2019 Guest Conductors

Band Conductor:

Vu Nguyen

Vu Nguyen serves as an assistant professor of music at the University of Connecticut where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting.A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds degrees in conducting from the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, and a Bachelor of Music in music education from the University of the Pacific. Prior to his appointment at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Nguyen served as director of bands at the University of Indianapolis, conductor of the wind ensemble at Washington University in St. Louis, and visiting conductor of the Indiana University Concert Band. He also taught in the public schools of San Ramon, California.Dr. Nguyen has conducted throughout the western United States and in Japan, and he maintains an active schedule as a clinician and guest conductor. Bands under his direction have performed at state music educator conferences in California and Indiana and at the Midwest Clinic. His research interests focus on contemporary wind band literature, the music of Frank Zappa, and conducting pedagogy. His book chapter on composer Carter Pann was published in the fifth volume of A Composer’s Insight: Thoughts, Analysis, and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band (Meredith Music Publications).

Choir Conductor:

Lou De La Rosa

Lou De La Rosa is the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies and Music Department Chair at the Cilker School of Art & Design at West Valley College.His choirs have performed in the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as historic venues in Europe and throughout the United States. While at West Valley College, Lou has collaborated with numerous choirs including The Choral Project, Australian Voices, San Jose State University Choirs, Santa Clara University Chamber Singers, San Francisco State University Chamber Singers, CSU East Bay Chamber Singers, Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale, Santa Clara Chorale, and Viva La Musica.He has guest conducted The Winchester Orchestra of San Jose, The Santa Clara Chorale, and honor choirs throughout the state. In 2013, he guest conducted the San Jose State University in concert with the Rolling Stones, and he prepared Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale to perform The Lord of the Rings Trilogy in 2015.Lou De La Rosa has taught music in San Jose for over 30 years, thirteen of which were at Abraham Lincoln High School, an Academic, Visual & Performing Arts Magnet, where he served as the Music and Performing Arts Department Chair. His choirs regularly received first-place awards at national music festivals and competitions. In 2001, both his Concert Choir and Chamber Choir were named Musicfest Orlando Festival Sweepstakes winners, garnering the top scores of more than 250 choirs performing that season.Beginning with his appointment as choral director at West Valley College in 2004, Lou De La Rosa’s vision for the vocal music program has been to make West Valley College a destination school for two-year college students seeking to major in vocal music. To that end, students have come from as far away as Petaluma and Gilroy to study music at West Valley College, and many have gone on to prestigious institutions such as Boston Conservatory, SF Conservatory, Mannes College of Music, Julliard, Eastman School of Music, UCLA, Biola, CSU Fullerton and San Jose State University.Lou De La Rosa has actively served his profession on the boards of California ACDA (now CCDA), CMEA Bay Section, Music Association of California Community Colleges, San Jose Teachers Association, and West Valley-Mission Federation of Teachers. As President of the California chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (2015-17), he oversaw the streamlining of operations and finances, and the founding of the California Choral Directors Association, a 501c3 corporation.Mr. De La Rosa received his BA Music in Voice and MA Music in Choral Conducting from San Jose State University where he studied with Dr. Charlene Archibeque, Ken Hannaford, Mary Breden and Joy Sherman. He was named Teacher of the Year in 1991 and 2002, and received commendation from the West Valley College Academic Senate for Community Involvement in 2010.

Orchestra Conductor:

Leo Eylar

Conductor-Composer Leo Eylar of the California Youth Symphony based in Palo Alto has guest-conducted extensively throughout Europe and Asia, including prestigious music festivals in Japan, Austria, France, and Australia. With a repertoire of over 400 symphonic works conducted and performed, as well as numerous operas ranging from Mozart to Puccini and beyond, Eylarbrings a vast range of expertise and depth to his conducting. He is also a composer of international renown whose works have been performed on five continents and at many of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, and others. His Dance Suite for Trumpet and String Orchestra was recorded by the Seattle Symphony and his Rhapsody for Orchestra (1994) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.