Isabelle Zapata, Band Director
Ms. Zapata has been involved in the performing arts her entire life! As a child, she performed in community dance recitals and musical theater productions and participated in the band (symphonic, jazz, marching) and choir programs offered at her schools. In high school, she fell in love with the marching arts, and went on to perform with nationally competing winter drumlines (WGI), such as OCI and Pulse Percussion, and Drum and Bugle Corps(DCI), such as the Academy, and Pacific Crest. She went on to receive her degrees in Instrumental Music Education (BM) and Percussion Performance (BM), as well as her single subject teaching credential (music) from CSU Long Beach. She also holds an MA in Elementary Education from SDSU, and an Associates degree in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies from Palomar College. Outside of Cardiff Schools, Ms. Zapata shares her passion for music with students as a front ensemble coach for Murrietta Mesa High School.
Ms. Zapata, though primarily a percussionist, has played the clarinet and alto saxophone in wind bands and jazz ensembles throughout her education, and taught elementary strings for five years with the Long Beach Harmony Project. While studying at Long Beach State, she discovered her passion for ethnomusicology (the study of world music cultures/traditions throughout history) and worked to further her knowledge of diverse music traditions and to advocate for the inclusion of world music studies in K-12 public school music curriculum. She was named a Global Scholar for her efforts. To this day, she explores traditions from around the world and performs in community ensembles.
As a lifelong animal-lover and advocate for avian conservation, you can also find her caring for a flock of companion parrots and leading youth education programs at the Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary 501(c)3 in Del Mar.
Lily Spock, Woodwind Coach
Lily Spock, the woodwind coach at Ada Harris Elementary, is from Murrieta, California. She began playing in her school music program in 5th grade and plays clarinet, flute, piano, saxophone, and Irish tin whistle. She has been a featured soloist in the Marching Emerald Regiment's competitive field shows (marching band) as well as in the Murrieta Mesa Jazz Ensemble. She is currently a full-time college student studying Chemistry and Music, and Irish dance in San Marcos. In her spare time, she loves traveling and listening to classic rock and indie pop music!
Connor Bagheri, Brass Coach
Connor Bagheri, the brass coach at Ada Harris Elementary, is from San Marcos, California. He began playing trumpet in 6th grade at Woodland Park Middle School (WPMS) and played in both a wind band and the WPMS Jazz Band. He went to high school at San Marcos High School where he continued to play in both wind ensembles and jazz bands; he also joined multiple new ensembles such as a brass ensemble, a brass quintet, a jazz combo, the Axiom Performance Ensemble, and SMHS’ production of the musical Legally Blonde. He went to college at the University of Arizona (UA) where he continued to play in many similar ensembles and also got to try out both a mariachi and a trumpet ensemble for the first time.