Electronic Music Producers
Orchestral Instruments (on a case-by-case basis)
Play with a band. Grow with a band.
The Academy of Musical Performance is a contemporary music education program whose goal is to enrich the lives of young musicians living in the Coachella Valley by fostering productivity and social responsibility through creativity, communication and collaboration in the development and enhancement of musical performance and concert production skills through participation in a "rock band" style educational setting.
AMP teaches kids how to play in a band and facilitates performances throughout the community, keeping kids engaged in positive community-based activities. AMP runs a summer camp program and year-round after-school rehearsals from our rehearsal space in Indio, CA.
AMP is known for its outstanding summer program, AMP Summer Camp, featuring the Valley's top musicians teaching, in small rock band format, Coachella Valley's young musicians in their performance and concert production skills through rehearsals, workshops, individual instruction, and live performances. Due to high demand, AMP added an after-school program in 2016, AMP Fall and AMP Spring, to continue the rock band education and experience throughout the school year.
AMP Summer, Spring, and Fall is open to students between ages 11—18 from the desert communities of Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Bermuda Dunes, Indio, Coachella, and Thermal.
In 2015, AMP was an idea by CVCT board member, Roman Whittaker, who pitched it to Goldenvoice for seed funding to get the program on it's feet. AMP was created by a committee of volunteers involved with Coachella Valley Community Trust. We have many additional community sponsors from around the valley. In addition, the AMP Board of Directors is dedicated to the fundraising process.
Will Sturgeon is a desert native, born and raised. He graduated with a degree in Popular Music Performance from the University of Southern California in 2012, or, as he refers to it, "the university version of a School of Rock." Will is a songwriter who writes, plays, and records all of the instrumentation in his recordings himself, and has been releasing music since 2007. He recently won the Tachevah 2016 Battle of The Bands, hosted by the Desert Sun, with his band brightener. brightener was also chosen to play at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in 2016, a dream come true for a songwriter from the desert. He has had music placed on HBO, MTV, KCRW, and toured the country with various musical projects. He completed his Masters of Music Education from Boston University in 2018. Connect with Will about AMP at firstname.lastname@example.org
Born in San Jose, California, drummer/percussionist Humberto Vela has been a sought after session player for over 10 years. His early passion for drumming, inspired by his father, would drive him to learn all styles of music before ultimately graduating from Musicians Institute in Los Angeles in 1996. After studying under such greats as Bruce Becker, Walfredo Reyes Jr., and Richie Gajate-Garcia. Humberto turned his focus on playing all rhythmic instruments including percussion, cajon and even steel drum.
Now residing in the Palm Springs area Humberto can be seen fusing both drums and percussion to provide a full rhythm section sound. He has spent many years touring steadily all across the world, performing in Indonisia, Spain and Germany. Humberto has had the pleasure of performing with such artists as Peter White, Spyro Gyro, Walter Beasley, Chris Botti, Gerald Albright, Erik Darius, Jessy J., Jeff Golub, Jeff Lorber, Kirk Whalum and Gerald Veasley and can be seen on the DVD/CD by Steve Oliver entitled "One Night Live" released on nu groove records and released by Sony. Find Bert at email@example.com
Co-founder, Board President & Volunteer CEO: Kate Spates
Executive Director & Music Educator: Will Sturgeon
Performance Director: Humberto Vela
Secretary & Treasurer: Cherise Sonderman
Co-Founder & Board Chairperson: Roman Whittaker
Board of Directors
The AMP Board of Directors was established in late 2017 when AMP became it's own non-profit 501 c(3) organization. All are long-time members of the Coachella Valley community and are inspired to develop quality music education and entertainment for young Coachella Valley musicians.
- President - Kate Spates
- Vice President - Greg Vincent
- Secretary & Treasurer - Cherise Sonderman
- Chairman - Roman Whitakker
- Marketing Chair - Maria Wren
- Ambassador Chair - Clayton Baldwin
- Outreach Chair - Camille Arujo
- Board Member - Bruce Feagle
- Board Member - Michele Penn
Please view the FAQ by visiting the subpage of About AMP from the drop down menu above or CLICK HERE.