John KnuJohn Knutson - Performing Arts Division Chair, Vocal Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Vocal Technique, Jazz Vocal Improvisationtson
Performing Arts Division Chair 

Director of Choral and Vocal Jazz Program

John Knutson is Director of Choral Studies at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, CA. He is also a member of the professional vocal jazz ensemble Vocalogy, formed by Phil Mattson in 1998. John directed the California All-State Vocal Jazz Choir in 2006, and in May 2009 John was named Cuesta College’s Teacher of the Year. Under his direction, Cuesta Voce has performed at the American Choral Directors Association National Convention, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the International Association for Jazz Education Convention. The Cuesta Chamber Singers havereceived 2nd place in both the California International Choral Competition and the Vokal Total Competition in Graz, Austria.John holds a Masters in Conducting degree from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelors in Piano Performance from the University of Minnesota.

Photo of Jennifer MartinJennifer Martin
Director of Instrumental Music, Conducting, Low Brass, Music Theory, Guitar, Cuesta Wind Ensemble, 

Jennifer Martin joined the Music Faculty at Cuesta College in the summer of 2004 as the conductor of the Cuesta Wind Ensemble. In addition to her conducting duties, she coordinates the department's Applied Music program, and teaches Beginning and Intermediate Guitar, and Music Theory. She served as the Performing Arts Division Chair from 2008-2016, and has served as the Coordinator of the Cultural and Performing Arts Center (CPAC) since 2009. Ms. Martin is also the Conductor of the San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra and Central Coast Gilbert & Sullivan.  She has guest conducted wind bands and orchestras, and served as clinician and adjudicator in several states. Previous to her appointment at Cuesta, she was the Music Department Chair at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, NV, where she was the founding faculty of the Music Department.  In 2003, she received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for the state of Nevada.


Ron McCaRon McCarley - Cuesta Jazz Ensemble, Evening Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos, Jazz Improvisation, Music Theoryrley
Cuesta Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos, Jazz Improvisation, Music Theory

Ron McCarley is the Director of Jazz Studies at Cuesta College where he has built the program up to include two big bands and eight combos.  His bands have received many awards under his direction.  He has been teaching college level jazz for 20 years and has judged at many festivals including the Reno International Jazz Festival and the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival and presented at CMEA, JEN and NFA about jazz education.  A saxophone player and a doubler, he does studio work, appears as a featured artist and plays around Central and Southern California.  Some of the musicians he has performed or recorded with are:  Diane Schuur, Manhattan Transfer, The Temptations, Hanson, Adam Benjamin, Larry Koonse, Darek Oles, and Charlie Shoemake.  He recently recorded a CD of Brazilian chore music called Choro de Ouro.  He and his wife, Laura, live in Morro Bay with their four children.


George Stone - Recording Arts, Music Theory, Jazz Arranging and Composition, Jazz Piano, Jazz TrumpetGeorge Stone
Recording Arts, Music Theory, Jazz Arranging and Composition, Jazz Piano, Jazz Trumpet

George Stone has enjoyed a rewarding career in music education for 24 years. He is Director of Audio Technology and teaches Music Theory and Composition at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. In 2005 he was given the Cuesta College Outstanding Academic Employee and Teacher of the Year award. His 20-year career as a festival adjudicator and clinician has included the CMEA, CBDA, SCSBOA organizations and countless jazz festivals throughout the country. George has been guest composer/conductor for all levels of jazz honor bands and as a composer he has been commissioned to write for many nationally recognized high school and college programs. His compositions and arrangements are published worldwide. Prior to education, George worked as a musician and composer for live shows and television and has composed for CBS, NBC, HBO, The Tonight Show and Disney. He is an in-demand recording engineer and producer who also performs regularly on trumpet and piano.