Artistic and Music Director
Responsible for overseeing all programs and events, Isaiah Castro is an award-winning conductor, composer, and founding member of Synesthesia Sinfonietta. Castro studied instrumental conducting and composition at Cal State Fullerton’s School of Music. His love for music began at the age of 10 with piano and various brass instruments, later inspiring him to express interest in conducting and composing in the 7th grade. He has experimented with his compositional style by writing various works for full sized orchestras and other ensembles, finding his preference in writing for large ensembles. His most recent accomplishments feature:
• Scoring music for Embark Dance Theatre's first full-length production, "LOST/find.”
• Achieving status on the Grammy Awards ballot for his piece "Dios Mío", written for award-winning soprano, Sarah Lonsert.
• Writing arrangements for Pacific Symphony Orchestra's program "OC Can You Play?"
• Received recognition through the American Harp Society for his work "Love Is" written for harp and choir.
Concurrently, Castro enjoys collaborating with solo artists, and ensembles, creating new music one work at a time. He is in high demand by several organizations throughout California as both a composer and conductor. Not only is he artistic and music director of Synesthesia Sinfonietta, but he is also the music director of Buddha's Light Youth Symphony Orchestra (BLYSO) at Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights. Presently, he is dedicated to the development and success of Synesthesia Sinfonietta.
Responsible for overseeing chamber programs, Michael Huynh, conductor and clarinetist, is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine where he studied with renowned clarinetist Amanda Walker. While at UC Irvine, he student conducted the UC Irvine Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and assisted with the preparation of the opera productions.
As a conductor, Huynh has an interest in the orchestral and operatic repertoire. In 2018, he was selected to appear at the College Orchestra Directors Association National Conference with Alan McMurray in a master class setting. Recent conducting engagements include assistant conducting Opera UCI’s 2019 production of Die Fledermaus, where he also served as the chorus master, leading the California Solisti in collaboration with the Arts at St. Margaret’s, and performances with the Community Youth Orchestra of Southern California. Future engagements are scheduled in 2020 with his new appointment as Associate Conductor of Synesthesia Sinfonietta.
Huynh holds a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from the University of California, Irvine and is currently a Masters candidate in Orchestral Conducting at Azusa Pacific University where he studies with Christopher Russell. He also holds professional affiliations with College Orchestra Directors Association and Mu Phi Epsilon Professional Music Fraternity.
Rebecca Hernandez is currently a choral education major at Cal State University of Fullerton and has been conducting since 2012. At Irvine Valley College, where she attended community college, she was the two time recipient of the Jenny Richards Memorial Endowed Vocal Music Scholarship. In 2016, she made her college conducting debut as guest student conductor of the IVC Master Chorale and the IVC Wind Symphony. She was also the conductor of the Irvine Valley Chamber Singers in the first ever IVC sophomore conducting recital under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Rochford. As an alumnus she conducted the IVC Symphony Orchestra and became the first student to guest conduct all three ensembles. Rebecca currently sings in the Concert Choir at CSUF under the direction of Dr. Chris Peterson. She studied conducting under Jeffery Benson during the San Jose State summer conducting program as well as with Kimo Furumoto and Robert Istad at CSUF. Outside of school Rebecca ran the 3rd and 4th grade Lord's Children choir at her home church St. Paul the Apostle. After college Rebecca hopes to continue conducting for schools and church choirs and obtain her masters degree in choral conducting.