About the COA » Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Executive Director of Performing Arts

M.M., Choral Conducting, coursework completed - California State University Long Beach; B.M., Performance, emphasis in Choral Conducting - Chapman University, B.M., Music Education, emphasis in Voice - Chapman University.

Scott Melvin, Executive Director of Performing Arts, has worked extensively with choirs and orchestras throughout California and the Western United States. He has conducted choral ensembles and orchestras throughout Italy in some of the world's most remarkable venues including the Sistine Chapel, St. Mark's in Venice, St. Peter's and St. Ignatius in Rome, and the beautiful Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.


He is currently the Executive Director of Choral Music at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California where all of his ensembles have performed throughout Southern California receiving numerous superior ratings and awards. They have toured extensively including Italy, Australia, Germany, Austria and the United States including New York where the Mater Dei Chamber Singers placed first in the Heritage Festival of Gold series (2008), performed as the featured choir of the National Youth Choir in Carnegie Hall (2013) and sang on the TODAY Show as part of the Toyota Concert Series (2013). Ensembles from Mater Dei have also won competitions in San Diego (2005), Orlando (2006), Chicago (2009), San Francisco (2010), Seattle (2012), New York (2015), Boston (2017).


At CSULB, Mr. Melvin directed the Men's Chorale as well as teaching beginning theory. As a faculty member at Chapman University, Mr. Melvin has directed the University Chorale and Men's Chorale.


In addition, Mr. Melvin is the Director of Music at Christ Our Savior Catholic Parish in Santa Ana and Choir Director at Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Parish in Huntington Beach. He is a frequent clinician throughout the Southern California area. Mr. Melvin is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, International Federation of Choral Music, Music Educators National Conference, California Music Educators Association, Chorus America, and the National Association of Church Music. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Debbie and their three daughters, Emmerly, Nola and Aveline.


At MD Since: 2004

Department Assistant, Performing Arts

As a graduate of the class of '96, Mrs. Winch is proud to be back at Mater Dei and working in the Performing Arts Department. After marching in parades and field shows, playing in concert settings, and fully enjoying her experience at MD, she came back to teach for the MD Music Academy. Mrs. Winch then continued to California State University, Long Beach, where she studied music education and business management. Along the way, she also obtained a degree in fashion design.

Mrs. Winch resides in Orange County and enjoys spending time with her husband, Cory, and their two children, Samantha & Thomas.

Having been the product of such a creative department, she is looking forward to supporting our faculty and students to reach their fullest potential.

At MD Since: 2018

Director of Vocal Music

Jodi Reed is thrilled to join the Mater Dei Performing Arts team.  She is a conductor and pianist. Jodi began her musical study at a young age studying piano competitively. After being introduced to choral music in high school Jodi has had a lifelong involvement in choral music, conducting university, school, church, and community choirs. In her five years at Monte Vista High School all competing Monte Vista choirs consistently received high marks at the prestigious Golden State Choral Competition.  She has taken her choirs to national choral competitions in Chicago, Nashville, and Seattle receiving 1st place Gold, earning the adjudicator's award and Highest Scoring Choir.  In 2016 Monte Vista’s Chamber Singers appeared on NPR's nationally syndicated radio show From The Top hosted by Christopher O'Riley, reaching over 1 million listeners each time the show airs. Monte Vista's Concert Choir was invited to perform at the 2018 Western American Choral Director's Association Conference held in Pasadena, California.  In February 2019 Monte Vista Concert Choir traveled to New York City to perform a full concert in the beautiful St. Patrick's Cathedral and in Carnegie Hall.

Prior to teaching at Monte Vista High School, Jodi maintained a competitive piano studio for over twenty-five years. She received a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from California State University East Bay and a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from San Jose State University. Jodi’s mentors include Buddy James, Jeffrey Sykes, Laurel Brettel,  Ted Reid, and Susan Bana.  

Jodi is an active member of American Choral Directors Association, The National Association for Music Education, and Chorus America. Jodi Reed currently resides in San Clemente with her husband, Jeff, and their six children. 

At MD Since: 2019

Ms. Amanda Bistolfo

Associate Vocal Director


Ms. Bistolfo is a native of Davis, CA. After spending eight years on the East Coast and Midwest, she is happy to be home in California. She teaches choir classes, the Handbell Ensemble, and Vocal Workshop.


Ms. Bistolfo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Theatre Arts from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, the oldest women's college in the nation. Upon graduation she spent two years as the Assistant to the Director of Choral Ensembles, during which she taught voice lessons and musicianship, and led voice and movement workshops for student theatre. She has spent over eight years singing in and conducting women's choirs, and is thrilled to continue supporting women in music at Mater Dei.


Ms. Bistolfo earned her Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Western Michigan University, studying under Dr. Kimberly Dunn Adams. She was honored with the Music Department Award for Excellence in Teaching and the All-University Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award for her work with the conducting classes, and recognized for her contributions to the culture of the Music Department. During her graduate work, she was also the Chancel Choir Director at First Presbyterian Church of Richland, Michigan.


A classically trained vocalist, Ms. Bistolfo has performed as a choral, chamber, and solo singer with schools and community groups in Massachusetts and Michigan. Highlights include playing Angela in Valley Light Opera's production of Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience, and serving as the Chorus Master for WMU's production of Trinkley & Charnesky's Ever Since Eden. Ms. Bistolfo currently sings with the Orange County Women's Chorus, and is frequently featured as a mezzo-soprano soloist.


Ms. Bistolfo has toured the northeast with the Mount Holyoke and Western Michigan choirs, England and Wales with Village Harmony, and has sung in the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. She is a member of the American Choral Director's Association and the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.


Education: Master of Music in Choral Conducting - Western Michigan University


Teaching Since: 2015


At MD Since: 2015

Vocal Accompanist

Kent Helwig- has made a varied and diverse career as a pianist, actor, singer, dancer, musical director and educator. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of California, Irvine, under the tutelage of Nina Scolnik.


As a pianist he frequently performs for audiences both large and small, in a wide array of venues, numerous churches, choral festivals, vocal competitions, master classes, corporate events, conferences, and receptions. He has had the unique opportunity and privilege to play private receptions held for Henry Segerstrom and for the Forty-First President of the United States, the Honorable George H. Bush.


Past performances with the Mater Dei Choral Program have taken him to prominent venues across the world, including the Todi Opera House in Umbria Italy, and New York City's famed Carnegie Hall.


He has served as audition pianist, accompanist and vocal coach for: Chapman University, Claremont College, Cypress College, Fullerton College, Fountain Valley High School, Irvine Valley College, Orange County High School of the Performing Arts, Rio Hondo College, Saddleback College, University of California Irvine and Vanguard University, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Cunard Cruise Lines.


Kent earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Drama with an emphasis in Musical Theatre from the University of California, Irvine. He has taught courses in acting, audition techniques, and music theatre for the University of California Irvine, Cypress College, Claremont Colleges, Coastline College, Vanguard University, and the Orange County High School for the Performing Arts.


Musical/Vocal direction credits include: Annie, Anything Goes, Bat Boy, Bye-Bye Birdie, Cabaret, Footloose, Grease, Gypsy!, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, In the Heights, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream-Coat, My Fair Lady, Once On This Island, The Lucky Stiff, The Spitfire Grill, Seussical the Musical, The Twenty-Fifth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Into The Woods, The Wiz, and The Wizard of Oz.


Musical reviews: Broadway: From A to Z, Can't Stop the Music, Choices, Final-ly Sondheim, It's the Best Medicine, The Game of Love, Hooray for Hollywood, Journeys 2000-The Music of Our Lives, The Lullabies of Broadway, Scores that Didn't Score, Show-tune, The Great American Songbook, Welcome to the Sixties.


Regional Acting theatrical credits include: Applause, And The World Goes Round, Cabaret, Forty-Second Street, Mame, Meet Me In St. Louis, Peter Pan, Plain and Fancy, South Pacific, Singin' In The Rain, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Three Penney Opera, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Will Rogers Follies.


Featured roles include: Valentine in Babes in Arms, Harry Beaton in Brigadoon, Dick in Dames at Sea, Don/Bobby/Larry/Roy in A Chorus Line, Big Deal in West Side Story, Raja Bimmy in On The Town, Mingo in Crazy For You, and Frederick Fleet in the West Coast premiere of Titanic.


Kent is a proud member of Actors Equity and has shared the stage with Television and Broadway stars: Stephanie J. Block, Gary Beach, Karen Culliver Michael DeVries, David Engel, Kim Huber, Richard Kline, S. Marc Jordan Norman Large, Kecia Lewis, Charlotte Rae, Peter Reckell and Cathy Rigby.


Teaching Since: 1991


At MD Since: 2006


Mr. Stefan Miller
Vocal Coach/Music Theatre Workshop Instructor

Baritone Stefan Alexander Miller hails from the San Francisco Bay area. He completed his MFA in Vocal Performance at UC Irvine and his Bachelors of Music from the University of the Pacific.


Also having studied ballet, Stefan danced as a professional ballet dancer with the Oakland Ballet for a couple seasons, where he danced with the corps and as a soloist. After completion of his time with the Oakland ballet, he fell in love with opera and made his debut with Festival Opera, a company with which he performed comprimario roles as well as in the chorus for over 4 seasons. Since then Stefan has performed with numerous operatic and theatre companies in both Northern and Southern California including Stockton Opera, Long Beach Opera, Riverside Lyric Opera, Independent Opera, Sierra Repertory Theatre, The Chance, The Willows Theater Company, Woodminster Ampitheater, and many more. Recently he performed in Theatre Royale's production of West Side Story and 3D Theatricals production of Oklahoma. Stefan also teaches at Samueli Academy in Santa Ana and cantors at Our Lady Queen of Angels.


At MD Since: 2015

Director of Instrumental Music
Mr. Martinez came to Mater Dei in 2006 as Assistant Band Director and Music Academy Director. He has had the opportunity of teaching students from 2nd through 12th Grade.

In 2012 Mr. Martinez was promoted to Director of Instrumental Music. Under his direction the Instrumental Music Program has opened UC approved courses in Orchestra, Jazz Band and Guitar. The program has toured regionally in promoting Instrumental Music in Catholic Schools and his ensembles have proudly represented Mater Dei HS at music festivals both nationally and internationally: Hawaii 2018, Italy 2016, New Orleans 2015 and New York 2013. Most recently in 2017-2018, the Marching Band & Color Guard earned several 1st Place Awards and were finalists at the California State Band Championships. In the Spring of 2018, the Mater Dei Jazz Band was awarded a Gold First Place rating.


The Instrumental Music Program has also grown to include several additional support staff in various instruments. Mr. Martinez is currently working with Instrumental Music Associate Director,Taylor Smith, in establishing and developing an Instrumental Music Curriculum at our Catholic Middle Schools through the Mater Dei Music Academy and The Marian Alliance program.

Mr. Martinez currently lives in Orange County with his wife, Osiris and his children Isaac and Diana.


B.A. Music Education - Cal State University of Fullerton
Performance emphasis in Trumpet
California Single Subject Teaching Credential - Cal State University of Fullerton
BTSA - Concordia University
2005 Yamaha Music Scholar Award - Cal Sate University of Fullerton
2000 Official Pasadena Rose Parade Honor Band Member


At MD Since: 2006

Associate Band Director

Director, Music Academy


Mr. Smith is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach Bob Cole Conservatory of Music earning two degrees in Music and Jazz Performance (Trombone). As an undergraduate at CSULB, Mr. Smith performed with the Concert Jazz Orchestra directed by Jeff Jarvis earning the Downbeat Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Graduate College category in 2013/2014. Mr. Smith has traveled across the country performing with the World Champion Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps then later teaching the Blue Devils “B” Corps, The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps from LaCrosse Wisconsin, and Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps from Diamond Bar California. He has taught and written drill at several prominent band programs in the Southern California region. In addition to marching and performing in 4 Rose Parades as part of the opening and closing ceremonies with the Riverside City College Marching Tigers, Mr. Smith is an active professional musician, performing alongside some of LA's top recording instrumentalists. He is currently an active member and visual judge for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra.


Mr. Smith is currently the Director of the Mater Dei High School Music Academy. The Music Academy provides musicians from well over 10 different private and public schools the opportunity to participate in music outside of school. Mr. Smith teaches Instrumental Music at several elementary schools in the Diocese of Orange including St. Anne School, St. Joseph School, School of Our Lady, St. Joachim School, and St. John the Baptist. These programs will help feed Mater Dei High School Instrumental Music and is the future of our program at the High School.


Over the past few years, Mr. Smith can be seen performing on over 20 TV shows, TV pilots, such as Glee, Little Big Shots, Parenthood, Teen Wolf, The Middle, and more including feature films like The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), J. Edgar (2011), and Whiplash (2015).”


Mr. Smith is honored to be a part of the great history that Mater Dei High School holds. He wishes to continue and further grow the instrumental culture and experience, providing opportunities for all students to explore and create their musical interests at a new level.


Education: Associates Degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences - Riverside City College; Bachelor of Arts in Music and Jazz Performance - California State University, Long Beach


Teaching Since: 2008


At MD Since: 2016

Percussion Instructor
Marian Alliance Band Director
Bio Coming Soon...
At MD Since: 2018
String Instructor
Music Academy Instructor

Ms. Chung has been the Mater Dei Music Academy Orchestra Director for 4 years. She conducts three orchestra classes at St. Joachim Parish School and two orchestra classes at Our Lady Queen of Angels. Ms. Chung holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California, Irvine, and a Masters in Violin Performance from the Boston Conservatory of Music. She has performed with various orchestras and teaches privately in her own Violin Studio.
At MD Since: 2010
Guitar Instructor


Kenneth Parker is guitarist/multi-instrumentalist from Orange County,  CA. He began teaching in high school when after establishing himself as a prodigious young guitarist he was asked to teach the school's guitar class.  From there he went on to earn a Master's Degree in music from the University of California in Irvine and continues to teach, compose, and perform. His original compositions and arrangements have been used in radio, independent films, television commercials, and podcasts.


Ken has helped several people to become successful professionals in the music business, including the alternative rock band Young the Giant, and is looking forward to spreading that success to the students at Mater Dei.


At MD Since: 2016

Amanda Cruz

Colorguard Director


Bio Coming Soon...


At MD Since: 2015

Mrs. Lissa Slay

Director of Theatre


Lissa is a director, educator, and teaching artist and serves as adjunct faculty at Vanguard University, where she teaches Theatre Education and is the founding Education Director of American Coast Children’s Theatre, the youth-oriented arm of the university’s resident professional theatre company. Lissa is a teaching artist for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Disney Musicals in Schools programs, where she works to bring sustainable musical theatre programming into Title I schools, including local area schools in Newport-Mesa Unified, Magnolia Unified, Santa Ana Unified, and Tustin Unified. Lissa has taught as an elementary theatre teacher in Orange Unified School District, Theatre adjunct faculty at Chaffey College, acting teacher at the film conservatory The Playground in Costa Mesa, and toured seventeen states over four tours with the acclaimed Missoula Children’s Theatre. She also serves as a member of the Teaching Artist Guild of California regional advisory council, supporting not only the arts in the classroom but also the artists who teach them. Lissa is the blessed mother of two dramatic kids and the wife of a theatre director/professor. Proud member, Educational Theatre Association and California Educational Theatre Association.


Education: Master of Science, Education – Curriculum and Instruction; Bachelor of Arts, Theatre – Directing for the Theatre; Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential with Drama/Theatre Authorization – California State University, Fullerton

Single-Subject Credential – English, University of California, Los Angeles


Teaching Since: 2009


Teaching at MD since: 2018

Theatre Arts Teacher
Andrea Fouts is a director, producer, vocal coach and theatre educator who has worked in schools and theaters all over Orange County. She is the founder of the Yorba Linda Spotlight Theatre where she served as Artistic Director of the organization for 14 years, producing, directing and instructing year-round seasons of productions and conservatories. Mrs. Fouts has established and instructed vocal music and theatre programs in several schools including Orange County School of the Arts, Brea Olinda High School, Travis Ranch, and Friends Christian School. Additionally, she is a private vocal coach specializing in Musical Theatre and audition techniques. She holds a B.A from Chapman University in Film and Television, and a M.A in Theatre from Regent University, Virginia. She lives in Yorba Linda with her husband, Derick, and their three children: Nicholas, Eleni, and Emilia.
At MD Since: 2018

Susanna Vaughan
Voice and Dialects Coach

Susanna Vaughan is a performer and educator who hails from San Jose, CA. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Azusa Pacific University and an MFA in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University. She has performed all over southern California, including Musical Theatre West in Long Beach, Moonlight Stage in Vista, and San Diego Musical Theatre. She is currently a member of the Actors Co-op in Hollywood and a visiting instructor of theatre at Fullerton College, Concordia University, and Golden West College.


At MD Since: 2019

Ms. Alexi Thomas

Theatre Production Assistant


Hello! I am Ms. Alexi Thomas. I love all literature, especially studying and teaching American Literature and Shakespeare. I absolutely love teaching at Mater Dei, but during my time off I enjoy taking classes and traveling. Lastly, I'm a huge theatre fan and work on the theatre productions on campus.


Education: Master's

Bachelor of English- Pepperdine University; Single Subject Teaching Credential (English)- Pepperdine University; Master of English- University of California, Irvine


Teaching Since: 2007


Teaching at MD since: 2008

Ms. Kristina Marquez

Director of Dance


After graduating from the Commercial Dance Department at OCSA (’08) and UC Santa Barbara (’12), Ms. Marquez earned a Masters of Science degree in Dance Science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in London. She has held numerous positions within the Entertainment Department at The Walt Disney Company and has served as a Talent Recruiter and Production Assistant for RAW Artists in both Los Angeles and in London. Previously, Ms. Marquez was the Dance Team Director at Cal Poly Pomona, and has instructed at numerous dance organizations in Southern California in including Millennium Dance Complex Orange County and Orange County School of the Arts.


Her choreography has been recognized by various organizations and her Master’s thesis examining the role of social media platforms amongst injured dancers has been accepted for presentation at professional conferences including the International Association of Dance Medicine & Science and Performing Arts Medicine Association. Ms. Marquez specializes in dance-specific injury prevention techniques and is thrilled at the opportunity to spearhead a unique Dance Curriculum for Mater Dei students founded in cutting-edge performance enhancement strategies, evidence-based research, and pedagogical approaches.


In addition to teaching all levels of Dance Elective courses (Dance I-III/IV), Ms. Marquez also directs and choreographs for the competitive Mater Dei Dance Team (MDDT). She looks forward to many fruitful and fulfilling competition seasons representing Mater Dei at competitions and showcases throughout Southern California and abroad.


Education: Master's of Science in Dance Science, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, London, UK; Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, minor in Applied Psychology and Education, UC Santa Barbara


Teaching since: 2008


At MD Since: 2016 

Dance Assistant
Originally from Corona CA, Paige has been a student of dance since the age of three. Her training includes Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre and Lyrical. She has been competing at studio and high school competitions for over 10 years, while receiving numerous awards along the way.  Professionally she has worked at Tokyo Disney in the popular show, One Mans Dream II. Ms. Ortiz has traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Taiwan by as a dancer/actor for Disney Live: Three Classic Fairytales and Mickeys Music Festival. Recently Paige toured with the free style motorcross group Nuclear Cowboyz, choreographed by Scotty Nguyen as a Nuclear Cowgirl. The past four years she has been choreographing and leading a successful competition team. She is so excited to be at Mater Dei and is looking forward to sharing her love for dance with all of her students. 
At MD Since: 2017
Dance Instructor
Bio Coming Soon...
At MD Since: 2019
Head Coach Song

Before working at Mater Dei full time, I was an adjunct faculty member of the Theater and Dance Departments at Cypress College and Fullerton College where I taught modern, jazz, and hip hop classes; worked on the student and faculty dance shows; organized the high school dance days; and worked in the theater marketing office. My choreography has been performed locally and internationally at the International School of Bangkok, local high schools and multiple American College Dance Festivals across the country.


Education: Master's, Bachelor's Degree

Master of Arts in Dance Education - California State University, Long Beach; Bachelor of Arts in Psychology - California State University, Fullerton


At MD Since: 2009

Department Chair/Visual Arts Teacher

Prior to becoming a teacher Mr. Roberts worked in a variety of art related fields such as: designer in the automotive industry, comic book inker and Disneyland watch artist. He still finds time to work as a freelance illustrator and storyboard artist.


Education:  BA Art - CSU Fullerton; Single Subject Teaching Credential - CSU Fullerton


Teaching Since: 2007


At MD Since: 2007

Department Chair Film & Media/Director AV Events & Media Services

Mr. Barsuglia is a long-time educator and has also worked extensively as a professional photographer, filmmaker and editor having published more than 400 articles in national, regional and local publications.


Education: Master's, Bachelor's Degree

Master of Arts in English Literature - CSU Long Beach; Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts - CSU Chico


Teaching Since: 1996


At MD Since: 2003