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 in the band 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 band 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.
Co-Choir director: Joan Li
Joan Li is the band director of Montgomery Middle School in Linda Vista. She is an alumni of San Diego State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education.
Li began studying classical piano at the age of 7 under Jia Sheng Zhou and classical violin under Lu Yan Guo. She was a member of Youth Symphony, CYO, and was also in the orchestra in North County Chinese School. Li has won various classical awards and has participated in the Certificate of Merit program for classical piano and classical violin. She found her love for wind and percussion instruments in her middle and high school's music programs, where she was enrolled in the drumline, show choir, and marching band ensembles. Upon graduating high school and attending San Diego State, Joan began professionally accompanying fellow music major colleagues of varying instruments as well as becoming involved in several of the performing ensembles offered, including the Marching Aztecs, the Wind Symphony Ensemble, the Aztec Choir, and the Javanese Gamelan ensemble.
Li is currently the band director at Montgomery Middle School, a local accompanist, and the accompanist for Mission Bay High School's choir.
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.