Music, Theater Arts and Film Studies Departments

Jennifer King

Professor of Theater Arts, Theater Arts and Film Studies Coordinator

Jennifer King is an award-winning theater maker based in the San Francisco Bay Area.  US and European acting, directing and teaching credits include work for Prague Shakespeare Company, California Shakespeare Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Aurora Theatre Company, Capital Stage, Shakespeare Napa Valley, Lucky Penny Productions, Berkeley Playhouse, Sonoma County Repertory Theater, Cinnabar Theater, Symmetry Theater, the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, Napa Valley College, Kingston University (London), Sonoma State University and University of California Davis, among others.  Her 2018 production of Dry Powder at the Aurora Theater company was recently awarded a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Production (East Bay).  

An arts leader, she has held senior level positions at Sonoma County Repertory Theater (Artistic/Executive Director), California Shakespeare Theater (Director of Artistic Learning), and Dallas Theater Center (Director of Education and Community Outreach).  She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Shakespeare Napa Valley, an auxiliary program of Napa Valley College, where she has directed As You Like it, Pericles, How Shakespeare Won the West, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew and The Comedy of Errors. She has directed over 20 productions at Napa Valley College including The Peoples Temple, Sweeney Todd, Lydia, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Laramie Project, The Laramie Project Ten Years Later, The Three Musketeers, Treasure Island,  Dead Man Walking, Our Country’s Good, Picasso at the Lapin Agile and All in the Timing.

As an actor, favorite roles include Emily Dickinson (The Belle of Amherst) Haley (Bad Dates), Catharine (Rapture, Blister, Burn) Blanche (A Streetcar Named Desire), Nora (A Doll’s House), and, Emma (Betrayal), among many others.  She was awarded an Arty Award for Best Actor in a Solo Performance 2018 for her performance in Bad Dates

In addition to her theater projects, Jennifer is a voice over artist, voicing commercials and documentaries and can be heard in the Reduced Shakespeare Company production of The History of Comedy (abridged).   She is also the co-editor of Reflections of Diversity, a scene book for actors. For more information, visit

Dr. Christina Howell

Director of Vocal Studies, Music Department Coordinator

The recipient of awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Max Berman Opera Prize and The Boris Goldovsky Award for Excellence in Operatic Acting, soprano, Dr. Christina Howell was a two-time district winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions, a semi-finalist in the National Stewart Awards and winner of the Charlotte Opera Guild Vocal Competition. Dr. Howell has received acclaim for operatic, oratorio, musical theater and chamber performances. Recent performance credits include the opera, Roman Fever for South Carolina Educational Television and Adina in Elixir of Love with Peach State Opera. Dr. Howell has performed widely as a soloist and chorister and has worn more mustaches onstage than she’d like to admit.

Dr. Howell has presented vocal workshops on topics ranging from the aging voice to adolescent voice change and everything that happens in-between. Her students have been accepted for study at prestigious institutions such as the New England Conservatory of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Not limited to classical vocal technique, Dr. Howell has specialized training and expertise in the teaching of Contemporary Commercial Music technique. Dr. Howell has recently served as Assistant Editor for the upcoming release by Rowan & Littlefield press, So You Want to Sing…. World Music for which she also co-wrote a chapter.

When not resisting attempts by her family to plant tunes in her brain, Dr. Howell might be found knitting, baking or running, but usually not all three.

Alan Anibal

Music Department Adjunct Instructor: Orchestra Ensemble Director

Described as a “very refined conductor” and “having an amazing energy on podium,” Alan Anibal has recently gained recognition in the San Francisco Bay Area’s Opera and Orchestral fields, performing also across Europe. Mr. Anibal is the Artistic Director of the Napa Valley Youth Symphony and Adjunct Professor at Napa College Orchestra. As a college instructor, Mr. Anibal’s teaching skills center on Orchestra Studies, Chamber Music, Opera Studio, Complementary Piano, Music Theory, and Foreign Language Pronunciation for singers. Under Mr. Anibal’s Baton NVYS was awarded by Music Celebrations International for its “Outstanding Performance” at Musikverein in Vienna.

Joshua Bailey

Music Department Adjunct Instructor: Studio Music Specialist (SMS) Applied Voice

Joshua Bailey is a highly experienced voice teacher based in Northern California. With a Master’s degree from NYU, Joshua is an expert in his field and has taught voice at both NYU and in China. His advanced certificate in Vocal Pedagogy sets him apart from other voice teachers in the area. Joshua has given many masterclasses throughout his career, including ones in Shanghai, China, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has also established his own voice teaching studio in the North Bay, where he helps students of all ages and levels improve their vocal technique and performance skills. In addition to his career in voice teaching, Joshua has a passion for singing and performing himself. He enjoys exploring a variety of musical genres, from classical to contemporary.

When he’s not teaching, Joshua loves hiking in the beautiful hills of Northern California and spending time with his friends. Joshua is dedicated to helping his students achieve their full potential as singers and performers. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he is a sought-after voice teacher in the Northern California area.

Claire Burke

Music Department Adjunct Instructor: Studio Music Specialist (SMS) Violin/Viola

Claire Burke, violin and viola instructor, was educated at UC Berkeley where she was Concertmaster of the University Orchestra. She continued musical studies earning the Master of Music degree at Holy Names College in Oakland. She has been a member of the Marin Symphony, the Berkeley Symphony, the Monterey Symphony and many other Bay Area ensembles. Her teaching experience includes the City of Alameda Public Schools, the San Francisco Community Music Center, and the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley.  Relocated to Napa in 2018, Claire is a founding member and Chairman of the Board of the Napa Valley Chamber Orchestra and has performed with Symphony Napa Valley and the Sonoma Valley Chorale. She teaches at her home studio, at the Napa Valley Language Academy, and at Napa Valley College.

Danielle Cain

Theater Arts and Film Studies Adjunct Instructor

Danielle Cain has been a working theatre artist in the North Bay for over 20 years. She is on the theatre faculty at Sonoma State University, Napa Valley College and ArtQuest at Santa Rosa High School. She works as a voice, text and dialect coach and has coached productions at SSU, Shakespeare Napa Valley, Sebastopol Shakespeare Festival, NVC, Cinnabar Theater, and 6th Street Playhouse. Danielle has done private acting, speech and audition coaching since graduating from college, was an Associate Artistic Director at Actors Theatre and Managing/Casting Director at 6th Street Playhouse. She regularly directs productions at her schools, and helps produce NVC’s annual Emergence Festival of original work. As an actor favorite shows include Angels in America, Arcadia, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Skylight, Enchanted April, Boston Marriage, Much Ado About Nothing, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Top Girls at Shotgun Players and most recently Hamlet.

She trained at the British American Drama Academy, American Conservatory Theatre and received her BFA in acting from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Danielle leads summer Shakespeare classes in London for SSU theatre students.

Collin Chiu

Music Adjunct Instructor

Collin Chu is an award-winning composer and conductor of over 20 films and video games. He conducts the Budapest Scoring Orchestra, to record for these projects.

Chu began scoring for films, games, and VR shortly after he received his two master’s degrees in film music composition and classical music composition from Seattle Film Institute and California State University, East Bay. He is a multi-instrumentalist and plays the piano, and euphonium.Since 2015, Chu has been working as the lead composer for Spike and Crown Studios.

Matthew Cowell

Technical Director, Adjunct Instructor: Sound Reinforcement and Recording and Digital Sound Recording, Sound Engineer

Matthew is the Technical Director for Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. He is an adjunct instructor teaching Sound Reinforcement and Recording, Digital Sound Recording, and Sound Engineering. Working in the Bay Area for over 20 years as sound designer, recording engineer and drummer, he has worked with numerous local and national talents, including Grammy and Oscar nominated artists. He is an accomplished fight choreographer and Bay Area actor.

Cowell has a Bachelor’s degree in Theater and Performance Studies from UC Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Theology and Film Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Olivia Cowell

Theater Arts Adjunct Instructor, Performing Arts Center Marketing

Olivia is a theater educator, award-winning director, and choreographer for 20 years. She has directed adult and youth productions with theater companies in the Bay Area, selected directing credits include: Shakespeare Summer Stroll 2023 & 2021 (Shakespeare Napa Valley and diRosa Center for Contemporary Art), She Kills Monsters, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo Jr., Junie B. Jones the Musical Jr., Romeo and Juliet, Elf the Musical Jr., All Together Now, Matilda the Musical, Mary Poppins, Shrek the Musical, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, Peter Pan, Private Eyes, A Chorus Line, Late: a Cowboy Song, The Wizard of Oz, Lend Me a Tenor, and Alice in Wonderland. Olivia has taught drama throughout Napa Valley to aspiring actors elementary school age to adults. 

Olivia is a faculty member in NVC Theater Arts department, and an Associate Artist with Shakespeare Napa Valley. She is a member of California Educational Theatre Association (CETA), TYA/USA, Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), and American Alliance for Theatre & Education. She has a Masters Degree in Drama from San Francisco State University, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications. She has worked as a choreographer throughout her career, having trained with UK-based Royal Academy of Dance.  Olivia is also co-director of Napa County non-profit educational theater Cafeteria Kids Theater

George Benton England

Music Adjunct Instructor in Guitar Studies

Guitarist George Benton England is sought-after as both soloist and chamber musician on modern and historical instruments. Recent collaborations include Sacramento’s Sinfonia Spirituosa, New York City’s Cantanti Project, the Brooklyn Composer’s Collective, Backyard Baroque at the Haggin Art Museum of Stockton, and as part of the guitar duo Intercontinental Breakfast in Koblenz, Germany. Equally active as an educator, Dr. England has served on the faculty of the esteemed Diller-Quaile School of Music in Manhattan, 92nd Street YNYC Guitar School, California State University, Northridge, Yuba Community College, as the creator of Sacramento Guitar School, and has instructed at Napa Valley College since 2021. 

George holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Guitar Performance from Stony Brook University. His culminating studies included the analysis and interpretation of French and Italian lute works of the 17th century, as well as the serial compositions of Reginald Smith-Brindle for modern guitar. George’s teachers include Jerry Willard, Richard Savino, Steven Thachuk, Ronald Purcell, and Brandon Yip. 

Pete Estabrook

Music Adjunct Instructor: NVC Jazz Ensemble Director

Pete Estabrook holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Professional Music from Berklee College, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Jazz Studies from California Institute of the Arts, as well as an AmSat Approved Teaching Certificate from the Northern California Center for the Alexander Technique.

In addition to teaching privately since 1983, he has taught Jazz courses, Applied Trumpet, World Music Appreciation, and Music Fundamentals at Santa Rosa Junior College since 1996. He has served on the faculty at Sonoma State, Pacific Union College, and Napa Valley College.

As of 2023, Pete has 7 album credits with Bay Area Artists in the Jazz, Pop, Folk, and Ethnic genres. His transcriptions of Miles Davis’ solos have also been included with the 2006 and 2009 Concord Music Group re-releases of the classic Prestige Sessions, and his transcriptions of Ellington’s Queen’s Suite were performed by the Danish National Radio Orchestra in 1991.

Pete’s 30 Private Trumpet Instructors include individuals from all the recognized “Schools” of Brass Pedagogy including that of J. Stamp, A. Jacobs/V. Cichowicz, W. Vacchiano, W. Adam, C. Gordon, C. Caruso, R. Stevens/W. Costello, and J. Callet. Among those teachers are Bobby Shew, Mario Guineri, Richard Winslow, Larry Meregillano, and Mac Gollehon.

He has played with the Ukiah and Lake County Symphonies, Benicia Ballet, Cinnabar Opera, Holland America, Princess and Carnival Cruise Lines, as well as Bay Area Latin, Pop, Top 40, Swing, R & B, Brass, and Jazz groups. His theater experience includes playing Broadway Shows at the Raven, Spreckels Center, 6th St. Playhouse, Summer Repertory Theater, and the Cinnabar Theater. Additionally, he has served as Racetrack Bugler on the Northern California Fair Circuit for Alameda, Humboldt, Sonoma, San Joaquin, and Solano Counties, the Sacramento State Fair, and Cal-Expo Harness Racing since 1986. Pete’s solo debut album “Reflections Vol. 1” can be found here:

Aimée Guillot

Theater Arts Adjunct Instructor

Aimée received her Bachelor of Arts in Literature from SUNY Purchase (Cum Laude), and her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from UC San Diego. Additional acting training: NYU /Tisch School of the Arts; Oxford School of Drama.

Professional acting credits: Off Broadway- Big Love (Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival -2001, Obie Award winner); Canard, Canard, Goose? (Here Arts Center); and Xtravaganza (St. Ann’s Warehouse, Guggenheim Works & Process, and Whitney Performance Space). She is also an original member of the New York based investigative theatre group, The Civilians. Regional- Big Love (The Goodman Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville- Humana Festival of New American Plays), Wintertime (Long Wharf Theater); The Importance of Being Earnest (La Jolla Playhouse). Bay Area- Eurydice (Berkeley Rep), The Typographer’s Dream (Encore Theatre, Shotgun Players), Big Love (Berkeley Rep) Finger (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts).

As a director she has staged productions at The Napa Valley Opera House, Lincoln Theater, and the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. At Napa Valley College she co-directed Shrek the Musical, and Mary Poppins both in partnership with Cafeteria Kids Theater. She has been a drama instructor in the Bay Area for over 15 years, and was voted one of the top 100 teachers at UCSD. She founded the non-profit Cafeteria Kids Theater with Olivia Cowell in 2014.

Elaine Herrick

Music Department Adjunct Instructor: Studio Music Specialist (SMS)

Elaine Herrick serves NVC as Studio Music Specialist on double bass.  She received her education at Westmont College where she received a BA in Psychology and at CSULB where she specialized in music therapy.  She worked as a music therapist at Napa State Hospital for twenty years.  Currently Miss Herrick plays bass in several orchestras including Napa Valley Chamber Orchestra, Symphony of the Redwoods, Ukiah Symphony and Solano Symphony.  She enjoys the collaborative process working in musical theater and is frequently with  bands at Sonoma Arts Live and Lucky Penny.  She is acoustic and electric bassist with these performing bands:  PMS (pop), CZ and the Bon Vivants (Cajun and Zydeco), and Monkfish (jazz quartet).

Mazdak Khamda

Music Department Adjunct Instructor: Piano, Computer Applications in Music, Compositing on the Computer, Applied Piano

Mazdak Khamda hass established a versatile career as a composer, pianist and teacher. A prolific composer in virtually all media, Mazdak’s music has been performed and recorded by some of the most accomplished artists.

Mazdak’s works have been performed by ensembles such as The Friction Quartet, The North Bay Wind Ensemble, Napa Valley College Chorale, Coastal Winds, the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church Choir, Napa Valley Ballet and by members of prominent ensembles such as the Del Sol String Quartet, the Golden Gate Music Ensemble, The Empyrean Ensemble and Grammy award winning baritone Lucas Meachem. As a performer and composer, Mazdak has appeared at venues such as The Asian Cultural Center in Oakland, The Heritage, Red Poppy Art House, Center for New Music in San Francisco, The Occidental and Sebastopol Centers for the Arts, Paulin Hall at Pacific Union College, First Congregational Church of Berkeley, The Jarvis Conservatory in Napa, Stony Brook University in New York and The Musica Nigella Festival in France.

Mazdak holds a Bachelors of Music degree from University of the Pacific, and a Masters of Music degree from University of Oregon. A former member of the music faculty at Dominican University of California, Mazdak is currently a member of the music faculty at Napa Valley College and where he teaches piano, music theory, composition and music technology.

Dr. Tia Madison

Communications Professor and Communications Program Coordinator

Dr. Tia Madison is an award-winning actor, director, playwright, and educator. Dr. T’s (as her students refer to her)  education includes a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, a Master of Fine Arts in Theater, Film, and Television, and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication. For the past 22 years, she has taught Theater and Communication Studies for colleges and universities in California. 

Dr. T has shared her talents in such performances as Tosca, Carmen, For Colored Girls, Black Nativity, Hurly-Burly, A Winter’s Tale, Henry V, Cherry Orchard, American Daughter, Porgy and Bess, and the list goes on. Dr. T has traveled all over the United States singing, acting, and dancing.  She has also traveled to Nairobi, East Africa, and Lagos, Nigeria to study with the dancing tribe of Boomis.  She has also performed in Nuremberg, Germany, and London, England. 

Dr. T is passionate about her family, food, travel, and her work in and out of the classroom. She believes “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.” ― Nelson Mandela.

Reed Martin

Theater Arts and Film Studies Adjunct Instructor

Reed Martin is an educator, writer, director, performer, and producer who has been on the faculty of Napa Valley College since 2007. He who is best-known for his work with the world-renowned Reduced Shakespeare Company – a three person theater troupe that takes long, boring topics and turns them into short, sharp comedies. He has published nine plays, three humorous non-fiction books, and has written for the BBC, NPR, Britain’s Channel Four, RTE Ireland, TBS, Sky TV UK, Public Radio International, The Washington Post and Vogue magazine. Reed has performed twice at the White House as well as in London’s West End, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, ACT San Francisco, McCarter Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and Madison Square Garden, as well as in twelve countries overseas. His work has been nominated for an Olivier Award in London, a Helen Hayes Award in Washington, DC, and a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critic’s Circle Award. 

He has a BA in Political Science/Dramatic Art from UC Berkeley, an MFA in Acting from UC San Diego, and is a graduate of Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Clown College, as well as being member of The Dramatists Guild and Actors’ Equity Association.  He leads master classes/workshops around the world and is also on the faculty of Santa Rosa Junior College, Diablo Valley College, and San Joaquin Delta College.

Reed lives in the North Bay with his wife and two sons, all three of whom are much funnier than he is.

Mark Osten

Music Department Adjunct Instructor: Studio Music Specialist (SMS) Piano

Mark Osten is an instructor, pianist, conductor and composer, in addition to being the Choral/Vocal Accompanist for Napa Valley College. He also accompanies the musical rehearsals, plays in the pit for the performances and coaches singers from the upper level voice classes. As a music instructor for the NVC Music Department, he teaches Fundamentals of Music and Music Theory courses, offered both fall and spring semesters.

Osten holds both Bachelor and Masters Degrees from San Francisco State University in music, with emphasis in piano performance. He has performed with the Santa Rosa Symphony, accompanied the Santa Rosa Children’s Chorus and performed at special event concerts in the Bay Area, such as The Napa Valley Chamber Music Festival and the 15th Annual Mostly Mozart Concert. In addition, he plays harpsichord with the Nota Bene Baroque Ensemble and accompanies the soprano quartet Vocali

Daniel Smith-Rowsey

Film Studies Adjunct Instructor

Daniel Smith-Rowsey has taught college-level Film, Media, and Communication Studies for more than ten years. Smith-Rowsey is the author of Palgrave MacMillan’s Blockbuster Performances: How Actors Contribute to Cinema’s Biggest Hits, Bloomsbury’s The Netflix EffectTechnology and Entertainment in the 21st Century, and MacMillan’s Star-Actors in the Hollywood Renaissance: Representing Rough Rebels. Smith-Rowsey has written, produced, and directed several short films, one of which, Derailed, became an official selection of several 2022 film festivals. Smith-Rowsey has been extensively quoted in major media, including in/on The New Yorker, The Christian Science Monitor, the San Francisco Chronicle, Al Jazeera and NBC’s Today Show. 


Dr. Roberto-Juan González, Music Professor

Dr. Eve-Anne Wilkes, Music Professor- Director of Vocal Studies

Richard Rossi, Theater Arts and Film Studies Professor