Will Sturgeon is a local musician and music educator with a world of experience.
Born and raised in the Coachella Valley, Will spent his teenage years sneaking off into the Palm Valley School band room to jam on Zeppelin with the one guitarist in his grade, while dreaming of exploring his favorite music in a larger community of local young musicians. Nothing like that existed at the time in the desert, so Sturgeon began to write and upload music onto the internet while learning how to record in his boarding school’s new recording studio.
Sturgeon went on to claim the title of the first graduate of the University of Southern California’s Popular Music Performance program in 2012, where he spent four years studying songwriting and performance in one of the world’s biggest music cities under some of the founders of contemporary music and education: Steve Miller, Lamont Dozier, Patrice Rushen, Chris Sampson, and more.
He has seen successes with his various musical projects that include song placements in outlets like HBO & MTV, touring the country, recording with Spike Edney (Queen) and Will Hollis (The Eagles), producing award-winning albums with Coachella Valley talent with The Sturdio, and singing his original songs with his band brightener on the Outdoor Stage at Coachella Music Festival in 2016 – a lifelong dream for this desert songwriter.
Sturgeon turned his attention back to the desert in 2015 when he caught wind of a summer camp rock-band program called AMP, and has been involved with AMP ever since. Will loves working with the inspiring minds of the next generation, and has a passion for serving students of the Coachella Valley an alternate music education. Sturgeon received his Master’s in Music Education from Boston University in order to continue to serve the next generation of the Coachella Valley’s musicians. His goal for AMP is to provide young musicians with a place to find belonging through shared musical passion and teamwork — and through that process, he hopes they find themselves as well.
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
AMP Board of Directors
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.
The AMP Board of Directors was established in late 2017 when AMP became its 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 - Cherise Sonderman
Chairman - Roman Whitakker
Board Member - Maria Wren
Board Member - Clayton Baldwin
Board Member - Camille Arujo
Board Member - Michele Penn
Board Member - Bruce Feagle