• Oakland Tech Music Program

    Oakland Tech is excited to welcome Juan Sebastián Cardona-Ospina!



    Though Oakland Technical High School students have been playing music in band, orchestra and choir classes since 1915, the Jazz Band is a relative newcomer having only been playing for 60 years and the choir is coming back in the fall of 2019 after an absence of around 20 years. Over the last 15 years the program has been rejuvenated through the efforts of teachers David Byrd, Helena Jack and Ted Allen.


    The Oakland Tech music program has received three grants from the Grammy Museum for excellence in music education and the jazz band won 4th place at the Reno Jazz Festival in 2017 and 2nd place in 2019, as well as earning a Unanimous Superior rating at the CMEA Jazz East Festival. The music program currently offers classes in jazz, orchestra, piano choir, and guitar and has recently hosted professional mentors from the Oakland Symphony, SFJazz, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

  • About Juan Sebastián Cardona-Ospina

    Mr. Cardona is a Colombian composer who is currently based in Emeryville, California. His musical compositions are inspired by literature, using stories and moods from books as scaffolding, hoping to create a new personal read.

    His orchestral piece “Negra espalda del tiempo” was awarded the 2017 Bogotá Philharmonic Prize in Composition. In 2019, his Choir and Orchestra piece “Cuando fui mortal” won the National Composition Competition. His orchestral and chamber music have been performed, awarded and/or recorded by the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, University EAFIT Symphonic Orchestra, Caldas Symphonic Orchestra, University of Memphis Contemporary Chamber Players and Periscopio Ensemble. 

    Juan Sebastian obtained his DMA in composition at the University of Memphis, with Kamran Ince, John Baur and Mahir Cetiz. In 2016, Juan Sebastian earned an M.M. in composition from the University EAFIT, where he studied with Victor Agudelo. In 2014, Juan earned his bachelor’s in music education from the University of Caldas, where he studied with Juan Carlos Valencia, Hector Fabio Torres and Jaime Jaramillo. Juan is very thankful for the tremendous amount of work that Cesar Cano, his first music teacher, did in his hometown Marsella; he inspired him to be a musician. Besides that, Juan took composition lessons with Gustavo Parra, Juan Carlos Padilla and James Diaz. In 2015, he was given a condecoration for academic merit in the event "Noche de los mejores" by the former President of Colombia and Nobel Peace Prize.


    View his work at https://www.sebastiancomposer.com/.