Contact: Tom Whaley

310-450-8338, ext. 287

For Immediate Release

February 18, 2005






WHAT:          Stairway of the Stars


WHEN:         March 10-11, 2005 - 7:30 p.m


WHERE:       Santa Monica Civic Auditorium


TICKETS:     $10.00 - On sale starting March 4th - may be purchased at the School District’s Professional Development and Learning Center (PDLC), 2802 Fourth Street, Santa Monica or call 310-450-8338 ext. 79538.

On March 10 and 11, 2005 at 7:30 p.m., the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will present the 56th Annual Stairway of the Stars at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. This event remains one of the most popular annual events in the city as it spotlights the talents of the School District's music students, teachers and curriculum.


The guest conductor this year is Dr. Stephen Tucker, Director of Orchestras at University of California, Irvine. Dr. Tucker is an accomplished musician, composer/arranger, teacher and lecturer. He received his B.M., Conducting from Atlantic Union College, Massachusetts, M.M., Conducting, UCLA, D.M.A., Conducting,

in progress, UCLA, 20001985, Diploma, Orchestral Conducting – Wiener Meisterkurse, Vienna Conservatory, Vienna, Austria, 1992.


Stephen Tucker has developed a very varied and successful career as a conductor, pianist, orchestrator, and composer. His formal music training has been pursued at institutions around the world, including the Vienna Conservatory, Austria, and the University of California at Los Angeles. His principal teachers have included Dr. Jon Robertson, Julius Kalmar, Toshimasa Wada, and Harold Farberman.


Since the Fall of 2000, Tucker has been the conductor of the Symphony Orchestra at University of California at Irvine, where he is an Assistant Professor in Music, teaching Conducting, Orchestration, and Graduate Analysis. Having enjoyed a life of conducting choruses, opera, musical theater, and wind ensembles, Tucker continues to maintain a very busy guest conducting schedule, performing with orchestras and choruses nationally and internationally. His orchestrations can be heard on over thirteen recordings and films, with such orchestras as the Slovak Radio Symphony and the Hungarian National Philharmonic, Budapest.


This year's award recipients are Mr. and Mrs. Steve Cole. Steve and Debra Cole are

parents who have been actively involved in the music programs in Malibu for the past

twelve years. Their daughter Liz, a trumpet player, graduated from Malibu High School in 2002 and their son, a drummer, will graduate this year.


Steve Cole is a physician and a talented pianist, composer and arranger as well. He has written many arrangements tailored to the unconventional instrument combinations at Malibu High and has participated as an accompanist, coach, substitute conductor or supporting instrumentalist for virtually every concert or musical at Malibu High School since 1995.


Debra Cole has also been continuously committed to music and the arts in the Malibu public schools for over ten years. Debra served on the board of the Malibu High School Arts Angels booster club for six years, three of those as president. She is currently the chairperson of the Malibu High School Quilt Committee and an associate director of the Shark Fund. Since 1995, she has been the principal parent liaison to the Instrumental Music Department, helping Mr. Bill Bixler with the organization and production of all concerts, events, festivals and outings.


Some of the ensembles that will perform this year’s Stairway of the Stars concert are,

the All-District Honor Orchestra (Elementary), High School Jazz Ensemble, Middle and High School Orchestras, bands and this year the Middle and High School orchestras will be spotlighted and featured. Some of the musical selections this year include, the “Brandenburg Concerto”, “Nemu-Susato” and “Children of Sanchez” as well as an inspirational Finale involving nearly all 1000 performers!


Ticket cost is $10.00 and sales to the general public begin on Friday, March 4th. Tickets can be purchased at the School District’s Professional Development and Learning Center (PDLC), 2802 Fourth Street, Santa Monica or call 310-450-8338 ext. 79538.



1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica 90404 - 310-450-8338 - Fax 310-581-1138