Professor Neenan

Professor Neenan

Thomas Neenan is Lecturer in Music History and Music Theory. Unlike many of the humanities disciplines which have several faculty (art, history, literature, languages etc.), Neenan teaches all the music courses at Caltech except EE/Mu 107 which is taught by James Boyk.

Professor Neenan has been teaching at Caltech since 1991 and is Director of Music at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades. A graduate of California State University, Northridge, and UCLA, Neenan's training is as a pianist, organist, conductor and music historian.

While at Cal-State Northridge, Neenan studied organ with David Britton (who was the music teacher at Caltech from 1980 to 1991. After graduating from Northridge, he pursued his interests in organ performance during a year in Europe, studying with several important organist/composers in France, England and Germany and singing for part of a season with the famed Hamburg Bach Choir under the direction of Ernst-Ulrich von Kameke.

Following his return from Europe, he enrolled at UCLA where he studied performance practices (in organ and choral music) and historical musicology. While a student at UCLA, he served as a teaching assistant in several music history courses and was also the Assistant Conductor of the Men's Glee Club (a group he conducted in Japan during a three-week concert tour in 1984). He is Music Director and Conductor of The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew's, a semi-professional orchestra which has been in existence since 1983. Under his leadership, the orchestra has performed over 75 concerts (including one in Dabney Lounge in 1994) with music ranging from the Baroque to 20th century. He has commissioned numerous works and conducted World, United States or West Coast premiers of over a dozen works. He is married to Robin Guyett-Neenan, a cellist and TV production accountant (currently working on "Baywatch"), has a daughter, Heather, and lives in the West San Fernando Valley.

His favorite composers currently are Anonymous (he likes Medieval Music), John Tavener & William Byrd, J.S. Bach, Mozart, Wagner & Strauss (yes, he's an opera buff), Stravinsky, Alban Berg, John Adams, Arvo Prt and John Corigliano.


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