DBeckerDavid Becker
Recording Arts, Music Appreciation, Saxophone, Clarinet

Dave Becker has been on faculty at Cuesta College since 2001. He instructs Recording Arts, Rock, World and Jazz Appreciation as well as Applied Music. Dave has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music education from the University of Florida. He is an active professional musician on the Central Coast fronting music ensembles of various jazz genres. He has arranged for SLO Wind Orchestra, San Luis Symphony, Orchestra Novo and others. In addition to his past and current college teaching experience at Cuesta College, Allan Hancock College, Cal Poly, and the University of Pikeville, KY, Dave has also been a clinician at the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band Camp and other camps and schools throughout Florida and along the West Coast. Lately, Dave has enjoyed producing concerts featuring the music of great jazz legends such as Art Blakey and Charlie Parker as well as featuring several of his former students in his popular Saxophone Summits.



Idona Cabrinha, Cuesta College Piano instructorIdona Cabrinha
Class Piano 
Idona Cabrinha earned her B.A., from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; M.M., (Piano Performance and Pedagogy), Northwestern University; additional studies: Westminister Choir Conservatory of Music, Vallejo Conservatory of Music:  Student of Sylvia Wang, William Spiller; masterclasses with David Buechner, Peter Takacs; pedagogy studies with Francis Larimer; Suzuki pedagogy studies, early childhood educator; extensive experience as pianist and accompanist in West Coast and Chicago areas;  former adjudicator in Chicago area; awards and honors:  Dorothy L. Pound Award, Northwestern University School of Music Grant, First Place Winner Allied Arts Competition; former Performance Syllabus Chair North Shore Music Teacher's Association; former faculty member: Northwestern University Academy; former lecturer, Class Piano, DePaul University  School of Music.


 Gerhard GuterGerhard Guter
Arranging, Scoring, Orch
Gerhard Guter is a Los Angeles-based composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and vocalist. A certified Avid Pro Tools Operator and the producer of Vocalogy: Refilled, he has written and produced music for The History Channel, World of Warcraft, and Celebrity Cruises. Guter was Interim Lecturer of Recording Arts and Music Theory at Cuesta in 2010 and now develops and teaches distance education offerings, including jazz appreciation and arranging, for the college. Gerhard has taught over twenty-five different college-level courses, and is the winner of the 2019 Sheet Music Plus Popular Choral Music Competition. As Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies and Music Business at Elmhurst College, Guter co-authored Elmhurst’s minor in music production and created the Pitch Perfect first-year seminar.

Guter was Director of Bands at Novato High School, and directed the California State University Long Beach Studio Jazz Band for three years. As Interim Director of Jazz and Contemporary Performance at Utah Valley University, Gerhard directed the UVU Jazz Orchestra and traditional jazz ensemble, teaching courses and private lessons in jazz arranging, contemporary music theory, and music production. He is a graduate of the University of Miami (B.M. Music Education) and California State University Long Beach (M.M. Jazz Studies).


Marcy_IrvingMarcy Irving
Music Appreciation
Marcy Irving comes to the Central Coast from Reno, Nevada, where she directed the College Singers and taught Music Appreciation, Fundamentals of Music and Private Voice at Truckee Meadows Community College. Marcy has an M.M. in vocal performance from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a B.M. in vocal performance from California State University, Northridge. She spent many years singing professionally in the L.A. area including seven seasons with the Gilbert and Sullivan Company, Opera a la Carte. Marcy is a member of the Cuesta Master Chorale, and has also sung with the Pacific Repertory Opera. She is thrilled to be teaching Music Appreciation for Cuesta College at both the San Luis and North County Campuses.


Dylan_JohnsonDylan Johnson
Music Appreciation, Guitar
Bassist Dylan Johnson holds a master’s degree from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music and completed his undergraduate work at Berklee College of Music.  He performs regularly with Inga Swearingen, Charlie Shoemake, and often accompanies touring jazz artists.  He returned to the Central Coast of California after spending years in NYC, playing with jazz luminaries John Abercrombie, Adam Nussbaum, Shunzo Ono, Ray Vega, and others.




Inga_SwearingenInga Swearingen
Music Appreciation, Musicianship
Inga Swearingen received her bachelor of music degree from California State Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo and her masgters in choral conducting from Florida State University.  Ms. Swearingen has performed over a dozen times on Garrison Keillor's renowned radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion", won first place and audience award at the Montreux Jazz Festival Shure Vocal Competition, and has been a featured soloist in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.  She also teaches voice and improvisation privately.


Cassandra Tarantino, North County Choir DirectorCassandra Tarantino
North County Choir Director
Cassandra Tarantino has her Bachelor's degrees in Church Music emphasizing Choral Conducting and Performance Flute, and English Literature. Ms. Tarantino has participated in prestigious music festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival in New Hampshire, the Aberystwyth Music Festival in Wales, and the Morges Chamber Music Festival in Switzerland. She also took a six-month sabbatical in Northern Ireland to study music and the Irish-Celtic language. Cassandra received her Master's of Music Degree in Flute Performance from California State University, Northridge. Shortly after moving to San Luis Obispo in 2003, Ms. Tarantino formed an Early Music ensemble with Guitarist James Edwards called the Lark Consort, which focuses primarily on Renaissance and Baroque music for lute, Period Guitars, recorder, transverse flute and continuo. She has also co-founded a new chamber music series in San Luis Obispo called Second Sundays at St. Stephens. Folk music and dance are a passion for Ms. Tarantino, and she can be found playing and dancing traditional Irish, English Country and Contra Dance music.


Michael_WalkerMichael Walker
Music Theory, Class Piano
Michael Walker is an Adjunct Professor of Music at Cuesta College. A former Cuesta College student, he received his B.A. in Piano Performance at Humboldt State University and both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Music Theory at the University of Oregon. His compositions include several works for solo piano, including 15 Two-Part Inventions and various orchestral and chamber works.