Scott Cmiel
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  2. Faculty

Guitar Pre-College Faculty

Learn Guitar from our incredible Pre-College Faculty.

Guitar Faculty

Theresa Calpotura


Emphasizes strong technique and musicianship through a unique method that combines elements from a number of pedagogical sources for the guitar. M.M. Yale University; B.M., Oberlin Conservatory; studies with Scott Cmiel, Stephen Aron and Benjamin Verdery; performed in numerous venues throughout the United States and the Philippines.

Scott Cmiel

Scott Cmiel is widely known as one of the most effective and inspirational guitar instructors in the United States.  His students have won many prestigious awards and been featured on national radio and television.  His teaching has been praised by some of the guitar world's most distinguished artists including Sergio Assad, Manuel Barrueco, the Beijing Duo, Antigoni Goni, Peter and Zoltan Katona, Martha Masters, David Tanenbaum, Scott Tennant, Benjamin Verdery, and Andrew York.  For more information visit or email

Lawrence Ferrara

M.M., B.M. San Francisco Conservatory of Music; performed as soloist with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the Bay Chamber Symphony, the Classical Philharmonic and the San Francisco Conservatory Chamber Orchestra and New Music Ensemble; prize winner, Carmel Classic Guitar Competition; served on the Music Advisory Panel to the National Endowment of the Arts; author and performer of The Student Repertoire Series for Guitar Vol. 1 and 2; solo CD of American Guitar Works on the VGo label; faculty, collegiate division SFCM, City College.

Scott Gossage

"All about the 'nuts and bolts' of classical guitar."

Scott Gossage has been teaching classical guitar in the Bay Area for over 20 years. From 2001 through 2009, Scott served on the teaching staff at the Longay Conservatory of Guitar in Santa Clara, California, a school which is known throughout the world as one of the most important centers for teaching the Suzuki method for guitar. In 2008, he completed a long-term apprenticeship with legendary Suzuki guitar guru Frank Longay. As a result, he is among the most highly trained and experienced Suzuki guitar teachers working in the world today, with training through Book 9 and Practicum of the Suzuki Method for Guitar. Scott is known for his infectious enthusiasm, supportive and upbeat demeanor, and expert teaching ability. His students have wowed audiences, and won major competitions. Scott is an impeccable player, having studied at Peabody Institute with Ray Chester and in master classes with Manuel Barrueco.

Mark Simons

A leading Bay Area guitarist and sixteen-year veteran of the groundbreaking San Francisco Guitar Quartet, Mark Simons’ natural musicality and impressive technique have long been critically acclaimed. Mark has released a critically acclaimed solo release, Blue in Green, as well as four recordings with the San Francisco Guitar Quartet.

Ross Thompson


English-born composer and international concert guitarist Ross Thompson spent his childhood in Puerto Rico before moving with his family to the United States. He has been invited by a number of international festivals and schools to perform including the International Festival of Contemporary Classical Music (Lima, Peru), Leo Kestenberg Musikschule Berlin, Mozarteum of Uruguay, Seoul National University, National Conservatory of Music (Rio Gallegos, Patagonia, Argentina), Peruvian North American Cultural Institute, San Francisco Performances, San Francisco Opera, and the National Conservatory of Peru. His dedication as a professor of guitar has earned him an honorary chair, dedicated in his name, in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall. During his higher education, he completed his masters and post-graduate degrees at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and at the Royal College of Music in London.

Historically Plucked Instruments

Jon Mendle

"Jon Mendle has toured with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble and made his Carnegie Hall debut while still a student at the age of 19. He received his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Professional Studies degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where his guitar teachers included Judicael Perroy and Sergio Assad, while studying lute and historical guitars with Richard Savino. Jon has also had lute lessons with Nigel North, Ronn McFarlane and Paul O’Dette. His first album, entitled L’infidele, was produced by his teacher, Latin Grammy winner Sergio Assad. Soundboard magazine called L’infidele “a beautiful disc,” adding “Mendle’s playing is a wonder.” Recently, Jon was awarded second prize in the 2021 Concorso di Musica Antica “Maurizio Pratola” international lute competition in L’Aquila, Italy.

Jon performs on a variety of instruments, including 19th century guitar, Renaissance and baroque lutes, vihuela and theorbo. When away from his arsenal of plucked instruments, he enjoys hiking in the beautiful California redwoods and attempting to pull the perfect espresso shot."