Music and Entertainment Entrepreneurship Program Director / Director of Music
Michael Pickering serves as Music and Entertainment Entrepreneurship Program Director and Director of Music at the Community College of Aurora. With over three decades of music and entertainment industry experience plus a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Interdisciplinary Music Studies and Master of Arts in Music Business from the Berklee College of Music, Michael is passionate about the industry. "There is more opportunity to make a living in today’s music and entertainment business than ever before. To be a success, one must have diverse skills in music business, production, and performance. That’s what the Music and Entertainment Entrepreneurship program at CCA is all about." - Michael Pickering
Over the past decade Michael has served as President and Chief Creative Officer of Lionsong Entertainment, Inc., an arts and entertainment company providing headline music and clean comedy entertainment, education, and consulting services to corporate, theatrical, educational, outreach, cruise, and private clients worldwide. Michael remains very active in the local and national music and entertainment scenes. He and his wife, Amy continue to tour their music and comedy show world wide at venues ranging from cruise ships to Carnegie Hall. Michael is also an award winning composer, conductor, musician, director, speaker, writer, and actor.
"I am committed to enriching the lives of our students and community by providing a creative home where passion intersects with opportunity. In this place we welcome world cultures, value individual students, teach musical expression, promote academic achievement, and serve as a positive and creative cultural force. I am dedicated to providing students opportunities to discover and develop their musical passions and explore their creative voices through relevant and cutting-edge teaching, and a focus on real-world applications of the musical arts and entertainment."
Richard Italiano is currently a resident/adjunct instructor at the Community College of Aurora and has been on the faculty at CCA since 1989. He served as Music Department Coordinator at CCA from 1997-2013. The courses he has taught or is currently teaching include Fundamentals of Music Theory, Music Theory I and II,
Ear Training/Sight-Singing I and II, Music Appreciation, Piano Class, Private Instruction in Piano and Composition. He received his Bachelor of Music (Piano) from the University of Northern Colorado and Master of Music (Piano) from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University. In 2001, he was awarded the Brosh Faculty Endowment and in 2004-2005, he was named Faculty of the Year. In 2005, he composed music for the theater department’s production of Antigone and in 2009, he composed the film score for The Men Running Past for the Colorado Film school. He has performed as piano soloist and chamber musician for faculty recitals and other events on campus through the years.
Evan Kirk is an adjunct instructor of music theory and music appreciation. He studied music at the University of Northern Colorado earning both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Theory & Composition. He started his teaching career at CCA in 2008. While at the college, he had the opportunity to write original music for the CCA Theatre’s regional premiere of Lookingglass Alice. Currently, in addition to his work at the college, Evan works with a software company (PianoMarvel) that creates and maintains an online interface for learning and playing piano, guitar, bass, or drums through lessons and repertoire.
Recently, he has branched out across campus and played a small role working with CCA's Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness in various capacities. When he’s not devoting himself to music or higher education in one capacity or another, he spends as much time as possible with his wife and daughter.
Classical Soprano Christiana McMullen is a native of Boston. She holds both a Performance Certificate and a Master of Music degree from University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music where she was the recipient of the prestigious Newman Fellowship, the school’s most esteemed fellowship. While a student at Lamont, McMullen made her debut in three principal roles: most recently as Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro Adele in Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus and Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Shortly after her performance as Despina, she was chosen to reprise the role in Così fan tutte with the York Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lawrence Golan in York, PA. Before arriving at Lamont, McMullen completed her undergraduate degree in Voice Performance at Gordon College in New England where she played the role of Yum-Yum in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. In November 2017, she was the soprano soloist for Shakespeare’s Potion with Boulder Symphony Orchestra, and soloist for Denver Philharmonic’s Holiday Cheer! in December of 2016. McMullen was the soprano soloist for the both world premieres of Total Music (2018) and Ode to Nature (2017), each produced by Law Brothers Chinese Performing Arts International. She is right at home with spirituals and is frequent guest soloist for the Spirituals Project under conductor and musical director, Roger Holland. McMullen has been a guest soloist with Boulder Concert Band several times over this last year. Currently, McMullen is a Central City Opera Touring Artist for Education and Community Engagement in the show, Mozart&Co. In addition, McMullen is an adjunct instructor at the Community College of Aurora.
Aaron Summerfield is an active performer, composer, and music educator residing in Denver, CO. He is currently an adjunct guitar instructor at the Community College of Aurora. Aaron holds degrees from Portland State University (BA) and the University of Denver (MM), where he was a graduate teaching assistant for Jazz Theory and Aural Skills. At DU, he was recognized as the Jazz department's “Outstanding Graduate Student” and was also the 1st runner-up in the 2014 Lamont School of Music Jazz Soloist Competition. Aaron has taught guitar classes in many different settings and is passionate about helping students of all levels and backgrounds develop their skills.
Aaron's performance experience is wide-ranging, and he maintains a busy schedule that includes stints in pit orchestras and cruise ship show bands. He can currently be seen playing guitar all over the Denver area with various jazz ensembles as well as wedding/event bands and church praise bands. He is also an active composer, and his pieces are currently being performed by Denver bands including CP-3O, The Tyler Farr Quartet, and The Dan Quisenberry Group. Aaron is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society.