Dr. John Carter, our first LLA alumnus Director, served for three years form 2015 to 2018. Under his direction Dr. Carter continued the Wind Symphony's tradition of touring, taking the group to San Francisco, New York City, Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. Unique performing venues included Saint Mary's Cathedral, Saint Mark's Cathedral and the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid.
Dr. Carter earned his Masters and Doctorate in Conducting at UCLA, his undergraduate degree in music at La Sierra University, and has participated in over half a dozen music festivals and workshops, including Aspen Music Festival, Cabrillo Festival of Music, Conductor's Institute at Bard, California Conducting Workshop, Rose City Conducting Workshop and the Conductor's Guild 2012 Workshop.
Following the 2017-18 school year Dr. Carter moved to Portland Oregon where he lives with his wife and three sons. He serves as Music Director at Portland Adventist Academy.
Giovanni Santos was the Director of Bands at Loma Linda Academy for seven years. He led successful performance tours with Wind Symphony across the United States, Italy, and France, with special performances for Fete de la Musique (Paris), Notre Dame Cathedral of Chartres, and at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Mr. Santos is a graduate of La Sierra University (B.Mus) where he studied conducting with Dr. Barbara Favorito and trumpet with Dr. Richard Hofmann. He earned his MM in Music Education from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music where he studied trumpet with Boyde Hood and Donald Green (formerly of the Los Angeles Philharmonic).
He is currently the Director of Wind and Percussion Studies at La Sierra University in Riverside, CA.
Donald Huff came to Loma Linda Academy from Spring Valley Academy in Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Huff expanded the program by introducing jazz elements, forming a big band, and continuing the tradition of touring. After two years at Loma Linda he returned to his position as Band Director at Spring Valley Academy.
Mr. Huff received his B.Mus in music education from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, and his M.M. in music education from the University of Dayton, Ohio. Throughout his career, Mr. Huff has made several recordings, toured extensively, and involved his students in numerous festival bands conducted by notable composers and conductors. He has traveled with his ensembles in over 25 states and in Canada and the Caribbean, and has conducting multiple times at both Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Mr. Huff is currently the Director of Bands at Spring Valley Academy and Director of the Praise Orchestra at Kettering Adventist Church in Ohio.
Philip Binkley directed the band program at Loma Linda Academy for thirty years. By the time he retired in August 2006, he had established a highly regarded stellar instrumental program in the Seventh-day Adventist school system.
Music critics, guest conductors, and audiences praised his Symphonic Wind Orchestra for its musicianship, sophisticated repertoire, and ensemble balance. The group made eight international tours and performed in nineteen countries, in addition to taking numerous tours in the United States and performing often in the Loma Linda area. The LLA program under his direction also included numerous smaller ensembles and four preparatory groups, which began in fifth grade and extended through junior high school.
Binkley completed a B.S. in music education at the University of Cincinnati and received a performer's certificate in percussion from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. He began teaching for the Belle Glade school system, Florida in 1962. In 1972 he was honored as Teacher of the Year in Duval County, Florida, chosen over forty finalists from over 5,000 teachers in that system. He completed an M.Mus. at Andrews University the following year and in 1976 began teaching at LLA.
The Loma Linda Chamber of Commerce named Binkley Teacher of the Year in 1992 and 2005. In 2006 he was chosen by the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Alumni Awards Foundation as one of ten educators in the U.S. and Canada to be recognized as a Teacher of Excellence. When he retired in 2006, the city of Loma Linda honored him by proclaiming August 1st Philip R. Binkley Day.
Mr. Binkley is still active as a music educator in his retirement, serving as a percussion instructor for Loma Linda Academy bands.