Our Team

The heart of CLA is a knowledgeable and experienced staff.

Bill Humbert

Bill Humbert received his Bachelor and Master of Music in Education degrees from Arizona State University, and is currently the Director of Bands at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Arizona. His duties at the college include serving as the director of the concert band program, coordinating and teaching the instrumental music education program, as well as, teaching courses in conducting and music theory. Under his direction, the band program at GCC has nearly tripled in size. Prior to his appointment at the college, Mr. Humbert was the Director of Bands at Chandler High School in Chandler, Arizona, where his bands consistently received top musical honors throughout Arizona and the Southwestern United States.In addition to his duties at Glendale Community College, Mr. Humbert is active throughout the country as a clinician and adjudicator in the areas of concert band, marching band, jazz band, and orchestra. He is the Director of the Arizona Leadership Conference, a summer leadership program for high school students, coordinates student leadership workshops at The Metropolitan Leadership Academy, The Capitol Leadership Academy, and is the director of Pinnacle Leadership, which provides student leadership and motivational workshops throughout the country for collegiate, high school, and junior high school students.Mr. Humbert was honored as a recipient of the American School Band Director’s Association Distinguished Band Director’s Award, as well as, the recipient of the George C. Wilson Leadership Service Award from the Arizona Music Educator’s Association. He has also served in many leadership positions throughout Arizona for ABODA, and currently serves on the State Festival Adjudication Committee.


Don Gunderson

Music Educator, Retired Don Gunderson retired in June of 2000 after 41 years as a music educator in the public schools of Washington and California. His experiences encompass all areas of instrumental music ranging from elementary through university levels. In 1976, and again in 1990, Mr. Gunderson was selected to conduct the Southern California School Band And Orchestra Association’s (SCSBOA) Junior High School Honor Band. He directed the High School Honor Jazz Band in 1995 and the Junior High School Jazz All-Stars in 1998. Don has served as President of S.C.S.B.O.A. as well as First Vice President, Vice President of Honor Groups. and two terms as Vice President of Jazz Education. A founding member of the Field Adjudication committee, he is active as a Field, Festival and Jazz Adjudicator. He was presented that association’s highest honor, Honorary Life Membership, in 1984. The Gunderson children have followed their father’s footsteps into education. Kathryn is an Assistant Principal at Ramona High School near San Diego. Michael serves as music instructor for the Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs, California and his brother Mark teaches instrumental music at Esperanza High School in Anaheim, California. Don, with his wife Judy, will continue to organize workshops and summer camps to train student leaders of school bands through their California Leadership Academy.​


Greg A. Solomon

Greg Solomon has been teaching for 30 years in public education and demonstrates by example, the qualities of leadership through personal integrity and dedication to others as a classroom teacher, musician, conductor and non-profit director/board member. Greg is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton earning is degree in Music Education. He received his Masters degree from National University in Educational Administration. He is entering his 22nd year with the California Leadership Academy. He has led both Glendora and Upland High Schools to the Tournament of Roses Parade and developed a championship “small” band program at Moreno Valley High School. He is a sought after clinician and adjudicator in the marching and general effect areas throughout the western United States. Greg currently serves as a head judge on the Field Adjudication Steering Committee for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. Currently teaching at Vista Heights Middle School, his bands have produced four compact discs and earn consistent superior festival awards. He was recently appointed as Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts for the Moreno Valley Unified School District. He has been a guest conductor for numerous honor bands in the southern California area. Greg is a leader in the classroom management field, coaching teachers from across the country for the last eight years as a National Training Director for the Center for Teacher Effectiveness. He lives in Moreno Valley with his wife Sharon of 30 years.


Mark Gunderson

A Southern California native, Mark Gunderson has been a part of the band scene since he was an infant. Reared in a family of musicians and educators, Mark headed down the path set before him. He attended California State University, Fullerton, graduated with a degree in Music Education, earned his teaching credential, and later returned for a Master of Music degree in Conducting. He has been teaching Instrumental Music for the past 25 years, and is currently the Band Director at Kraemer Middle School in Placentia. He has taught nearly every type of instrumental ensemble including bands and orchestras, AP Music Theory, IB Music, Music Appreciation, guitar, piano, and instituted a Recording Technology class. In addition to his public school teaching, Mark has served on the staff of Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps since 1997 and is currently the Program Coordinator. Mark is also active as a field and festival adjudicator in southern California. Mark lives with his wife Phyllis and six year old son Matthew Cole in their home in Hacienda Heights. When not playing with Matthew, he enjoys running, playing golf occasionally, cooking every chance he gets, and pairing his meals with tasty wines.


Melissa Samson

Missy Samson has been a performer in the Color Guard activity for most of her life. As a student at Fountain Valley High School, she was a member of the school’s Color Guard. Upon graduating high school in 1995, her performance opportunities continued with the Independent Open Winter Guard, Solution Performance Ensemble (‘96-‘99), where she earned a Winter Guard International Independent Open Class Silver Medal in ‘98. After marching four years with Solution, she performed with the 2001 Fantasia Winter Guard, where she earned a WGI Independent World Class Bronze Medal. Since then, Missy has been the proud and successful instructor of many color guard programs in Southern California including Fountain Valley H.S. (‘95-‘99), Valencia H.S. (Placentia, ‘99-‘08), and for the past 15 years she has taught Color Guard at Kraemer Middle School (‘01-current). Missy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies, a Multiple Subjects & Math Credential from CSU Long Beach, and she recently earned her Masters Degree in Educational Administration from Concordia University. Missy is an Auxiliary judge for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, a Color Guard and Visual Analysis judge for the Marching Band Open Series, and a Design Analysis judge for the Winter Guard Association of Southern California where she is also serving a second term as the WGASC President. After many years of teaching math at Kraemer Middle School, she recently became the school’s Activities Director in 2014. Missy lives in Placentia, with her husband Eric and two children: Chloe, 10 and Micah, 8.

Leadership and Growth in Music