What makes us tick

we are first and foremost, educators

Beyond the intrinsic value of music to cultures worldwide, education in music has benefits for young people that transcend the musical domain. Pasadena Arts Foundation (PAF) reviewed an extensive body of research to identify high-quality, evidence-based studies that document student learning outcomes associated with an education in and through music. The results show conclusively that music education equips students with the foundational abilities to learn, to achieve in other core academic subjects, and to develop the capacities, skills and knowledge essential for lifelong success.

From: Arts Education Partnership, Music Matters: How Music Education Helps Students Learn, Achieve, and Succeed, Washington, D.C., September 2011.

Meet Our Team

F. Thomas Simpson


Thomas spent the first 20 years of his career teaching in schools and churches around the country before making the transition to professional work in TV production (shows on Nickelodeon, CBS and syndicated) and studio work. Most recently, he worked at Paramount Studios on children's programs such as "Marvin, Marvin" and "Figure It Out!"


Prior to this, he taught music to elementary grade students at the United Nations International School in New York City, NY (while concurrently directing seven Handbell choirs in the New York-New Jersey area including choirs at Princeton University) and at the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, CA.


He received his Bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir and has done graduate work in both Kodaly and the Orff methodologies. He is an accomplished composer and conductor of youth and adult music and he continues to work as an orchestrator for various ensembles in the Los Angeles area.


Thomas is also the founding Artistic Director of Crown City Ringers, a Community Hand-bell Choir in Los Angles. Most recently he was an elementary Music Specialist in the San Marino Schools where he taught classroom music, Band and Strings. His Band program grew from 30 student to over 150 in just one year!

Donna Schwartz


Donna has performed on saxophones in NY and Los Angeles with artists such as Vicci Martinez (Season One Finalist) from NBC's The Voice, saxophonist Richie Cannata from Billy Joel's band, and drummer Bobby Rondinelli from Blue Oyster Cult, as well as the legendary jazz vocalist, Barbara Morrison.


She has performed at such notable venues as the House of Blues in Anaheim, Whisky A Go-Go, Aquarius Casino (Las Vegas), The Orleans (Las Vegas), The Canyon Club (LA), The Orpheum Theatre (LA), City National Grove of Anaheim, The Viper Room, Yost Theatre, The Paramount NY, World Cafe Live (Philadelphia), Wolf Den (Mohegan Sun, CT), and many more.


Donna has recorded a track for Criss Angel’s Believe show at The Luxor in Las Vegas, and several tracks for indie artists in the NY and LA metro areas.


She has been teaching Band, Jazz Band and General Music in public schools for over 14 years, and private Brass and Saxophone lessons for over 27 years. 

Donna's articles have appeared in SBO Magazine (School Band & Orchestra, NafMe (National Association for Music Education), CMEA (California Music Educator’s Association), AMP (National Association for Music Parents) and others.

Roxanne Duboucheron


Roxanne has been playing and performing music for over 30 years.  As a flutist and saxophonist, she has had professional experience playing classical, salsa, jazz and pop music.  She is currently an elementary and secondary music teacher in the Pasadena Unified School District.  She also has two budding musicians at home, her son (age 12) and daughter (age 8) who also attend Pasadena public schools.