Staff and Faculty
This year marks Mr. McGaffey’s 4th year of teaching at Millikan Middle School and 13th year of teaching within LAUSD and is currently serving as the department chair of the Millikan Music Department. Mr McGaffey has had the privilege of instructing a wide age level of music students from Pre-K to Graduate Students.
Mr. McGaffey is known for helping students begin their journey on a musical instrument and progress to high school readiness and beyond. He strives diligently to create an exciting and engaging classroom while making sure every student feels accepted, welcomed, and safe. His wind ensembles consistently receive superior rating in festivals and in 2018 the Millikan Jazz “A” Band received a 1st place trophy at every jazz competition in which they competed.
During his time at Cal State University Northridge (CSUN), Mr. McGaffey earned a bachelor’s degree in Performance and Music Education as well as a Single Subject Credential in Music Education for the State of California. At CSUN, Mr. McGaffey studied under the tutelage of the late classical saxophonist Jerry Leudders and modern jazz saxophonist Rob Lockart. He also holds a Masters of Music Degree in Music Education and Instrumental Conducting from the esteemed American Band College in Ashland, Oregon, accredited through Sam Houston State University in Texas.
Prior to working at Millikan Mr. McGaffey proudly worked at Van Nuys Performing Arts High School for 8 years. He is known throughout the Los Angeles’ Musician’s community for his work with 21st Century Big Band, and as a performer, studio musician, composer, arranger, and professional copyist/inscriber. He is a current member of SCSBOA.
Ms. Major has been teaching instrumental music for 6 years in both public schools and after school music programs. She is currently in her 2nd year as the Orchestra and beginning Percussion teacher at Millikan Middle School.
Ms. Major received her bachelor’s degree in music education at Howard University in Washington, D.C and received her Master’s of Arts in Teaching at Longy School of Music of Bard College (LA Campus). Her musical career began when she learned how to play the viola in an elementary school orchestra and found great joy in making music.
Simon D. Carroll (percussionist and drummer) is an active musician in the orchestral, world, and pop music scenes of Los Angeles. Simon is the timpanist for the Música Angélica Baroque Orchestra, and freelances in the musical and orchestra scene. He is the music director, performer, and composer for Viver Brasil – Afro Brazilian dance company. He leads/co-leads bands MôForró (Brazilian Forró), Os Zagueiros (Samba Soul), and is a member of Samba Society (Vintage Samba), and Delta Nove (World Funk). He studied intensively throughout Brazil and Cuba and is the apprentice to the internationally renowned Brazilian percussionist Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro. Simon is a classically trained musician at California State University of Northridge in Orchestral Percussion, Jazz, and Composition. He coaches children at the music magnet, Millikan Middle School and teaches for LA’s Best afterschool programs. He trains capoeira with Mestre Amen Santos at Brasil Brasil Cultural Center in Culver City.
Betsy Rettig is a versatile cellist dedicated to innovation and experimentation in musical composition and practice. A dedicated teacher, she has through her many years of musical exploration, developed a versatile approach to teaching and is able to draw from a broad range of musical styles to best complement the goals and needs of her students.
As a founding member of the Los Angeles based chamber music group, Isaura String Quartet, Betsy has had the privilege of collaborating on performances involving accomplished artists such as Gloria Coates, Anne LeBaron, Charles Gaines, Opera Povera, Timur and the Dime Museum, and Partch. Recent adventures in music making include creating a solo cello score to accompany New York based performance troop My Barbarian for the 2016 exhibition of acclaimed conceptual artist Mary Kelly's new work Circa Trilogy at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects and joining Jose Gurria’s Gurrisonic Orchestra for the Angel City Jazz Festival 2016 at the Ford amphitheater.
Hi my name is Ben M. I have studied the saxophone ever since I was in 6th grade. Since elementary school band, music has become my life. I hope to spread the knowledge I have acquired along with the love and curiosity I feel for playing an instrument. My experience with my past students have inspired me to broaden my teaching career. I have studied at the Colburn School of Music and now am studying at CSUN. I play Alto, Tenor, Soprano, Bari, and Flute. I am capable of teaching classical styles, proper technique, a well-rounded tone, jazz musicality, music theory, improvisation skills, and any musical questions that want answered. My main goal is to inspire people to love and appreciate playing music.
Former Staff Members
R.W. Enoch is a bandleader, composer, arranger, producer & woodwind musician based in Los Angeles, California.
In 2010, Enoch founded his band, The Urban Renewal Project, to breathe new life into the American art form of big band jazz by blending it with modern global influences, including hip-hop, funk and Latin music. He writes and arranges the ensemble’s music and has led the band through performances worldwide, including dates at the Java Jazz Festival in Indonesia, San Jose Jazz Summerfest, SFJAZZ Summer Concert Series and Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. His band has been broadcast over international airwaves, with spins on KCRW-Santa Monica, WDCB-Chicago and 98eins in Germany, and recently performed on network television in a musical segment for FOX NFL Sunday. The band’s third album 21st Century Ghost (2017) was met with critical acclaim from national publications such as HiphopDX and LA Weekly.
Outside of the Urban Renewal Project, Enoch enjoys a successful career as a saxophonist and composer. He wrote music for the award-winning documentary film Mighty Ground (2018) and has composed film scores for studios including Nickelodeon and the Hallmark Channel. He has also performed on-screen in productions like the Daytime Emmy Awards (2017), FOX's Grease Live! (2016) and Sony Pictures’ Here Comes the Boom (2011). In live performance, Enoch has shared the stage with Camp Lo, Marquis Hill, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, Ralph Bowen, Rob Riggle, the Four King Cousins, Jerry Vivino, Bonnie Bowden, Barbara Morrison, the Elliot Deutsch Big Band, and many other acts in dozens of cities across the United States.
Enoch studied with composers Paul Lansky and Dmitri Tymoczko and saxophonist Ralph Bowen at Princeton University where he received a bachelors degree in Music with a certificate in Jazz Performance in 2009.
Mr. Peña has been playing trumpet in a mariachi band for over 10 years. In his Mariachi experience he has had the opportunity to perform for former governors such as Gray Davis and Arnold Schwartzenegger. As an educator, Mr. Peña has worked at San Fernando High School as their winds coach. Mr. Peña graduated from California State University of Northridge in Spring 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and received an Associate’s degree in Social and Behavioral sciences from Los Angeles Mission College. Currently, Mr. Peña is working to receive his single subject credential in Music from Cal State University Northridge and as part of studies is student teaching with Mr. McGaffey at Millikan Middle School. He hopes to teach music in inner city schools and give back to the community he loves.