Musical Directors

Conductor Michael Stanley is the Music Director and Conductor of the Westlake Village Symphony and the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a multi-talented conductor, French horn player and music educator who has performed in such world-renowned venues as Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall and UCLA’s Royce Hall. As a conductor, his performances have garnered outstanding reviews, with the Los Angeles Times proclaiming that “…[his] ensemble performed beautifully.”

Mr. Stanley has conducted both nationally and internationally, including leading the prestigious YMF Debut Orchestra at the finals of the 2019 Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition. In addition, he has appeared as guest conductor with many regional orchestras such as the Beach Cities and New Valley Symphonies. An advocate for new music, he has commissioned and premiered many compositions in a variety of genres. Mr. Stanley’s versatility has led him to conduct numerous pit orchestras in shows ranging from Sweeney Todd to Jesus Christ Superstar and he is a sought-after festival adjudicator and clinician throughout Southern California.

As a music educator, Mr. Stanley is committed to providing musical opportunities to young people from diverse communities. In his role as a Teaching Artist for the Young Musicians Foundation, he has provided music instruction to underserved youth across the Los Angeles area. He is also proud to be the inaugural director of the Burbank Philharmonic’s “Discovery Conductor Project,” a unique program designed to find and train the next generation of young conductors. During his more that 20 years of music teaching experience, he has served on the faculties of College of the Canyons and Los Angeles Valley College and been honored as “Teacher of the Year” for his outstanding teaching and dedication to his students.

Mr. Stanley is currently a Doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University, where he studies conducting with Dr. David Rentz. He received his MM in Orchestral Conducting from California State University, Long Beach, under the tutelage of Dr. Richard Rintoul. Among his many additional conducting teachers and mentors are Kenneth Kiesler, Jeffrey Schindler, Markand Thakar, Donald Schleicher, and Barry Brisk. Mr. Stanley earned his BA in Music summa cum laude from UCLA, majoring in French horn with Richard Todd. He continues to play horn regularly in Southern California with groups such as the Topanga Symphony, Moorpark Symphony and LA Lawyers Philharmonic.

Assistant Conductor and Manager of Band Operations Julie Levine (2013-Present) began playing trumpet at El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills after being awestruck by the award winning Marching Band and was determined to join. After only one semester of playing she became an integral part of this group. She was the sole representative for El Camino in the L.A.U.S.D. All-City Marching Band for two years. She continued her musical journey at Cal State Northridge as a Music major. She played in the Marching Band and Wind Ensembles. It was at CSUN where she hit the pinnacle of her playing career performing the first movement of the Hummel Trumpet Concerto. It was also at CSUN that she got her first true taste of conducting. She had several opportunities to conduct the Marching Band and Wind Ensemble.

After obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies she continued to play at CSUN and in addition played in the Wind Ensemble at UCLA. After a break from music for a few years it was again in 1999 that she came back to playing where she joined the L.A. Valley College Wind Ensemble and has been a member ever since. At L.A. Valley College she continues to develop her conducting skills on a regular basis.

Julie also plays in many other community bands across the Los Angeles area. Currently she is a member of the L.A. Sheriff’s Department Band and the Conejo Valley Community Band.

Lastly Julie is a big supporter of playing LIVE TAPS for veteran memorials. Not known to most people that TAPS is rendered on a fake digital bugle upon honoring a veteran. A LIVE bugler can be obtained by going to or
“It is an honor to sound the honor”

Paulette Westphal (Director 2012-2022) started singing in church choirs when she was 3, began piano lessons at 6 and took her first band class at 11 on the flute. She continued her band, orchestral and choral experiences through high school and college, where she majored in music education at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, specializing in secondary instrumental music.

After teaching junior high school band and orchestra for several years in Virginia and Maryland, Paulette stayed home to raise her children and switched her music involvement to community organizations. She has been the director, assistant director and flutist for community bands in Virginia and North Carolina. In Northern Virginia, she was the pit orchestra director for a local music theater group for such shows as Music Man and Mame. She has also been the choir director at a number of churches, most recently at First Christian Church of Burbank. Additionally, Paulette has directed and performed in community choruses on both the east and west coasts.

Paulette holds a masters degree in adult education and human resource development from Virginia Commonwealth University. She also studied conducting with the late Dr. Frederick Fennell of Eastman School of Music, where he conducted the Eastman Wind Ensemble for many years. A firm believer in lifelong learning, Paulette continues the study of conduction and score preparation.

Paulette is a member of the national Association of Community Bands and National Association for Music Education (formerly MENC).

Dr. Don Holcomb (Director 1986-2011) studied music since he was ten. As a clarinetist, he was a soloist in his high school and college bands. A graduate of the US Navy School of Music, he spent three years as a fleet musician on clarinet and saxophone. While stationed in Puerto Rico and studying with Dr. Roger Martinez, he was principal clarinet with the San Juan Symphony and San Juan Opera Company.

After discharge from the Navy, he spent a year as principal clarinet and soloist with the Shasta Symphony. Returning to Los Angeles, he studied with the great Mitchell Lurie and performed with the Compton and Brentwood Symphonies, then 25 years as principal clarinet and soloist, with the Huntington Park Symphony under Alexander Riesman, three years as principal clarinet with the Musician’s Union Orchestra, and several performances of the Far West Opera Company.

Dr. Holcomb’s band experience includes principal clarinet and soloist with Neo Classic Wind Ensemble, Los Angeles Police Band, Lockheed Band, Monterey Park Concert Band and Covina Concert Band. Dr. Holcomb also appeared in a variety of wind ensembles, polka bands and swing bands, including the Clyde Reasinger Big Band.

Dr. Holcomb began conducting in 1986, studying privately with Paul Kilian, then completing the Masters program at CSULA, studying under Dr. Buck. He became conductor of the Burbank Community Band in 1987 and retired on December 31, 2011. He became the conductor of the Los Angeles Police Concert Band in 1989 and continued in that position until his death in April, 2016.