Jennifer Cruz, MM
Assistant Professor, Piano
Applied Faculty, Piano
Jennifer Cruz is an Assistant Professor of Piano for the Collinsworth School of Music, where she oversees the Keyboard Department and teaches courses in applied piano, graduate piano literature, and accompanying. Since being appointed the full-time position in 2016, Cruz received top ratings for her overall faculty performance and excellence in teaching. She is a member of the 2018-2019 Faculty Senate and frequently performs solo and collaborative works for a variety of concerts at the School of Music. Most recently, she traveled to China with a select team of faculty and students to present master classes and performances and to audition music students at notable academic institutions in Zhengzhou, Nanjing, Dalian, and Guangzhou. Prior to joining Cal Baptist, she was an adjunct piano faculty member at the University of La Verne where she was also the staff pianist.
Aside from collegiate teaching, Cruz is a keyboard evaluator for the Music Teacher’s Association of California’s (MTAC) Certificate of Merit® program. She has served as an adjudicator for various competitions and festivals, including the Seattle International Competition Bach Festival and the East Valley Scholarship Competition in Beverly Hills. An active member of the Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA), California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT) and MTAC, she has also served consecutive terms as Treasurer and Director of the MTAC State Board and President of the MTAC Diamond Bar Branch. On top of these respective offices, she frequently presides and performs at the annual MTAC State Convention. An enthusiast of collaborative piano works, she enjoys performing with colleagues in prominent MTNA and MTAC events. Her past orchestral appearances include the Bellflower Symphony and Los Angeles Bach Festival Orchestra.
She holds degrees from the University of Southern California (M.M. with honors) and the Eastman School of Music (B.M. with Distinction), both in piano performance. She is currently a DMA candidate in Piano Performance under the guidance of distinguished USC faculty Stewart Gordon and Alan Smith. Her minor fields are in Music Education, Keyboard Collaborative Arts, and Piano Pedagogy. Some of her former teachers include Nelita True, Grace Fong, Gail Niwa, and Mark Richman.
An avid pedagogue, Cruz has conducted several master classes and clinics throughout Southern California. Her article “Ready, Create…Inspire!” was featured in the Fall 2018 issue of the California Music Teacher. She also maintains a successful private teaching studio, with many former students having gone on to achieve affluent musical careers.
- Master of Music, Piano Performance (with Honors) - USC Thornton School of Music
- Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance (with Distinction) - Eastman School of Music