Welcome to
Laby Harmony Project
Welcome to
Laby Harmony Project

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.

Laby Harmony Project of the New West Symphony provides comprehensive after-school music training to children in under-resourced and historically excluded communities. We partner with Ventura’s youth to imagine and build pathways to achieve musical dreams through a multi-year continuum of rigorous programming. Through offering tuition-free, long-term, and high-quality musical instruction and social opportunities in the heart of Ventura’s Westside, Harmony celebrates musical community and builds social equity.

Get Involved

We continue to flourish because of generous donations.

We know that music changes children’s lives, but we also know that music lessons aren’t cheap. Acquiring musical instruments and paying for music lessons is often out of reach for families. Laby Harmony Project, a program of the New West Symphony, was created to offer a comprehensive music education to cultivate musical potential in children and remove systemic barriers to full participation.

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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 rely on our generous supporters and donors to allow us to offer full-tuition scholarships to all Harmony students. You can make a contribution through the New West Symphony website.     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

To view current position openings, please visit the New West Symphony’s careers page.

Fredric Beerstein: Oboe
Jorge Mijangos: Guitar
Charles Brunson: Trombone, Piano
Cameron Schubert: Cello
Caitlin Boruch: Individual Flute
Paul Browne: Clarinet, Saxophone, Beginning Band, and Musicianship
Shahid Osuna: Flute
Adam Gilson: Violin and String Ensemble
Rusty Kennedy: Advanced Orchestra, Latin Jazz, and Songwriting
Hayles King: Trumpet, Trombone, and Theory
Anne Case: Program Director
Andrew James Martinez: Clarinet, Saxophone, Wind Ensemble
Christine Snipes Mazor: Violin and String Ensemble
Fredric Beerstein: Oboe

Fredric Beerstein: Oboe

Fredric Beerstein (he/him) has been teaching and performing oboe since the age of nineteen. He is both an accomplished musician and attentive, patient teacher. He has played in orchestras that have accompanied such performers as Yo Yo Ma, Emmanuel Ax, Annie Akiko Meyers, Cho-Liang Lin, Van Clyburn, Midori and Sarah Chang.  He is the oboe instructor at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California, and principal oboe of the Vicente Chamber Orchestra and the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra.  Fred Beerstein is a 25-year member of the New West Symphony and  Thousand Oaks Philharmonic for more than a decade.His work has also included recording for television and film as well as hundreds of chamber music performances. He has performed in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Past tenured positions also include principal oboist for the South Coast Symphony Orchestra and the principal oboist of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. Fred taught for 17 seasons at the Summer Program of the Idyllwild Arts Academy, as instructor at Ventura College, Bocal Majority/Operation Oboe and has a successful private studio.

Jorge Mijangos: Guitar

Jorge Mijangos: Guitar

Jorge Mijangos (he/him) learned his first guitar chords and started singing at festivals and on live radio programs in his native Chiapas, Mexico, at age 5. He began performing professionally at 17, participating in various local groups as a vocalist and guitarist and learning new instruments. He has performed with a wide range of groups in Chiapas, Mexico City, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, playing salsa, nueva canción and son jarocho. In 1997 Jorge was invited to come to the U.S. to play with Mexican folk group Quetzalcoatl. He lives in Ventura, CA. with his wife and son. In addition to playing the jarana, Mijangos is a professional luthier, specializing in the construction of jarocho instruments. Mr. Mijangos currently plays and tours all over the world with the band Las Cafeteras from East Los Angeles.

Charles Brunson: Trombone, Piano

Charles Brunson: Trombone, Piano

Charles Brunson (he/him) is a San Diego native with a background in trombone and piano. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at Cal State Northridge and his master’s degree in Trombone Performance at UCLA. He is active as a music teacher, serving as an instructor of brass students of all levels. He is also a member of Westwood Brass, a quintet consisting of current and former UCLA students. Charles continues his passion for piano and works as an accompanist. He enjoys reading, listening to music, and discovering and implementing methods of pedagogy.

Cameron Schubert: Cello

Cameron Schubert: Cello

Hi, I’m Cameron Schubert (he/him): a cellist, songwriter, and composer who specializes in early music and Irish music. I’ve been living in Ojai for 12 years now, and currently live with my 7-year-old son, who has taken an interest in electric guitar and chess during our homeschooling sessions. During my free time, I also enjoy hiking, learning the German language, and developing my woodworking skills. As a solo artist, I was regularly performing at local senior living communities and weddings, which I am excited to resume when possible. Studying privately with an early music scholar in Switzerland, I have been actively working on developing new teaching methods which are historically informed.

Caitlin Boruch: Individual Flute

Caitlin Boruch: Individual Flute

Caitlin Boruch (she/her), flute, has 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.  She has enjoyed a varied career within music.  While living in Santa Barbara, CA from 2003-2008, she was the program manager of the MERIT Program of the Music Academy of the West and general manager of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra.  She then moved to Washington, DC from 2008-2010, where she served as a faculty member of the International School of Music and performed with the Capital City Symphony, Great Noise Ensemble, and the Columbia Flute Choir.  Caitlin lived in Switzerland from 2010-2014, where she co-founded a music school and both learned and performed Basler Piccolo, which is a fife-like instrument used in the annual Swiss festival of Fasnacht.  

Since moving to Ventura County in 2014, Caitlin has been honored to teach chamber music, group flute and keyboard, and private flute lessons with the Laby Harmony Project.  She also teaches chamber music at La Reina Middle and High School and a full studio of private flute lessons.  Caitlin is a member of the National Flute Association and a branch vice president of the Music Teachers’ Association of California.  Her students enjoy an active performing schedule of national, statewide, regional, and studio-sponsored festivals, competitions, masterclasses, and events.

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

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

An elementary music teacher for Ventura Unified School District, Paul Browne (he/him) teaches RCP beginning band, musicianship, saxophone, and clarinet for Laby Harmony Project. He studied Communication Studies at Westmont College with a minor in Music, and earned his teaching credential from CSUN, playing saxophone every chance he had along the way.  When not teaching or making music, Paul likes to have fun adventures with his family.

Shahid Osuna: Flute

Shahid Osuna: Flute

Shahid Yasser Osuna (he/him) is an LA-based flutist, arranger, and teaching artist. In 2017, he received a certificate in Music Performance at the Coil School for the Arts in Riverside, CA studying under Eileen Holt, where he was the two-time winner of the President’s Honor Recital. In 2019, Shahid graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Wind Performance, where he studied with David Shostac. During his time at CSUN, he won the 2019 Upper Division Concerto Competition. Shahid has played in masterclasses with flutists such as Robert Dick and Carol Wincenc, toured across the world in cities such as Paris and Munich, and has played flute with several ensembles across the Greater Los Angeles area, including the Bellflower Symphony Orchestra, Song of Angels Flute Orchestra, Whittier Regional Symphony, San Fernando Symphony, Armenian Pops Orchestra, and the LA Symphonic Winds. His arrangements have been debuted through performances at national venues, such as at the 2019 National Flute Association Convention in Salt Lake City, UT, and also virtually featured due to the recent pandemic. His most recent piece, a blues-inspired arrangement of “Amazing Grace”, has been featured by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Currently, Shahid teaches across Southern California through various music organizations and in his own private studio. In May 2021, Shahid completed his Master of Fine Arts degree in InstrumentalArts at the California Institute of the Arts. He is actively engaged in LA and globally with several genres and new composers as a performer and recording artist.

Adam Gilson: Violin and String Ensemble

Adam Gilson: Violin and String Ensemble

Adam Gilson (he/him) has been a Teaching artist with the Laby Harmony Project of Ventura for five years now.  He is a full time stay at home dad, guardian to three cats, and a freelance writer on the side. He began playing violin locally at Anacapa Middle School, and has been tutoring violin/viola for the past twenty years.  He worked as a special education paraeducator at De Anza Middle School, now DATA, from 2003-2012, before leaving to complete his Bachelors of English at California State University, Channel Islands, in 2016.

Rusty Kennedy: Advanced Orchestra, Latin Jazz, and Songwriting

Rusty Kennedy: Advanced Orchestra, Latin Jazz, and Songwriting

Rusty Kennedy (he/him) acquired a BFA in Jazz Bass from the California Institute of the Arts. He specializes in bass, guitar, brass and winds, improvisation, and has over 10 years of teaching experience. He began his journey as a music educator while completing his degree working for the Community Arts Partnership (CAP) and Plaza de la Raza in East Los Angeles. Upon graduating, he began teaching Concert Band for the Whittier City School District’s after school Reach for the Stars/Jumpstart program, which included nine elementary schools and two middle schools, totaling over 100 students. In 2015, Rusty joined The Laby Harmony Project of the New West Symphony as a brass instructor and youth orchestra conductor. There, he also currently teaches songwriting, jazz and salsa. In 2017, he joined the Rhodes School of Music in Larchmont as a brass, bass and CAD instructor. 

Rusty performs regularly throughout Los Angeles as a bass player and recording artist. He has toured extensively around the US and has performed at festivals internationally. Well-versed in a wide array of genres, Rusty is sought after for his extreme versatility and personalized approach to every project.

Hayles King: Trumpet, Trombone, and Theory

Hayles King: Trumpet, Trombone, and Theory

Hayles King (they/he) is a teaching artist, trombonist, vocalist, and composer from Oxnard, California. Hayles studied at Ventura College, College of Performing Arts, 2012-2014. They graduated with a BFA in music from California State University, Northridge in 2017 and plan to graduate with an MFA in Instrumental Arts from California Institute of the Arts May 2021. Hayles began teaching music with the Oxnard Scholars After School Program 2011–2014 and has been working with the Laby Harmony Project since 2016. They are currently based in L.A.

Anne Case: Program Director

Anne Case: Program Director

Anne Case (she/her) is a musician dedicated to social change through music. Ms. Case currently serves as Director of Laby Harmony Project of the New West Symphony, a program that provides intensive musical training to children and builds social equity and pathways to musical successes. Ms. Case has widened the scope of the program’s impact by building in a Kindergarten entry-point into the program and expanding the program’s opportunities for high school students. Prior, she coordinated and taught in Charlotte Symphony’s El Sistema-inspired program, paving the way for program expansion. She has also served as the program director of Valley Vibes Orchestras (ViVO), located in a high-needs community in Sonoma, CA. Her passion for El Sistema also led her to work, intern, and volunteer at a number of music for social change initiatives including Play on Philly, MYCincinnati, Indiana University’s Fairview Violin Project, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. Ms. Case is from Edmonds, Washington. She achieved her Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance at Oberlin Conservatory and subsequently studied music education and string pedagogy at Indiana University, Bloomington. In continuing to explore diverse ways of creating change and growth through music, she recently completed a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Music Therapy through Lesley University and became a Board-Certified Music Therapist.

Andrew James Martinez: Clarinet, Saxophone, Wind Ensemble

Andrew James Martinez: Clarinet, Saxophone, Wind Ensemble

A Santa Barbara native, Andrew (he/him) started playing the saxophone at the age of 13. After being introduced to jazz music by his high school band director, the legendary Isaac Jenkins, he went on to study jazz performance at the University of North Texas. While at UNT, Andrew was featured in many of their prestigious Lab Bands and studied with some of the best jazz educators in the world including Dan Haerle, James Riggs, Neil Slater, Mike Steinel, & 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, Don Shelton, Bill Perkins, Ron Stout, and Kim Richmond. In September of 2008, Andrew returned to Santa Barbara where he currently teaches music at Santa Barbara City College, Goleta Valley Junior High, Westmont College, and the Laby Harmony Project of the New West Symphony. Andrew also currently performs across Southern California as a featured soloist, and is the musical director of the Santa Barbara City College Monday Madness Jazz Orchestra. Andrew has been teaching at the Laby Harmony Project since 2016.

Christine Snipes Mazor: Violin and String Ensemble

Christine Snipes Mazor: Violin and String Ensemble

Christine Snipes Mazor (she/her) 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, the Bakersfield Symphony and Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra. She has been teaching violin for over fifteen years in Ridgecrest, Los Angeles, Ventura and Ojai. Christine also works as a paraeducator and caregiver. She lives in Ventura with her husband Isaac and daughter Rina.

Contact Us

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

New West Symphony Office:
2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Suite D
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
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Telephone: (805) 279-2424
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