Samohi Bands

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Michael J. Corrigan - Lead Band Director


Michael Corrigan has been an instrumental music educator in California for thirty-nine years. Mr. Corrigan received his bachelor’s degree in music from California State University, Long Beach. Mr. Corrigan is also beginning his third season as conductor of the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble. This auditioned group draws students from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. They perform in the new Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall of the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

Mr. Corrigan has previously taught at Mater Dei High School (twenty-five years), Yosemite High School (five years), Clovis High School (seven years), and Aliso Niguel High School (two years). He has produced highly successful marching bands at each of his assignments (including recent state champions at Aliso Niguel). His groups have consistently received unanimous superior ratings in local festivals, as well as festivals throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He also served as the Music Resource Specialist for the Capistrano Unified School District during his tenure at Aliso Niguel.

Mr. Corrigan has served as president of the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), and president of the California Band Directors Association (CBDA). He is currently a Head Judge for SCSBOA. He adjudicates numerous festival and marching band events throughout the United States, and is frequently called to guest conduct select honor groups. His bands and orchestras have received “Unanimous Gold” recognitions at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center.

His bands and orchestras have traveled extensively. Past performances include:
Three European Tours (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, England, Ireland).
Two Canadian Tours (Vancouver, Calgary)
Two Western United States Tours (California Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada).
Two Hawaiian Islands Tours (Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, Molokai).
Two New York Tours (Carnegie Hall).
One Washington D.C. Tour (Kennedy Center).

Mr. Corrigan has received recognition from many music educator organizations, including:
Legion of Honor Award - John Philip Sousa National Foundation.
Distinguished Service Award - California Band Directors Association.
Band Educator of the Year - California Music Educators Association.
Honorary Life Member - Southern California School Band and Orchestra Assoc.

Terry Sakow - Band Director

Terry Sakow

Terry Sakow began teaching at Santa Monica High School (Samohi) in 1990. During his tenure at Santa Monica High School the bands have grown to 270 students from 80 his first year. Between 1995 and 2006 he served as Chair of the Santa Monica High School Music Department overseeing the entire music curriculum, and also serving as consultant for a massive renovation of the school auditorium, and the music facility. At the end of his time as department chair, the music department enrollment reached an excess of 800 students, and the music facility and performance hall are now state of the art facilities. The band program at Santa Monica High School has developed into one of the finest and most comprehensive of its kind in California during Mr. Sakow's tenure.

His ensembles have received top honors at adjudicated performances, and are considered amongst the finest bands in California. The Santa Monica High School Wind Ensemble performed at the California Music Educators Asssociation Convention in 2006. The Wind Ensemble also performed in Carnegie Hall in 2007. Many past members of the Wind Ensemble have continued their music education at prestigious conservatories, universities, and schools of music.

Mr. Sakow was born in Yokosuka, Japan. Because his father was in the U.S. Navy, Mr. Sakow grew up in Japan, Hawaii and California, beginning his musical studies in the 6th grade in Poway, California as a trumpeter in the school band. Mr. Sakow earned a Bachelor of Arts in music from UCLA in 1989 and later a Masters in Music Education from the University of Illinois in 1997.

His musical mentors are Karl Fitch, Lar Best, Marc Davis, Gerald and Linda Anderson, Chris Schwabe, Samuel Krachmalnick, Dr. Thomas Lee, Gordon Henderson, Gary Rosenblatt and Dr. Abel Ramirez.

Mr. Sakow is also the principal trumpet player of the Santa Monica College Orchestra and the Santa Monica College Concert Band. Despite his busy schedule as a high school band director, he still finds time to perform on the trumpet and is invited to perform with many community and university ensembles around Southern California.

Jeremy Miller
Percussion Insructor.

Kyle Miller
Color Guard Instructor /Caption Head

Jody Anderson
Color Guard Instructor

Juan Gonzalez
Color Guard Instructor

Tom Whaley

Tom Whaley, our Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, as well as Samohi Jazz Band Director, directed middle and high school bands in Burbank and Morro Bay, and his ensembles have won many awards in Band Festivals throughout the state. He has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and has received both the Burbank Mayor's Commendation and the Crystal Apple Award sponsored by NBC. He earned a B.A. in Music Education from Boston's Berklee College of Music, a M.A. from the University of Miami in Traditional Performance and a M.A. in Educational Administration from CSULA. He is also a professional trombonist, and has performed in numerous motion picture, television, and recording sessions. From 2005-07 he served as the jazz representative to the California Music Educators Association.

Arwen Hernandez
Visual Caption Head

Joni Swenson
Director of Orchestras

Jason Aiello
Orchestra Instruction

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