Faculty members


Professor of Music,  Dr. Peter Curtis, is the director of the guitar program at RCC.

He has performed or recorded jazz with notable musicians including Claudia Acuna, Don Braden, James Carter, Freddy Cole, Taj Mahal and James Moody.

He has appeared in Japan and in European jazz clubs and festivals in Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, The Hague, Paris, Prague, Scaerding (Austria) and Zurich. In North America he has appeared in venues from New York’s Carnegie Hall, to Los Angeles’s Jazz Bakery and from Montreal’s Upstairs Jazz Club to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom.

His CD, Swing State was highly recommended by All Music Guide and received 4 stars from noted jazz critic Scott Yanow.

As a classical guitarist he has given recitals in the U.S. and Canada and was awarded the Andres Segovia memorial scholarship from the Banff Centre for the Arts.

In April of 2008, a musical for which he wrote the songs was debuted at the University of Redlands. The show, Love U: The Grad School Musical, is a romantic musical comedy set in and satirizing the academic world.

He has taught at Indiana University, Indiana State University, the University of South Carolina and the Appel Farm Arts and Music Center.

Dr. Curtis received his Bachelor of Music degree Magna Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music, a Masters of Music degree from Yale University, and a Doctor of Music degree in Classical Guitar Performance and Literature with minor fields in Ethnomusicology and Music History from Indiana University.

"Peter Curtis puts a lot of thought and a lot of heart into his playing and writing. He has a beautiful sound, particularly on the acoustic guitar where his classical training comes through”

-- Mike Stern.



Jody Fisher studied with his uncle, jazz guitarist Sid Fisher who had spent many years as an RCA recording artist. After moving to the West Coast as a teenager, Jody continued taking lessons with some of the top players living in the Los Angeles area, including, Herb Ellis, John Collins, and Louis Speigner. It was during these years that he also attended The Stan Kenton Music Clinics. Jody eventually began studying with guitarist/bassist, George Stanley, who started bringing him to gigs and introducing him to other players. From this point on, Jody made a steady living playing the guitar.

As a performer, Jody has played virtually every style of music professionally. He has played many important venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and Universal Amphitheater. Today, he is primarily known as a jazz artist and has worked all over the United States, Canada, England and Germany. His newest CD, Impromptu, has received critical acclaim.

Jody has published over twenty instructional books about jazz guitar with Alfred Publishing, Workshop Arts Publications, and Mel Bay Publications. Four of his books have appeared in the Smithsonian Institute's Folkways Exhibition in Washington, DC. In addition Jody has written for most of the major guitar magazines, including Guitar Player, Just Jazz Guitar and Finger Style Guitar.

As an educator, Jody has held the positions of Professor of Jazz and Studio Guitar at the University of Redlands, in Redlands, CA, the University of La Verne, in La Verne, CA, and the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts (ISOMATA), in Idyllwild, CA. In addition, he has also served as Associate Director of the National Guitar Workshop as well as Director of the Workshop's Jazz Summit in the the early years of that program. Jody continues to conduct seminars and clinics all over the country.


Award-winning and critically acclaimed, Cameron O’Connor enjoys a diverse career in solo, chamber, and contemporary music. Recent and current performance engagements include those with John Adams, Michael Tilson Thomas, the New York Virtuoso Singers, and Boston's Firebird Ensemble. His playing has been featured in films, including James Franco’s Don Quixote, and his performances have been heard on Seattle's Classical 98.1 KingFM, American Public Media’s Performance Today, and KPFK's Global Village. 

Cameron made his Lincoln Center debut under the baton of Tan Dun, in which he performed the Concerto for Six, an ensemble piece which mixes Western and Eastern musical idioms; in a review of the concert, the New York Times observed that Cameron “fluttered on his guitar strings in a manner reminiscent of a pipa player’s technique.” Other recent highlights include an “especially effective” (South Florida Classical Review) performance at the New World Center in Miami, an invitation to perform at the 9/11 Memorial in New York (a ceremony which featured Vice President Joe Biden and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg), serving as part of the Worcester Chamber Music Society’s Fellowship Ensemble, and performing as a guest artist at the Aspen Music Festival. He is furthermore a prizewinner in 10 international competitions, including the Frances Walton and Tokyo International Guitar Competition.

A strong believer in the importance of the accessibility of arts for the public, Cameron has spearheaded several events, such as free concerts at elementary schools and libraries, and has performed at several Classical Revolution Los Angeles events; he also organized the Royal High School Band Alumni Concert Fundraiser, the funds of which benefitted music students of the school. O’Connor’s teaching experience ranges from the Music Advancement Program at the Juilliard School to the Aspen Music Festival and School, as teaching assistant to Sharon Isbin; and at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music as a graduate assistant. He also provides several interactive performances each month in non-traditional venues-- from hospitals to juveniles halls-- as a fellow with the Thornton-Gluck Fellows Program. 

Cameron graduated cum laude from California State University Northridge, where he studied under Ron Borczon, Ronald Purcell, and Steve Thachuk. He recently received his Master Of Music degree from the Juilliard School in New York City, where he studied with Sharon Isbin. O’Connor studied with William Kanengiser while working on his doctorate at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. He serves on the faculty of CSU Bakersfield, Riverside City College, and Bakersfield College; his scholarly and musical publications can be found through LACG Editions (lacg.net).

Amy Hite  is a classical guitarist from Orange County, CA and has been playing the guitar since 1989.  She  graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Masters Degree in Classical Guitar Performance from California State University, Fullerton, where she studied under David Grimes.  She has been performing and teaching guitar lessons in Orange County since 2005. She also holds an adjunct faculty position in the music department at Riverside City College. 

Along with providing classical guitar music for hundreds of weddings and private events, Amy has performed full concerts as a soloist and with various chamber groups at local universities and music societies. She has performed concerts at the American Guitar Society, Long Beach Classical Guitar Society, Sacramento Guitar Society, Ventura County Classical Guitar Society, the Nixon Library & Museum, the Temecula Community Theater, the Corona Public Library, and the Cerritos Library.  She was a member of the Fullerton Guitar Orchestra from 2006 - 2010, during which they performed throughout California and on a three-week tour of Bulgaria, which culminated with a concert at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia.  Amy is a founding committee member of the Orange County Guitar Orchestra, a group of 20+ classical guitarists.  She is currently studying to become a teacher of the Alexander Technique, a movement re-education program, with the Alexander Alliance Southwest. 

Lee Zimmer is a virtuoso performer who has delighted audiences with his elegance and sense of musicality both as a soloist and ensemble player. Performing and teaching guitar for most of his life, he is an adjunct professor of guitar studies at both La Sierra and California Baptist Universities. Lee also is music department chairperson for the Fender Center’s Kids Rock Free program, where he developed the current curriculum for guitar, bass, and band studies.