Music Staff

Beginning Brass & Concert Band Instructor


Freelance trumpet player, Michael Davis, is a La Cañada native who began his trumpet career with ALF as a 4th grader at Palm Crest Elementary. This is his 12th year with ALF as the Instructor for both Beginning Brass and Concert Band. After graduating from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in Trumpet Performance, Mike earned a Masters of Music from the USC Thornton School of Music. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Opera, and with many Ensembles. He has also recorded with indie rock artists and can be heard on the Hollywood Epic Brass album.  Mike is an Adjunct Trumpet Instructor at California State University at Dominguez Hills, and has been an instructor with the Oberlin Summer Trumpet Workshop and the YOMP program of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He is the trumpet coach for the Crescenta Valley Jazz Band and is the Music Specialist at La Cañada Elementary.


Beginning Woodwinds Instructor, Concert Band Assistant Instructor & Music Coordinator


Ruth Kasckow is the Woodwinds Instructor and also serves as the Music Coordinator for ALF Instrumental Music, providing administrative support for the program. This year, Ruth will also join us as the Concert Band Assistant Instructor.  Ruth received her BA in Music from Goucher College and MFA in Flute Performance from California Institute of the Arts.  A flutist, Ruth is a frequent performer in orchestras, chamber music ensembles, and solo recitals throughout Southern California. She performs chamber music and solo recitals frequently at the Noon Series at Pasadena Presbyterian Church and Glendale Noon Series, and has played in Burbank Symphony, Santa Monica Symphony, Opera a la Carte, Orquesta mexicana de la juvetud in Mexico City. Ruth was on the Pasadena Conservatory of Music faculty for many years, and now maintains her own  private teaching studio in La Cañada and is on the faculty of La Cañada School of Music. She recently received the 2019 “Finest Music Teacher Award” by the readers of Crescenta Valley Weekly. One of Ruth’s passions is helping other musicians improve their playing and avoid injury with healthy movement. As a licensed Andover Educator she teaches the innovative educational technique called Body Mapping for Musicians. Ruth has published The Flute Duet Practice Books and Chinese Folk Song Suite for Flute Quartet, and has recorded two solo CDs with pianist Christopher Brennan: French Impressions for Flute and German Expressions for Flute. 

Beginning String & String Orchestra Instructor


Sahak Karapetyan graduated with a Masters in Music Performance from Komitas State Conservatory. He has served as Concertmaster of several symphonic and chamber orchestras. Sahak is a founder and Music Director of the St. Gregory chamber orchestra as well as the Bravo String Quartet. He is a member of the Santa Barbara, Redlands, and San Bernardino symphony orchestras, and has taught violin, viola, and piano privately for over thirty years. Among his students are distinguished musicians who have won grand prizes in music competitions and many who have subsequently devoted their lives to professional playing.  Sahak joins ALF for his fourth year as the Instructor for Beginning Strings and String Orchestra.

Beginning Strings & String Orchestra Assistant Instructor


Ripsi Yepremyan earned her Master’s degree in music performance and has been teaching violin and piano privately for numerous years. She is also a performing violinist with local professional orchestras. Ripsi’s devotion to her work is genuine and her approach to musical study promotes confidence and enthusiasm. Students are empowered to deal with the challenges of mastering an instrument and inspired to persevere through the difficult stages of practice that ultimately bring success. Ripsi is beginning her fourth year as the Assistant Instructor for Beginning Strings and String Orchestra.

Beginning Percussion Instructor


After graduating from La Cañada High School in 2012, Sean Moriarty became a part of the percussion staff with the LCHS Band for the 2012-2013 school year. Later he attended Glendale Community College with a major in Music. Currently, he plays drums for the local band Ryder Buck & The Breakers, and formerly with the Hollywood based Hard Rock/Pop trio Varna which has received acclaim from the LA Music Awards and the North American Independent Rock Music Awards. He also teaches privately, does recording sessions, and works as the Strategic Entertainment Manager for MAC Creative Management. Sean joins the ALF Instrumental Music program for his fourth year as the Beginning Percussion Instructor.

Beginning Percussion Assistant Instructor


A graduate of La Cañada High School, Colin Ring has continued his studies at PCC and USC. His professional percussion training includes programs at the Jamie Font School of Music, Colburn School of Music, and the Berklee School of Music in Boston. Colin is a drummer for various hard-rock and metal bands. He organized and produced a benefit concert, “Rock for Peru,” which raised money for a medical mission to Peru. He has been giving private drum lessons for the last 11 years. Colin first worked with ALF in 2008-2009 as an assistant in the Brass and Percussion class. This is his fourth year as Assistant Instructor for the Beginning Percussion class.

Beginning Brass Assistant Instructor


With over 1,500 credits in Film, Television and recording, USC graduate Phillip Yao has worked with many of the world’s top composers and musicians including John Williams, James Horner and Jerry Goldsmith. Mr. Yao can also be heard on recordings showcasing a variety of artists from all genres, Hilary Hahn, Barbra Streisand, Aerosmith, Josh Groban and Ray Charles, to name a few.  In addition, he has years of orchestral, opera, ballet and Broadway show experience having played with the Pasadena Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Opera, Phantom of the Opera and Wicked.  Phillip returns for a second year with ALF Instrumental Music as the Beginning Brass Assistant Instructor. *

Beginning Woodwinds Assistant Instructor


Shahid Yasser Osuna is an LA-based flutist, arranger, and teacher. He received a certificate in Music Performance at the Coil School of Music in Riverside, CA in 2017, where he was the two-time winner of the President’s Honor Recital and played principal in the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble from 2015-2017. In 2019, Shahid graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Wind Performance. At his time at CSUN, he won the 2019 Upper Division Concerto Competition.  Shahid has toured across the world and has played flute with several ensembles, including Bellflower Symphony Orchestra, Song of Angels Flute Orchestra, Whittier Regional Symphony, and LA Symphonic Winds. In addition, he often gigs on his doubles, oboe, saxophone, and clarinet. Currently, Shahid teaches with New West Symphony Education through the Laby Harmony Project as the Flute Teaching Artist, and coaches with CSUN Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, Shahid will complete his Master of Fine Arts degree in Instrumental Arts at the California Institute of the Arts.  Shahid joins ALF Instrumental Music this year and will be assisting Beginning Woodwind students.

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