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College of Humanities & Fine Arts

Department of Music and Theatre

Program Highlights

  • Music

    Music Education

    Jenise Coon – Spring 1999

    A Chico local and graduate of Chico High and Chico State, Jenise Coon has been a Choir, Band, and Musical Theatre Director since 1998. She is enjoying her second year as Choral and Musical Theatre Director of Chico High School, where she directs 6 Vocal Groups (A Cappella Choir, Mixed Chorus, Chico Chic, Chico Voce, and the Sac Street Boys) as well as the Musical Theatre Program. Ms Coon’s choirs continue the legacy of musical excellence at Chico High, receiving top honors and consistent Superior Ratings at Choral Festivals and sending students to the top All State Honor Choir. The choirs perform in many concerts each year as well as the Victorian Dinner in December, a four-course dinner and musical play.

    Ms. Coon’s Musical Theatre classes have earned top honors with the “Excellence in Acting” Award from iTheatrics, and perform 2 Musicals a year. Ms Coon also recently was awarded the Freddie G Fellowship. For theatre instructors across the United States, the Freddie G Fellowship is a highly coveted honor. In March 2019, Ms Coon will conduct a 7-day performance tour to Ireland where the CHS Choir will perform all over the country, culminating in a concert in St Patrick’s Cathedral.

    Ryan Heimlich – Spring 2008

    Ryan Heimlich holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music from The University of California, Berkeley and a Master's Degree in Music from California State University, Chico, studying clarinet with Robert Calonico at UC Berkeley and Dr. Russell Burnham at CSU, Chico. Furthermore, Ryan has served as Assistant Conductor of the North State Symphony and Graduate Assistant to the CSU, Chico Bands, studying conducting with Dr. Kyle Wiley Pickett and Dr. Royce Tevis at CSU, Chico. Ryan currently teaches band, jazz band, choir, and music theory at Pleasant Valley High School and clarinet at CSU, Chico. Ryan has performed with The Temptations, Amy Grant, the North State Symphony, North Valley Chamber Singers, Napa Valley Choral Society, Paradise Symphony, CSU, Chico Chamber Music Series, CSU, Chico Choral and Wind Ensembles, the Shasta Symphony, and many other music and theater productions.

    Furthermore, Ryan has conducted Spamalot, The Will Rogers Follies, and The Addams Family for Chico State, as well as Les Miserables for California Regional Theater, and has appeared as a soloist with the Chico State Wind Ensemble. The ensembles he directed routinely earn Superior Rankings at festivals and have performed in Reno, Santa Cruz, Folsom, San Diego, San Jose, and Anaheim. His students have worked and performed with such internationally renown musicians as the US Marine Corps Jazz Band, pianist Dan Haerle, drummer Paul Romaine, and trumpeter Greg Gisbert.


    Music Industry

    Aly Carlisle-Steinberg – Spring 2014

    Aly Carlisle-Steinberg running monitors for the Woods Stage at Pickathon Music Festival in Portland Oregon, 2017.

    After graduation, and singing the national anthem at commencement, Aly left Northern California for Portland, Oregon. There, she began her career in studio and live sound audio. Her skills and her dedication soon put her working with some of the most famous artists in the world and eventually on tour with Joan Baez. Since then she’s done sound for a list of who’s who including: Of Montreal, Portugal the Man, Fleet Foxes, Local Natives, Beach House, Built to Spill, Yo La Tango, Wilco, The Zombies, Everclear, The Dandy Worhols, Chingy, Tortoise, Cake, George Clinton, Jojo, Dinosaur Jr, Wolfmother, Josh Ritter, The Oh Sees, Snarkey Puppy, Vulfpeck, Manchester Orchestra. She has also worked with radio pop bands such asMilky Chance, Vance Joy, Hippo Campus, and The Neighborhood.

    Aly says of her Recording Arts Chico State experience, “I started the Recording Arts program in my 3rd year. I finally found the place where I fit in. I’ve lived and breathed music ever since. Having the degree definitely gives me more credibility when applying for jobs. Plus, the internships with Tolar AVL and the Telluride Jazz Festival (that I only had because of the Rec Arts program) were what introduced me into live sound.”

    Jarod Reichle – Spring 2014

    Jarod Reichle pictured in studio of one of his recent installation projects. A San Rafael, CA facility owned by one most famous rock musicians alive who wishes to remain unnamed.

    Jarod completed his BA in Music Industry and Technology in 2014. After graduation he immediately began working in live sound engineering for some of the most famous artists in the world. At Terrapin Station in San Rafael, CA, Jarod worked with artists such as Phil Lesh , Micky Hart, and Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), John Mayer, Gregg Allman, Chris Robinson, Stanley Jordan, John Scofield, Nikki Bluhm and the Gramblers, plus many more. He works as a high-density Audio/Video audio technician for new and existing recording studios, sound labs, and broadcast studios around the world. Specialties include analog and digital wire fabrication for ergonomically accessible and serviceable high-density machine rooms.

    While doing live sound, Jarod transitioned to the world of audio and video integration. His work takes him all over the world in to every sector of the audio industry. Recent projects include Dolby Laboratories’ new SF headquarters sound labs and recording studio, Mickey Hart's residential recording studio, Colgate University’s (NY) Ice Hockey Arena, One Union Recording Studio (SF), Valve Gaming (Seattle, WA) audio mixing labs and recording studio.

    Jared says of his Recording Arts Chico State experience, “I wouldn’t be where I am without having gone to Chico. I’d go back and do it again, if that says anything…some of the best people I’ve ever known. All the way from the administration, to faculty and classmates, you were engulfed in a network of support and motivation.”

    Madeleine Mathews – Spring 2016

    Madeleine Mathews, a 2016 music industry graduate poses with her guitar

    While in school, Mathews held several key leadership positions, including General Manager and Event Planning Director for SOTA Productions, the school's music industry entrepreneurial program. She also interned for KCSC Radio and indie label Sound x 3 (Sony/The Orchard) in Los Angeles, which eventually signed her as an artist under the name, MAWD. Mathews, who is multi-talented musically is also skilled in business and was immediately hired by the CEO of NARIP (a major music industry networking company), enabling her to pursue her dream as a singer/songwriter. Mathews accomplishments include features in notable music blogs such as the LA Weekly and the Line of Best Fit. She has opened for Robby Krieger (The Doors) at the Gibson Showroom, played a sold out show with Larkin Poe at the prestigious Hotel Cafe and was featured at the Irish U Bloom Festival at LA's trendy High Hat club where she was invited to Ireland by the promoter. She has also been featured on various radio stations including LA's hottest radio show BuzzbandsLA on KCSN 88.5. She just returned from a successful tour to SXSW, which included multiple corporate sponsored shows, such as Bose Speakers, Blue Microphones and Seymour Duncan. While still in college, she toured throughout Sweden, include a performance at the I Heart Music Festival. Per Mathews "I found that through my education and experiences during my time at Chico State, everything I learned was an immense help to not only thriving in the music business, but building up my own music career and brand."

    Joseph Wong – Spring 2017

    Joseph Wong, a 2017 graduate from the Music Industry program

    During his collegiate career, Joseph gained momentum in the media industry as an Event Planner and Social Media Director for SOTA Productions, the experiential component of CSU Chico’s music industry program. Joseph also balanced his time as Promotions & Giveaways Director and hosted a weekly radio show for KCSC Radio, thus gaining traction in the Sacramento, San Francisco/Bay Area media scenes. Joseph also simultaneously consulted on music video projects for some of the most popular K-Pop artists, DJs and celebrities of Korea. Joseph is currently employed in Silicon Valley at Astreya, a premier IT solutions provider offering strategic and tactical services for some of the world's most recognizable and innovative organizations. Joseph has been acknowledged by Astreya for delivering superb Informational Technology troubleshooting solutions and asset and inventory management. After 5 months of being hired, he was awarded the coveted Astreya Extra Mile Award for his dedication and detail oriented care in providing the highest quality assistance. From his experience in the Music Industry & Technology program, Joseph strengthened his time-management, leadership and networking skills to prepare for and to achieve his career goals.

  • Musical Theatre

    Musical Theatre graduate Katie MorrillKatie Morrill, a Musical Theatre 2014 graduate, is a cofounder of the professional theatre company, The Barrington Collective. A group of American theatre artists, born out of the East 15/University of Essex MFA Acting International class of 2015. Following in the legacy of East 15’s founder Joan Littlewood, The Barrington Collective is committed to being a dynamic influence for good in craft and society as a whole. They are dedicated to bringing new and underrepresented voices to the stage in unexpected ways, leaving joy behind in their wake.

  • Theatre

    Paige Patterson acting in Hell On Wheels

    Paige Patterson graduated from CSU, Chico with a BA in Theatre Arts and a minor in Musical Theatre Dance. After Chico, she attended Columbia University in New York City and earned an MFA in Acting. Paige has appeared as a guest star on television shows such as Elementary and Person of Interest on CBS. She played recurring roles on Quarry on Cinemax, Hell on Wheels on AMC, Braindead on CBS and Quantico on ABC. She also worked on an independent film called Adam Bloom. When she isn’t working on a set or auditioning (which she considers to be an extremely valuable part of the actor’s job AND a great way to make friends), Paige spends her time enjoying NYC with her husband, practicing meditation, hanging with her cats, perusing book stores and staying immersed in the world health and wellness. She is also training to become a postpartum doula and enjoying the journey very much.

    Nicola Rossini, a graduate from the CSU Chico Theatre programNicola Rossini joined the Universal Creative Core Studio in 2017 following the successful opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Orlando). Prior to these projects she worked with several Location Based Entertainment studios to design and deliver projects including Motiongate (DreamWorks) and Bollywood Theme Parks at Dubai Parks & Resorts, Hub Zero Video Game Experience (Dubai), The Red Sea Astrarium with Paramount in Jordan, Warner Bros. Abu Dhabi, and the Shanghai 2010 World’s Fair Information Communications Pavilion. Her body of work in entertainment spans over 25 years, originating with work in International Live Entertainment - theatre, opera, dance, large scale festivals, and touring arenas with Rock & Pop acts, most notably with Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. She has worked on countless projects for large IP holders, Branding Groups, and events for Corporate Clients including Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC. She holds an MFA in Arts Management from the Yale School of Drama with post-graduate MBA studies from the Yale School of Management. She is also a Co-founder of Harriet B's Daughters(opens in new window) dedicated to diversity, equity, access, & inclusion in Large Scale Entertainment.