Band Directors


Terry Sakow, Director of Bands
at Santa Monica High School (Samohi) since 1990, earned his BA, Music, at UCLA in 1989 under mentors Gerald Anderson, Gordon Henderson, and Dr. Thomas Lee. Mr. Sakow's teaching apprenticeships were at Walter Reed Jr. High with Yolanda Gardea, and Lincoln Middle School with Chris Schwabe. Mr. Sakow recently completed his MME in Music Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mr. Sakow has received three Santa Monica Mayor's Commendations and is a recipient of the Jaycees "Young Teacher of the Year" award. Several of his students have continued to study music in prestigious conservatories and universities. He is most proud of those students who continue to make and enjoy music at any level after they leave Samohi. An active trumpet player, Mr. Sakow is the current principal trumpet player for the Santa Monica College Orchestra and Band. Terry is an enthusiastic sports fan and devout follower of UCLA teams as well as the San Diego Padres. A golfer, Terry wishes for improvement in putting, chipping and getting rid of his slice.

 Abel Ramirez, Assistant Professor, Director of Bands, and conductor of the CSULA Wind Bands. Dr. Ramirez holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Band Conducting from the University of California in Los Angeles.

Previous to his appointment at CSULA, Dr. Ramirez was the Director of Bands at Oliver Wendell Holmes High School in San Antonio, Texas where his wind and marching bands were consistent finalists at state and national festivals in the 5A, large school, division. In 1999, Dr. Ramirez began working on his Master's degree in music education at Texas A@M University-Kingsville, where he conducted the university woodwind ensemble, taught woodwind and brass pedagogy, and graduated with honors in June 2002. He is a frequent guest conductor for numerous honor bands across the country. Dr. Ramirez is an active adjudicator and has served as a judge for many regional, state, and national level music festivals.

Recently, Dr. Ramirez was appointed to the board of directors for American Classic Music, which is based in Texas. He has also served as a music consultant for several Los Angeles area public school music programs. Most recently, Dr. Ramirez was awarded the position of Assistant Director of Bands at Santa Monica High School in Los Angeles, California.


The Santa Monica High School Viking Marching Band and Color Guard
is under the direction of Mr. Sakow.

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