top of page


This page is the official headquarters of the Central Section of the California Music Educators Association (CMEA). CMEA is the state chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Together these organizations promote music education, serve as an invaluable source for music educators statewide and nationwide, and provide for musical activities and opportunities for all children to experience as musicians.

The Central Section of CMEA serves the California counties of Kern, Kings, Tulare, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, and Merced, including the communities of Bakersfield, Hanford, Lemoore, Tulare, Visalia, Porterville, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, and Merced. 

Michael Tackett

Michael is the Director of Bands at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia.

Full Bio

Elisha Wells_Headshot 2 for CMEA Central Section.jpg
1st Vice President
Elisha K. Wells

Elisha K. Wells is the Director of Bands, Brass, and Music Theory at Fresno City College.

Full Bio

2nd Vice President
Dr. Leo Sakomoto

Leo is Assistant Professor and Director of Instrumental Studies at California State University, Bakersfield, where he conducts the Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Chamber Orchestra, directs the Pep Band and teaches courses in music education and conducting.

Dr. Tony Mowrer

Dr. Tony Mowrer is a Professor of Music Education and Co-coordinator of Music Education at California  State University, Fresno.

Festival Coordinator
Rob Bentley

Rob is a graduate of Fresno State University and has been teaching music in Kings County since 1989.  He is currently teaching in the Lemoore Union Elementary School District.

Past President
Steve McKeithen
Justin Adams

Justin is the Director of Bands at Monache High School in Porterville.

Steve is the Associate Director of Bands at California State University, Fresno, where he directs the Bulldog Marching Band, Symphonic Band, and the Bulldog Basketball Band in addition to teaching music education courses.  

Eric Ramirez

Eric is currently the Director of Bands at Hanford West High School.

Legislative Action Rep
Lisa Butts

Lisa is retired from Hanford West High School. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at West Hills College. She is an active adjudicator and clinician.

Band Representative
Kristin Pallas

Kristin is currently Director of Bands at El Diamante High School in the Visalia Unified School District.

Choral Representative
Jennifer McGill
Orchestral Representative
Lisa Fritz

Jennifer is the Director of Choral activities at Hanford High School. She is very active in the Choral Community as well as being a choreographer for numerous musicals in the Central Valley. She earned her degree at Bowling Green State University.

Lisa is currently Director of Bands Sequoia Youth Symphony

General Music Representative
Dr. Emily Mason
Jazz Representative
Joe Lizama

Dr. Mason is Assistant Professor of Music Education and Co-Coordinator of Music Education at California State University, Fresno.  She is also the Central Section General Music Representative for the CMEA General Music Advisory Board.

Joe is a freelance drummer/educator based out of Fresno

Kern County Representative
David Green
Tulare/Kings Counties Rep.
Doug Hunt

Doug is currently the President of TKMEA. He is a music teacher in the Tulare City School District. He is an active performer on trombone in many local jazz groups.

David is currently an Academic Coach for the Bakersfield City School District Visual and Performing Arts Department.

Festival Sight Reading Coordinator
Rural Schools Representative
Janet Tenpas 
Janet is the Music Director at Liberty High School and Ranchos  Middle School in Madera Ranchos.
Lucckesi -14.jpg
Higher Ed Representative
Paul Lucckesi

Paul is currently the Director of Jazz Studies at Fresno City College.

Fresno/Madera Counties Rep.
Marco Mellone
Marco is a Band Director in the Clovis Unified School District.
Merced/Mariposa Counties Rep.
Ashley Shine
Ashley is the Director of Bands at Weaver Middle School in Merced. 

Ms. Shine also serves as a member of the CS Rural Schools Committee for her counties. 

bottom of page