Debbie Wastling

Executive Director

Debbie Wastling, MA, BA Theatre, ALAM (Acting), LLAM (teaching) As Executive Director of Kings and Clowns 501(c)3 for 22 years Debbie believes every school age student should have access to quality music and arts training.

She has taught and directed at Junior College level, High School (Head of Music, Drama and Dance) and K-8 in several schools However, she started her music career in touring Rock Bands in England. She plays piano, saxophone and drums.

Grounded in the classics, she holds qualifications with LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) together with a BA and MA in Theatre and Musical Theatre. Once transplanted to California she directed over 60 productions many popular musicals and produced many variety shows for choral groups.

Debbie has experience in volunteering on grant committees both for Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Long Beach Arts Council and consults with beginning non profits to help them navigate non-profit status and grant writing. She is a long-term member of the Society of Speech and Drama (UK) and holds a Red Carpet Award from Women in Theatre(LA) -2006.

Attia Arenas

Keyboard and Rock Band

Attia Arenas has a B.M. in Jazz Voice Performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at Cal State University, Long Beach. She is a professional vocalist based in the Los Angeles area and was part of the award-winning vocal jazz ensemble, Pacific Standard Time, and became a two-time world champion with the Bob Cole Chamber Choir. Attia teaches keyboard, musical theatre and voice. She also leads the alto section in the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church Choir. She teaches keyboard at 4 schools for Arts Alive and is currently training to teach rock genre. She is also the office manager for Arts Alive programs. As someone who found her passion for music at a young age, Attia is looking forward to helping her students find their own passion and creativity for music as well.

Michael Fox

Violin

Here’s Mr. Fox’s story about how his life in music, “I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, and started violin lessons when I was 5. At first, I learned how to play through the Suzuki method, but within a few years, I branched out to also play both Celtic and traditional American fiddling styles – and became fascinated by how one instrument could be played in so many different ways and create all of these amazing sounds!  I continued to study both classical violin and fiddle throughout, and further branched out into jazz and rock improvisation, as well as some study in how different people all over the world also have their own take on this amazing instrument, using it all to discover and grow my own musical voice and creativity.  

I have created music (either recording or performing) with hip-hop groups, a band fusing bluegrass and klezmer, an orchestra playing traditional Arabic music, gospel choirs, a cumbia and ranchero group, folk singer-songwriters, and country bands, as well as creating my own virtual performances blending traditional folk fiddling with my own improvised “musical meditations.” As a teacher, unleash the creativity and freedom and love of music I believe is within everyone, and strive to be flexible and patient, doing whatever it takes to help you empower yourself. This has lead me to learn more about incorporating music composed by women and people from all over the world into a standard violin curriculum, incorporating bodily awareness into instrumental playing, and adapting teaching styles so music-making can be inclusive for all learners and abilities.”

Miss May

Dance

Born and raised in Japan, Miss May started her ballet training at age 8, continued her studies at Showa University of Music under the direction of Carlos Valcarcel, and now dances ballet professionally. She performs in numerous productions such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, La Bayadere, Don Quixote and Paquita. Beyond classical pieces, she dances in musicals and contemporary work.

Patrick Lenon

Guitar and Ukulele

Hello! My name is Patrick Lenon, and I am thrilled to be a Guitar and Ukulele Teaching Artist. I would like to tell you more about my musical background so you can understand me better. 

I have over 10 years of guitar teaching experience. I got my start playing guitar at the Mark Fitchett Guitar school in Redondo Beach, CA. During my college years, I studied classical and rock guitar under Kenton Youngstrum at Pepperdine University. I then attended the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, where I had guitar and vocal training with renowned instructors. During my time at the Musicians’ Institute, I improved my skills on guitar while learning about songwriting and recording techniques.

I have been able to apply these skills in real-life scenarios by playing as a guitarist and bassist in rock, pop, jazz, and praise worship bands. I have performed with these bands and individually at venues such as The House of Blues, The Study, and St. Rocke.

Ori Huberman

Guitar and Rock Band

Ori Huberman grew up in Israel and after completing his service, he pursued his passion for music and music education and trained in Guitar at the Musicians Institute, Hollywood. After completing his degree in music education in Israel, Mr. Ori began teaching rock and jazz guitar since then. Mr. Ori divides his time between teaching and performing professionally in guitar, bass, and keyboards in several musical settings.

Shirley Tolentino

Violin

Shirley was born in the Philippines and grew up in Long Beach. She gained her BA in Music Performance for violin with honors at California State University Dominguez Hills.

She has played violin for  Symphony 47 in Hollywood, also performing in other orchestra communities:  Southland Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, Pasadena Crown City Symphony. She is thankful to all her teachers, and now she wants to create a nurturing music experience for students to make their hearts, with harmony and grace.

Jacob White

Drums and Percussion

Jacob White has being playing drums middle school with Arts Alive, where he trained in band with Ori Huberman, and Alex Smith. As the Drums and Percussion teacher, Jacob includes all ages in various types of drums and percussion. In 2021 he is starting his first year of college at California State Dominguez Hills, he hopes to enhance his teaching and playing skills to pass down to the next generation of players.

Jose Plascencia

Guitar – Ukulele – Keyboard

Jose Plascencia is a guitar player of 13 years, with experience performing jazz, classical, rock, salsa, r&b and much more. He received his Bachelor’s degree in music performance from Cal State University Dominguez Hills, where studied under Julian Coryell, son of the legendary fusion guitarist Larry Coryell. Mr. Jose has performed at the Carson Jazz festival, The Wiltern, and regularly performs with worship groups such as The House and New Song LA.

His musical journey brought him to a love for teaching music. He remembers the teachers and musicians who have had a positive impact on his career and aspires to bring inspiration to the lives of young musicians.