Molly Buzick Pontin is equally at home as a conductor, educator and administrator. Her training includes a Bachelor of Arts in piano performance from the University of Denver, where she was a student of Alice Rybak. She went on to pursue a Master of Music in choral conducting at Penn State University under Douglas Miller, then a Doctorate of Musical Arts in orchestral conducting from the University of California Santa Barbara with Heiichiro Ohyama. She has also studied with Dennis Keene, Robert Page, Donald Portnoy, Robert Penn, Vance George, and Gerhard Samuel. An avid learner of languages, she has studied abroad in Milan, Paris, and Cuzco, Peru.
As a conductor and music educator, Molly has led musicians of all ages and skill levels, including the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, UC Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Colorado Children’s Chorale, where she led urban and rural outreach programs and prepped choirs for acts ranging from the Aspen Festival Orchestra to Celine Dion. Her recording credits include the short film “Manikin,” which was the official trailer for the 21st Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and “From the Heart,” an album of orchestral jazz arrangements on Inkishafi records.
As an administrator, Molly has championed musical access for learners of all ages, reaching thousands of students through programs with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, Santa Barbara Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Pacific Chorale. She developed Pacific Symphony’s highly popular “OC Can You Play?” initiative for adult amateur musicians. She also led the launch of Pacific Chorale’s newest after-school program, “Pacific Chorale Academy,” which received Chorus America’s award for Outstanding Education & Community Engagement in 2015.
Molly is a native of Lakewood, Colorado (a suburb of Denver) who relocated to California in 2001 and doesn’t miss the snow at all. She currently lives in Newport Beach with her husband, Michael. Her favorite musical artists are Johannes Brahms and Miles Davis.