Dr. John Russell is the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Palomar College, and the Music Director of the San Diego Master Chorale. In addition, he serves on the summer conducting faculty at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey and maintains an active professional career as a tenor soloist recently performing with the San Diego Symphony, La Jolla Symphony and Los Angeles Master Chorale.
Prior to his work in California, Dr. Russell was the principal choral conductor at the LaGuardia School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (the Fame School) in New York City. At LaGuardia he was the assistant chairperson of the Music Department, conductor of the symphonic chorus and voice instructor for the school’s advanced vocalists. While in New York he conducted in over twenty performances with the world-renowned Orchestra of St. Luke’s, served as a clinician for the New York Philharmonic’s Education Department, and was a guest conductor with New York City National Chorale.
Dr. Russell is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan and is a graduate of Western Michigan University and Columbia University. He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Music from the University of Southern California. His primary conducting mentors are Craig Arnold, Joe Miller and Jo-Michael Scheibe and he has studied voice with William Appel, Curt Peterson, Jeanne Gof -Fynn and Gary Glaze.
Dr. John Russell
Patriceann Mead, Chair of Performing Arts, joined the Palomar College Performing Arts Department faculty in 1997 as a full time dance professor.
Before coming to Palomar, Patriceann attended the State University of New York at Brockport where she earned three degrees: a Bachelor’s of Science in Dance, a Masters of Arts, and a Masters of Fine Arts. She also served as a graduate assistant as well as becoming the recipient for the Pylyshenko-Strasser Graduate Dance Award for outstanding work in both written scholarship and performance.
She danced with Agroma, an African Dance Ensemble directed by Professor Alber Opoku from the University of Ghana. She also danced with two Afro-Brazilian Dance Ensembles: Sankofa and Alafiagia, both directed by Clyde Morgan and Khalid Saleem. Patriceann started her own company in 1990: The Minzeko Drum and Dance Ensemble. She was the artistic director and choreographer for the company from 1990-1997. And, most noteworthy as an undergraduate, she danced with the internationally acclaimed dance legend, Garth Fagan. Upon arriving to California, she began studying Afro-Cuban dance with Juan Carlos from 1997-2001, and has also studied with Teresita Dance Perez and Susana Arennas Pedrosa. She also started performing, collaborating, and team teaching with Cuban artist Silfredo La O Vigo, whom she brought to the world program and to the company in 2006, as the new music director for Agogo.
She is the founder and artistic director of the Afro-Cuban/Brazilian Drum and Dance Ensemble, Agogo, formally known as the Palomar Drum and Dance Ensemble. Agogo is a facet of the Palomar outreach program which presents diverse programs for community events, festivals, local high schools, the Palomar dance season, and as featured entertainment for the Palomar Foundation fundraisers and the annual Noche Havana events.
760.744.1150 ext. 2969
Chris is very excited to begin this, his seventh academic year and production season in the Performing Arts Department at Palomar College. In his tenure here, he has developed 10+ technical theatre courses, and two programs and certificates. Additionally, he has designed, and coordinated the construction and painting for over 24 plays, and he looks forward to sharing many more seasons with our wonderful community. He also enjoys serving as Faculty Advisor for the Palomar Theatre Ensemble, our resident student theatre club.
He holds an MFA in Scene Design, with a secondary emphasis in Lighting Design, from Indiana University, Bloomington. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Theatre, and minor in Music Theory.
760.744.1150 ext. 2432
Madelyn Byrne is a Professor of Music at Palomar College where she has been on the faculty since 2000. She is an active composer of both acoustic and computer music. Some recent pieces include The Decorah Eagle Violin Concerto (composed for Ulli Reiner and the Palomar Symphony Orchestra), In A Winter Landscape (for bass flute and computer, commissioned and recorded by Peter Sheridan for MOVE Records), Arrival (computer music with video art by Lily Glass, recorded to DVD for Everglade Records), and Northern Flight (for piano and computer, recorded by Peter Gach for Innova Records).
Madelyn’s music has been presented in a variety of venues in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Some recent performances include The New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, The Society of Composers, Inc. (National Conference), The International Computer Music Conference, The Australasian Computer Music Conference, College Music Society, and Electronic Music Midwest among others.
Madelyn completed her DMA in Composition at The Graduate Center in 1999. Her composition teachers include Charles Dodge, John Corigliano, and David Olan. The compositions for her dissertation were done while she was a guest composer at Columbia University’s Computer Music Center.
Dr. Madelyn Byrne
760.744.1150 ext. 2809
Paul Kurokawa is enjoying his eighth year at Palomar College after having taught at Grossmont, Saddleback, and Mt. San Jacinto Colleges. In addition to his teaching, Paul enjoys a varied performing career – both locally and internationally. He’s been a performer in Southern California for four decades, and has given concerts as an instrumentalist and vocalist in France, England, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Israel, and Honduras, as well as the United States. He has also had the pleasure of performing in Carnegie Hall in New York City. Accomplished on both brass and woodwind instruments, Paul plays all saxophones, flugelhorn, trumpet, and piccolo trumpet.
760.744.1150 ext. 2322
Molly Faulkner is a Professor of Dance at Palomar College. She has her Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University, her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa, and her B.F.A. from the University of Arizona. She has danced professionally with Ballet Arizona, Arizona Dance Theatre, Tokyo Disneyland, and was the Muppet Grover on an International Tour of Sesame St. Live. She has taught and choreographed across the US, and Sweden and is master teacher and choreographer for Burklyn Ballet Theatre in Vermont. Her research interests include educational leadership, feminist pedagogy in ballet, and comedy in dance.
Dr. Molly Faulkner
760.744.1150 ext. 2318
Dr. Ellen Weller joined the Palomar Performing Arts Department in 2005, where she teaches classes in music theory, ear-training, music literature, and directs the Palomar Symphony Orchestra. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in Music Composition from Queens College of the City University of New York, and completed her PhD studies at UCSD. She has studied conducting with Peter Jaffe, Donald Portnoy, David Chase, Martin Canellakis, Harvey Sollberger, and Kenneth Bell. She was an invited Fellow at the 2012 Conductors Institute of South Carolina, and recently appeared as guest conductor with the Poway Symphonette.
A pianist and multi-winds performer, Weller has two CDs on the Circumvention label: “Spirits, Little Dreams and Improvisations (2004)” and “Point of Contact (2008).” Her compositions include works for solo piano, flute, voice, and chamber ensembles, some exploring improvisation and graphic notation, and have been performed in New York, Detroit, San Diego and Los Angeles. Recent works include “Prior’s Waltz” for orchestra, “1918: for two pianos and community,” incidental music to “Angels in America,” “Pine Apple Rag” for piano soloist and orchestra, and an arrangement of “Bei Mir Bist Du Shein” for orchestra and Klezmer ensemble.
Dr. Ellen Weller
760.744.1150 ext. 3949
Palomar Performing Arts
1140 West Mission Road
San Marcos, CA 92069
760-214-9109 (call or text)