"Preservation Through Music Education"
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Carolina Gonzalez

Teaching Assistant

Youth Leader

Sandra I Noriega, Ph.D.
Director of OPC
Community Orchestra

Emma Navarro Milla
Parent Volunteer

Victor McElhaney
Youth Leader
Gregory Pierre Jones
Parent Volunteer
Angela M. Wellman
Founding Director

Board of Directors
Laurie Cahn                   
Abbey Diller
Steve Grevious               
Konda Mason                 
Emma Navarro               
Sonya Scott                 
Angela Wellman

Angela Wellman, M.M.
Founding Director


Sandra I Noriega, Ph.D. 
Artistic Director of Orchestras, 
Conductor, OPC Community Orchestra

Trombonist Angela Wellmanhailing proudly from Kansas City, Missouri, has performed with the McCoy Tyner Big BandJoe WilliamsAl GreySlide Hampton and other noted musicians.
From 1991-94, Angela was a California Arts Council Artist in Residence, during which time she designed and implemented a Jazz Studies Curriculum for Cole Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School in Oakland, CA.   In 1997, she was awarded a Master’s degree in Music Education from theEastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.  She subsequently returned to the Bay Area, and served as the Education Director for the Oakland Youth Chorus where she developed award-winning community music education programs.
Ms. Wellman is a recipient of national, state, and city Arts awards and fellowships for performance study and music education. Among these awards is the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Study Fellowship to study with trombonist Steve Turre  
Raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Ms. Wellman was nurtured in a musical family, and is a third generation jazz musician and music educator.  She grew up listening to the stride piano style of her grandfather, her father's swinging ballad & blues piano, and the soul-stirring songstylings of her mother, Jyene Baker. Angela inherits her passion and understanding for the preservation of musical traditions through education from her uncle and mentor, Eddie B. Baker, Sr., founder of the Charlie Parker Memorial Foundation & Academy for Performing Arts and the International Jazz Hall of Fame.  Angela's initiation into the world of Jazz as a player began while hanging out at sessions at the famed chitlin' circuit Local 626, the once–Black musicians' union in Kansas City, and now sanctuary for the spirits of jazz pioneers such as Ernie Williams (The Last of the Blue Devils), Count Basie, Charlie Parker, and countless others who got their start in that very place. 
In 2005 she founded the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music to provide high quality, affordable music education for Oakland citizens. Angela divides her time between Oakland and Madison, WI where she is pursuing doctoral studies in Education/Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin. She also performs and teaches throughout the United States.  Her band, New Roots, performs spirited, contemporary music, creating new forms, styles, and roots in the Jazz tradition.

In 1980, Sandra I Noriega (aka Sandy Mabee) received a full scholarship to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  Completing her studies in 1983, she became the SF Conservatory’s first woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance.  In 1985, she became California State University East Bay's first woman to earn a master’s degree in Percussion Performance.

Sandra held the tenured position of Principal Timpanist with the legendary Women’s Philharmonic under Maestros JoAnn Falletta and Apo Hsu from 1980 to 2004.  The WP premiered many works by women composers and recorded four CDs of works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Florence Price, Lili Boulanger, Germaine Tailleferre, Elinor Armor, and others on the Koch International label. 

In 2005, she founded and directs The Bay Area Women’s Percussion Troupe, a professional group dedicated to highlighting and promoting the presence of women in the field of Percussion Performance.

In 2008, Ms. Noriega completed an intensive Post-Master’s Program earning a Professional Performer’s Certificate in Instrumental Conducting at California State University, Sacramento. She has been accepted into various Conductor’s Seminars and Workshops and has been honored on numerous “Who’s Who” in Music lists.

Also, in 2008, Sandra founded the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music’s Symphony Orchestra, an all-volunteer orchestra, now in it’s 4th season. Her mission for this orchestra is to publicly perform works by ethnically under-represented composers, women composers, living composers, in addition to standard repertoire; and to provide an opportunity for performing musicians to engage in, experience, and develop an appreciation for the need and significance of performing these works.

In September 2010, Sandra was appointed as the Assistant Conductor of Community Women’s Orchestra, one of only three Women’s Orchestras in the US. Additionally, in 2010, Sandra became a charter member of Classical Musicians with Disabilities, and has been invited to conduct several works at the inaugural concerts of The D Major International Music Festival, to be held 11/25-26/2011, in Kiev, Ukraine. She has also been invited as a Guest Conductor of the Castro Valley Chamber Orchestra for their Oct. 23rd concert.

Sandra has served as Professor of Music at the college level for over 10 years, and at the high school and elementary levels since 1975. From 2008 – 2010, Sandra worked for Education Through Music Bay Area, as a Field Supervisor overseeing Music Educators throughout the Bay Area. Sandra also directed the Bay Area Asian Children’s Percussion Ensemble, an outreach program of the Wisdom Culture and Education Organization in Fremont, CA, and continues to teach in her private Castro Valley music studio. In addition to her music degrees, Sandra holds a BA and a PhD in Biblical Studies focusing on the Nature of Music and its ability to effect lives in a positive and tangible manner.

Oakland Public Conservatory of Music - 2323 Broadway - Oakland, CA 94612 - (510) 836-4649 
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