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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. 

Ericsson Hatfield, musicianship/composition

Ericsson Hatfield (b.1995) is a composer, violinist, and educator. His compositions integrate classical and modern techniques to create a fresh musical language. As a composer, he received first prize in the 2018 Tribeca New Music Festival for his violin quartet Constellations. In 2020, he won the Kristen Pankonin Award at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), resulting in a commission to compose the song cycle God's World for solo voice and piano. God's World went on to receive first place in the 2022 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Art Song Composition Competition. In 2022, Ericsson received first prize for his work Cantate Domino in SFCM’s 15th Biennial Choral Competition and was named the recipient of the Capital Hearings; DC A Capella Young Composers Competition Award. Ericsson studied Composition at the European American Musical Alliance (EAMA) in Paris with David Conte, who he continued to work with in the Master of Music program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Ericsson teaches at several institutions, including the San Francisco Girl’s Chorus (theory/aural skills), the Eliot Fisk Guitar Academy (counterpoint/aural skills), SFCM Continuing Education (counterpoint) and the San Francisco Counterpoint Initiative. He operates a private composition studio where students receive practical training in counterpoint, form and contemporary procedures of writing music.

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, 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

Costas Dafnis

Costas Dafnis is a composer and artist based in California. His work has been awarded by New Music USA, the American Prize, International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition, and the Dallas Winds. His Mariana for soprano and processed underwater audio was featured by NOAA/PMEL in an article called “The Music of Challenger Deep” and his 2019 set of Cajun-language art songs is the subject of soprano Nancy Carey’s series of DMA lecture recitals and dissertation. Upcoming premieres include works for the SoCal Brass Consortium, the Greek Chamber Music Project and the Ferndale Public Schools Orchestra, a new piece for wind ensemble, theater and dance companies. His orchestral work was featured at the 2019 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music’s In the Works series and his music for media will be heard in the indie feature Overwhelm The Sky and at Cinequest in CR Coppola’s VR short, Universe At Play. Costas plays mandolin, designs experimental instruments, conducts and curates New Music at New Vision and lectures in film at San Francisco Art Institute.