Elementary School Music Programs

Meet the Faculty

Jim Tabuchi

Program Director

Jim Tabuchi now serves as the Program Director for the Mandarins Music Academy. This program provides instrumental music across numerous schools within the Sacramento Region. He created the vision to “Give the Gift of Music” to children and started the program in 2016 with 11 students at one elementary school. The program has grown to provide music education at 42 elementary schools for over 1,100 students.

Tabuchi is a semi-retired executive from Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies. Throughout his career he has held numerous positions in the areas of technical marketing, sales, consulting services, customer support, corporate development, strategic planning and international business. Today, he dedicates his time and energy toward the leadership development of professionals and youth.

Tabuchi was the Program Director for the Sacramento Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce’s Catalyst Leadership Development Program. This program annually trained up to 20 young professionals. Graduates of this program have been promoted into leadership roles in their companies. Leaders from around the region have participated in this program including, SMUD, Kaiser Permanente, University of Phoenix, Sac State University, Wells Fargo, Pride Industries, Western Health Advantage, PG&E, Allstate, AT&T and Union Bank among many others.

Tabuchi was also the Director of Organizational Development at Kaiser Permanente’s South Sacramento Service Area. Here he worked on special projects in the areas of strategy development, cultural transformation, operational efficiency and leadership development.

Tabuchi served as the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Sacramento Mandarins. This organization includes the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps, Mandarins Academies and Mandarins Entertainment. The Mandarins have just celebrated their 58th Anniversary, having influenced the lives of thousands of area youth with their continued mission of “Transforming Lives Through Performing Arts.” You may also see the Mandarins performing at NBA games as the Sacramento Kings Drumline and at NFL games as the Raiders Rumble.

While at Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies, Tabuchi was the Worldwide Marketing and Services Senior Manager for the EEsof Division of electronic design solutions. Prior to that, he was based in Hong Kong as the Asia-Pacific Region Manager, responsible for developing HP’s business in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, India, Malaysia and Australia and other Asian countries. In this role, Tabuchi was responsible for the sales force, marketing programs, university partnerships, pricing, sales negotiations and local product development.

Tabuchi is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum, Class XIX. He sits on the Board of Directors of the American Leadership Forum, Sacramento Mandarins and the Board of Directors for Drum Corps International.

In 2017, Tabuchi was awarded the Drum Corps International Director of the Year. In 2020, he was inducted into the Sacramento Mandarins Hall of Fame, and also was honored with the City of Elk Grove Volunteer of the Year award.

Tabuchi is a native Northern Californian, who received his Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California (CAL) at Berkeley. He went on to receive his MBA in International Marketing at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. He has also done post-graduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and at the International Institute for Studies and Training (IIST) in Japan.

Ryan Lee

Program Director

Ryan is no stranger to the Mandarins organization, having marched in the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps on trumpet, baritone and euphonium, performing with Mandarins Entertainment, teaching for its past education programs and being a current visual instructor for the drum corps. He has worked with over thirty music programs at the middle school, high school, collegiate and independent levels, in several states and in a variety of capacities. He also adjudicates marching arts and pageantry competitions across the country.

Not only a strong advocate of the visual and performing arts, Ryan is an active concert percussionist, having performed with many ensembles including the Auburn Symphony, American River College Symphony, Solano Symphony, Camellia Symphony, CSUS Concert Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble & Symphony Orchestra, UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Northern California, Young Artists Conservatory of Music/SMC Symphony, Sacramento Youth Symphony Premier Orchestra, Sierra Nevada Winds Orchestra, Symphony Napa Valley, Sacramento Symphonic Winds and more.

In the business world, Ryan has experience working in the private sector in the areas of marketing, business strategy, human resources, operations and general administration. He is a firm believer of prioritizing the “people” aspect of organizations, and hopes to create a process of ongoing improvement for the Mandarins Music Academy, with regard to compliance, talent acquisition, training and development. From music education playing a pivotal role in Ryan’s life, he believes it is paramount to support a quality experience for Academy students, parents and directors alike.

In terms of education, Ryan holds an A.S. in Business Administration, an A.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social & Behavioral Sciences, a B.S. in Business Administration with a Human Resource Management & Organizational Behavior Concentration (Minor in Music) and an MBA in Entrepreneurship & Global Business from CSU Sacramento. He also has an Ethical Leadership Certification from NASBA Center for the Public Trust. It brings a strong sense of fulfilment to combine his passions for music and business in this new role with the Mandarins.

Jim Mazzaferro

Music Advisor Director

Jim Mazzaferro is the MMA Music Advisor Director. Jim has been involved with the MMA since its inception in 2016. He has helped to create the curriculum and to recruit and coach MMA Music Directors. Jim is one of the most sought-after music educators with over 40 years of experience as an award-winning educator, clinician, adjudicator and conductor. In this expanded role he will be overseeing our Music Advisors, who are some of the most experienced music educators in our Sacramento region.

Jim retired in 2016 as the director of instrumental music at Sheldon High School, located in the Elk Grove Unified School District. Jim currently serves a Music Supervisor for CSU Sacramento. His 40 plus year teaching career has also included Archbishop Riordan High School (San Francisco), Florin High School, Sacramento City College, and Cosumes River College, where he was the Orchestra Director for over 20 years. Jim was the Camp Director/Artistic Director of Cazadero Music Camp, a summer music camp for musicians in grades five through high school from 2001 - 2021. Born and raised in San Francisco, Mazzaferro attended Lowell High School, playing in the school’s Concert Band and Orchestra. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from San Francisco State University, playing in the Symphonic Band under the direction of Dr. Edwin C. Kruth, and served as Principal Bassist in the University Symphony under the direction of Lazlo Varga. Mazzaferro received his Masters degree in Instrumental Conducting from California State University, Sacramento, studying conducting under Dr. Robert Halseth. Mazzaferro has also studied conducting with Frederick Fennell, Jack Stamp, Allan McMurray, and Eugene Corporon. Jim is a multiple recipient of “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers”. Mazzaferro was named 2005 Teacher of the Year in the Elk Grove Unified School District and in 2009 named as a Crystal Apple recipient as an outstanding educator in the EGUSD by LDS students from Sheldon High School. In 2009, Jim was recognized by the Sacramento Area Theater Association with an “Elly” Award for his musical direction of Sheldon’s production of “Bye Bye Birdie.”

In 2012 Jim was one of eight High School Band Directors in the country that were named a Bandworld Legion of Honor Lauerate by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. Lauerates are recognized for maintaining a high quality concert band program and have contributed significantly to the profession through dedication to bands and band music. In 2013 Jim was recognized by the California Music Educators Association as the recipient of the Byron Hoyt/Don Schmeer Outstanding Music Educator Award. In 2015 Jim conducted the California Band Directors Association All State Junior High Concert Band at the California State Music Educators (CASMEC) State Conference in Fresno. In the 2015-2016 school year Jim was named ABC NEWS10 (Sacramento) Teacher of the Month, as well as being recognized as the CMEA Capitol Section Music Educator of the Year. The Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation has established a perpetual scholarship in his name for EGUSD students wishing to pursue a career in music and/or music education. In February 2017 Jim received the CMEA Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award at their annual state conference in San Jose. In 2018 Jim guest conducted the John F. Kennedy Middle School Orchestra (Cupertino) in their performance at the Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. Jim continues to guest conduct and clinic groups throughout California.

Santiago Sabado

Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Santiago Sabado is from Shingle Springs, CA. He holds his Masters of Music in Instrumental Wind Conducting, and his Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Trumpet Performance from Sacramento State University as well as his Teaching Credential in Music. While attending Sac State he studied trumpet with Gary Dilworth and conducting with Dr. Clay Redfield and Dr. Robert Halseth. He also participated in conducting workshops with Dr. Mallory Thompson, Dr. Jack Stamp and Dr. Peter L. Boonshaft.

Santiago has been with Mandarins since 2006 in various roles. He marched trumpet in 2006 and was Drum Major 2007 till his age-out in 2009. He then joined the Visual and Brass staff in 2010.He taught the corps from 2010 to 2015 and served as the Brass Co-Caption Head 2014-2015. He currently serves as the Assistant Corps Director for the Drum & Bugle Corps and is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Mandarins Music Academy.

In his career Santiago has taught all grade levels from kindergarten through college. He is currently the Director of Athletic Bands at Sacramento State University where he runs the Marching Band, Sac State Indoor Percussion Ensemble, and Winter Guard. He is also concurrently the Director of Choirs for Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs, CA. He previously held the position of Director of Bands at Camerado Springs Middle School, Director of Instrumental Music at Ponderosa where he served as the Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair, and Director of Music for Pioneer Union School District in Somerset, CA where he taught and coordinated all music curriculum for grades K-8. During the summer, Santiago teaches at the Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp in Pollock Pines, CA. There he directs concert band and jazz. He is also founder and host of the Gold Country Jazz Festival, a non-competitive festival meant to encourage the growth of jazz programs in the community and in the region. Santiago has been the Guest Conductor for the Western Slopes 6th grade Honor Band in El Dorado County, CMEA Capitol Section High School Honor Band, CMEA Capitol Section Middle School Honor Band and the Bi-County Amador/Calaveras County Middle School Honor Band.

He has served as the Vice President, President, and currently holds the position of Higher Education rep for CMEA Capitol Section. Santiago is a member of other professional organizations such as CBDNA, CBDA, NAfME, CAJ, NCBCDA, CCDA. Santiago is passionate about music and even more passionate about students. He believes that music is transformative and all students should have access to a high quality music education at every stage of a student's academic career and life.


Aaron David
Briana Maracle
Christian Orr
Darren Maracle
David Garcia
Dylan Alms
Edson Saechao
Elijah Clarke
Gian Pitcher
Hannah Hall
Heather Wells
Isaac Davis
Joey Haight
Josh Elmore
Justin Nguyen
Justin Stroth
Justin Trujillo
Kamden Kincaid
Kiele Miyata
Madison Moulton
Manny Villasanti
Marion Lewis
Martin Reid
Matthew Vasquez
Miles Bootay
Nate Jackson
Nick Zentner
Noah Waage
Alissa Thuesen
Sidney Orr
Tristan Kincaid
Veloy Tafoya
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