Retiring teacher Tom Dustman looks over the list of more than 1,500 people who he has worked with since 1982. He is surrounded by all the sheet music he has conducted over the past 31 years at LBCC.
Retiring teacher Tom Dustman looks over the list of more than 1,500 people who he has worked with since 1982. He is surrounded by all the sheet music he has conducted over the past 31 years at LBCC.

Photos And Story

By Jacob Rosborough

 

With more than 31 years at LBCC, music professor Tom Dustman will be retiring from teaching, but not from music.

“Conducting has really  enhanced my love of music, getting to work  with students learning and  developing  with them,  because 95 percent  of  the work is rehearsal  and  only 5  percent is the concert and that is the cap and  the fun part,” Dustman said.

While teaching at Bellflower High School with  retired Dean Gary Scott, they used outside studios to record their performances.  When Dustman came to LBCC and found out the college had a recording program, which was used to record 14 albums of his performances since 1982.

Scott said, “To find a colleague you respect as a musician, as a fellow teacher  and to have as a  friend is  simply magical for me. Starting off as young  guys and still hanging out at our age is truly a pleasure.”

During his last two concerts, Dustman received standing ovation both nights from the crowd in the LAC Auditorium May 17 and 18.

Phil Carillo, a former teacher in commercial music and Dustman’s drummer, said, “I met Tom in 1986 through one of his off-campus groups.

“I felt he was always one of the good ones, always compassionate. You can trust in him and his vision. He is always honorable to all who encounter him. There are times teaching when students get on my nerves, but Tom never loses his cool.”

Music major Laura Sullivan said,  “I have attended  many of his classes and performed with him many times over the years.  And because of his enduring patience and understanding with developing my voice, I can go anywhere now because of his training.”

Dustman said, “Finding out that this program that I have held for this long will be gone because of program discontinuance is a travesty to lose. A program that has been this successful and now it’s over, we are not stopping because we want to, it’s because we have to.”

His wife  Jennifer Dustman said, “He is everything, he is at home, that he is here (at  LBCC) with  his children, who adore him. We both found  each other  through  music, we have performed together around the country for the past 24 years. We are looking forward to traveling  overseas and the world is the limit.”