WHO WE ARE
Established in 2009, the Catalina Philharmonic Expedition is a tight-knit group of friends, made up of the most excellent folks, dedicated to the never-ending adventures of life. In the beginning, it was our love for music making that brought us together as students at UC Santa Barbara. What began as a summer trip to Catalina Island for the University Orchestra turned into a tradition that has continued to this day. We have taken on countless excursions to the most epic places imaginable, creating original music, sharing our philosophies, and rediscovering our love for the great outdoors time and again.
William Trey Farrell
"Mr. Will Ferrell"
William Farrell, a.k.a. "Trey," was once a young boy who grew up fantasizing about leaving his Pennsylvanian roots, to become a badass Californian surfer and adventurer. Well, his wish totally came true, and today he is a widely respected oboist and music educator who resides in Santa Barbara. He is frequently in demand as an orchestral and chamber musician throughout North America, and one can find him shredding gnarly waves at his favorite spots between Rincon and Mondos. If it were up to Trey, he'd gladly lock himself up in a room with a bowl of Asian noodle dish and never come back out.
Hovik John Jihanyan
"St. John the Divine"
Hailing from Yerevan, Armenia, John is a gifted composer, pianist, and guitarist based in Los Angeles, with an enlightened obsession for J.S. Bach. He is a devoted chess master and a passionate hockey player. His nickname is "St. John" for a reason--he might just be the most caring and warmhearted human being one could ever come across. He is without a doubt our resident comedian and also a valued group therapist. When John is not around, everyone becomes sad and grumpy! Also, he has a weird obsession with certain numbers... yeah, he's one of THOSE.
Dillon Thomas Kearns
"The Master of the Universe"
This Norwegian-American sentient being is most likely from the planet Vulcan. Yes, it's true, Dillon is the "Spock" of our group. He is a brilliant and thoughtful software engineer residing in Santa Barbara. When Dillon speaks, we listen. He is our one-man brain trust of the group, and without him, we would most likely perish on our expeditions. Dillon is a poetic pianist and he is relentlessly searching for the truth beauty of life. When he is unable to seek wisdom, he reverts back to his alter ego, "Vincenzo," from a fictional place called "Delfino." No one outside of this group will ever realize how funny this guy is.
Anthony Do-Hoon Kim
"Our Dear Leader Kim Jong"
This former Eagle Scout was born in the Gangnam District of Seoul, South Korea, and since then, he has migrated over the beautiful beach towns of Southern California and the great snow-covered state of Michigan. As the expedition leader, Anthony is in charge of organizing all the adventures and also enjoys being the group's main photographer. He is active as a pianist and conductor in San Diego and hopes to one day build his own cabin in Montana. Anthony is profoundly in love with Mother Nature, surfs way too much for his own good, and often wonders, "What Would Carl Sagan Do?" As of this moment, he has spent over 500 nights sleeping outside under the stars.
Kurt Anthony Leingang
"Kurtlebear a.k.a. The Gift That Keeps On Giving"
Kurt is a talented trumpet player and the lead singer of our barbershop quartet. He currently resides in Santa Barbara, actively working in the tech industry. Kurt has many nicknames. Some of them are bestowed upon him by himself and some just come naturally to him. He is the group jester and also the expedition ambassador. When we are in a bind, he always knows how to get us out of it--strangers love Kurt! We also laugh like children on our trips because of him. Having Kurt in our presence is like hanging out at Neverland, 24/7. The group affectionately calls him, "Kurtle"... you don't wanna know. He is missing a drumstick, though!
Matthew Douglas Richards
"Broseph Ranger Rich"
The youngest member of the expedition crew is now the revered park ranger, who leads many of our toughest excursions. Matt spent his early years frolicking in the woods of Massachusetts, Texas, and Northern California. He is currently pursuing graduate studies in percussion, while also performing as a professional orchestral musician in the Greater Los Angeles Area and beyond. Matt's diverse expertise in percussion lies in music from all over the globe. His thirst for the unusual and the exotic is nearly unquenchable. His favorite dish in the whole wide world is home made rigatoni with spicy meatballs. He is totally a bro. Ranger "Rich" is currently on a sabbatical in Texas.
Yumemi Masui Turk
Yumemi initially appeared on this planet via Osaka, Japan, but now calls Torrance, California, her home. She recently completed her graduate work as a pianist in Houston, Texas, and currently continues her musical journey in Athens, Georgia. She hopes to one day perform ALL 555 of Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas in one sitting! Yumemi brings to the table a fiery and caring female presence the group desperately longs for. Without her superb organizational skills, our campsite and kitchen areas would become a complete war zone. On top of being the back-to-back reigning champion of the Master of the Universe Tournament, Yumemi is also the queen of our coveted "Kimochi" points.
Benaj Stephen Turk
"Benaj à Trois"
Ben is a man of few words. He is a passionate soul with a hunger for the ultimate pleasures of life. You take one look at him and it makes you wonder if he jumped out of a time machine from the 1960's. Ben often sacrifices for the group without ever mentioning his heroics to the others--like that one time when he paid for everyone's drinks and no one ever paid him back. Ben is our hero! He also performs the Russian piano repertoire like a god. This man really knows how to light Rachmaninoff and Scriabin on fire. Before becoming a force to be reckoned with on the concert stage, Ben considered becoming a professional golfer. In his secret life, he is a world renowned card player. He also apparently just married Yumemi a few months ago!
2009 August: Santa Catalina Island, California: Little Harbor & Two Harbors - "Our Birth Trip"
2010 August: Havasupai-Grand Canyon, Arizona - "The Discovery of Jurassic Falls and I'm Thirsty"
2010 December: Big Sur, California - "The 'Happiest New Years Ever"
2011 July: Yosemite National Park, California - "Yosemite Barbershop Sextet"
2011 July: Black Canyon-Colorado River & Las Vegas, Nevada - "Three of You, Three of Us, Right Here, Right Now!"
2012 July: Lake Mead & Black Canyon-Colorado River to Placer Cove, Arizona - "Daddy-O's Search for Mile Marker 43"
2012 August: Havasupai-Grand Canyon, Arizona - "The Return of Chief Manakaja"
2012 September: Sequoia National Park, California: Wolverton-Watchtower Trails & The Crystal Cave - "GangNam Style"
2013 May: Joshua Tree National Park, California - "Babadibiboo with the Joshua Tree-O"
2013 June: Paradise Valley Trail at Kings Canyon National Park, California - "Ranger Rich meets Giovanni Giorgio"
2013 July: Zion National Park, Utah - "Angels Landing to Spider Invasion at the Virgin Narrows"
2013 July: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah - "Hoodoos at Inspiration Point"
2013 August: Black Canyon-Colorado River, Nevada - "Kurt Almost Lost His Life!"
2013 November: Jenny Lakes Wilderness, California - "Bear Paws at Weaver Lake"
2013 December: Yosemite-Bass Lake, California - "New Years Prank on Kurtle"
2014 July: Rae Lakes Loop in Kings Canyon National Park, California - "Epic 50-Mile Climb to Glen Pass"
2014 July: Santa Catalina Island, California: Trans-Catalina Trail to Parsons Landing & Two Harbors - "5-Year Anniversary Trip"
2014 September: Sawtooth Trail at Mineral King Valley, California - "Cold Springs to Monarch Lake"
2014 October: Kearsarge Pass at John Muir Wilderness, California - "Anthony's 30th Birthday"
2014 December: Death Valley National Park, California - "Golden Canyon to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes"
2015 February: Yosemite National Park, California - "Winter Camping at Yosemite Valley"
2015 June: Bishop Pass at John Muir Wilderness, California - "The Return of Eli"
2015 July: Great Basin National Park, Nevada - "Thunder Hail Storm to Wheeler Peak"
2015 July: Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho - "Alpine Lake to Sawtooth Lake"
2015 July: Glacier National Park, Montana - "Belly River Trail to Epic Glacier"
2015 July: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming - "Tatonka Galore Extravaganza & Rainbow Pools of Death"
2015 July: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming - "The French Teton"
2015 September: Clouds Rest Trail at Yosemite National Park, California - "Tuolumne Meadows to Clouds Rest on Fire"
2016 July: Kern River White Water Rafting, Sequoia National Forest, California - "Emergency Fire Evacuation at Midnight"
2016 August: Kearsarge Pass Trail at Inyo National Forest, California - "Should we sing in the Cathedral?"
2016 August: Club 33 at Disneyland, California - "The Greatest Meal of ALL Time"
2016 September: North Lake and the Piute Pass Trail at John Muir Wilderness, California - "Dillon's 30th Birthday"
2016 December: Island of Kauai, Hawaii - "Poipu & Na Pali Coast to Hanalei Bay"
2016 December: Big Island, Hawaii - "Kona and Waipio-Waimanu Valley Adventures"
2017 June: Olympic National Park, Washington - "Hoh Rainforest"
2017 July: Wonderland Trail & Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington - "Sunrise to Summerland and back to Ohanapecosh"
2017 August: Total Solar Eclipse at Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho - "Epic Totality at Redfish-Marshall-Pettit Lakes & Alice Lake Loop"
2017 September: Thousand Island Lake Loop at Ansel Adams Wilderness, California - "Thunderstorm over Banner Peak and Garnet Lake"
2017 December: Island of Maui, Hawaii - "Road to Hana and Haleakala National Park"
2018 April: Sequoia National Park, California - "Tick Attack at Giant Forest"
2018 June: Big Pine Lakes North Fork Trail, John Muir Wilderness, California - "Moonlight Shadows at Temple Crag"
2018 August: Kings River at Roads End, Kings Canyon National Park, California - "A Visit from Smoky the Bear"
2019 July: The French Alps - [Quetin Wedding Celebration and Backpacking]
2019 July: Norway Adventure - Fjords & Glacial Mountains [Backpacking & Glamping]
2019 August: Catalina Philharmonic Expedition 10-Year Anniversary Trip to Hanalei, Kauai [Backpacking & Vacationing]
2019 November: India, Nepal, Everest & Tibet - Gnar Gnar Backpacking Adventure & Dillon and Madhura's Wedding in Kolkata [Everything]
2020 December: Total Solar Eclipse in Patagonia, Argentina & Chile [Backpacking]
TBD: Kenai Fjords, Denali, and Wrangell St. Elias National Parks, Alaska [Backpacking]
TBD: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico [Glamping & Surfing]
TBD: Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia [Backpacking]
TBD: Capri & Delfino, Italy [Cycling & Diving]
TBD: Lord of the Rings Adventure, New Zealand [Surfing & Backpacking]
TBD: Korea and Japan Adventure [Backpacking]
Master of the Universe Tournament: Champions Hall of Fame
Tournament I - Big Sur 2009: Dillon Kearns [Team Daddy-O's]
Tournament II - Big Sur 2009: Dillon Kearns [Team Daddy-O's]
Tournament III - Havasupai 2010: Benaj Turk [Team Winos]
Tournament IV - Yosemite 2011: Benaj Turk [Team Winos]
Tournament V - Havasupai 2012: Matt Richards [Team Winos]
Tournament VI - Zion 2013: Dillon Kearns [Team Daddy-O's]
Tournament VII - Bass Lake 2013: Yumemi Masui [Team Kimochi]
Tournament VIII - Catalina 2014: Yumemi Masui [Team Kimochi]
Tournament IX - Kearsarge Pass 2016: Yumemi Masui [Team Kimochi]
Tournament X - Mt. Rainier 2017: Benaj Turk [Team Winos]
Tournament XI - Cedar Grove 2018: Benaj Turk [Team Winos]
King of the Cosmos Tournament: Champions Hall of Fame
Tournament I - Catalina 2009: Carol Joe [Freelance Assassin, Retired]
Tournament II - Rae Lakes Loop 2014: Kurt Leingang [Team Winos]
Tournament III - Yosemite Clouds Rest 2015: Shawn Gong [Freelance Destroyer, Guest]
Tournament IV - Kern River 2016: Benaj Turk [Team Winos]
Tournament V - Santa Barbara 2016: Yumemi Masui [Team Kimochi]
Total Eclipse Live Reaction
Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho - August 2017
"Danny Boy" by The Catalina Quartet
Wonderland Trail at Mt. Rainier National Park - July 2017
Rehearsal Montage of "Danny Boy" by The Catalina Quartet
Ohanapecosh River at Mt. Rainier National Park - July, 2017
Opus 12: Catalina Island - Second Expedition, July 2014
Opus 11: Rae Lakes Loop-Kings Canyon National Park - July 2014
Opus 9: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks & Black Canyon-Colorado River - July 2013
Opus 8: Paradise Valley-Kings Canyon National Park - June 2013
Opus 7: Joshua Tree National Park - May 2013
Opus 5: Sequoia National Park - September 2012
Opus 4: Black Canyon-Colorado River - Fifth Expedition, July 2012
Opus 3: Havasupai-Grand Canyon - Seventh Expedition, August 2012
Opus 2: Yosemite National Park - July 2011
Opus 1: Havasupai-Grand Canyon - 2003 to 2010 Expeditions