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Wind & Percussion Studies at La Sierra University



The LA SIERRA UNIVERSITY WIND ENSEMBLE is devoted to the development of musicianship, artistic expression, and cultivation of new audiences for the wind band medium. Membership is by audition and includes undergraduate and graduate students who represent the varied majors and programs at La Sierra University. This ensemble honors the history of wind band history and celebrates living composers through commissions and collaborations with guest artists.

The Wind Ensemble performs for church services, campus events, schools, and civic programs throughout the Inland Empire of Southern California. In 2004, the Wind Ensemble performed at the national conference of the Christian Instrumental Directors Association in Tennessee. They also participated in the CSU Fresno Collegiate Wind Festival. They were one of ten featured ensembles at the College Band Directors National Association West/Northwest Division Conference in Reno in 2010 and shared the gala evening concert with Cal State University Fresno at the 34th Annual Dr. Lawrence R. Sutherland Wind Festival in March 2013.

Most recently, the University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Professor Santos, performed in the ForFest (Czech Republic) and MaskFest International New Music (Republic of San Marino) Festivals.  The Wind Ensemble traveled across Europe, giving performances across the Czech Republic, Austria, Republic of San Marino, and Italy. The University Wind Ensemble gave European premieres of works composed by LSU students, Prof. Santos, and European composers in history concert halls. The performances in the Czech Republic and the Republic of San Marino were also televised nationally.

In March of 2018, the La Sierra University Wind Ensemble will be giving their Carnegie Hall debut.



GIOVANNI SANTOS serves as assistant professor and Director of Wind and Percussion Studies at La Sierra University, where he directs the University Wind Ensemble, Big Band, and teaches courses in instrumental music education, popular music, and conducting. For 7 years, Professor Santos had the privilege of leading the band department at Loma Linda Academy, where he led their Wind Symphony in performances across the United States and Europe.

Santos has led successful performances in such venues and festivals as the Notre Dame Cathedral of Chartres (France), Fete de la Musique in Paris, San Giovanni Valdarno Classical Music Festival (Italy), Teatro Titano (Republic of San Marino), the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, ForFest International New Music Festival (Czech Republic), MaskFest International New Music Festival (Republic of San Marino), San Ignazio di Loyola Basilica (Rome). Santos will lead the La Sierra University Wind Ensemble in performance at Carnegie Hall this coming March 2018. Professor Santos also enjoys frequent engagements as a guest conductor/clinician for festivals across the US, Mexico, and Europe.

Prof. Santos has proudly implemented a yearly wind band conducting workshop at La Sierra University and has worked alongside Prof. H. Robert Reynolds and Dr. Thomas Lee, helping some of the brightest young music educators in the U.S. Santos welcomes Prof. Allan McMurray to this year’s workshop.

As a composer, Prof. Santos has premiered his works across the United States and Europe. In January, the United States Naval Academy Band Brass Ensemble will premiere his composition in the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. In classes, lessons, and workshops, his conducting mentors have included, Barbara Favorito, Donald Thurber, H. Robert Reynolds, Sharon Lavery, Mallory Thompson, Tim Robblee, Frank Battisti, Mark Davis Scatterday, and Brad Lubman. Santos had the privilege of studying trumpet with Dr. Richard Hofmann, Boyde Hood, and Donald Green.

Santos is a graduate of La Sierra University (B. Mus). He earned his MM in Music Education from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he was also a scholarship trumpet student. He continues an active performance schedule as a freelance musician (trumpet) and has been published by the International Trumpet Guild Journal.

Professor Santos is inspired by his family. His wife Tanya, is an elementary teacher in Perris, CA. Tanya and Giovanni are proud parents of Gianna and David.

La Sierra University Wind Ensemble Plays Carnegie Hall