Music Active Voice Instructors
Westmont Voice Instructors
Nichole Dechaine currently teaches private voice lessons at Westmont College. She graduated from the University of Redlands and earned her master’s degree and doctorate from UC Santa Barbara, where she taught for six years. Dechaine is an active performer with UCSB, Opera Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West, the Amherst Early Music Festival Baroque Academy in Connecticut, and numerous local ensembles including Vocal Scholars, Santa Barbara Quire of Voyces and the Santa Barbara Choral Society. She also sings at All Saints’-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church.
Bryan Lane is a performer/educator with diverse tastes and abilities who desires to move his audiences on a deep level through honest performance of varied repertoire and promote thoughtful and skill-full artistry in his students. He is a roster member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and has sung professionally with Seattle Opera, the Oregon Bach Festival, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, San Diego Pro Arte Voices, Santa Barbara Choral Society, Santa Barbara Master Chorale, Areté Vocal Ensemble and other esteemed local and national organizations. He made his Walt Disney Concert Hall solo debut in 2015 as tenor soloist in the LA Master Chorale’s annual Messiah Sing-Along. As an active concert performer, he has performed the role of the celebrant in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, tenor solos in Benjamin Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, the title role in Handel's Samson, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Joseph Haydn's Creation, Paukenmesse and Harmoniemesse, Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespro Della Beata Vergine, Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, Vesprae solennes de confessore, Vesprae de Dominica, and Arvo Pärt’s Passio.
A passionate performer of Early Music, Bryan was a winner of the 2015 Early Music America Scholarship, which afforded him the opportunity to study with Benjamin Bagby and Sequentia Ensemble at the Medieval Programme of Early Music Vancouver. He has coached with early music luminaries such as Nicholas McGegan, Steven Stubbs, Gary Wedow, Byron Schenkman, and Jillon Dupree to name a few. Highlights of his early music career include performing the modern premiere of Christoph Graupner’s cantata “Ah, wo nun hin” (GWV 1150/09) with the Colby College Collegium and presenting the modern premiere of an 11th century mass setting at the J. Paul Getty Center in 2013 with the late, great medieval scholar Dr. Alejandro Planchart. He can be seen and heard in various TV/Film projects including a starring role in the 2018 short art film Lacrimosa produced by the LA Master Chorale and directed by Arnaud Uyttenhove. His improvised vocal stylings in a range of different genres can be heard on the solo vocal library Voice of Gaia: Bryn, produced by Soundiron Instruments.
In addition to his work at Westmont, Bryan is on faculty at California Lutheran University and maintains an active voice studio based in Ventura County. He is an active church musician for the past 13 years and is currently on staff at San Marino Community Church. Bryan holds an Artist Diploma in Early Music from Cornish College, a Masters in Vocal performance from UC Santa Barbara, and a BA in Music from Westmont College. He is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Early Music America, and the American Guild of Musical Artists. Visit his website www.bryanlanemusic.com for extended bios, recordings, and other media.
Mezzo-soprano Kathleen O’Brien has been a soloist with the San Diego Pops, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, the San Diego Master Chorale, the La Jolla Symphony and sung a variety of roles with the San Diego Opera and the Hawaii Opera Theater. She graduated from Oberlin College, studied with Jennie Tourel while at Juilliard, and completed her Master’s in Music at Cal State, Fullerton. She is the Director of Music at St. Patrick’s Church in Carlsbad. She is delighted that many of her voice students at MiraCosta have transferred to four-year colleges and are growing both vocally and musically.
Dr. Robert Rockabrand, Professor Emeritus from Principia College, earned his Bachelor’s Degree in vocal performance, and his Master of Music Degree in Choral Performance from Westminster Choir College. He joins the Westmont College faculty as an adjunct voice instructor in fall 2011. In 1969 he was awarded a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Stanford University. He was a professor at Westminster Choir College, Ball State University, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and Principia College, and held the Charles Stewart Harding Mott Distinguished Professorship Chair at Principia until his retirement in 1997. At Westminster he prepared major choral works for, and also sang with, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra and The Berlin Philharmonic. While a doctoral student at Stanford, he performed the same duties for The San Francisco Symphony. As Principia College’s choral director, Dr. Rockabrand conducted major choral works with orchestra, led frequent tours in the United States, conducted the orchestra and also acted in musical theater productions. He was a voice teacher and vocal coach at Ball State University, NCSA and Principia College, where he chaired numerous junior and senior voice recitals. Many of his students now earn their livelihoods in the professional world and/or as college or private studio voice teachers. Dr. Rockabrand has lectured and performed in England, France, Germany, Austria, India, and Hawaii, taught in Elderhostel programs, and soloed and accompanied in churches for more than 50 years. With his wife Sara and other musicians he has presented classical recitals and Broadway-variety shows.
Sara Turner Rockabrand has enjoyed an active career as a performer and teacher. She will join the Westmont College faculty as an adjunct voice instructor in fall 2011. She is a graduate of Westminster Choir College, where she studied voice, choral conducting and piano, and earned degrees in both Music Performance and Music Education. She pursued master's level work at Westminster Choir College, the University of Utah, and Southern Illinois University, as well as studies in historic dance at Stanford University. Her performing experience includes solo recitals, oratorio work, and church soloing, as well as choral performances with The New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony and other orchestras. In 2008 she performed on a program at Steinway Hall in New York City. While serving as a teacher in the Princeton, New Jersey Public Schools from 1962-66, she co-authored the first comprehensive vocal music curriculum for the district. She continues to serve as a consultant for Kodaly and Suzuki-based programs in music education, as well as in historic dance. Mrs. Rockabrand served as a voice teacher and vocal coach at Ball State University from 1969-1974, and at Principia College from 1975 to 2010, where she chaired numerous junior and senior voice recitals. Her students have gone on to complete successful graduate degrees at major universities, and many are pursuing careers as professional singers and teachers. Together with her husband Bob she has lectured and performed in England, Germany, Austria, India, and Hawaii, presenting both classical recitals and Broadway-style productions. They also received the Alumni Merit Award from Westminster Choir College in 1996 for excellence in teaching.
Chad Ruyle, vocal instructor, and tenor, most recently made his Opera San Luis Obispo début as the toy seller Parpignol. Chad, originally from Riverside, California, received his Bachelors of Music degree in Vocal Performance from California State University, Fullerton, and a Masters in Music degree in Vocal Arts from California State University, Northridge. Throughout his professional and scholastic career, Chad has performed in such opera as Le Nozze di Figaro (Don Curzio), Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (Spärlich), Dialogues of the Carmelites (Father Confessor), and Susannah (Sam), to name a few. Chad has had the opportunity to work under such prestigious conductors John Alexander (Pacific Chorale), Dr. Robert Isnad (Pacific Chorale), Keith Lockhart (Boston Pops), Carl St. Clair (Pacific Symphony), and Dr. Thomas Davies (SLO Master Chorale). Having relocated to the Central Coast, Chad has performed with such prestigious groups as Symphony of the Vines, San Luis Obispo Master Chorale, and as a featured soloist at Bach in The Missions. With an active performance schedule of opera, choral, recitals, and cabaret music, Chad is overjoyed to be preforming in his new home. As a vocal instructor, Chad has been teaching the craft of vocal technique and performance for fifteen years now to students of all levels and ages. Chad strives to give his students the freedom, and the vocal power to fully embrace their vocal performance to the highest degree. He is currently on the faculty of Cuesta College and Allan Hancock College, and maintains a private voice studio in Arroyo Grande.