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Meet the Conductors

Meet the Conductors

Our Education Program Conductors

Dr. Daniel Gee

Santa Barbara Youth Symphony Conductor

Dr Gee began his musical journey by learning and playing cello at his public school music program in Temple City, CA. His first teacher, Richard Meyer, who also led the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra for many years, was the consummate music teacher, giving him opportunities to lead the cello section, compose music, and even conduct the orchestra at Disneyland.  He actually didn’t start private lessons on cello or composition until middle school — a testament to the power and potential of public school education. Dr Gee first lived in Santa Barbara as an undergraduate student at Westmont College and ultimately returned in 2020 to
take on the role of Assistant Professor in the Westmont Music Department, where he conducts the College Choir and Chamber Singers.
Actively and equally engaged in both choral and orchestral worlds, Dr. Gee has served as
Assistant Conductor for the Long Beach Symphony, Associate Conductor of Orange County’s Choral Arts Initiative. His breadth of conducting experience has ranged from professional ensembles to church and community groups, as well as educational settings.  His work abroad has included teaching conducting masterclasses at the 2018 Simpósio de Música hosted by the
Assemblies of God Denomination in São Paulo, Brazil, and performing with the USC Chamber Singers in the Baltics and Poland. He is grateful to include Jo-Michael Scheibe, Cristian Grases, Eckart Preu and Michael Shasberger, among many others, as his conducting mentors. Gee received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California Thornton School
of Music.

Marisa McLeod

Camerata Ensemble & Philharmonia Orchestra Conductor

Marisa McLeod, violinist, a native of Newark, New Jersey, began her studies of the violin at the age of three. She received her Bachelor of Music degree at Montclair State University, and her Master of Music degree from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. She studied the Suzuki method and received her Suzuki certification from the Eastman School under Anastasia Jempelis. She has continued her Suzuki studies with Cathryn Lee, Edmund Sprunger, Sherry Cadow, Martha Shackford and Mark Bjork.

She was a member of the Anderson String Quartet for ten years. She has studied the art of string quartet playing with the Cleveland Quartet with Peter Salaff as her private teacher, Juilliard String Quartet, American String Quartet, and William Fitzpatrick of Le Quatuor de Deux Monde, in Fontaineblau, France.

The Andersons were artists in residence and members of the music faculty at California State University, Los Angeles. Their travels took them all over the country where they performed numerous recitals and children’s concerts. She has also performed and recorded for artists like Snoop Dogg, Smokey Robinson, En Vogue, Moesha, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, and many others. She presently performs with California Philharmonic and various orchestras in Southern California. She has taught strings for the Arts Council of Conejo Valley and as adjunct violin professor at Westmont College in Montecito. She is presently a Suzuki and Strings instructor at the Viewpoint School in Calabasas. She also conducts the Camerata Ensemble and Philharmonia Orchestra for the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Youth Ensembles program. She also maintains a private violin and viola studio in her home and on Zoom.

For Marisa, performance is sustenance. She relishes the interdependence between art, the artist and the audience. And as a teacher and coach, she finds herself in the enviable position of being able to pass on to others the how-to of creating this loving relationship.

Karen Dutton

Camerata Ensemble & Philharmonia Orchestra Winds Coach, BRAVO! Program Co-Founder & Teacher

Karen Dutton was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA beginning her musical training at age 7 on the piano.  She began flute studies in junior high and was inspired by her junior high band conductor to continue her study of music in college.  She graduated from University of California Los Angeles with a B.A. in Music Education, Masters in Education and a Single Subject Credential in Music.  She has taught music in the Santa Barbara School District for the past 32 years. Currently, she teaches music at Adams Elementary School where she teaches both general and instrumental music classes to all students in grades K-6. She is co-founder of the District’s after school BRAVO! program which provides extended instrumental music instruction twice a week for students in grades 4-6. She conducts the Prime Time Pops Band and serves as the flute sectional instructor for that group. She serves as the flute instructor for the Nick Rail Summer Band Camp and she can also be found playing flute in the Santa Barbara Community College Flute Ensemble.

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