MISSION, VISION, AND PURPOSES
Our mission is to educate musicians effectively, empowering them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to express themselves dynamically through modern popular music.
Our vision is to create an inspiring, diverse, and inclusive higher education space in which students, faculty, and members of the community may gather together to study, create, perform, record, and share music.
STUDY: When we study modern popular music, we research the techniques that have shaped music that has had wide appeal across contemporary populations through its inherent memetic value. Our institutional curriculum and repertoire exist in order to guide, model, and inform experiential and explorative processes without seeking to restrict or delimit the popular music space.
CREATE: When we create new music, we are not only expressing ourselves through the medium of sound, we are creating unique artistic capital which has the power to transform lives both economically and emotionally. We pledge to respect all forms of intellectual property regardless of style or content, and remain non-judgmental towards the process and product of others.
PERFORM: When we perform popular music, we engage openly with a public listenership in an attempt to connect over shared human experience. We pledge to seek new avenues for live and recorded performances that question existing models, trouble the status quo where necessary, and connect audiences of disparate backgrounds across temporal and geographical boundaries.
RECORD: We believe that the recording studio is a primary performance space for modern popular music. The recorded master is the truest representation of an original composition meant for mass appeal, and therefore we seek to provide excellent studio spaces for sonic experimentation and invention in which new musical recordings can be arranged, engineered, produced, mixed, and mastered. Through excellent mentorship in studio craft, etiquette, and process, all of our students develop recorded material meant to catalyze their musical futures.
SHARE: As Nietzche famously wrote, “Without music life would be a mistake.” Indeed, access to music and the other arts is intrinsic to a high quality of life. Popular music has the power to incite happiness and enjoyment of life, enrich and sustain our individual lives, and create community. As devotees of popular music, we recognize that our music exists not only for our fellow musicians and academics to analyze and consume, but for all people everywhere (including non-musicians) to enjoy and integrate into their lives. For this reason, the sharing and wide distribution of our music is essential, and we must examine the evolving modalities in which music is successfully disseminated in the modern age.”
California College of Music is a forward-thinking modern popular music college that accepts students from all over the world. Originally founded in 1999 as Pasadena International Music Academy, the school first blossomed under the leadership of legendary trombonist Wayne Henderson and Grammy-winning producer Reggie Dozier, who designed our educational facility to double as a well-outfitted recording studio. In recent years, under the direction and guidance of current Dean Daniel Brummel, M.M., and the institutional Board of Directors, California College of Music has become known for its distinguished faculty of experienced music industry professionals, its focus on popular music performance and production, and the encouraging environment it provides for its students and the community at large to participate in music-making.
GET CONNECTED THROUGH MUSIC
Here in Los Angeles County, we live in the heart of the global music industry, with many recording studios and live performance venues in close proximity. California College of Music is filled with musicians every day, giving students the opportunity to make valuable connections and find their foothold in the music scene. Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood are also just minutes away, so world-class musical artists are constantly performing nearby.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
California College of Music is located at 42 S. Catalina Avenue in Pasadena, California, conveniently situated near the Gold Line Metro Rail and the 210, 134, and 110 freeways, providing our students with easy access to all major destinations in the Los Angeles area. Pasadena’s diversity and history of artistic vibrancy make it an ideal location for music study. With its unique blend of an urban feel with residential charm, Pasadena is a safe, fun city — perfect for aspiring young music students.
Michelle T. Ishii (President and Chief Executive Officer) – President Ishii was born in Tokyo, Japan and completed her undergraduate studies in nursing at the Busan National University of South Korea. She then completed her master’s degree in nursing at the Graduate School of Nursing at the Chiba University, a national university of Japan. President Ishii then began practicing as a nurse anesthetist, including stints in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan; she is fluent in Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese Mandarin, and English. President Ishii first came to the United States in 1986, and she founded the Rosemead College of English in Rosemead, California in 1991, which later shortened its name to Rosemead College. This institution has successfully served domestic and international students through programs in English as a Second Language and Business Language since its opening, and in 2010 it expanded, opening a second campus in Torrance, California. President Ishii served on the Board of Directors of the East Los Angeles College Foundation in 2010, and has been a member of the Taiwanese-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Los Angeles (TACCLA) since 2010. She has also served as the Vice President of the Asian American Republican Women’s Foundation (a club recognized by the California Federation
of Republican Women) and as the secretary of the San Gabriel Valley chapter of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. In 1999, President Ishii provided the start-up funding for the Pasadena International Music Academy, and that institution became California College of Music in 2008. Michelle has remained President of the Board of Directors of California College of Music since the current board formation in 2016 and sat on the previous College advisory board.
Brian Jou (Chief Financial Officer) – Mr. Jou was born in Taipei, Taiwan and completed his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Taiwan Technical University before working as a mathematics teacher at a technical college in Taiwan, and later for Kyocera Corporation, a Japanese multinational electronics manufacturer. He emigrated to the United States in 1984 and pursued his graduate studies in the University of Louisiana system and at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. He has been a member of the Taiwanese-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Los Angeles (TACCLA) since 2010, and as Chief Financial Officer, he serves California College of Music by processing all financial transactions including tuition collection and employee payroll. Mr. Jou has been a member of the Board of Directors of California College of Music since the current board formation in 2016 and sat on the previous College advisory board.
Reginald “Reggie” Dozier – Three-time Grammy-award winner (and 11-time nominee) Reggie Dozier is a masterful music producer, engineer, and mixer who has created American popular music history alongside legendary artists for the past five decades. Since 1958, he has made a noteworthy contribution as one of the founding architects of modern commercial music recording methods, and his work has been released by major labels including Motown, Atlantic, A&M, ABC, Capitol, and Warner Brothers as well as film studios including 20th Century Fox, United Artists, and Universal Pictures. Mr. Dozier mixed and engineered the Lionel Richie and Diana Ross recording of the song “Endless Love,” from the eponymous motion picture, which was nominated for an Academy Award and was the best-selling single of 1981, hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. In 2004, he was awarded the Grammy for Outstanding Engineering for his work on Outkast’s landmark album Speakerboxx/The Love Below. Other world-renowned artists he has worked with include Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, Phil Collins, Natalie Cole, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Kenny Rogers, Miles Davis, Patti LaBelle, Brian McKnight, Mary J. Blige, The Four Tops, B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Marvin Gaye, the Isley Brothers, and the Temptations. One of the forefathers of California College of Music, Mr. Dozier led its music engineering programs beginning in 2008 and designed our recording studio facilities, including installing patchbays allowing most rooms to be utilized as recording spaces and installing windows for lines of sight from the Isolation Booth and the Live Ensemble Room to the Studio Control Room. Songwriter Clarence McDonald has stated that “Reggie is one of the best recording engineers of our generation, but what truly puts him in a league all his own is his unwavering integrity, pure passion for creating quality music, and his dedication to teaching and mentoring future generations of engineers.” Mr. Dozier has been a member of California College of Music’s Board of Directors as a public and music industry representative since the current board formation in 2016 and was a member of the previous College advisory board.
Dean Daniel G. Brummel, M.M. – Daniel Brummel is a composer-producer, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist music educator native to Pasadena, CA. He graduated from the L.A. County High School for the Arts as a voice major (with guitar and composition studies) before earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in music composition at the University of California, Los Angeles and the Master of Music degree in commercial music composition from California State University. Mr. Brummel has led community music events at the Hammer Museum, the Norton Simon Museum, the Los Angeles Central Library, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and composed score music for Paramount Pictures and Lifetime Network film & television releases. In addition to his responsibilities as Dean & Chief Academic Officer and Singer-Songwriter Co-Chair at California College of Music, Mr. Brummel is adjunct faculty at Los Angeles Valley College, a top-tier music department in the Los Angeles Community College System. He has been a member of the California College of Music’s Board of Directors since 2016.
Brandon Jay – Award-winning television composer and multi-instrumentalist Brandon Jay was born in the San Fernando Valley and graduated from Ulysses S. Grant High School in Valley Glen, California. A vocalist, guitarist, bassist, drummer, and keyboardist, Mr. Jay is a veteran of Los Angeles’s independent alternative rock scene, most notably as a member of Lutefisk, a group that was signed to A&M Records, profiled in Spin Magazine’s 2009 list of 100 Greatest Bands You’ve Probably Never Heard Of, was included on the Los Angeles Times list of Best Local Albums of the Year in 1995, and performed on the Lollapalooza touring music festival in 1996. In 2006, Mr. Jay transitioned into composing for television, partnering with his wife Gwendolyn Sanford to score seven seasons of Weeds, a dark comedy-drama created by the notable showrunner Jenji Kohan for the Showtime Network. The show received numerous awards, including two Satellite Awards, one Golden Globe Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, and two Emmy Awards. Kohan retained Jay and Sanford to score all seven seasons of her next show, Orange Is The New Black, Netflix’s most watched series. This critically acclaimed show received 16 Primetime Emmy Award nominations (winning four) and made history as the first series to be nominated in both comedy and drama categories. The series also received six Golden Globe Award nominations, six Writers Guild of America Award nominations, a Producers Guild of America Award, an American Film Institute award, and a Peabody Award. In 2018, Jay and Sanford partnered with Dean Daniel Brummel to score the upcoming Lifetime network series American Princess, airing January 2, 2019. The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) has recognized Mr. Jay’s contributions to TV music with numerous awards. Mr. Jay joined the Board of Directors of California College of Music as a public and music industry representative in 2018.
Lynn Wen, M.M. – Ms. Wen was born in Taipei, Taiwan, moved to America during high school, and later graduated from Indiana Bloomington and the University of Southern California with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clarinet performance. After graduating, she began working as a State Farm Insurance Agent, an occupation she has held for more than 25 years. Ms. Wen is the President of the San Gabriel Valley chapter of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs as well as the Honorary President of the Taiwanese American Chamber of Commerce. She also serves the community as the Commissioner of the Overseas Community Affairs Council of Taiwan. Ms. Wen has been a member of California College of Music’s Board of Directors as a public representative since the current board formation in 2016 and was a member of the previous College advisory board.
Dr. Sherri Canon, Ph.D. – Dr. Canon is an ethnomusicologist and drummer/percussionist with teaching experience in Western music theory, popular music history, jazz appreciation, world music, drums, percussion, and piano. With thirty years of experience as a drummer and percussionist, she has a deep history in the Austin, Texas music scene, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in percussion and master’s and doctoral degrees in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin. After studying for a year at the University of Ghana in the 1990s, she directed African music ensembles in Austin for several years. Dr. Canon’s research and publications on the African immigrant Diaspora explore the links between music and dance, lifecycle rituals, identity, and kinship for West African immigrants in California. She has contributed chapters about Ghanaian, Senegalese, and Nigerian musicians to African Minorities in the New World (2008) and Nigeria in the Twentieth Century (2002). Her doctoral dissertation Music, Dance, and Family Ties: Ghanaian and Senegalese Immigrants in Los Angeles is available through the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to her service to California College of Music, Dr. Canon is adjunct faculty at Los Angeles Mission College, one of the nine campuses of the Los Angeles Community College System. Dr. Canon joined the Board of Directors of California College of Music as a faculty representative in 2018.