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Committed to Education


Tim Thomas

Program Coordinator
Orchestra Director

Timothy Thomas is a graduate of Boise State University where he performed with the University Symphony, Vocal Jazz, and Jazz Improvisation ensembles. He also spent several years years in the Boise Philharmonic, Boise Baroque Orchestra, Oregon East Symphony, and Grande Ronde Symphony. Before graduating he received his first conducting job with the Telford Adult Orchestra. After graduating in May of 2007 he moved to Las Vegas, NV to take an orchestra position at Burkholder Middle School. In 2013 he made the leap to High School orchestra director at Basic Academy of International Studies.  Mr. Thomas is currently the Chairman for the CCSD Honor Orchestra, Chairman of the NVASTA Las Vegas Bass Workshop, Principal Double Bass for the Henderson Symphony Orchestra, Red Mountain Music Company,  & Las Vegas Mens Chorus. He has also coached  the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras,  Nevada All-State Symphony, and been an appointed mentor for first-year teachers. Mr. Thomas also performed with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Nevada Ballet, and Tuachan Theater. He returned to the Pacific Northwest on several official visits to direct the Boise Junior High Fall Clinics, the Oregon East Symphony Summer Camp, and perform for various concerts. Mr. Thomas also holds a masters degree from Touro University in the field of Education Administration.

Candace Chun

Group Violin Teacher

Candace is the current director of bands and and performing arts department chair at Valley High School, where she has worked for the past eleven years in the music program. Candace began at Valley teaching strings. Her students have consistently received high rankings in competitions and performances. Candace is currently pursuing her masters at UNLV and received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Loyola University New Orleans. Candace has been playing violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, and ukulele for 20 years.   


Jovonie Tejero

Group Cello Teacher

Jovonie Tejero is currently the assistant director at Mike O’Callaghan Middle School, where he has been teaching orchestra for the past four years.  In addition to teaching beginning and advanced cello classes for FAYM, he has a full private studio of thirty cellists, where they have received high rankings in both competitions and performances. Jovonie has been playing the cello for over twelve years. 

Carlene San-Filippo

Group Violin Instructor

Carlene is a lifelong music educator and violinist. 


Chris Bonds

Group Violin Instructor

Christopher Bonds grew up in Coolidge, Arizona, where he began his study of the violin at the age of five. His principal violin teachers were George Bennett and Eugene Lombardi. He has degrees in music from Arizona State University and The University of Iowa. He has also studied composition with Grant Fletcher and Richard Hervig and conducting with James Dixon. His 40-year teaching career includes colleges and universities across the country, most recently Wayne State College, Nebraska, where he is Professor Emeritus of Music. For 22 years he led the Sioux City (Iowa) Symphony as concertmaster. He and his wife Debi now enjoy life in Henderson, Nevada, where he composes and practices violin.

Kimberly Johnson

Group Violin Instrucor

A Las Vegas native, Kimberly began playing viola at the age of 10. Throughout middle school and high school, she was a part of various ensembles that included Honor Orchestra, Las Vegas Youth Orchestra, All-state orchestra, and Amadeus chamber orchestra. In college, she continued studying violin and viola with instructors such as Teresa Ling, Byron Tauchi, and Andrew Duckles. Kimberly was even a member of the UNLV symphony orchestra during the time Maestro Hal Weller was conductor. Kimberly now performs with the Henderson Symphony (former principal viola), the Nevada Chamber Orchestra (current principal viola), the Southern Nevada Symphony, as well as the HSO quartet. She has also taught students since 2002 in various ways from private lessons to coaching sectionals for LVYO.


Erika Syroid

Group Violin Instructor

Erika is a passionate musician.

Marla Huizar

Advanced Mariachi Studies

Marla Huizar is currently the orchestra director at Del Sol Academy. Marla Huizar graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2012 with a Bachelor in Music Education and in 2017 finished her Master’s degree in the same field. During her undergrad, Ms. Huizar played the violin and was a member of the UNLV Symphony and Chamber orchestras.  Furthermore, while attaining her masters, Ms. Huizar also took voice lessons in opera music.
A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, Ms. Huizar has been deeply involved with the music community from a young age.  In addition to being trained in classical music, Ms. Huizar has had a strong passion for mariachi music. Ms. Huizar personally witnessed, and participated in, the growth of the mariachi program in the Las Vegas community.  As a mariachi musician, Ms. Huizar has performed with countless mariachi groups throughout the Las Vegas valley.  Ms. Huizar has also performed at several major events, including the “Las Vegas Walk of Stars” and the Latin Grammys, where she performed for various famous Latin artists.

Violin Shop

David Shepard

Beginning Mariachi Studies

Shortly after becoming an student at UNLV, David joined Mariachi Franco de Las Vegas with whom he's been performing for more than a decade. After graduating with a degree in Jazz Studies, David played and traveled on Royal Caribbean International for 2 years before returning to Las Vegas to rejoin Mariachi Franco and begin teaching in CCSD. 

Brigido Galvan

Secondary Mariachi Instrument Studies

Brigido Galvan has been involved in Mariachi music from an early age. Growing up in a musical family he started specializing in the guitaron but is proficient on several instruments. After graduating from Desert Pines HS where he was a 4 year member in their top mariachi he began to play with other groups in town. This led him to the idea of teaching students and has become a staple in the CCSD schools and FAYM to develop young talent. 

Man Playing Guitar
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