Guitar and Music Program Faculty

Moreno Valley College has faculty with advanced degrees in guitar performance from the University of Southern California, the University of Redlands, and the Julliard School of Music.

Barry McNaughton

Barry McNaughton is the director of guitar and instrumental performance at Moreno Valley College. He received his Master's degree in Classical Guitar Performance from USC in 2002 which he attended on full scholarship while working as a teaching assistant for the Thornton School of Music. In addition to being a merit scholarship recipient, he has won several other prestigious awards. These include: a silver medal in the ASTA competition held annually in Los Angeles, the 2002 USC Classical Guitar Departmental Award, and the 2008 adjunct faculty of the year at Crafton Hills College. Additionally, he has performed live to radio on all of Los Angeles's premiere classical radios stations including: KUSC, KMOZART and KPFK.

In 2006, Barry was awarded the unique opportunity to play with and audition for the group which initially inspired him to take up and study the classical guitar, the world renowned "Los Angeles Guitar Quartet."

In addition to his busy teaching and performing schedule, Barry divides his time between composing and arranging for both chamber and Jazz ensembles. His published works are available for purchase online at www.dobermaneditions.com.

John Minei

Jon Minei began his performing career at age 19, premiering at the Mirabelle Palace in Salzberg, Austria and also at Mozart's Residence in Vienna. In addition to classical guitar, he has performed with a variety of musical theater companies; performing as a pit musician for Man of La Mancha at the renowned 2001 Tony Award Winning Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, Utah. David Nichols of the Los Angeles Times calls his playing "Superb!" The late Poly Warfield of Backstage West describes his playing as "...plangent strains of enchantment..." As a soloist and ensemble player, Jon has performed extensively locally and abroad. His principle instrument is a 7-string classical guitar with extended lower and upper registers, made by Michael Thames of Taos, New Mexico.

He began his formal studies at El Camino College with John Dearman of the Grammy Award winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and completed his Bachelors in Music at the University of California, Irvine with early music specialist, John Schneiderman. He then went on to complete his Masters in Music at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California studying with classical guitarists William Kanengiser and artist-in-residence, maestro Pepe Romero.

Jon Minei is the Director of Guitar Studies program as an associate professor at El Camino College in Torrance, CA. Jon is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California pursuing a DMA in classical guitar, having studied with Scott Tennant, Adam Del Monte, and Brian Head, minoring in Studio/Jazz Guitar (instructor, Pat Kelly), Music Industry, and Music Education. He has also completed coursework in the Arts Leadership & Entrepreneurship program under former chair of the National Endowment of the Arts, Dana Gioia.

Kris Sveen

Upon completing his masters degree in 2014 from the University of Redlands, Kristopher Sveen began an illustrious career as a classical and jazz guitar professor, solo guitarist, and accompanist. His diverse knowledge of jazz, classical, blues, R&B, rock and pop music allows him to tailor his instructional style to the needs of each student, regardless of background.

Sveen received his master's degree under the guidance of great jazz guitarists such as Jody Fisher and Paul Murphy, Ph.D. His undergraduate studies were completed at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) under the supervision of Stuart Green and Robert Knop, Ph.D. While attending CSUSB, Sveen composed a piece for the CSUSB 24 piece jazz big band in honor of blues legend B.B. King. This composition was showcased in November 2009 when the ensemble opened for the one and only B.B. King.

 

In 2009 and 2010, Sveen won the "Outstanding Soloist" award at the Reno Jazz Festival. In between his studies, he was invited to participate in the Thailand International Jazz Conference (TIJC) along the likes of E.J. Strickland, Marcus Strickland, Benny Green and Ben Williams. During the conference, he worked alongside Knop to lead masterclasses on jazz improvisation to Thai students.

Sveen is frequently asked to participate in local masterclasses and accompany guest jazz artists such as Kevin Eubanks and Joel Taylor. When he's not out performing you can find him in the classroom at CSUSB, Moreno Valley College, or Crafton Hills College sharing his passion with his students.

Connie Sheu, Ph.D.

Connie Sheu, Ph.D. is a dynamic guitarist, devoted teacher, and ardent advocate of classical guitar. In demand as both a soloist and chamber musician, her playing has been hailed by the New York Sun as "excellent, ruminative... scholarly." According to Classical Guitar Magazine, "Her debut recording displays, without a doubt, her talents as a concert artist."

Past performances have brought her to Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, 92nd StY, Merkin Hall, Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall; venues in Moldova, Italy, Hungary; and across the United States. Sheu is a frequent performer on various concert series and music festivals, and has most recently appeared at the Women in Guitar Festival, New York Guitar Festival, and Guitar Foundation of America Convention.

Sheu studied U.S. History and Music at Columbia University, and earned a Master of Music from the Juilliard School. She completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Southern California under William Kanengiser and Pepe Romero. She also studied under scholarship at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana with Oscar Ghiglia in Siena, Italy.

Sheu serves as General Manager for the Guitar Foundation of America and teaches at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music and Moreno Valley College. She specializes in playing original music for guitar by female composers and also performs as a member of the Sheu Pettit Duo.

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