Christopher J. Woodruff
Mustang Band Director & Associate Director of Bands
Christopher Woodruff joined the faculty at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo as Associate Director of Bands in the fall of 2006. In addition to his responsibilities with the concert and athletic bands, he teaches courses in music theory, and music appreciation. As Instructor of Trumpet he also coaches the Cal Poly Brass choir and teaches methods courses in brass pedagogy.
Woodruff received the bachelors degree in music education at Louisiana State University and taught high school band for several years in Florida. He continued studies in conducting at Northwestern University, where he received the Eckstein Band Conducting Grant and completed the master of music. While in Chicago, he served as Music Director of the Spring Valley Concert Band and was a guest conductor for the Northshore Concert Band and the Northshore Chamber Orchestra.
Prior to his arrival on the Central Coast, he served as Director of Symphonic and Marching Bands at University of Northern Iowa and Director of Bands at Lycoming College in Pennsylvania. His guest conducting appearances have included concerts with the Penn Central Wind Band, Williamsport Symphony chamber players as well as the Northshore Concert Band and Northshore Chamber Orchestra, both in Chicago. As a trumpet player, he has played with the Baton Rouge Symphony, Billtown Brass Band, and Williamsport Symphony Orchestra.
He maintains a full schedule of guest conducting and coaching, working with school bands and honor bands in Iowa, Pennsylvania, and California. He has presented courses on conducting, rehearsal methods and brass pedagogy. His most recent appearances include serving as guest conductor for the Merced Mariposa Counties Honor Band Association and for the Western Band Association near Palo Alto, California. As a performer, he regularly guest conducts the San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra and is a founding member of the Pacific Coast Brass Ensemble. He has performed solo works for trumpet with the Penn Central Wind Band, San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra and the San Luis Obispo Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Woodruff holds professional memberships with the Music Educators National Conference, California Band Directors Association, College Music Educators Association, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and the International Trumpet Guild. He is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Pi Kappa Lambda and is chapter co-sponsor of the Iota Pi chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi.
Mustang Band Assistant Director
Len Kawamoto has been serving as the assistant director of the Mustang Band since the fall of 1998. Born in New Hyde Park, New York and raised in Torrance, California, he is an alumnus of Cal Poly and the Mustang Band. As a student, Kawamoto studied Computer Science while playing horn in the Mustang Band, Wind Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he participated in musical organizations such as the SLO County Band, SLO Chamber Orchestra and the Sacramento Freelancers Drum and Bugle Corps. His student leadership positions included Equipment Manager, Executive Officer, and Mustang Band President. Kawamoto is also a Founding Father of the Iota Pi chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity.
After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, Kawamoto accepted his current position as assistant director for the Mustang Band. Kawamoto is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, the International Horn Society, and the IEEE Computer Society. He also performs regularly with the San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra, Core-tete, and Pacific Coast Brass Ensemble. He has previously performed with the Cuesta Wind Ensemble, the San Francisco Renegades Senior Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Renegades Mini-Corps.
In addition to his responsibilities with the Mustang Band, Kawamoto maintains his professional alter ego as a software engineer for a local engineering company.
Director of Bands
Andrew McMahan is the director of bands and associate professor of Music at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He joined the faculty in the fall of 2010 and teaches courses in music theory and conducting, as well as instrumental literature and rehearsal techniques. McMahan also serves as administrator, artistic director and conductor for all ensembles under the purview of the Cal Poly band program.
Prior to Cal Poly, McMahan served as the coordinator of instrumental studies at California State University Stanislaus. At CSU Stanislaus he directed the Wind Ensemble, and taught courses in conducting, brass pedagogy, and instrumental literature. Although in this position for only two years, McMahan organized two successful band/orchestra festivals, assisted with promoting the school through community outreach and high school student recruitment, and took the Wind Ensemble on a 10-day performance tour of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Before moving to California, McMahan spent time at the University of Minnesota both as a teacher and as a doctoral student. While there, he was the director and principal conductor of the Campus Orchestra, and was a frequent guest conductor with the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic and University Bands. He also became well known as the announcer and Master of Ceremonies for the 320 member strong ”Pride of Minnesota” Marching Band. Before arriving in Minneapolis, McMahan spent four years as the director of instrumental studies, studio trumpet teacher, and instructor of secondary music education at Simpson College, a Liberal Arts institution just outside of Des Moines, Iowa. He also served as the Executive Director and Founder of the Simpson College Big Band Jazz Camp: a week-long festival of jazz studies held each June.
A native of North Carolina, McMahan received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree from Western Carolina University, Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Minnesota. His previous teaching experience includes time as a high school music teacher in both parochial and public high schools in the metro Milwaukee, Wisconsin area.
McMahan maintains professional memberships with the College Band Directors National Association, California Band Directors Association, and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles.