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Musicianship and Composition Continuing Education Faculty

Learn Musicianship and Composition from our fantastic Continuing Education Faculty. View current courses


Robert 'Bobby' Chastain, composition

Composer, conductor, bassoonist, and singer Robert “Bobby” Chastain has firmly established himself in the San Francisco Bay Area musical scene, composing works for orchestra, choir, and chamber groups with a special inclination towards the voice. His music is often highly contrapuntal and richly textured, with an occasional return to simplicity. Composer John Corigliano described Chastain as being “a virtuoso with the orchestra, [and with] a distinctive sound.” Arts SF described his music as being “irresistible” with “great momentum,” while SF Classical Voice described his orchestral and wind ensemble work, Metanoia, as a “sound poem with well-rendered effects and a rich texture… will have a lasting appeal for wind ensembles around the world.” As a composer of orchestral, chamber, and choral works, he has won the Susan and Ford Schumann Fellowship to the Aspen Summer Music Festival and School as well as a Williamson Foundation Grant to the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France.


Accepting beginning, intermediate, and advanced students. 

Mauricio Rodriguez, musicianship/composition

D.M.A. and M.A. in Music Composition, Stanford University; M.A. and B.F.A. in Sonology/Composition, Royal Conservatory The Hague, The Netherlands; B.F.A. in Music Composition, University of Mexico. Artist-in-Residence: Arteles Center (Finland), University of California Santa Cruz (WACM-Composition), International Center for Composers (Sweden), Xenakis Center (France), Formations Professionnelles Royaumont (France), and Cuban Institute of Art. Fellow of the National Endowment of Mexican Art.


Rodriguez has taught music theory, music technology and composition at Stanford University, San Jose State University, ESMUC Catalunya, University of Mexico, and Conservatory Salamanca Spain. Currently, he leads the piano lab at San Jose City College and teaches AP Music Theory, Musicianship, and Composition at the Pre-College Program in San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Accepting beginning, intermediate and advanced students.

Joseph Stillwell, composition

Accepting beginning, intermediate, and advanced students.

Harry Whitney, musicianship/composition


M.M. and B.M. in Music Composition, San Francisco Conservatory of Music; graduate, European American Musical Alliance’s Summer Music Institute, honors in Harmony, Invertible Counterpoint, and Score Reading; studied with David Conte, David Garner and Scott Foglesong; Artist-in-Residence, Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts; Organ Scholar, St. Dominic's Catholic Church of San Francisco.


Accepting beginning, intermediate, and advanced students.

Daniel Wood, musicianship/composition

Every student has a degree of potential on any instrument. It is up to me -- as their teacher -- to help them discover that potential and take them as far as they want to go along the path of music education.  I believe in teaching students to be complete musicians and teaching them to be complete technicians on their chosen instrument. I stress musicality and stage presence in my methods and expect commitment in return when warranted.  Ultimately, it is my responsibility to teach my students how to be their own best teacher."  


Chair of Musicianship and Composition for the Pre-College Division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Daniel Wood is an accomplished composer, performer and educator. His compositions favor small groups such as brass, wind and string chamber music, steel drum ensembles and jazz combos and his most recent commissions have come from Ceora Winds, Presidio String Trio, and Avenue Winds. Mr. Wood has written and performed solo shows as an improvisational musician including "Life on an Island" and "Brother, Can you spare a Dime." As a founding member of the Quadre horn quartet, he has toured extensively since 1998, and composed and performed for Quadre's 4 albums with guest horn player James Thatcher, Grammy award-winning flutist, Molly Barth, and soprano Elizabeth Weigle.  Mr. Wood has lectured on the Business of Music for the American Federation of Musicians, San Francisco Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, University of Oregon, and the International Horn conferences. He is also a member of the Avenue Winds and the Teal Crane Trio, both focused on championing new work and runs Solid Wood Publishing. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Wood received his training from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Accepting beginning, intermediate and advanced students. 

Technology and Applied Composition

Kristopher Grant

Kris Grant is a classically trained musician & multi-media artist with particular expertise in sound design, synthesis techniques, and electronic composition for digital media. He has been producing and mixing electronic music under the moniker ‘Idea Unsound’ for over a decade with various software systems, developing a strong understanding of computer-music interfacing, as well as an instrument-like level of comfort within the digital environment. He mixes clever melodies and conceptual ideas with elements of world, classical, and Hip-Hop to create a new and progressive electronic sound. Now, his music is distributed through one of the world’s leading online music distributors, Kobalt Music.  


Grant began his musical journey at a young age, getting involved with his middle school and elementary school orchestras. Growing up, he learned to play viola in school while autodidactically learning the acoustic guitar. He started producing around the same time, becoming deeply familiar with computers as musical instruments and how to manipulate organic sounds effectively. From there, he quickly expanded into using complex hardware synthesizers and experimenting more with sound design processes. Gradually, as his interest in production grew and grew, he became familiar with a whole host of audio processing paradigms, and now he uses an assortment of audio-visual tools to create immense, audio-visual installations and performances with Ableton Live as the centerpiece. What’s more, Grant is also a veteran of the US Air Force, having done three combat tours of duty over six years before departing to pursue life as a full-time audio professional.  


Accepting beginning, intermediate and advanced students.