Angela Woo is Director of Instrumental Music at John Adams Middle School (Santa Monica, CA) where nearly 300 students comprise three concert bands and three string orchestras. The John Adams ensembles have consistently earned the highest possible ratings at performance festivals. In 2011, the John Adams Middle School Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the inaugural California All-State Music Education Conference as the only middle school concert band in the state to be so honored.
In addition, Ms. Woo is Music Director of Pacific Symphony Youth Concert Band (Orange County, CA). This ensemble is a part of Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles, one of the largest pre-professional music training programs in the nation, nurturing and inspiring young musicians in grades 6 through 12.
For over 25 years, Ms. Woo has enjoyed an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator with numerous honor groups, conducting symposia, and music festivals throughout the United States. Ms. Woo has been invited by several universities to lead professional development workshops for music educators at the elementary and secondary levels. Her guest conducting invitations have included All-State honor bands and orchestras at the middle school and high school levels in Kentucky, Oregon, Michigan, Colorado, California, and Georgia. Ms. Woo has been invited by the WorldStrides Honors Performance Series to conduct in Carnegie Hall (New York) with the 2019 and 2022 Middle School Orchestra and the 2020 High School Symphony Orchestra; she will join the team in their West Coast debut as conductor of the 2024 Honors Performance Middle School Orchestra at the Ambassador Auditorium (Pasadena, CA).
On the international level, Ms. Woo was the first woman to conduct at the 1992 XIV New Music Forum in Mexico City; she premiered the music of Karel Husa, Vincent Persichetti, George Crumb and William Schuman. In 2018, Ms. Woo was the first international guest conductor for the middle school State Honours Ensemble Program at the Queensland Conservatorium (Griffith University) in Brisbane, Australia where she recently returned to guest conduct the national high school honor band with the 2023 Australian Honours Ensemble Program.
An alumna of the University of California, Los Angeles, Ms. Woo holds the degrees Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Piano Performance, Master of Education, and Master of Fine Arts in Conducting. She also holds a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from California State University, Northridge. Prior to her appointment to John Adams Middle School in 1995, Ms. Woo was Director of Music at Corona del Mar High School (Orange County, CA) where she led the band, orchestra, choral, and jazz ensembles. She also served as conductor of the Santa Monica College Wind Ensemble during its 1995-96 season.
Ms. Woo is a staunch advocate for music education at all levels. She has been recognized and honored for her advocacy and service to music education by local, regional, and national organizations, including the Santa Monica Rotary Club (2005 Santa Monica-Malibu District Teacher of the Year), the John Philip Sousa National Foundation (2012 Legion of Honor Laureate), the Education Through Music - Los Angeles Foundation (2019 Shining Star Award), and the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (2020 Gold Award). Most recently, Ms. Woo was the recipient of the 2024 California Music Educators Association Middle School Music Educator Award.
Sean Garnreiter Assistant Director of Instrumental Music Chair, Department of Visual and Performing Arts
Sean Garnreiter is Assistant Director of Instrumental Music and Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at John Adams Middle School where he has been on staff since 2011. He is also Director of the JAMS Jazz Band. Mr. Garnreiter earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from UCLA where he was Drum Major of the UCLA Bruin Marching Band. He recently earned his Masters in Music Education from Central Washington University. He is a former member of the Pacific Crest and Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, and has been a staff member with the UCLA Bruin Marching Band as a brass, woodwind, and marching clinician.
After student teaching at JAMS in 2008, Mr. Garnreiter served as an music teacher at four different elementary schools with the Los Angeles Unified School District. He also founded an instrumental music program at a middle school in South Central Los Angeles. After teaching in the LAUSD for three years, Mr. Garnreiter returned to JAMS as an Instructional Assistant and faculty member with the instrumental music program.
Mr. Garnreiter is recognized by the Santa Monica Junior Chamber of Commerce as 2017 Outstanding Young Teacher of the Year. This annual award is presented by the Santa Monica Jaycees to acknowledge the work of young professionals who are dedicated to leadership and development, and create positive change in our community.
Caitlin Smith Instructional Assistant, Instrumental Music
An SMMUSD alumna with the fondest memories of JAMS Instrumental Music, Caitlin Smith is ecstatic to return as the new Instructional Assistant. Ms. Smith holds a Bachelor of Music degree with a minor in Jazz Performance from McGill University's Schulich School of Music (Montreal, Quebec, Canada). Following graduation, she embarked on an experimental chamber music tour across Canada after her band received Canada's FACTOR scholarship, in which they premiered a critically-acclaimed jazz/folk album debut.
After returning home to her family in California during the pandemic, Ms. Smith found immense joy in teaching remote music lessons. Before long, she returned to the district as Lincoln Middle School's dedicated Instructional Assistant and Sectional Coach. You may also recognize Ms. Smith from her appearances with the Elemental Music program and more!
Outside of school, Ms. Smith enjoys session work and teaching privately, where she expresses a particular interest in arranging her students' favorite songs. Email Ms. Smith at email@example.com.
John Adams Middle School 2425 16th Street Santa Monica, CA 90405