Our Musicians

Darren Dvoracek, tuba, a freelance musician in Los Angeles is the Artistic Director, and founding member, of Oakwood Brass - Outreach Project.  Darren currently serves as part of the OBOP management and development team, honing the mission statement, brand, and program content for their In-School and Community Concert programs while arranging music for the group and creating programs for OBOP. His current duties also include the financial management of OBOP which attained its own 501(c)(3) status in October 2015.  

Darren is a proud graduate of Northwestern University where he received his bachelors degree in music performance and was also the recipient of the prestigious Helen Heim Nichols Scholarship Fund Award.  More recently Darren completed his masters at the California Institute of the Arts, where he delved extensively into the more esoteric aspects of tuba performance, including extended technique and alternate fingering systems.  Darren’s teachers include Dr. Douglas Tornquist and Professor Rex Martin. 

Darren teaches students of all ages and abilities. His emphasis on sound production and listening skills work well for all students studying  techniques of playing brass instruments.

David  Costello, trumpet, is from Santa Monica, CA.  Dave has a bachelor of music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and did his master of music studies at The University of Southern California. His principal teachers were Michael Sachs, principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra, and Boyde Hood, utility trumpet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. 

David is currently a busy freelancer and educator in Los Angeles, performing with dozens of groups including The San Francisco Opera, The Culver City Symphony as principal trumpet, Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay, The Peninsula Symphony, Jacaranda Chamber Ensemble, Brass Pacifica, Oakwood Brass-Outreach Project, and many more. At a recent solo engagement with The Culver City Symphony, Carole Bell from the Culver City Observer wrote that David’s “trumpet-playing was magnificent.” In addition, David is a prolific songwriter and composer. His music has been showcased on KXLU Los Angeles and performed all over Southern California.

Danny Lawlor, trombone, is a trombonist based in Los Angeles, CA. After graduating from Northwestern University, Daniel returned to California as a freelance musician in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas. He has studied with Michael Mulcahy, Peter Ellefson, Timothy Higgins, and also with Mark Lawrence while obtaining his Master’s degree at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. Daniel has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Opera, and San Diego Symphony among others. In addition to orchestral performance, he is extremely active in chamber music and is one of the founding member of the trombone quartet Skinny Lips and the Sound Malfunction. Daniel also maintains a private studio of young trombonists and enjoys playing disc golf in his free time.

Aija Mattson, is an active freelance musician in the Los Angeles area. She performs regularly with the American Youth Symphony and Debut Orchestra. With these groups she has performed with film composers Michael Giacchino, Randy Newman, David Newman and international soloists Sarah Chang, Glenn Dicterow, Karen Dreyfus, and Valentina Lisitsa.

 Mattson is also very involved and devoted to her Latvian heritage and regularly performs in the Latvian cultural community. She has participated in the Latvian Song and Dance Festivals throughout the United States, Canada, and even in Latvia, performing at the Latvian National Theatre and Daugava Stadium, playing horn as well as singing and dancing. Being very versatile, Mattson has also performed and recorded horn for various jazz and film projects. She has recorded and performed songs with neo-soul band Moonchild and the Thelonius Monk Institute for Jazz.

 Throughout the years she has also performed at recognized venues in the United States such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Aratani Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Bovard Auditorium, The Ann and Jerry Moss Theater, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Royce Hall. She has performed new works by composers such as Eric Zeisl, Paul Dooley, and Paul Chihara. Recently, she was a part of a huge world premiere by composer Ian Krouse's of his "Armenian Requiem”. This piece was written and performed to honor the victims of the Armenian Genocide on its 100th anniversary in 2015.

 Aija completed her Masters in Horn Performance Degree in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music under the tutelage of Kristy Morrell and Steve Becknell. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California Los Angeles Herb Alpert School of Music where she studied with Chris Cooper and Amy Sanchez.

David Pittel, an established trumpet artist residing in Los Angeles, is enjoying an active performing career in a wide variety of musical venues. He has recorded for the film and television industry, played in numerous orchestras, performed with some of Los Angeles’ outstanding big bands and small ensembles, and presented solo recitals demonstrating his virtuosity on trumpet, flugelhorn and piccolo trumpet. Mr. Pittel joined the faculty at California State University Fullerton in the spring of 2016 as adjunct professor of trumpet.

 Mr. Pittel holds a Bachelor of Music in Orchestral Trumpet Performance from the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Music degree from the University of California Los Angeles. His primary teachers include: Jens Lindemann, Jon Lewis, Ray Sasaki, Raymond Crisara, and Bernie Nero.