Stephanie Kime Popa

Violin and Viola, Concert Orchestra


Stephanie Kime Popa’s musical career began at age 4, when she sang the “Queen of the Night” aria from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute in her living room. Unfortunately, Mrs. Popa never pursued voice lessons and started studying the violin instead, at age 8. Her first teacher was Mrs. Marjorie Martin in Oakwood, Ohio, and later studied with Magdalena Albu, Eleanor Bennett, Karen Young, and Xiao-Guang Zhu in the Dayton, Ohio area. In high school she studied with Cincinnati Symphony violinist Stacey Wooley. After a short detour to Southern Adventist University in Chattanooga, Tennessee,  Mrs. Popa received bachelors and masters degrees from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where here primary teachers were Piotr Milewski and Won-Bin Yim. She has also participated in the Aspen Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Kent/Blossom Chamber Music Festival, Opera Theatre of Lucca (Italy), and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Mrs. Popa is currently the director of the Loma Linda Academy String Program and the president of the Redlands Branch of the Music Teachers’ Association of California. As a private violin instructor with the LLA String Program, Mrs. Popa has spent the last 17 years teaching little musicians to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and has enjoyed every minute of it. Her students have consistently received honors recognition for the Certificate of Merit program of the MTAC. Mrs. Popa also enjoys orchestral playing, and has played with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, San Bernardino Symphony, Symphony Irvine, and Redlands Symphony. She loves sharing her talents in local and national ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, including programming musical activities for evangelistic series and benefit concerts for international missions and local outreach. Her other hobbies include photography, hiking, and spending time with her husband, Eduard Popa, and their large cat, Nudge.

Samuel Young

Violin and Viola

dsc02749Sammy Young grew up in Loma Linda and at the age of eleven, was accepted into Loma Linda Academy Consort under the direction of Karen Hoatson. For the next six years, Consort toured England, Iceland, Russia, Finland, Sweden, and all over the United States. His teachers include Ardyce Koobs, April Losey, Jennifer Penner, Jeff Hwang, and Philip Tyler. In 2015, Sammy received his Bachelor’s degree from Point Loma Nazarene University where he had the opportunity to teach private lessons and group classes. He has done Suzuki Teacher Training with Ed Kreitman and Ed Sprunger.

Jim Lee


Jim Lee has taught at Loma Linda Academy, Pasadena Conservatory, and Pioneer School of Music for over 20 years. Due to his extensive Suzuki training, he is often invited to teach at workshops including the Advanced Suzuki Institute at Standford University, National Cello Institute at the Pomona College, and the Los Angeles Suzuki Institute. He is also regularly asked to adjudicate for the ASTA competition and Rotary competitions. He has performed with the former concert master of the London Symphony, Tomo Keller and Tatsuya Nagashima (tatsuya-pianist.com); Quatracelli a chamber music group, whose members include Rick Mooney (www.nationalcelloinstitute.com), Kyle Champion (www.redlandssymphony.com) and Sarah Koo (www.sarahkoo.com), performing all over California including the annual Los Angeles Violoncello Society. Jim studied with Hans Jensen at Northwestern University and Suren Bagratuni at University of Illinois.

Dean Anderson

Symphony Orchestra


Dean Anderson has successfully conducted numerous orchestras of all levels including professional, community, university, and youth ensembles. He has performed with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic such as concertmaster Martin Chalifour, principal second violin Lyndon Johnston Taylor and former principal trombone James Miller. He has also performed with violinist Andres Cardenes and violist Yizhak Shotten in addition to such artists as Smokey Robinson, Manhattan Transfer, John Tesh, Lincoln Mayorga, Arlo Guthrie and Dick Dale.

He is the Music Director and Artistic Director for the Dana Point Symphony, where he has completed six successful seasons with the orchestra. In addition, he is the Artistic Director for Symphony Irvine. Mr. Anderson is also the Director of Orchestra Studies at La Sierra University and the Director of Instrumental Activities at Occidental College. He is also the Music Director for the Montecito International Music Festival Orchestra. He has served as cover conductor for the San Diego Symphony.

As a guest conductor, Dr. Anderson has been invited to conduct Brazilian professional orchestras in Barra Mansa Symphony Orchestra in Rio de Janeiro, and the Teatro da Paz Symphony Orchestra in Belem. He also led the National Congress Chamber Orchestra in Buenos Aires, the Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra, the Siam Sinfonietta, and the Grumo Festival Orchestra (Italy) in addition to other orchestras such as the Capistrano Valley Symphony and the Yakima Chamber Symphony Orchestra. He was invited to guest conduct the Ho Chi Minh Ballet Symphony for the 20th Anniversary of the Saigon Times, making him the first American to conduct in Saigon since the end of the Vietnam War. He also led a performance of music for orchestra with chinese pipa and erhu featuring soloists Tu Shan Xiang and George Gao respectively. The performance took place in Nagoya, Japan.

As a versatile conductor, Dr. Anderson has collaborated with various artistic organizations such as the Chance Theater, the La Habra Depot Theater, the Maverick Theater, and the Biola University Theater Department. Productions under his music direction include Cabaret, I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change, A Grand Night for Singing, the Fantasticks, Company, Closer than Ever, FIG:RO (Retro Opera), A Chorus Line, Snow White, Nuncrackers, Anything Goes, Fiddler on the Roof, Chicago, and Into the Woods. 

He has conducted several ballet performances with the Anaheim Ballet including productions of Peter and the Wolf and Nutcracker as well as with the Nouveau Chamber Ballet production of Massenet’s La Cigale. He also conducted music by Kostas Christides and Minos Matsas for the full-length documentary on the life and work of Stan Lee entitled With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story.  The recording session took place at Capitol Records Studios in Hollywood, CA.

As an opera conductor, he has led the Italian premiere of Il Pianista Disgraziata by Giuseppe Lupis and conducted performances in Bologna, Assisi, Loro Piceno, Grumo, Binetto, and Toritto. He conducted Il Segreto di Susanna by Wolf-Ferrari at UCLA and Gianni Schicchi at Fullerton College. He led the USA West Coast premieres of Daron Hagen’s Little Nemo in Slumberland with the La Sierra University Opera and Saverio Mercadante’s I Duo Figaro with the UCLA Opera. He also made his Walt Disney Hall performance debut in June 2015 with the original operatic tableaux O My Son, composed by Marcos Galvany.

Dr. Anderson studied conducting with Edward Dolbashian and violin with John McLeod. He also participated in conducting master classes with Gustav Meier, Marin Alsop, Mark Gibson, Mihail Agafita, Brooke Creswell, Lawrence Golan and Don Thulean. He earned the Doctorate of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting at UCLA under the mentorship of Neal Stulberg.

Celia Chan-Valerio


Celia Chan Valerio is the Adjunct Professor of Harp for La Sierra University and Cal Baptist University, Harp Instructor, University of California Riverside and former principal harpist of the Sarasota Orchestra, Florida.  She teaches privately and performs as a solo harpist in Southern California.
Celia has been playing the harp professionally for 20 years.  During this time, she received many awards and top prizes in various competitions including the Anne Adams Awards, American String Teachers Association–State and National Competition, American Harp Society Competition, Redlands Bowl Competition, and Music Teachers Association Competition and a semi-finalist in the USA International Harp Competition.  She has performed as a soloist for the American Harp Society National Conference, World Harp Congress Convention, Indianapolis Arts Council, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and Brandstater Gallery Concert Series.  She has worked extensively in the recording studios and live performances and has traveled around the United States as well as Australia, Canada, France, and Mexico.
Celia holds a Bachelor of Music from La Sierra University and a Master and Doctor of Music in harp performance from the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington where she completed her studies under the direction of Susann McDonald. Celia is a native of Loma Linda where she resides with her husband and daughter.

Emerald Waworoendeng-Leung

Harp, Suzuki Early Childhood Education

Emerald Waworoendeng-Leung began her musical journey at the age of 6 taking piano lessons from her mother, then formal training under Marjorie Ziprick of Loma Linda and violin lessons from Karen Hoatson. It wasn’t till Emerald turned 11 years of age that she began studying Harp with Dominique Piana, professor of harp at the University of Redlands. Emerald quickly progressed and began winning the Valerie Finzi Awards from the Los Angeles Chapter of American Harp Society for four consecutive years. She later became a recipient of the National American Harp Society’s Mildred Bien Johnson Award and the Leni Fe’bland Award from the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara. Entering college at La Sierra University, Emerald studied under Dr. Celia Chan-Valerio and in her freshman year won the Annual Concerto Competition, winning her performance solo of “Handel’s Concerto in B flat major” Emerald has performed with surrounding ensembles such as the Southern Young Artists Symphony, Temecula Valley Orchestra and master chorale and the Coachella Valley Symphony. Emerald currently teaches private and group lessons in the Loma Linda and Redlands areas. In her spare time, she enjoys food blogging and updating her new collaborative project with her sister Alva Waworoendeng,  called “Print and Play” a website providing digital music readily available for download.
Studio Website



%d bloggers like this: