Our Teachers


Voice & Piano

Tracy Burklund has been a faculty member for the Southwestern College Performing Arts Department since 2009. Currently, she is the Director of the SWC Jazz Vocal Ensemble and teaches Class Voice I, II, and III as well as Applied Private Voice Lessons. Recent credits include: Co-Music Director for Bring It On (Spring 2019) and Green Day's: American Idiot (Spring 2018), Music Director for Godspell (Spring 2017) and In the Heights (Fall 2015); Interim Director of SWC Concert Choir; Co-Director of SWC Gospel Choir; "Woody Guthrie's American Song" (Horton Grand Theatre). She is also a private voice instructor and voice-over artist for radio and television. Tracy holds a Master's Degree in Jazz Studies from San Diego State University, a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Performance and Studio Music from the University of Miami, and an Associate's Degree from our very own Southwestern College. She is also a member of the award-winning SWC Concert Choir and has performed in several prestigious concert venues such as Carnegie Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and California Center for the Arts.


Violin, Music Composition, Sound Design

Kristopher Apple is a violinist, composer, performer, and improviser working at the intersection of music, dance, text, and digital media.  He is a highly sought after artist who provides music, dance accompaniment, and production support to numerous colleges, universities, dance companies, and theater companies.  He holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Art degree from San Diego State University where he studied violin and interdisciplinary performance.

Frank Ralls

Piano, Percussion, Drums, Guitar, Bass, Voice, Composition, & Music Production

Frank holds a Bachelors of Arts in Music from Lawrence University.  In addition to teaching, he is a contributing composer and music producer for Bleeding Fingers Music (founded by Hans Zimmer and Russell Emmanuel), and has written and produced music for Disney Parks, Apple TV plus's HOME, Nat Geo's "Jane Goodall: The Hope", and shows like Lego Masters and Master Chef.  His song "Enchanted Kingdom" was nominated for a Hollywood Music In Media Award in 2017 for Classical Composition.  He also directs music at College Avenue Church in San Diego.


Piano, Guitar, Drums

Martín Martiarena is a soon-to-be graduate from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, focusing on Jazz performance as a student of the legendary Kenny Burrell. He is music director at the Coronado Playhouse and OnStage Playhouse, as well as bass player for theaters such as the Welk Resort Theater, San Diego Musical Theater, Cygnet Theater, and many more. Martín can also be found leading his band The Rollers, San Diego’s top Beatles and 60s cover band.