Antonio E. Soto, instrumental Music Director, holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Music Education from California State University, Fullerton. Soto completed his credential work at Savanna High School (Anaheim, CA), under director Brian Belski, and at Brookhurst Junior High, under director Steven Kraus.
Percussion is Soto’s main instrument and has studied under Tom Miller (Principal Timpanist with the Pacific Symphony and an active Hollywood movie studio musician), Paul Kreibich (Cannonball Adderley Project, active LA and OC jazz musician), Jeff Ellwood (Alan Pasqua Jazz Collective, Jazz Director, Mt. San Antonio College), Luther Hughes (Cannonball Adderley Project, active LA and OC jazz musician), Charles Tumlinson (Jazz Director at CSU, Fullerton), and Jim Lorbeer (Opera Pacific Orchestra and Director of Music at Portola Middle School, Orange,CA).
Mr. Soto grew up in Norwalk, CA and played tenor saxophone, marimba, and snare drum in the marching band. One of his high school friends was the son of famous Latin musician Pancho Sanchez, who became his favorite jazz artist. Though his father wanted him to become a mechanic like himself, Mr. Soto chose music as his career.
Soto has a wide range of performance experience, performing with CSUF’s Symphonic Band, Jazz band I and II, percussion ensemble, various jazz combos, varsity band, and guitar ensembles. Outside of CSUF, he has been part of a 12 piece Latin Dance Ensemble which played all over north Orange County. He is also fluent in other genres of music such as jazz, Latin jazz, salsa, and pop music. He has performed alongside many famous jazz musicians such as Poncho Sanchez, Andy Marin, Conrad Herwig, Buster Williams, Francisco Torres, and Allen Vizutti and is currently being mentored by Dio Saucedo (George Benson band, professor at CSUF) in the area of performance.
At home, Mr. Soto is an avid magician, wonderful cook, and is addicted to the Food Network. Soto also is a DJ at weddings and other formal gatherings and has worked at a music shop in Yorba Linda repairing saxophones and clarinets (and the occasional drum or two). Music is his favorite hobby (obviously). He is the possessor of several Latin percussion instruments including a well loved set of timbales.
While student teaching in north county, Mr. Soto was informed of an opportunity in San Clemente. Interviewed by Barbara Scholl, the district’s music department head, and Pete Jackson, SCHS’s former music director, Soto became Jackson’s assistant.
Mr. Soto became SCHS’s full time music director starting in the 2009-2010 school year. He teaches Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Chamber Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Marching Band, and IB Music.