Giovanni Santos, music educator and freelance trumpet performer in Southern California, is Director of Wind and Percussion Studies at La Sierra University. Most recently he was director of bands at Loma Linda Academy, a position he held from 2007 to 2015, and adjunct music professor in trumpet at LSU. For three years prior to LLA he taught music and freelanced as a trumpet performer in Southern California, playing as a soloist and member in orchestras and chamber and jazz ensembles.
As an educator and conductor Santos travels nationwide yearly to perform and conduct at music festivals and clinics. Most recently he was guest clinician for the Northern New England Conference Music Festival, Atlantic Union Conference Band Clinic, the UC Riverside Concert Band, La Sierra University Wind Ensemble, and the SECC Junior High Band Festival. A proponent of new music for wind band, Mr. Santos has commissioned works by Tim Davies, Andrew Boysen, Jr., and Karim Elmahmoudi.
Santos has led successful performance tours across the United States and France with special performances for Fête de la Musique in Paris, France, Cathédral Notre-Dame de Chartres Notre, Abaye de la Trinité, Normandy American Memorial Cemetery, Citi Field (home of the New York Mets) as part of a Mother’s Day Celebration, and more recently, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Santos led the LLA Wind Symphony on a performance tour to Italy in 2014.
Santos has performed nationwide as a soloist and chamber musician and was featured as solo trumpet in a movie score composed by Ludek Drizhal for the Sci-Fi Channel. More recently he was featured as a soloist in the soundtrack for “Actually, Adieu My Love,” which was the 2010 Park City Film Festival Jury Choice for “Best Impact in a Musical Score.” He has performed as principal trumpet under the direction of noted composers and conductors, including Yasuo Shinozaki, Carl St. Clair, Alfred Reed, Frank Ticheli, and H. Robert Reynolds.
A 2003 B.Mus. performance graduate in trumpet from La Sierra University, he began his musical training at an early age in his native Puerto Rico. His father is Cuban and his mother Dominican and music was an important part of family life. After the family moved to California when he was ten, he began study on the trumpet and while attending San Diego Academy, performed in the school's band and choirs. He received both the John Philip Sousa and the National Choral awards at SDA.
While in academy, Santos began trumpet studies with Richard Hofmann at La Sierra University and continued under his tutelage when he attended LSU as a music major. He played principal trumpet in the university symphony orchestra and principal cornet in the LSU Wind Ensemble. He also assisted Barbara Favorito, director of the ensemble, in rehearsals.
Santos was a winner and soloist in the annual LSU Concerto Concert and following graduation continued study on the trumpet at University of North Texas College of Music with John Holt. He completed an M.Mus. in music education at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, where he was a scholarship trumpet performance student of Boyde Hood of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He attended the Northwestern University Conducting and Wind Band Symposium, where he was a conducting student of H. Robert Reynolds, Timothy Robblee, and Mallory Thompson.
Santos was the founding member of the Coastal Brass Quintet and was instrumental director at Maywood Academy High School, where he directed instrumental ensembles and taught world music and theory classes. MAHS, founded in 2006, is an alternative high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District that offers specialized training in four areas, including the visual and performing arts. Santos was also recently awarded recognition for “excellence in music education” by the La Sierra University Music Department.
He and his wife, Tanya, presently reside in Riverside, California, where she is an elementary school teacher.
Sources: information provided by Giovanni Santos in 2008 and 2013; Atlantic Union Gleaner, January 2010, 27; CoNNECtion, January/February 2011, 7; email, October 2014; “Giovanni Santos, MM,” Tempo, Department of Music Newsletter, Fall 2015, 7, 8.