Sponsored by Deborah Bronstein & Evans Whitaker

Bennie Cottone has performed as principal oboist with the Santa Cruz Symphony since 2005, with the Monterey Symphony as principal oboist since 1988, and as English Hornist with the Berkeley Symphony since 1982.

A ‘charter member’ of the Freeway Philharmonic, Mr. Cottone has performed with most groups located within driving range of San Francisco. This includes ten years as English Hornist and second oboist with the Santa Rosa Symphony.
He has served as English Hornist for the 1994 San Francisco Symphony Pops and the 1992-93 season of the San Francisco Ballet, as well as English Horn and Oboe d’Amore soloist for the SF Ballet Orchestra’s CD, “Debussy Rediscovered’, on the Arabesque label.

With the SF Concerto Orchestra he has been soloist in works of Bach, Mozart, Copland and Honegger.

A San Francisco native, he attended the SF public schools, Lowell High School and SF State University. His instructors have included Marc Lifschey, Raymond Duste, John deLancie and Laszlo Varga.

An amateur mycologist, Mr. Cottone is a member of the Mycological Society of San Francisco, and has served on the MSSF council and as co-chair of the MSSF’s culinary division.
Mr. Cottone resides in San Francisco with his Dachshund, Koko.

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Ryan Zwahlen

Sponsored by Mary & Harry Blanchard

In the summer of 2014, oboist, Ryan Zwahlen, relocated from Southern California to the San Francisco Bay Area. Since arriving in Northern California, he’s quickly become a fixture in the music scene. Ryan is currently second oboe of the Santa Cruz Symphony, Santa Cruz Ballet, and the Pacific Chamber Orchestra. He also performs regularly with Opera San Jose, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, One Found Sound, Santa Cruz Ballet, and Symphony Silicon Valley. Additionally, he's appeared with the Oakland Symphony, Marin Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, California Symphony, Merced Symphony, among others. While in Southern California, he performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic multiple times, recorded and performed with the San Diego Symphony among many others. He’s had concerto appearances with the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra, Les Sauvages Americains, and Definiens.

An avid chamber musician, Ryan has been a member of the Vientos Trio (winner of the 2011 Beverly Hills Auditions), West Coast Wind Quintet (Finalist in the 2013 San Diego Chamber Music Competition), Definiens, Santa Monica Symphony Wind Quintet, and many more. Ryan’s devotion to music education was demonstrated while serving as the Music Department Chair of the Idyllwild Arts Academy from 2010-2014. He also taught through the Idyllwild Arts Summer Programs, ChamberFest and Songwriting Workshop. Currently, Ryan runs MidPeninsula Music Academy in Redwood City, is the oboe faculty for Young Musicians and Artists, a summer arts camp in Oregon, and is the Applied Oboe Faculty at West Valley College.

Ryan studied oboe with Nancy Ambrose King, Martin Shuring, and Marion Kuszyk. Additional studies/masterclasses with Russ DeLuna, Laura Griffiths, Rebecca Henderson, Kathryn Greenbank, Diana Doherty, Fred Korman, and Bert Lucarelli.


Diane Machado-wyant

Sponsored by Alice Weigel

Diane Wyant grew up in the Santa Clara Valley of California and attended college at San Jose State University. After obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree in oboe and English horn performance (1989) she went on to earn her California state teaching credential in music.

Since 1990, Ms. Wyant has held directorships at Valley Christian Middle School, Sierramont Middle School, Leigh High School, Cupertino High School, and is presently one of the directors of Music at Bellarmine College Preparatory and is the Director of Bands at Branham High School, both located in San Jose, CA.  In addition, she maintains the position of conductor of wind bands for the San Jose Youth Symphony.

Along with teaching in both public and private schools, Ms. Wyant is an active adjudicator for Drum Corps International (DCI), and various other state band associations. Over the past 21 years, Ms. Wyant  has been a member of the Music Educator’s National Conference (MENC), California Music Educator’s Association (CMEA), and the California Band Director’s Association (CBDA).

As a performer, Ms. Wyant holds the English horn position with Santa Cruz Symphony and has performed with the San Jose Symphony, Opera San Jose, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, Monterey Symphony, and Ensemble Monterey.