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. He has been teaching band in Arizona for 35 years, and is currently in his 22nd year as the Director of Concert 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.  Under his direction, the band program at GCC has tripled in size. Ensembles under his direction have achieved a record of excellence and consistency in the areas of concert, marching, and jazz ensemble performance, including many state, regional, and national recognitions. Bill also teaches music education courses at Ottawa University-Arizona, and serves as the liaison between Glendale Community College and Ottawa University-Arizona in their Music Education Partnership.

In addition to his duties at Glendale Community College, Bill 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 Founder and Director of Bill Humbert Leadership LLC, which provides student leadership, team building, and motivational workshops throughout the country for collegiate, high school, junior high, and middle school students. Additionally, he is the Founder and Director of the Arizona Leadership Conference, a summer leadership program for high school music students, and is a member of the teaching faculty of the California Leadership Academy.  Bill also serves as an Educational Clinician for the Conn-Selmer Corporation.

The Arizona Music Educator’s Association in 2013 honored Bill as the Arizona Music Educator of the Year, and also honored him with the Careers in Music Award in 2016.  Additionally, he has been 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.  Bill is a Charter Member of the Arizona Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International School Bandmasters Fraternity and has also has served in many leadership positions throughout the Arizona music community, including President for the Arizona Band and Orchestra Director’s Association (2015-2017). He resides in Surprise, Arizona with his amazing wife, Stacy, and their energetic puppies, Frankie and Murphy.

Greg A. Solomon

Greg Solomon has been taught for 38 years in public education and demonstrates by example, the qualities of leadership through personal integrity and dedication to others as an educator, 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 Master’s degree from National University in Educational Administration. He is entering his 32nd 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 presenter, clinician, and adjudicator for concert and marching bands throughout the western United States. Greg currently serves as a head judge for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. He retired in July of 2021 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 17 years as a National Training Director for the Center for Teacher Effectiveness. He lives in Moreno Valley with his wife Sharon of 40 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 same path. 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 Instrumental Conducting.

He has been teaching Instrumental Music since 1989.  After teaching high school music for 24 years, he moved to his current position as Band Director at Kraemer Middle School in Placentia where he teaches grades 7-8 everything Band.  He has taught nearly various types of instrumental ensembles including concert bands, jazz bands, and orchestras, and classes including AP Music Theory, IB Music, Music Appreciation, guitar, piano, and Recording Technology.  Mark also worked with Pacific Crest Youth Arts Organization for 17 years with the last two as Program Coordinator.   He is active as a clinician and adjudicator.  He is a member of the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, California Association for Music Education, The Society of Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia professional music fraternity.

In 2014 Mark began working regularly with the California Leadership Academy, and in 2017 took over as a Director following the retirement of founder Don Gunderson, his father.  As a high school director, his students regularly attended CLA.

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.