I’ve loved music for literally as long as I can remember. When I first picked up a flute in third grade, my love for music quickly blossomed into a lifelong passion for the instrument. Playing the flute allows me to momentarily escape troubles, to create new worlds, and drive people to feel raw emotions. I played first chair in various jazz and classical ensembles throughout middle and high school, enabling me to gain valuable training which has enriched my musical experience.
When I’m not busily practicing a flute piece, you can find me at the golf course, baking a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies, or debating at tournaments across the country. Most recently, I won first place at a Model United Nations debate tournament hosted by NYU, and I’ve previously won in debate competitions at UC Berkeley and Harvard.
Now that I’m 15, I realize the importance of my role as a young Cambodian American especially given my parents’ struggles during the Khmer Rouge. I am incredibly grateful to have access to opportunities which my parents could never have even imagined, and I hope to use these opportunities to share my love of music so that I may spread a little light in a world plagued by darkness.South Bay Children’s Choir
The South Bay Children’s Choir is a well- trained ensemble of young singers, ages 6-17, in residence at El Camino College. The ensemble is known for their beautiful tone, expressive singing, and inspiring performances. Founded in 1996 to provide outstanding music education and to pursue excellence in the choral art within a nurturing environment, they perform annually in the Marsee Auditorium at El Camino College and have appeared at many other venues throughout the southland, including Royce Hall at UCLA, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the Los Angeles Music Center, the Wiltern Theater, Segerstrom Hall in Orange County, and the Armstrong Theater in Torrance. The choir tours both nationally and internationally, most memorably to England where they performed in the Canterbury Cathedral, so rich in history and beauty. They performed in Carnegie Hall with composer John Rutter conducting his “Mass of the Children.”
Julie Corallo, Artistic Director, a National Board-Certified Teacher, joined the South Bay Children’s Choir in 2006 as the musicianship teacher, became associate director, and now serves as the Artistic Director. As a Kodály-certified teacher, she believes that all children can learn to read music and sing beautifully. Earning her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and her Master of Education at UCLA, she has been a music administrator with LAUSD, vocal director for several musical theater groups, and is currently an elementary music teacher for LAUSD and an adjunct lecturer at CSULB. Under her direction, the choir was invited to perform at the 2016 National Conference for the Organization of American Kodály Educators, and she was the guest conductor for the 2015 Kodály Association of Southern California Honor Festival, the Education Through Music Los Angeles Choral Festival, and the California Association of Independent Schools Choral Festival. In 2022 she was honored with the Outstanding Music Educator award from the Southwest Division of the California Music Educators Association. She has been a presenter for numerous music organizations, including Little Kids Rock (now MusicWill), California Choral Directors Association, and the Kodály Association of Southern California, and is an active member with OAKE, ACDA and SCVA.Apostolia Nikouli
Apostolia Nikouli moved to the States in 2021 to start her masters in orchestral Conducting after finishing her masters in Systematic Musicology in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. A native of Greece, Nikouli was assistant conductor with the Thessaloniki City Symphony Orchestra (2018-2020), the New Thessaloniki State Orchestra (2017-2018), the North College Choir (2019-2020) and was guest conductor with the Athens Symphony Orchestra, Contemporary Music Lab of Aristotle University and Youth Orchestra and Youth Choir in Catholic Church of Thessaloniki. Her great interest in contemporary music motived her to make numerous first performances of contemporary pieces with the Contemporary Music Lab and the Thessaloniki City Symphony Orchestra.
Currently, she is musical director and conductor with ‘’Orchestra at the Beach’’ in BCCM, assistant conductor with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, the BCCM Orchestra and the Opera Institute of BCCM. Lastly, some of her research as a musicologist specializes in 19th and 20th century analysis (Rephrase the tradition: The multifaceted role of symmetry in Symphony in C of Igor Stravinsky, Karlheinz Stockhausen: Stimmung, Philosophy, Human voice and Universe, Dimitri Mitropoulos: Analytical and aesthetic approach in Passacaglia, intermezzo & fuga)
Jonathan Flaksman, born in Akron, Ohio in 1981, has been playing the cello since the age of five, with his first teacher being Madalena Burle-Marx. He has studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music under Richard Aaron, and then the Julliard School under Fred Sherry. He graduated from Mannheim University in Germany, in the class of his father Michael Flaksman, with an artist diploma in Orchestral Studies. Jonathan has taken many masterclasses, including those taught by Harvey Shapiro, Siegfried Palm, Bernard Greenhouse, Youngchang Cho, Jens Peters Maintz, Frans Helmerson, and Ralph Kirshbaum. As a soloist and chamber musician, Jonathan has traveled the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has attended the Interlochen Arts Camp and music festivals (Aspen), Schleswig-Holstein, Cividale (Italy), Łancut (Poland), Aurora Chamber Music (Sweden), and the Ascoli Piceno Festival, and performed as a soloist with the Bari Symphony at the Carl Orff Festival in Putignano. He has given masterclasses in both Italy and California and has served on the juries of various competitions. Jonathan lives in Los Angeles, playing with the symphonies of Pasadena and Modesto, composing and arranging his own works, and records for tv and film. He recently earned the Assistant Principal Cellist position of New Mexico Philharmonic in addition to winning his spot in the Long Beach Symphony. He has also been tenured as Assistant Principal Cellist of Santa Barbara Symphony since 2015.
Cellist Trevor Handy enjoys an active career as a freelance musician in Los Angeles. A member of the Long Beach Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, he is also Principal Cellist of the Santa Barbara Symphony, and performs with ensembles such as the LA Philharmonic and LA Opera, in various chamber music series, at festivals and as a studio musician for Hollywood.
Prior to living in Los Angeles, he had been a member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu and Jacksonville Symphonies, and the New Haven Symphony. While freelancing in New York, Trevor was a member of the Griffon String Quartet, which won the grand prize at the 1991 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and performed throughout the United States. He was also a member of the Juilliard School Pre-College’s Solfège Faculty.
A native of Boston, Trevor made his solo debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and went on to study with Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins at The Juilliard School earning a B.M. and M.M. While there, he also studied and played Baroque cello professionally under the tutelage of Albert Fuller and Jaap Schroeder. He spent summers at Aspen and Tanglewood, as well as in Switzerland at Yehudi Menuhin’s Summer Academy and at Lausanne’s Academy of Music in master classes given by Maurice Gendron.
He has taught at the Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Pepperdine University, and Westmont College, and currently coaches chamber music each summer at Vermont’s Point Counter Point School.Ji Sun Jung
Korean American cellist Ji Sun Jung is an active soloist, chamber musician, and an orchestra member. Some highlights as an orchestra member include acting as a substitute with LA Phil and Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and she won LACO-USC Mock Audition to play with LA Chamber Orchestra. Ji Sun served as principal cellist at the USC Symphony Orchestra, Bob Cole Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, and Colburn Chamber Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Ji Sun formed an Angeles Trio at the Colburn Academy. It is here where the trio appeared and performed From the Top radio broadcast. The trio also performed at the La Senora Research Institute concert, in collaboration with The Colburn School, in Santa Monica.
Some highlights as a soloist include winning numerous competitions, such as Bob Cole Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition, 1st place at Pasadena Showcase House of the Arts Competition, 2nd place at Brentwood Westwood Symphony Orchestra Competition. Ji Sun has participated in masterclasses, including a recent masterclass with Steven Isserlis, Seth Parker Woods, and David Requiro.
A native of South Korea, Ji Sun began playing the cello at the age of 11. She attended Sun-Hwa Arts Middle School and Seoul Arts High School in South Korea. After moving to the United States, Ji Sun studied with Ronald Leonard and Clive Greensmith at the Colburn Academy. Ji Sun earned her bachelor’s degree from Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU Long Beach, studying under David Garrett. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in Cello Performance at University of Southern California under the teachings of Andrew Shulman, and plans to obtain a Graduate Certificate in Cello Performance starting next Fall 2022.Jake Saunders
Dr. Jake Saunders is a cellist, educator, and collaborative artist based in Boise, Idaho. He is active within the contemporary-classical, chamber, symphonic, and popular music realms.
An omnivorous cellist, Saunders approaches music both contemporary and historical with creativity and commitment. He is the founder and Artistic Director of 208 Ensemble, the first professional contemporary music ensemble in Idaho. Since 2014, 208 Ensemble has presented Idaho the premiere of more than 50 chamber works to diverse audiences. The ensemble’s flagship project, Avant-Garden, commissions new chamber music from emerging and historically underrepresented composers. As cellist of The Playground Ensemble and Sphere Ensemble, Jake is also on the vanguard of the contemporary scene in Denver, CO.
As a recording artist, Saunders is featured on the soundtrack for the film The Social Dilemma. He has also collaborated on forthcoming studio releases by LA-based artists The Naked and Famous and Luna Shadows. Saunders can be heard on recent releases by Idaho-based artists East Forest, LED, Quiet Arrows, and Tispur. His forthcoming solo album, One by One, includes works for cello by Bright Sheng, Nathalie Joachim, Nina Shekhar, and Sarah Kirkland-Snider.
Additionally, Saunders serves as Associate Principal with the Boise Philharmonic, Section Cellist with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra and is a substitute cellist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Orchestras he’s previously held principal positions in include Symphony Tacoma and Opera Idaho. Saunders received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from University of Colorado Boulder in 2021, where he served as teaching assistant for Prof. David Requiro.Allan Hon
Praised for his lush, professionally robust sound, cellist Allan Hon has enjoyed a multifaceted career, performing for audiences in Asia, Europe, Canada, and North America. Allan joined the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal in 2022 and serves as a substitute cellist for the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. A prizewinner in many competitions and is the cellist of the Zelter String Quartet – the Gold Prize winner of the 2021 Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition. Allan has performed with the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra in Los Angeles, Thornton Edge, The Second Movement Series, with Herencia Flamenca in 2018, Cantata Profana, and was a part of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo, Japan, for the ‘15- ‘16 season. Allan has performed with some of today’s leading artists, such as Nicholas McGegan, Yayoi Toda, and the Attacca String Quartet. Beyond Classical Music, Allan is active in the studio scene, performing on the soundtracks for television shows and video games, including The Orville, Kingdom of Hearts 2.5 ReMIX, and Final Fantasy XV. Allan holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he studied with Desmond Hoebig. He earned his Master of Music and Master of Musical Arts degrees from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Aldo Parisot. And Allan holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he studied with Andrew Shulman. When he’s not playing the cello or partaking in musical activities, he loves exploring new places and looking for the next tastiest brew.Youna Choi
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Miss Youna Choi earned her bachelor’s degree at the Curtis Institute of Music under Peter Wiley and Carter Brey. Subsequently, she studied with Clive Greensmith at The Colburn Conservatory of Music and received an Artist Diploma and Master of Music. Youna has been featured internationally throughout Korea and the United States. She has been featured in Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and Nantucket Atheneum as both a soloist and chamber musician. Youna’s accomplishments include prizes and scholarships from David Weiss Scholarship Competition, Rio Hondo Competition, Concerto Competition at the Ambassador Auditorium, and numerous national competitions in Korea. She has been named a special prize winner of the Astor Piazzolla International Music Competition for chamber division. She recently debuted a Walton Cello Concerto with Colburn Orchestra and, in 2019, has been appointed as Principal Cellist of New West Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Choi has performed under the baton of conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Rossen Milanov, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Robert Spano, Osmo Vänska, and Michael Tilson Thomas. Ms. Choi is also founding member of the Three Strings Ensemble. They have performed numerous recital series sponsored by the city of Seoul, and the Ensemble was nominated as a winner of the Manhattan International Music Competition. Three Strings Ensemble debuted in Carnegie Hall for a winner’s concert in 2022.Ashley Faatoalia
Tenor Ashley Faatoalia is a versatile, young artist born and raised in Los Angeles. Ashley studied vocal performance at Chapman University and has been singing professionally since that time. Opera News calls his singing “hauntingly beautiful” crediting him with “a voice of winning purity and variety of expression” and The San Francisco Chronicle calls him “Sweet-toned.” Ashley’s recent engagements include performances as: Bobby McCray in the world premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera The Central Park Five with Long Beach Opera, The Crab Man in Porgy & Bess with Seattle Opera, Lyric Tenor in EUROPERAS with LAPhil, and his debut as Marco Polo in the Emmy-Award-winning, Pulitzer Prize-nominated Invisible Cities with The Industry. For the last ten years, Ashley has also had the fortune of working with LA Opera Connects going into the community and sharing music with all who wish to enjoy. (AshleyFaatoalia.com – follow him @ashthetenor)