Dandan Performing Arts Center diverse and dedicated faculty and staff are composed of some of Bay Area's exceptional and talented musicians, teaching artists, technology experts, and art professionals. As a collective, we aim to mentor and inspire young people by being positive role models through our dedication to music and youth development.
James 'Booyah' Richard
James 'Booyah' Richard grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Born and raised in church, his interest and love for music began at a very young age. Beginning first with drums in his aunt and uncles garage. Shortly afterwards he gained interest in the saxophone, trumpet, and soon following was the keyboard in his parents, and grandparents homes. But It was there in early 2000 while James was away at college, he told Henry Lusk, Minister of Music of Bethel Baptist Church, who desired a bass guitarist on staff, that if he'd buy him a bass, he'd learn. A few weeks later, he was given a four string Fender Squire bass guitar, and an SWR combo amp. He then played and practiced endlessly in his dorm room and in church; subsequently teaching himself, and becoming a professional musician.
James's love for music has enabled him to excel, perform and record with many great musicians. Amongst some of those are, Jennifer Hudson, Kenny Lattimore, Marsha Ambrosius, Waymon Tisdale, Lenny Williams, En Vogue, Dave Hollister, The Clark Sisters, Smokie Norful, Lawrence Matthews, Joe Douglass & SOP, GB5, Tad Worku, and numerous other local, and nationally known artist.
James is currently the main bassist at his local church, Acts Full Gospel, in Oakland, CA. In conjunction, he continues his musical journey as a Music Producer, and the President of Top 2 Bottom Entertainment. James gives all Glory to God for his many accomplishments and blessings.
Regine Dandan began her love of music at a young age while living in the Philippines with her musical family. Her exposure to music was mainly influenced by her family's ability to share their music to the community. As a young musician, she was involved with school string orchestras from Elementary to High School while she studied Cello with the renowned cellist Matthew Owens. Because she wanted to expand her musical abilities, she participated as a Singer for the Jazz Band and she also participated in Arroyo High School's Winter Percussion. Regine was an active member of the St. Joachim Music Ministry with her family. Regine graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology-Therapeutic Studies at California State University East Bay.
After watching the Music Together® videos online, she knew that music together is another great way to share her love of music with her community through sing and play. Regine mentors and teaches cello, piano, voice, and guitar.
Corey has played for some of the most elite Gospel artists. Corey has traveled to many different places and played with some amazing musicians. Corey has also played with many Gospel and R&B artist in his hometown of Oakland, CA.
Corey Baugh was born on October 13th, 1991. He comes from a great musical family with good Christian values. He was raised in a COGIC church (Church Of God In Christ) where their wonderful talented musicians impacted him. He quickly caught on to playing the drums and it was clear that it was something he wanted to do. Corey finally began to play the drums at the age of 5. When he was 12, he started studying his musical mentor, Ray Murray. Corey then became the drummer for many different churches.
Soon after, some key music professionals noticed his skills on the drums. He went on to better himself on and off the drums. He then decided to learn other genres of music. This led him to listen and play different styles of music. It also led him to become the drummer/MD for Stellar Award winner Lawrence Matthews.
Corey has worked with many great Gospel artists such as four-time Grammy Award winner Karen Clark-Sheard; four-time Grammy award winner Edwin Hawkins; two-time Grammy Award winner Dorinda Clark-Cole, three-time Grammy Award winner Donnie McClurkin, Grammy Award nominee Tye Tribbett, and so many other great Gospel artists. Corey has also had the pleasure of working with some amazing and talented musicians such as Joel Smith (Legendary Bassist/Drummer), Carl Wheeler (Frankie Beverly & Maze), Eric Smith (Musical Director for Rihanna), Cassandra O’Neal (Prince), David Jackson (Musical Director for Jennifer Hudson), and so many other talented friends and musicians. Playing for many great artists with many great musicians, Corey has done much traveling. He has also played at some great places in his hometown such as the Oracle Arena and the Sleep Train Pavilion Center. Corey is grateful that God has allowed so much success to happen in his life at such a young age, and he knows that much more success is on the way.
Corey is a very humble musician who loves God and loves to influence, inspire, motivate, and encourage other drummers in the same ways he was once inspired. He truly thanks God for his talent and gives him all the glory for all the success it has brought into his life. He urges younger drummers to have faith and to be patient and wait for things to happen at the right time.
An artist and community organizer based out of San Diego, California. He and
his family immigrated from the Philippines in 1996, and San Diego has been home ever since.
Much of artistry and leadership stems from his history as an immigrant, work in Asian-American
community, and his journey as an educator. He has served on many local and national
organizations like Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Kuya-Ate Mentorship Program San
Diego, and the Asian Business Association of San Diego just to name a few. He also has his own
creative endeavors with the Pilipinx-American Stories Project, which is a storytelling platform
for the Pilipinx-American diaspora.
Guido Fazio is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area. He majored in music at San Jose State University, Cal State Hayward, and Chabot College. He studied with prominent woodwind teachers in the Bay Area which include saxophone, clarinet, and flute. He also studied jazz piano with Frank Sumares (jazz educator and author).
Guido also studied jazz improvisation and co-authored a book with his mentor and author of multiple instructional books, the late jazz guitarist, Warren Nunes. Guido is a composer and arranger for big bands, small ensembles, duets, and solo pieces. Genres include classical, jazz, pop, Gospel, and ethnic styles. Guido has been teaching for more than 30 years and has surpassed 3,000 students to date.
Guido has been a woodwind clinician for students from elementary school through college level, including jazz improvisation clinics at local college and high school festivals. He has also taught beginning music recorder classes for third graders for 10 years. Guido is currently performing with the "Fog City Stompers," a traditional style of jazz with the intent to preserve our national treasures art form. Their newest CD release is entitled "All Fogged Up." Guido's music literature includes classical, jazz classics, big band, The American Song Book, Afro-Cuban, country, folk, pop, Italian, Jewish, Portuguese, and South American styles. Guido has performed with and backed entertainers and renowned jazz artists, including Steve Allen, Phyllis Diller, Mel Torme, Patsy Cline, Sarah Vaughn, Rich Little, Louis Bellson, Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Bill Watrous, Phil Woods, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Bruce Forman and Gordon Goodwin. He is currently writing a series of jazz improvisation books that are suit to fit a workbook for jazz ensembles, or for individual use.
India Marie Little, a native of San Francisco California, began dance at the early age of 12. A colorful background, Performing Arts was always a passion. Groomed in the “Church” you participated in something to make up the “experience” on a Sunday morning. Singing, acting and dancing growing up in the church, it is evident India had a gift!
She attended Xavier University in the state of Louisiana just a little over a year and auditioned for the Dance Squad. Due to unforeseen weather conditions of Hurricane Katrina and Rita, India relocated home to San Francisco and concluded her degree with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration- Management from San Francisco State University.
Ms. Little studied many styles such as Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Flamingo, Ballroom, Hip-Hop and Modern, taking a special interest in Lyrical and Modern Dance. She trained throughout the years at San Jose State University and Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet to name a few (San Francisco, CA).
India has professionally taken the stage for numerous occasions choreographing and dancing: weddings, banquets, debutante balls, corporate events and churches all over the country. As well as opening acts for notable renowned Recording Gospel Artists. Her mission is to always encourage persons to dream again and truly understand their “why” and passion for life.
In 2013 India was honored to be featured as a solo performer in the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre’sProduction of “A Soulful Christmas”. It was there for the last five years (entering her sixth year) she has broadened the stage through dance and choreography as well as singing.
In 2018 India served as the Director of Dance at New Destiny Church for a year (Pittsburgh and Oakland, CA), where she is currently a member.
She has had the esteemed pleasure of choreographing three Motown shows for the Miraculous Foundation Church (Oakland, CA) and currently working on the next production.
On the horizon are entertainment productions, dance studios, and partnerships for youth in the community as well as adults.
The privilege to teach ages five to seventy has never gone unnoticed through the years, whether private lessons or large settings. The focus of each opportunity creating an impact of change, inspiration, development and passion! “Dance is truly an art to paint your dream and follow it” (Steven Thompson). “This embodies Practicing like you’ve never won and Performing like you’ve never lost.”
Dr. Jelena Cingara attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada where she achieved grade 10 piano and participated in various courses in piano pedagogy, history, and music theory.
In 2001 she completed her BA in Piano Performance at The University of Toronto (number one music school in Canada), where she was a student of Dr. Boris Lysenko and Boyanna Toyich. Jelena was a very active performer, teacher, and accompanist in recitals and performances in the GTA area. During her studies at The University of Toronto, Jelena was a prize winner
in various music festivals, such as Kiwanis, Davenport, and Peel.
Following her University years, Jelena Cingara spent two summers at the world-class Chautauqua Institution (NY) where she was a full and partial scholarship winner. She participated in masterclasses and private lessons held by Rebecca Penneys, a renowned piano professor at Eastman School of Music. Chautauqua's frequent guests were famous pianists such as
Angela Hewitt and others. Eastman School of Music is currently ranked among the finest music schools in the world.
In addition to Canadian and American, Jelena also has European performing experience, which involved spending two summers in Rome, Italy performing in concerts with TIP "Monster"; ensemble of 10 piano #39;s 20 pianists. In 2006 Jelena also appeared as a soloist at Omni television in Toronto.
In the winter of 2003, Jelena continued her musical education at The University of Toledo in Ohio, where in only one and a half years she received her MA in Piano Performance, and was a student of Dr. Michael Boyd (DMA Eastman School of Music). During her years in Toledo, she held a full accompanying assistantship, and won third prizes at small ensemble as well as piano concerto competition. She as also the recipient of Way Library Scholarship, and held a Solo Concert there.
Jelena recently completed her DMA in Piano Performance, with a minor in organ performance at The University of Utah School of Music in Salt Lake City, where her GPA was 3.76. During her time at U of Utah she was the recipient of many scholarships, such as : two times Dean's travel grant winner, European Scholarship, U of Utah teaching assistantship, and others. Her piano professor at The University of Utah was Dr. Vedrana Subotic (DM Indiana), who is a highly valued pedagogue and performer all over the world.
Daniel Montgomery is currently a student at CSU East Bay, with a degree in music composition and performance. His passion is to write violin music for elementary and intermediate students. Montgomery has been teaching privately since 2010. He has also been a conductor for beginning musical groups and community musical productions. His goal is to share the joy of a musical education and provide an Enriching music experience, just like the educators who taught him.
Ruben J Romo. Born in San Francisco, California and raised in Hayward, California. Currently a parish pianist/organist for the San Francisco Bay Area based in the Oakland Diocese. A multi-instrumentalist with experience in guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano and the pipe organ who began his passion for music by playing for the St. Joachim Music Ministry at the age of 13. Growing up to such a supportive community has led him to drastically share his musicianship to many Catholic Churches and to attend the annual National Pastoral Musicians (NPM) music convention where thousands of musical directors across the United States gather to share our talent of music. Currently attending Cal State East Bay.
Cynthia Goco-Nakar, Executive Director & President
Regine Dandan, Deputy Director
James Richard, Program Director
Renee Best, Office Manager