musical instruments and paying for music lessons is economically impossible. Harmony Project Ventura, a program of the New West Symphony, was created to provide a comprehensive music education to children that deserve a safe and structured environment to create and thrive.

READ MORE

Harmony students see themselves as musicians and positive role models for their peers. Confidence, pride, focus, determination, endurance, commitment, sense of belonging, mentoring, correlation to academic achievement, and social gains are some of the benefits I’ve seen as a result of student participation.

Maria Elizarraras, Principal, Sheridan Way Elementary School

The classes are amazing not just for the kids, but for the parents. Because you see a change in their personality where before they would react to something and now they are calm. And my daughter is shy, but now she can perform in front of people. And it is huge, being that young and to be able to get on stage, have butterflies, but know what they are, know it is okay, and then still be able to perform.

Harmony Project Parent

Donate

We Love Donations!  You can make a contribution through the New West Symphony website – make sure to check “Harmony Project”     DONATE

 

Our Team

Teaching Artists

Classes are taught by professional musicians who actively perform, compose, and collaborate throughout Southern California. They hold students to high standards and fully embody the mission and values of Harmony Project.  Our Teaching Artists are the foundation and life of the program!

Employment Opportunities

There are currently no job openings with New West Symphony Harmony Project. If you would like to be considered for our substitute teacher list, please contact us.

Caitlin Boruch: Flute, Keyboard, and Chamber Music

Caitlin Boruch: Flute, Keyboard, and Chamber Music

Chicago native flutist Caitlin Boruch has studied the flute since age 10.  She earned a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from the University of Iowa, studying with Robert Dick and Tadeu Coelho, and a Master of Music in Flute Performance from the University of California- Santa Barbara, studying with Jill Felber.  During her studies she performed in masterclasses, summer festivals, and concerts with Robin Fellows, Michel Debost, Wendy Mehne, Alexa Still, Donald Peck, Carol Wincenc, and Sir James Galway. As an instructor, Caitlin has served on the faculty of the International Community Music School-Basel (ICMS) in Basel, Switzerland, the International School of Music (ISM) in Bethesda, Maryland, taught chamber music at the Music Academy of the West’s MERIT Extended Program in Santa Barbara, California, and has maintained a studio of private flute students for over a decade.

Caitlin’s students have performed in the Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS) Honor Band, the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony’s Concerto Competition, and honor bands/orchestras in Santa Barbara district and Ventura Counties and Montgomery and Prince George, MD counties.   Her students have also earned certificates of proficiency/merit with the ISM Curriculum Merits, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), and Music Teacher Association of California (MTAC).  They have also been awarded scholarships for their musical endeavors and have attended the following universities: Stanford, MIT, CalTech, UCLA, UCSB, and Princeton.

Paul Browne: Clarinet, Saxophone, Beginning Band, and Musicianship

Paul Browne: Clarinet, Saxophone, Beginning Band, and Musicianship

Paul Browne began playing saxophone at age 10.  He attended Folsom High School, known for its outstanding jazz program and went on to study at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.  While in Santa Barbara, Paul immersed himself in many styles of music, especially jazz.  In addition to performing regularly, he taught private saxophone to students of many ages and abilities.  He soon discovered that he connects best with younger children and decided to get his elementary teaching credential.

Paul started his public school teaching career at Will Rogers Elementary in Ventura, teaching 3rd grade for a number of years.  While teaching at Will Rogers, Paul found ways to integrate music across the curriculum and even started an after school band program for the school.  In 2008, he accepted a job as an Elementary Music Specialist for Ventura Unified School District.  Paul now teaches general music at nine elementary schools in the district.   Teaching a diverse group of students from Kindergarten to 5th Grade, Paul uses a variety of strategies, including Orff Schulwerk, to engage his students. In 2010, he became the founding director of the Randy California Project, an after-school band program serving underprivileged students in Ventura.  In 2014, RCP partnered with NWS Harmony Project where he now  teaches Musicianship, Clarinet, Saxophone, and band. Paul continues to perform locally in a variety of groups, including the Ventura County Concert Band.

Ben Finley: Low Strings

Isi Cruz-Rivera: Program Coordinator

Isi Cruz-Rivera: Program Coordinator

Isi is currently pursuing a degree in music education and performance at California State University Northridge. He has performed with competitive marching ensembles including POW Percussion, Pulse Percussion, and Dark Sky Percussion, and also plays the flute. Isi has worked in various administrative positions with the Ventura Unified School District since 2014, and in addition to Harmony Project Program Coordinator, is the Sheridan Way Office Manager.

Daniel Flores: Musicianship and Band Assistant

Daniel Flores: Musicianship and Band Assistant

Daniel Flores graduated from UCSB in 2006, with a degree in religious history, emphasizing on Mexican Catholicism. He went on to get his multiple subjects teaching credential, and Bi-lingual BCLAD certification at CSUCI in 2010, where he did his student teaching at several TWI schools in Ventura County. He has also been teaching after school music classes with Randy California/Harmony Project since 2012. Daniel enjoys the comic-con geek culture, steampunk, and has over 20 years of experience being a songwriting professional musician and music producer. He currently teaching Kindergarten, as a Spanish model, at Will Rogers Elementary School, and lives with his wife and 3 children in Ventura, CA.

Adam Gilson: Violin

Adam Gilson: Violin

Adam has been a resident of Ventura for over thirty years.  He began playing violin at Anacapa Middle School, and started tutoring violin in high school.  He worked for eleven years at De Anza Middle School as a special education para-educator.  He resigned from that position three years ago to complete a degree in English at CSU, Channel Islands.

Rusty Kennedy: Brass, Jazz, and Orchestra

Rusty Kennedy: Brass, Jazz, and Orchestra

Rusty Kennedy is a Los Angeles based bassist, educator, arranger, conductor, and composer. He holds a BA in jazz bass performance from California Institute from the Arts. Well-versed in an array of different genres, including jazz, progressive rock, blues, metal, Balkan, Brazilian, grindcore, West African, Salsa, funk, R & B, hip hop microtonal dance pop, and opera, Rusty is sought after for his extreme versatility and his individualized approach to every project. He has toured extensively around the US and has performed at festivals internationally. Just a small fraction of his many projects include Cryptic Gallbladder Splatter, Blackberry Tongues, Wax People, Brundlefly, Bubbeleh, The Baba Orchestra, Izela, Atomic Ape, Heart of Cyngus, Felix Martin, and THE INDUSTRY’S HOPSCOTCH.

Rusty has over 10 years of experience teaching, and has spent much of that time leading elementary and middle school brass bands. He currently teaches, conducts, and arrangers for Harmony Project Ventura, where he leads the orchestra and jazz band. As an instructor, Rusty is beloved for his positive and optimistic approach and for his ability to truly connect with students.

 

Hayley King: Trumpet and Trombone

Hayley King: Trumpet and Trombone

Hayley King is a trombonist and composer from Oxnard, CA. She studied music composition as well as trombone durring her time at California State University Northridge and is set to graduate Spring of 2017. She has performed with numerous groups throughout California and has experience teaching with the Oxnard Scholars after school special enrichment program for 3 years. She has just recently joined the teaching artists at Harmony project and is looking forward to working with these kids and helping then reach their full potentials.

Anne Case: Program Director

Anne Case: Program Director

Anne Case is a musician dedicated to social action through music. She joined Harmony Project of Ventura County as its Director in August of 2017. Most recently, she coordinated and taught in Charlotte Symphony’s El Sistema-inspired program, paving the way for program expansion. Prior, she served as Program Director of Valley Vibes Orchestras (ViVO) in a high-needs community in Sonoma, CA. Anne founded the El Sistema inspired program in 2012 in collaboration with Sonoma Valley community partners, and she expanded the program to include a string orchestra, a pre-orchestra, a pre-winds program, a stellar staff of teaching artists, and an engaged parent community. Her passion for El Sistema led her to work, intern, and volunteer at a number of El Sistema inspired programs and social change initiatives including Play on Philly, MYCincinnati, Indiana University’s Fairview Violin Project, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, and the YOURS Project. Anne achieved her Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance at Oberlin Conservatory and subsequently studied music education and string pedagogy at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Music Therapy at Lesley University.

Andrew Martinez: Clarinet, Saxophone, Chamber Music

Andrew Martinez: Clarinet, Saxophone, Chamber Music

A Santa Barbara native, Andrew started playing the saxophone at the age of 13. After being heavily influenced by his high school band director, Isaac Jenkins, he went on to study jazz performance at the University of North Texas and played in many of their prestigious Lab Bands. At UNT, Andrew studied with some of the best jazz educators in the business including Dan Haerle, James Riggs, Neil Slater, & Fred Hamilton. In August of 1999, Andrew decided to make Los Angeles his home where he performed in the bands of Engelbert Humperdinck, Sheena Easton, Jack Sheldon, Bob Florence, and Bill Holman to name a few. Andrew has also been lucky enough to perform beside some of the most talented musicians in the world including Pete Christlieb, Bobby Shew, Dan Higgins, Wayne Bergeron, Andy Martin, Rick Baptist, Sal Lozano, Doug Webb, Grant Geissman, and Kim Richmond. In September of 2008, Andrew returned to Santa Barbara where he currently teaches music at Santa Barbara City College, and the New West Symphony Harmony Project. Andrew also teaches privately and performs in the Southern California area.

Christine Snipes: Violin and String Ensemble

Christine Snipes: Violin and String Ensemble

Christine Snipes has a BA in music from Sonoma State University. An active chamber musician, she has been a member of the Ridgecrest Piano Trio, Sincopa String Quartet and the Bakersfield Symphony. She has a private music studio in Ojai and Ventura, and coaches the string players in the Ojai Unified School District. Christine has played and taught violin for the last ten years in Ridgecrest, CA and Los Angeles.

Contact Us

Get in touch and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. We look forward to hearing from you!

432 N. Ventura Ave
Studio 100
Ventura, CA 93001
—————————————
Telephone: (805) 279-2424
—————————————