Don Marino who earned a BA and MA at Cal State, Los Angeles had a career as a music educator that spanned 43 years from 1966 – 2010 when he retired. The first 19 years he taught middle school and high school and then was an Associate Professor at Marymount College for over 20 years. His most productive years as a jazz educator were at Palos Verdes High School from 1974 – 1985 where under his leadership the jazz band was highly respected by consistently winning top awards in the heavy division in the jazz competitions.
In 1984, the band was the first high school jazz band to perform at the prestigious Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. Also that year the group was honored and selected as one of the performing groups at the CMEA Convention. During that time he founded the night jazz band at El Camino College and backed such jazz artists as Eddie Daniels and Andy Martin.
For 12 years, he was the musical director of the Southwest Youth Symphony Orchestra, which was recognized as one of the most outstanding youth orchestras in Los Angeles County. Amongst his many awards, in 1984 he was selected as one of 10 finalists, out of over 200 nominees, for the “Bravo” Award from the Los Angeles Music Center Education Division and in 1985, he was awarded “High School Teacher of the Year” by the school district.
Next to teaching, Marino has enjoyed conducting concerts, musicals, operas and ballets in the Southern California area and has conducted at famous venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Los Angeles Music Center, the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and Royce Hall at UCLA. Currently he is the music director of the Bravura Youth Symphony Orchestra in Temecula and also teaches part-time at Mt. San Jacinto College.