Daniel Stewart is in his third year as Music Director of the Santa Cruz Symphony. Mr. Stewart's first two seasons in Santa Cruz have led to great critical acclaim, including the Peninsula Reviews' assertion that "Arguably, the Santa Cruz County Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Stewart has now developed into the finest musical ensemble South of San Francisco and North of Los Angeles."
A protégé of James Levine, Mr. Stewart was invited to join the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program in 2012. In addition to studying privately with Maestro Levine and serving as his sole apprentice conductor, Mr. Stewart's activities at the Metropolitan Opera have included conducting concerts, rehearsals, and coaching singers, on a regular basis.
Mr. Stewart's current season includes engagements with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New World Symphony, Orlando Symphony, Skaneateles Festival, and Music in the Mountains Festival.
The recipient of the 2010 Aspen Music Festival's James Conlon Conducting Prize, Mr. Stewart has conducted orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Hessischer Rundfunk Orchester, the Frankfurt Opern Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Saint-Louis Symphony. He has previously served as Cover Conductor with the Atlanta Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Saint-Louis Symphony, assisting conductors Thomas Adès, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur, David Robertson, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Mr. Stewart has worked closely with contemporary composers such as the late Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Adams, and particularly Thomas Adès, whom he assisted in preparing the Los Angeles Philharmonics "Aspects of Adès" festival in 2011. An avid composer himself, Daniel Stewart's compositions have been performed with the Santa Cruz Symphony and at venues including the Aspen Music Festival, the Tribeca New Music Festival, and the Verbier Festival. A selection of his compositions can be found at youtube.com/danielpatrickstewart.
Immediately after graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music, Mr. Stewart was engaged to direct the Curtis Opera Theater's 2010/2011 season opening production of La Tragédie de Carmen. He subsequently served as Assistant Conductor with the Opera Company of Philadelphia for the US Premiere production of Hans Werner Henze's Phaedra, and has prepared Wozzeck, The Rake's Progress and Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Curtis Opera Theater, and Le nozze di Figaro and Falstaff for the Aspen Opera Theater Company.
Previously, Mr. Stewart has served as principal violist of numerous ensembles, including the New World Symphony, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, and the Verbier Festival and Chamber Orchestras. He has performed as an orchestral musician with the San Francisco Symphony, recorded for EMI with Maxim Vengerov, and toured extensively in over 40 countries.
Maestro Stewart is sponsored in part by the Edy & Joe Henderson Endowment.
Nigel Armstrong is emerging as a dynamic and creative artist both within and beyond the realm of classical music. From his musical beginnings as a member of "The Little Fiddlers" in Sonoma, CA to collaborations with tango musicians in Argentina he's enjoyed using the violin in a versatile manner throughout his life.
As soloist Nigel has performed with orchestras such as the Dusseldorf Symphony, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, YOA Orchestra of the Americas, and the Boston Pops, and with conductors including Sir Neville Marriner and Carlos Miguel Prieto. He received the 2nd Prize, the Ole Bull Prize, and the Nordheim Award at the 2010 Menuhin Competition Senior Division in Oslo, Norway, and got the 4th Prize plus the Prize for the Best Performance of the Commissioned Work (STOMP, by John Corigliano) at the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition. As a chamber musician his concerts have taken him across the US and abroad--highlights have included opportunities to share the stage with the Tokyo String Quartet and pianist Jonathan Biss.
Nigel feels fortunate to have had the chance to explore great orchestral literature throughout his career. Since 2009 he's appeared as concertmaster with the Colburn Orchestra, LA's American Youth Symphony, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the YOA Orchestra of the Americas, and most recently the New York String Orchestra in their annual Carnegie hall performances.
A graduate of the Colburn School and the Curtis Institute of Music, Nigel's teachers have included Arnold Steinhardt, Robert Lipsett, Zaven Melikian, and Donald Weilerstein, among others. He also recently had the opportunity to live with and learn from the Plum Village community founded by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, where he spent a year working on their organic farm and taking part in their daily life, an experience for which he continues to be grateful.
Violinist Christine Choi is an avid soloist and chamber musician. She has been a recipient of numerous awards including the Lawrence Bedini Scholarship at the Stewart Brady Competition, the Janet Spoor Achievement Award Fellowship, and top honors at the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition.
An avid chamber musician, Christine has collaborated with Bayla Keyes, Michael Reynolds, and Marcus Thompson in concert. She was a Guest Artist at Music in the Vineyards in Napa Valley, CA, and in 2015, she became an artist member of Music for Food. She was selected to perform for Boston University’s Center for New Music in collaboration with Joan Tower, and The Beethoven Research Center. As an orchestral musician, Christine has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, and Jordan Hall. She has also performed with the Banff Festival Orchestra, Hwaum Boston Chamber Orchestra, and Cantata Singers.
Christine studied with Davis Law and Zaven Melikian in San Francisco, CA, and received her Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as recipient of the Ruth and Jo Blackmore Scholarship. In 2012, she received her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Lucie Robert. Christine recently received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree under the guidance of Bayla Keyes from Boston University.
Originally from McLean, Virginia, Xander Abbe has been a violinist since the age of five, and graduated with a B.A. in music from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. His principal teachers include Sally Thomas, Jody Gatwood, and Neva Greenwood. He regularly performs with the California Pops Orchestra, and he is the principal second violin of the Golden State Pops Orchestra in Los Angeles. Previously, he served as concertmaster of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, with which he performed the violin solo in Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" in 2010, and he toured China with New York's Park Avenue Chamber Symphony in 2011. He is an avid player of string quartets, having participated in chamber music festivals in Budapest, Salzburg, Paris, and Bennington, Vermont. He lives in San Jose with his husband Murray and their four cats.
Kristina Anderson began her violin studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music with Berl Senofsky. She continued study with Jascha Brodsky at the New School of Music in Philadelphia, studied with Fritz Siegel, concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony and with Aaron Rosand at the Academie d' Arte in France.
Ms. Anderson began her orchestral career in the first violin section of the New Orleans Philharmonic. She subsequently became concertmaster of the Colorado Springs and Charlotte Symphonies. Kristina has performed internationally as a tenured member of the New York City Opera National Company Orchestra, as the leader of her string quartet, and has performed as soloist with the Diablo and Livermore Symphony Orchestras.
Ms. Anderson has been concertmaster of the West Bay Opera Orchestra in Palo Alto for 18 seasons, and concertmaster of the Diablo Symphony for 12 seasons. She became concertmaster of the Santa Cruz Symphony in 1998 and retired in 2016. She resides in San Leandro and is active in local music education through the Symphony’s Youth & Family program, the Youth Symphony and private teaching.
Chinh Le was born in Vietnam and came to the US in 1980. Mr. Le completed his Bachelor of Music from Indiana University. He has performed with the New World Symphony in various genres from solo to chamber music series. He was an active performer throughout Europe, South America and Asia before he joined the Symphony Silicon Valley in 1991. He was the music director and conductor of the Saigon Chamber Ensemble between 1998 to 2001. In 2003 he co-founded the Pacific Music Associations, based in Northern California, with purpose of preserving traditional Vietnamese music. Mr. Le is a member of Opera San Jose and San Jose Chamber Orchestra. Additionally, he is the Associate Concertmaster of Santa Cruz Symphony.
Emily Lanzone (Cox) earned her BM in violin performance from the University of Oregon, MM from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a Professional Studies Diploma from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her principal teachers have included Kathryn Gray, Kathleen Winkler, Kathy Lucktenberg, Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio, and Axel Strauss. Since moving to California's Central Coast in 2011, Emily has been a member of the San Luis Obispo Symphony, along with other area ensembles such the Symphony of the Vines, OperaSLO, and Santa Maria Philharmonic. She also plays with the Santa Cruz Symphony, and the Oregon Coast Music Festival in Coos Bay, OR. Emily teaches at Cal Poly University and works with the SLO Youth Symphony, while maintaining a private studio of violin and viola students. Although she specializes in orchestral performance, Emily's first love is chamber music, a passion which took her abroad to northern Italy in the summer of 2011 for the Zephyr Chamber Music Festival. A native of Portland, OR, she currently lives in Morro Bay, CA with her husband Brian, and young son Kieran.
Lori Jensen began playing violin when she was five years old, first with Lesa Zuehlke, then with Zaven Melikian at the San Francisco Conservatory. She graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, a major in Communications and a minor in Religious Studies. She has been a member of the Santa Cruz Symphony since 2003. Other groups she has played with include Symphony Silicon Valley, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, West Bay Opera and California Pops. In addition to teaching private violin, viola and piano students, Lori coaches local youth orchestras and performs at weddings. She is also a first degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Her other hobbies include volleyball, gardening, baking, volunteering and crafts.
Emily Packard is a classical and new music violinist in the Bay Area, currently residing in Alameda, CA. She has an MM in violin performance from the San Francisco Conservatory where she studied with Bettina Mussumeli, and an MFA in improvisation from Mills College where she studied violin with David Abel and Daniel Kobialka and improvisation with Fred Frith. Emily plays regularly with her band Jack O' The Clock (www.jackotheclock.com) as well as in the Santa Cruz and Monterey symphonies. She also loves to collaborate with artists from other mediums. Favorite performances have three productions playing with the Garrett Moulton modern dance company in San Francisco and touring the West Coast with singer/ songwriter Joanna Newsom. Emily teaches private violin lessons and has taught group string classes at Oakland School for The Arts, Crowden School of Music and the El Sistema program Sound Minds among many others.
Susan Worland has been a member of the Santa Cruz Symphony since the fall 2000 (she got the phone call that she'd won a seat on her first wedding anniversary!). She subs occasionally with other "Freeway Philharmonic" orchestras, but particularly loves Santa Cruz, especially with Daniel Stewart at the helm. The challenging but always interesting repertoire is a great treat.
Susan majored in music at Carleton College in Minnesota, a liberal arts
degree, and then honed her skills in Boston, studying with Arturo
Delmoni and Marylou Speaker Churchill, and taking chamber music classes
through the New England Conservatory extension school. Susan teaches
violin students at Starland Music in Alameda, California.
She is also active in various types of non-classical music. She is music director for The Red Thistle Dancers, a Scottish dance performing group based in Palo Alto and she has been band director for several summers at the prestigious Stockton Folk Dance Camp. Her greatest love, though, is for the traditional music of Central Europe -- Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, etc. In this photo she has just finished performing a rousing set of tunes with a group of Moldavian musicians!
Valerie Bengal is a second violinist in the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Priscilla Fisher grew up playing violin in Southern California with a Suzuki program, and toured Japan when she was 11 years old with a group of American children where she received instruction from Dr. Suzuki and his finest teachers. She is a strings teacher at the Santa Cruz Waldorf school, coaches the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony, conducts private lessons, and goes into classrooms each year in February with a docent from the Symphony to demonstrate her instrument, speak to the kids about the concert they will attend, answer questions and engage with them about music. She also performs with the Cabrillo Stage Professional Theater, the White Album Ensemble and the Peninsula Scottish Fiddlers. Priscilla attended Cabrillo College and San Jose State University, where she majored in music with a jazz concentration.
Josephine Gray is currently a contracted member of the Modesto Symphony and the Santa Cruz Symphony. In the past she has played with Monterey Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Napa Symphony, Sacramento Choral Society, Stockton Symphony, Fresno Symphony, Golden Gate Opera and the San Francisco Choral Society. In 2010, Jo was appointed Adjunct Faculty at the University of San Francisco teaching Alexander Technique in the Performing Arts Department. Jo earnerd her Bachelor of Music Performance (Violin) at the University of Auckland New Zealand and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.
Nancy Kvam has been a violinist with the Santa Cruz Symphony since 1983. She has performed with the Monterey Symphony for 5 years, served as Concertmaster of the Cabrillo Stage Pit Orchestra for 4 years and as a violinists with Cabrillo College Jazz ensemble as well has her own jazz group for 5 years. She was a violinist with Cabrillo Stage's 2014 production of Oliver! and a violist for their 2012 production of A Night at the Nutcracker. In the past Nancy also served as a violinist with the Western Stage at Hartnell College and with the Antiquarian Funks. Nancy currently is a violin and viola soloist with the Cabrillo College Orchestra and Latin Ensembles and San Jose State Gamelan, and performs for weddings and special occasions with her chamber music group. Nancy is the former Principal Second Violinist with the Missouri Symphony Society, Lawrence Chamber Players and the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra.
Nancy has been an educator at the Cabrillo College Music Department since 1990, teaching private violin and viola lessons, directing the Chamber Music Program conducting the Baroque-Classical and Contemporary Music Ensembles and Administrating for the Cabrillo Youth Strings Program. Nancy has taught strings at the Green Valley Christian School since 2012 and was the past Director/Conductor of the Branciforte Junior High School Orchestra for 4 years. Nancy taught at the Santa Cruz Summer Music Conservatory and the Hartnell Conservatory's Suzuki Music program as a Co-Director for 4 years each. She also was the conductor of the Hartnell Conservatory Orchestra and the director of the Gault Elementary School String Program for 2 years each.
For many years Nancy has visited classrooms with the Santa Cruz Symphony's Youth Education Program for many years and served as an evaluator of String, Violin, Viola, Chamber Music and Orchestra for the Northern California Music Teachers' Association's annual Certificate of Merit program. Nancy has attended many American String Teachers’ Association Workshops Internationally and Nationally as well as many Suzuki Association of the Americas’ String Institutes (Stanford). Nancy is a member of the Santa Cruz County Music Teachers’ Association, where she began the Certificate of Merit Program for Strings at which students participate yearly.
Nancy received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Violin Performance with Music Teaching Certification (K-12), with an emphasis on Strings/Orchestra at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Nancy later received her Masters of Music Education, with Honors, with emphasis in Violin and Viola Performance, Chamber Music, Suzuki String Training/Pedagogy and Gifted Education at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.
Rebecca Smith is a second violinist in the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Chad Kaltinger is the principal violist of the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Lisa Antonino is a violist in the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Kati Dayner is a violist in the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Rachel McGuire is a violist in the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Jill Van Gee
Jill Van Gee, violist, is thrilled to be a member of the Santa Cruz Symphony. A recent arrival to California, Ms. Van Gee is also a member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and a former member of the San Antonio Symphony. She was Principal Violist with the Juilliard Orchestra for a summer residency in Spoleto, Italy, and during years spent in Canada, played with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Ms. Van Gee has toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia and North America. While playing with the avant-garde Canadian ballet company, La La La Human Steps, she recorded original music by David Lang and Gavin Bryars. A winner of the Canadian Music Competition, she was privileged to perform at the 2006 International Viola Congress.
Ms. Van Gee holds a Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School, a Master of Music from the Université de Montréal, and enjoys working with the next generation of musicians through her private studio and with local youth orchestras.
Ellen Sanders is the Principal Cellist of the Santa Cruz Symphony and Assistant Principal Cellist of Opera San Jose. She also performs with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Music in the Mountains and the San Francisco Opera. Ellen is a Teaching Artists with San Francisco Symphony's Instrument Training and Support program and conducts at Sun Valley Summer Symphony Workshops, Philharmonia Orchestra as Assistant Conductor and Community Women's Orchestra in Oakland, CA. Ellen attended Oberlin College and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Shain Carrasco is a cellist in the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Robin Snyder is a cellist in the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Alden F. Cohen
Alden Cohen is the principal contrabassist for the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Kelly Beecher is a contrabassist in the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Laurie Camphouse is the principal flutist for the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Carmen Lemoine is a flautist in the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Marian Concus plays piccolo and flute for Santa Cruz Symphony. She is a member of Fremont Symphony as well. Marian Concus formerly was Piccoloist for Boise Philharmonic and Central City Opera. She has held teaching positions at the Oshmann Family JCC School for the Performing Arts, Bellarmine Preparatory School, and Friends Central, Philadelphia. Her Klezmer recordings have been broadcast on WFMT Chicago and WRTI Philadelphia. Ms. Concus holds a degree in Flute Performance from New England Conservatory. She also studied for two years in Michel Debost's master class in Paris, France.
Visit her website for more information.
Bennie Cottone is the principal oboist for the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Dr. Michael Adduci teaches oboe and music theory at San Jose State University and oboe at Santa Clara University. He holds Bachelor’s degrees in biology and music from the University of Idaho, and Master’s and DMA degrees in oboe performance from the University of North Texas, where he studied with Charles Veazey. In addition to being a member of the Santa Cruz County Symphony, Michael also performs regularly on a freelance basis with orchestras around the Bay area, including Symphony Silicon Valley, Opera San Jose, Ballet San Jose, the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, the Fremont Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Cruz Chamber Orchestra, the Monterey Symphony, and many others. When not teaching at university or performing, Michael keeps busy in the South Bay as a private lesson teacher, music coach, clinician, instrument repair technician, and reed maker. He works to make oboe playing easier and more accessible to students of all ages.
Recordings of Michael's recent live performances can be found at http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/madduci/applied/oboe.htm.
Diane Machado-Wyant is an oboist in the Santa Cruz Symphony.
San Diego clarinetist Peter Dayeh enjoys a varied career as an orchestral musician, recitalist, and teacher. He is currently the second clarinetist with the Santa Cruz Symphony in Santa Cruz, California, and also plays frequently with the San Diego Symphony. In addition to this, Peter often performs recitals throughout San Diego. He is a teacher dedicated to his private studio and is passionate about teaching the clarinet. His students have held top positions in youth orchestras, as well as having been selected for All-State and All-Southern honor bands, and have taken branch honors in the Music Teachers' Association of California Certificate of Merit program. Former students have attended institutions such as UCLA, UC Berkeley, and California Institute for the Arts. Peter holds a Master's degree in clarinet performance from Arizona State University's Herberger Institute for the Arts, where he studied with world-renowned clarinetist, Dr. Robert Spring, and a Bachelor's degree from San Diego State University, where he studied with Dr. Marian Liebowitz, former principal clarinetist with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra and Arioso Wind Quintet.
Douglas Brown, Principal Bassoonist of the California Symphony and West Bay Opera Company, resides in the Bay Area where he additionally holds positions with the Santa Cruz and Monterey symphonies. Brown also performs regularly with the San Francisco Symphony, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Merced Symphony, Stockton Symphony, Modesto Symphony, and the Pacific Chamber Symphony. Prior to moving to California, he held the positions of Principal Bassoonist of the Billings and Great Falls Symphonies in Montana, and was Bassoonist of the Great Falls Symphony Association's resident woodwind quintet, the Chinook Winds. A native of Red Lodge, Montana, Brown completed his studies at the Juilliard School in New York City in the spring of 2009 under the tutelage of Whitney Crockett. Since the summer of 2010, he has played with the orchestra of the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre Company in Logan, Utah. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, cooking, and attending Bay Area concerts, plays, museums, parks, and galleries.
Erin Irvine has studied with some of the most prestigious bassoon teachers in the nation, earning a bachelor of arts from UCLA, and a master's of music from Rice University. She is the Principal Bassoonist of Santa Cruz symphony and has taught at UCSC since 2009. Erin Irvine has lived in the Bay Area for the last 12 years as a full-time bassoonist, performing with almost every orchestra in the Bay Area including the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Ballet.
Alex Camphouse is a French horn player for the Santa Cruz Symphony.
John Orzel has been playing in the Santa Cruz Symphony since 1985 and has been a contracted member (4th horn) since 1991. He is also co-principal horn with Ensemble Monterey. He has played with a variety of local orchestras and ensembles as well as Santa Barbara Symphony and Eugene (Oregon) Symphony and Opera. He has taught music in the public schools and through other venues, as well as privately. In addition to music, he is interested in gardening and amateur radio.
Caitlyn Smith Franklin
Caitlyn Smith Franklin (Horn), a native of the Chicago area, is a Bay Area freelancer and teacher. Caitlyn has been the Principal Horn of the Stockton Symphony since 2013. She also holds the position of Utility Horn with the Santa Rosa Symphony and 2nd Horn with the Santa Cruz Symphony. While studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Robert Ward of the San Francisco Symphony, Caitlyn also won two regional orchestra positions in 2010: 2nd Horn in the Monterey Symphony and 4th horn in the Fort Collins Symphony (CO). With a very active freelance orchestral career, Caitlyn performs regularly with numerous Bay Area orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, Opera San Jose, the Marin Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, the Fresno Philharmonic, the Napa Valley Symphony, Merced Symphony, Fremont Symphony, the SF Academy Orchestra, and the Magik*Magik Orchestra. In addition to her freelance work, Caitlyn maintains a small teaching studio and also enjoys playing woodwind chamber music.
During the summers, Caitlyn has also performed with the National Repertory Orchestra, at the Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Brevard Music Center, the Pierre-°©‐Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians, and the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific.
Caitlyn holds Bachelor’s degrees in music (horn performance) and biology, graduating summa cum laude from the University of Miami in 2008. Subsequently, she earned her Master of Music degree in horn performance in 2011 and her Professional Studies Diploma in 2012, both from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
GLENN SMITH, trumpet, first played professionally at age 17 in 1971 in a rock band in San Jose. He then trained classically, graduating in music from UCSC in 1977. While at USCS, Glenn studied with Bill Wright and Joyce Johnson, later playing with Bill in the Reed Street Brass Quintet. Since, then, Glenn has studied with Mario Guarneri at Cal Arts, Tony Plog, James Dooley and been heavily influenced by the teachings and a few lessons with Arnold Jacobs. Glenn was a member of the Santa Cruz County Symphony briefly in the 70's and then continuously since 1980. He has also performed with numerous Bay Area, LA and Sacramento area orchestras and brass ensembles. Since moving to Nevada City in 1992, he performs periodically with Music in the Mountains, InConcert Sierra and Sierra Stages, and is a founding member of the Sierra Brass Quintet and the R&B band, Power of 12. Having taught at two community music schools in the Bay Area, Glenn maintains his strong dedication to private teaching. In February 2015, his student, Rebekah Shuholm, won first chair in the top California all-state high school honor band.
Michael Cushing is a trombone player in the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Forrest Byram was born and raised near Chicago. He began playing tuba at the age of eight as part of a public school music program. He says that were it not for a public school music program he would not be a musician today. Mr. Byram is a graduate of Northwestern University where he studied with Arnold Jacobs, the renowned tubist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He continued his education as a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra (the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony). During those two years, he performed on many occasions with the Chicago Symphony. He then accepted an appointment as principal tuba with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Forrest is currently principal tuba with the Monterey Symphony as well as several other orchestras. These include the Modesto Symphony, the California Symphony and the Santa Cruz Symphony. He has played in films and commercials, and can be heard from time to time with the San Francisco Symphony, or in the pit with the San Francisco Ballet or San Francisco Opera.
One of his greatest joys is playing for students throughout Monterey and San Benito Counties in the Monterey Symphony’s “in-school” program which brings live educational performances to hundreds of schools (and thousands of students) each year. As host to the Monterey Symphony Youth Concerts, he engages the student audience to actively participate in the music being performed by the symphony. For fifteen years, Mr. Byram served on the Monterey County Symphony Association’s board of directors as the musician’s representative and joined the music director search committee. In both instances, he was elected to these positions by his colleagues in the orchestra. In 2001, when he informed the players that he wanted them to select others to serve as their representative on the Association board, then President Walter J. McCarthy recommended Mr. Byram to serve a three-year term on the board of directors in his own right in recognition of his valued input and years of service which was unanimously approved.
John Weeks is the principal timpanist for the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Norman has been the Principal Percussionist and Personnel Manager with the Santa Cruz Symphony since 1990, and also holds the Principal Percussion Chair in the Lamplighters and West Bay Opera. He plays jazz with a big band every Tuesday night when he isn't working, teaches a large class of private students, and provides instrumental contracting services to a variety of clients. When he's not working, Norman is passionately fond of science fiction, cooking and his cat, Alex. Norman and his wife Lynda have been happily married since 1982.
Board of Directors
Owen Brown has been a Symphony subscriber ever since he moved to Santa Cruz. He joined the board in 2005. Owen previously chaired the Governance Committee and served as Board President from the 2008/09 through the 2013/14 Seasons. Prior to that he headed the Finance Committee for two years. He retired from his position as CTO at Plantronics, allowing him to spend more time with volunteer work.
Treasurer, Vice President Finance
Mike has been a resident of Santa Cruz County for over 20 years, but only recently discovered our Symphony. His love of music inspired him to join the Board, where he currently serves on the Finance Committee. Mike works in Silicon Valley as the CFO of Echelon Corporation.
Barbara Canfield has been a subscriber and Symphony supporter for many years. She joined the board of directors in 2012.
Vice President, Development
John Dickinson is a retired communications specialist who spent over 30 years in publishing and marketing principally for the technology industry. His lifelong love of music motivates his active participation on the Board of the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Communications specialties include written content developed for specific venues including magazine, newspaper, newsletter, web, and social media. His career included positions such as Senior Web Editor for Juniper Networks, Founding Director of PC Magazine Labs, Editor in Chief of Computer Shopper, and Editorial Director for Curtco Publishing.
Vice President, Governance
Linda Downing has been a symphony supporter for many years. Formerly a member of the real estate community as well as an elementary school educator, she gained an appreciation for the importance of the arts community. A board member since 2012, her focus is the Youth and Family Committee.
Vice President, Education
A long-term subscriber, Lee Duffus is a former UC Santa Cruz student affairs administrator and small business owner. In addition to his involvement with the Symphony, Lee serves on the Santa Cruz City Arts Commission, the Cabrillo College Foundation board, and is chair of the systemwide Council of University of California Retiree Associations. He serves on the Education, Governance, and Marketing committees.
Vice President, Artistic Advisory
Catharine Gill is the chair of the Artistic Advisory Committee. She is a retired high school English teacher who was instrumental in the founding of Pacific Collegiate School. Catharine worked for several years on the board of the S.C. Youth Symphony, where her daughters played violin for a number of years. Catharine grew up in Japan where she was exposed to classical music from an early age and studied piano many years.
Pegi Ard joined the board in 2010. She recently led the Music Director Search Committee and currently chairs the Finance Committee.
Ralph has been a litigation attorney for 30 years. Before that, he worked as an Asst. District Attorney for 10 years and served in the U.S. Army as a reservist, attaining the rank of Captain in the Corps of Engineers. Ralph plays the saxophone in a swing/jazz band and enjoys spending time with his wife and their German Shepherd.
Myrna Britton was born in Minnesota and worked as teacher and counselor. She practiced employment law for 25 years and is now retired. Myrna served on the boards of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, California Women Lawyers and Women Lawyers of Santa Cruz County, and served on county and city commissions and the Equal Opportunity Employment commission. Myrna learned to fly at 18; worked as a crewmember on a sailboat in Europe; and now owns a sailboat with her husband, Roger Anderson.
Linda Burroughs is the Broker/Owner of Linda Burroughs Real Estate. She has been involved with the Santa Cruz Symphony since 1993 and served as Board President for five years. She is also the Past President of the Rotary Club of Santa Cruz, Past President of the Cabrillo College Foundation, current Co-Chair of the Cabrillo College President’s Circle, and Chair of the Santa Cruz County Symphony Endowment. She was honored to be recognized as the 2008 Santa Cruz Chamber Woman of the Year. She and her husband, John, are proud to support our excellent Symphony and welcome Daniel Stewart as our new Maestro.
Mary Anne James
Mary Anne James is currently the Associate Superintendent for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. She leads Educational Services for the SCCOE encompassing the departments of Curriculum/Instruction, Child Development Programs, Student Support Services, Outdoor Science School, Santa Cruz New Teacher Project, among others. Before coming to the COE, Mary Anne served in a number of administrative positions for the Santa Cruz City School District, including site principal and director of Curriculum and Assessment. Mary Anne’s advocacy for Visual and Performing Arts instruction in schools led her to join the Symphony’s board in 2012.
Helen was born and raised in MA. She has degrees from Boston University, University of Illinois and Hunter College. She had a career as a community college administrator and specialty travel agent. Helen retired to Santa Cruz; discovered the exceptional Santa Cruz Symphony; and joined the SC Symphony League in order to more fully support the orchestra.
Owner of Michael's on Main in Soquel, CA.
Cynthia Kilian first joined the Symphony board of directors in the 2001/02 season and currently serves as the chair of the South County Committee. Cynthia is a real estate agent with Bailey Properties, a choral singer and an international volunteer.
Roger Knacke is the immediate past president of the Symphony League board. He retired as Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the Pennsylvania State University Erie in 2010 and moved to Santa Cruz. Roger still teaches occasionally, and is a volunteer docent at Point Lobos State Reserve.
Mary Ann Orr
Mary Ann Orr was previously on the Association Board from 2002 to 2009 and served as Director and Officers Committee Chair. During her hiatus from the board she was active with the Symphony League and is known as a volunteer role model. Mary Ann was recognized with the Most Valuable Player Award at the 2012 Association of California Symphony Orchestras summer conference. She and her husband, Peter, moved to the Santa Cruz area 24 years ago and have two daughters. Mary Ann studies classical piano with Heather Morris.
I have been involved with the Symphony League Board for about 4 years, chairing the Gala last year. I have been on the Historical Association Board of Pajaro Valley, participated as a CASA for 4 years, volunteer with WomenCare and am a member of Dining for Women.
I love music and feel classical is especially beneficial in the positive development of skills for children at risk. I was the administration manager at Merrill Lynch in Beverly Hills and at Sutro Financial in San Jose.
Jim Weisenstein has 37 years of industry experience in building and managing businesses, and is committed to the growth of new ventures in the Monterey Bay area of northern California. He is currently on the board of Lighthouse Bank and is a Limited Partner for Wavepoint Ventures. Previously he was the CEO of Day One Solar.
Dorothy Wise brings considerable experience to her role as Interim Executive Director. She grew up in a family of professional musicians, including her father who was an orchestra conductor in Los Angeles. Dorothy rejoined the Board of Directors in 2013 to support Maestro Daniel Stewart. She served as Board President from 2014 to 2016. A member of the Board from 1991-1996 Dorothy served in various positions, including President from 1995-96. She is a member of the Symphony Endowment Committee and was a member of the Conductor Search Committee. Dorothy strongly supports education and the arts throughout Santa Cruz County and is a long-time financial supporter of the Symphony. She worked in high-tech for 20+ years, including as an Executive at Borland, Novell and Agile Software.
Director of Administration, Education and Development
Most recently Cordelia Neff was the Executive Director for the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, where community relations, organization and fundraising were a focus. This will continue in her role with the Symphony, in reaching out to donors and getting to know the supporters as first items of business.
Hailing from Maryland and a Biology major at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, self-professed “adventure” led her to Santa Cruz, California, where she has resided for nearly four years. A clarinetist since fourth grade, she was a former musician and board member of the Rockville Concert Band in Maryland. Currently she plays with the UCSC Wind Ensemble and volunteers for the San Jose and Santa Cruz County Youth Symphonies. It is this love of music that brought her to the Santa Cruz Symphony.
James "JD" de Leon
Director of Marketing and Communications
James comes from a family of musicians and visual artists and began his career at the age of 17 as an illustrator creating the art for book covers, movie posters, magazines and editorials. At 19 he purchased his first home on Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz, pursuing his passion for surfing, music and painting.
He spent the next 20 years at O’Neill as Creative Director and Senior Product Designer and will always be grateful for the opportunity provided by Jack and the O’Neill family. James then founded his own full service agency, 57design, where he’s had the pleasure of mentoring young designers and fanning the flames of their creativity. His clients include Surftech, Dell, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Semicon, Atari, Sony, Crossfit and Brylise Tahitian Pearls.
He is excited to bring his love of music along with a fresh approach to marketing and community outreach to the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Norman has been the Principal Percussionist and Personnel Manager with the Santa Cruz Symphony since 1990, and also holds the Principal Percussion Chair in the Lamplighters and West Bay Opera. He plays jazz with a big band every Tuesday night when he isn’t working, teaches a large class of private students, and provides instrumental contracting services to a variety of clients. When he’s not working, Norman is passionately fond of science fiction, cooking and his cat, Alex. Norman and his wife Lynda have been happily married since 1982.
Jill Van Gee
Jill Van Gee, violist, is thrilled to be a member of the Santa Cruz Symphony and their new Librarian. A recent arrival to California, Ms. Van Gee is also a member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and a former member of the San Antonio Symphony. She was Principal Violist with the Juilliard Orchestra for a summer residency in Spoleto, Italy, and during years spent in Canada, played with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Ms. Van Gee has toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia and North America. While playing with the avant-garde Canadian ballet company, La La La Human Steps, she recorded original music by David Lang and Gavin Bryars. A winner of the Canadian Music Competition, she was privileged to perform at the 2006 International Viola Congress.
Ms. Van Gee holds a Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School, a Master of Music from the Université de Montréal, and enjoys working with the next generation of musicians through her private studio and with local youth orchestras.