Isabella Custino is a choral conductor, educator, and vocalist in her second year as the TK-8th Grade Music Teacher at St. Mark School in Venice, CA. In May of 2019, Isabella graduated from the University of Southern California where she studied to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Choral Music and a Minor in Music Production. Currently, she is pursuing her teaching credential in Music from California State University, East Bay through their online preparation program.
During her time at USC, Isabella participated as an alto in the USC Chamber Singers for three years under the direction of Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe. While in the ensemble, the Chamber Singers performed with the Rolling Stones, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna with Carl St. Clair, Considering Matthew Shepard with Craig Hella Johnson, and Mozart’s Requiem with Jaime Martín and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Isabella also toured with the ensemble to the Baltics and Poland in May of 2018.
Previously, Isabella sang in the USC Concert Choir under Dr. Cristian Grases (2015-2016) and the USC Oriana Women’s Choir (2016-2017, 2019). During her time in Concert Choir, Isabella toured throughout Northern California and Oregon with the ensemble to perform at the 2015 National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) Conference in Portland. She was also given the opportunity to rehearse and conduct the Concert Choir for her capstone project in April of 2018.
Isabella had the opportunity to pursue graduate-level choral conducting to supplement her degree program. She was lucky enough to participate in conducting masterclasses, both inside and outside of the institution, with master teachers such as Dr. Charlene Archibeque, Dr. Rod Eichenberger, Dr. Z. Randall Stroope, Dr. Lucinda Carver, Duain Wolfe, and John Alexander.
Isabella served for two years (2017-2019) as the Music Ministry Intern at the USC Caruso Catholic Center, where she was in charge of liturgical music planning and conducting for the Schola Cantorum. She also took on leadership roles within the USC ACDA Student Chapter Executive Board, serving as Secretary (2016), Choral Lab Coordinator (2016-2018), and Vice President (2018-2019) over her four years. To supplement her choral education with hands-on experience, Isabella was a part of the USC Thornton Community Engagement Program for two years. Through this program, she taught choir to elementary and middle school classes and music appreciation to Pre-K students; all in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Isabella also teaches private voice lessons.
A San Francisco Bay Area native, her passion for choral music developed while singing in the Peninsula Girls Chorus and other choirs throughout elementary, middle, and high school. To expand her choral education, Isabella participated in eleven ACDA Honor Choirs at the regional, California All-State, and national levels over her high school career. For three summers, she participated in the National Catholic Youth Choir, based in Collegeville, MN, where she sang and cantored in churches around the Midwest. She has toured with various ensembles to Italy, New Orleans, and the Midwest and East Coastal regions. In 2014, she received the “Recognition Award for Excellence in Advanced Chorus” from the Menlo Park Rotary Club and the “Sean McLarry Award for the Fine Arts” from Sacred Heart Preparatory. In 2015, she received the “STAR Award for Excellence in Choir” from the Peninsula Girls Chorus.
Outside of her profession, Isabella enjoys traveling internationally, cooking, and arranging a cappella music. She is also a huge Disney fan and her favorite character is Violet from The Incredibles. Follow @mscustinomusic to see Isabella’s conducting, teaching, and singing adventures in real-time!