Hello Students and Families! I am thrilled to continue as Rocklin Academy Gateway’s band and music teacher. This past few years have been filled with lots of challenges, but students in our music programs have thrived nonetheless.  Looking ahead, I am excited to welcome my 2023-2024 students into the band and music room on the second floor of the 6554 building, and to make music together again.
I have taught music at numerous places including Christian Brothers, River City, Hiram Johnson, and Loretto High Schools, as well as Sacramento Country Day School.  The first instruments I played as a child were the piano and clarinet, but I’ve also played the saxophone and flute, and still spend much of my free time playing guitar and ukulele. 
In addition to teaching, I have had the opportunity to conduct the choirs and orchestra at UC Davis, as well as several other local groups including the Empyrean Ensemble, the Choir of St. Cecilia, and the West Sacramento Community Orchestra.  As a vocalist, I have performed with the Sacramento Master Singers, and also Men in Blaque out of Southern California, with whom I have traveled widely, including participating in the Edict International Music Festival in Niš, Serbia during the summer of 2019. 
I hold a Bachelor’s degree in music from UC Irvine, Masters degrees in choral conducting (UC Irvine) and theology (Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), and a Ph.D. in musicology from UC Davis, and I am proud to serve on the board of the California Choral Directors Association. 
I have spent my career working as a teacher and musician because I am inspired by the power of music to change lives and to unite people, but I am equally passionate about telling people like you about the countless academic, social, and emotional benefits that music education bestows on those who study this amazing and fun discipline.  If you’re interested in learning more about these benefits, just ask me or google: “benefits of music education.”  You will be amazed at what you discover. 
In my personal life, my wife Kelly and I recently bought a house on 11 acres of hilly land in Lincoln which we lovingly call, "Harmony Ranch."  On weekends, summers, and during our free time, we work on remodeling our house, upgrading our landscaping, and tending to our extended animal family, which includes 3 horses, 2 adorable miniature donkeys, 5 playful (and creative) goats, a small flock of chickens, 3 house cats and, a dozen or so feral cats (not to mention the plentiful deer, raccoons, skunks, pheasants, coyotes, and more).  We're living the dream!
I look forward to working with all of you who are in my classes this year!


-Mr. Lien (the "Alien")