Music director: Mr. Jean-Paul Balmat
2017 San Diego Unified District High School Teacher of the Year!
2017 District High School Teacher of the Year, Jean-Paul (JP) Balmat, has built a internationally recognized program at Mission Bay. His award-winning groups have been invited to perform throughout California, New Orleans and most recently, Japan.
A Mission Bay High School alumni, Balmat performed all four years of high school and was appointed student band leader his sophomore year under the direction of Rey Vinole. After graduating in 2002, Balmat attended San Diego State University where he graduated with honors receiving a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. With the support and dedication of Mission Bay High School community and staff, the music program was resurrected after a two year hiatus with Balmat as their new music director.
He started playing the saxophone at the age of 8. Balmat studied with professional saxophonist Tony Benade for most of his childhood. At the age of 13 Balmat was asked to perform with the San Diego Youth Swing Band, comprised of some of San Diego's most talented young musicians under the direction of Dan Terry. At Mission Bay, Balmat found his love for learning new instruments and teaching through his experience in the jazz ensemble with teachers Rey Vinole and Everette Crouse. These interests lead him to San Diego State University where he studied saxophone with San Diego musician, John Recaviks, and performed with numerous ensembles within the jazz studies program.
See Mr. Balmat in Action! Teacher of the Year Video.
assistant band director: malachi johnson
Malachi Johnson is a multi-talented percussionist and educator in the San Diego area. He attended Mission Bay High School and performed in numerous ensembles including the award-winning Preservationists, as well as the Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble. After graduating from Mission Bay High School in 2013, he attended San Diego State University as a jazz studies major to continue his music journey.
Malachi has performed at the House of Blues in San Diego, Panama 66, and leading jazz club- Dizzy's. He has toured with various artists throughout the United Kingdom and the United Sates playing blues, RnB, jazz, hip hop, and pop. Malachi currently drums in his band Abstrack, and various other groups including Whimsy.
Assistant Band/Choir Director: Edward Gabrielyan
Edward Gabrielyan found his love for playing piano at Mission Bay High School during his freshman year. A self-taught musician, Edward immersed himself into the word of jazz, studying the greats and finding inspiration through musicians like Art Tatum, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. During his time at Mission Bay, he performed with the Preservationists, the school’s top performance ensemble. In this group he studied Traditional New Orleans Jazz and earned the opportunity to travel to New Orleans and most recently Japan to perform.
At a young age, Edward’s list of accomplishments and performance opportunities is quite impressive. He has performed with such jazz greats as Wendell Brunious, Lucian Barbarin, Delfeayo Marsalis, Chris Botti and Gilbert Castellanos. Edward has opened for Cecile McLoren Salvant at the San Diego Symphony Summer Pops, and has performed several times at Copley Symphony Hall. He is currently studying with two-time Grammy Award-Winning pianist Kamau Kenyatta and was just accepted to the Berklee College of Music in Boston.