Amy grew up in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, and began playing music at five. She started her musical career in high school by attending the pre-professional visual and performing arts boarding school Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where she studied saxophone with Bill Sears and graduated with an emphasis in saxophone performance.
Amy received her undergraduate degrees from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in WI., where she received a four-year saxophone performance scholarship and studied instrumental music education and saxophone performance under the direction of world-renowned saxophonist Steven Jordheim. While at Lawrence, she received the Pi Kappa Lambda Music Education teaching award for exceptional student teaching and won a Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) performance competition.
Amy spent her first four years teaching in Napa Valley as Music Director of the Calistoga Unified School District, then became the Torrey Pines High School Music Director in 2004.
A few career highlights include: being listed in the Who’s Who of American Women, multiple Unanimous Superior ratings at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association regional festivals with her TP ensembles, and most recently, receiving the 2022 California Music Education Association (Southern Border Section) Richard Levin Orchestra Educator Award.
Amy lives in Encinitas with her husband, David, their four children, and two dogs.
Artists in Residence
Mark Weed is a trumpeter born and raised in San Diego. He graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Theory/Composition. Mark has been teaching band/brass in the San Diego area since 1996,as well as performing throughout the county. Jazz Band and Concert Ensemble are his areas of expertise.
Scott Michael Sayre is a TPHS Alumnus of the class of 2004. He grew up playing low brass and jazz piano. Pursuing a career in music creation, he earned a B.M. in computer music composition from the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University and M.M. in composition from the University of South Carolina. Now back in North County, Scott shares his talents at Torrey Pines by coaching the band classes and the drumline. He also teaches private lessons at the Youth Arts Academy at the Boys & Girls Club in Carmel valley.
Mrs. FangFang Li grew up in a musical family. She began violin studies at age 4 with her grandfather and father, and later studied with Wang ZhiLong from the Central-Conservatory of Music in Beijing. At age 14, Mrs. Li was accepted to Idyllwild Arts Academy and studied under Todor Pelev. She attended the Aspen Music Festival with a fellowship her senior year, and met her college violin teacher, Kurt Sassmannshaus. Later that year, Mrs. Li entered the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) with a full scholarship. She was a graduate teaching assistant and earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in violin performance, respectively.
At CCM, Mrs. Li directed the Sassmannshaus Tradition, a well-known string method and program for young children. She was also on the chamber music faculty for the acclaimed Starling Preparatory String Project. Mrs. Li was responsible for translating the comprehensive violin teaching website www.violinmasterclass.com into Chinese.
After moving to San Diego, Mrs. Li taught at the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory for many years. She is now pursing her passion as a Suzuki teacher and parent. In addition to her teaching position at the San Diego Suzuki School of Music, she also serves as string instructor at local schools while maintaining a private teaching studio in Carmel Valley.