Youth Music Monterey County

Grant Recipient

ABOUT US

It is our belief at the S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County that participation in positive, multi-cultural performing arts programs helps to promote understanding between peoples and ethnicities.

Our Team

Reg Huston

Reg Huston

Founder & Executive Director

Reg received his Bachelor of Music and Masters of Music degrees from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in Stockton, CA, in 1973 and 1976, respectively.

Susanne Mentzer

Susanne Mentzer

Treasurer

An international opera singer for nearly 40 years, Susanne also has taught voice at the academic level since 2000 and currently teaches at ...

Kendall Smith

Kendall Smith

Board Member

Mr. Smith has been working professionally for the past 40 years both as a lighting designer for the stage and as a consultant for numerous theater projects, lighting concerts, dance, musicals and opera.

Erica Horn

Erica Horn

President

Erica Horn has been performing and teaching music since 1980. She received a Bachelors of Music Degree in Clarinet Performance from California State University at Fullerton.

Pauline Troia

Pauline Troia

Secretary

Pauline Troia studied piano, voice and theory at the Conservatory of the Chicago Musical College and at Northwestern University.

Michael Jacobs

Michael Jacobs

Vice President

Michael began acting in the eighth grade and over 200 productions later, hasn’t stopped. Receiving his B.A. from Whitman College, Michael went on to study at the American Academy of ...

Leberta Lorál

Leberta Lorál

Board Member

A native of Monterey, California, Dramatic/Verdian Soprano, Leberta Lorál is a highly regarded concert and operatic soloist.

From Idea to Reality: The Evolution of S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County

Founded in the year 2008 by Reg Huston, the S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County was created in recognition that theater arts education programs were poorly funded, if they existed at all. Reg set out to create a way to assist programs that help youngsters in our region to have access to quality theater arts education opportunities, no matter their background or circumstances. He began S.T.A.R.’s organizational granting to bolster both existing programs and to aid in the development of worthy new ones. 


In 2011 college scholarships for high school seniors were added to S.T.A.R.’s giving portfolio, as a way to expand our reach beyond primary and secondary school aged students. Our scholarships offset some of the costs of higher education for students majoring in the performing arts at university, community college, or arts training programs, and also offer students who have chosen not to major in their performing arts discipline an incentive to continue participating as an avocation. 


With our focus on theater education in the earliest years the foundation officially expanded to include music and dance in 2014. Since then S.T.A.R., “Support Theater Arts Regionally”, became “Support the Arts Regionally,” reflective of our ever more inclusive mission. 


To date, S.T.AR. Foundation has proudly distributed approximately 1.2 million dollars to Monterey County’s performing arts organizations and to college bound students. Our grants have gone to upstart theater troupes and to established companies, to multiple youth music education programs throughout Monterey County, to schools both public and private, to our community colleges and California State University Monterey Bay. We’ve granted to the educational wing of our arts leaders like Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Hidden Valley Music Seminars, Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey Symphony and Pacific Repertory Theater.  S.T.A.R. even co-sponsored bringing the National Theater for the Deaf to Monterey County for our community’s hearing impaired students. 


Founder and Executive Director, Reg Huston, and the S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County have been recognized both locally and nationally. In 2014 the S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County was an honoree on National Philanthropy Day.  In 2018, Reg Huston was named “Philanthropist of the Year” by the Arts Council for Monterey County for his vision and dedication to our young people, and for his outstanding and long term contributions to performing arts education in Monterey County. 


We at S.T.A.R. believe that no matter where a person ends up in their adult life they will be benefitted by exposure to performing arts education in their youth. If you agree please join us. Consider supporting the S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County in our ongoing commitment to building better citizens. 


Erica Horn,

President, 
Board of Trustees


S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County