1st Violin

Debra Fong, Concertmaster
Maria Shim, Asst. Concertmaster, on leave
Katharine Wahl, Asst. Concertmaster
Kim Bonnett
Angelene McDaniel Boto
Veronica Cedillos
Samuel Y. Chan
Hsinkai Chang
Daniel Cher
Genevieve Coyle
Marsali Hancock
Elaine Higashi
Patricia Ho
Sandra E. Larragoiti
Lynette Liu
Liana Mehawej
Ann Podesta
Carol Roedder
Dana Scoby
Lauren Speeth, on leave
Matt Springer
Judy Streger
Karen Tsuei
Sandy Wan
Laura Whitehurst, on leave
Alison Wong

2nd Violin

Deborah Passanisi, Principal
Bradley Gibson, Assistant Principal
Susanne Bohl
Beatrice Chau
Lisa Cheung
Gabriel Crane
Ashley Devine
Kevin Dong
Nadin El-Yabroudi
Vineet Mehta
Frank Rahn
Kate Schembri
Jshon Thomas
Irene Waldman
Alex Wang
David Williams
Angie Yeh
Hanna Yoshimoto

Viola

Elyse Ader, Principal
Elon Bauer
Murray Bowles
Katherine Bukstein
China Chien
Ruth Freeman
Ed Hattyar
Elizabeth Ingber
Cathie Lowmiller
Terrence O’Neill
Jerry Saliman
Jolynda Tresner-Holmes
Carolyn Worthington

Cello

Kirsten Shallenberg, Principal
Sally Baack, Asst. Principal
Nina Aggarwal
Alan Bien
Mary Jane Bohrer
Eitan Cher
Frank Diaz
Tetsu Ishihara
Tomoko Ishihara
Annette Lewis
Susan Magrini
Anne Powell
Kirsten Shallenberg
Zhou Yi
Michael Zachary

Double Bass

Suesan W. Taylor, Principal
Paul Breslin
Bob Crum
Paul Federighi
David Herberg
Rahul Iyer
Bruce Moyer
Daniel Swetlik
Kody Theissen
Michael Tong
Jeff Wachtel

Woodwinds

Ellen Crawford, Principal Flute
Kathryn Barnard, Flute
Patricia Harrell, Flute
David Latulippe, Flute/Piccolo
Anne Wharton, Flute
Audrey Gore, Principal Oboe
Dane Carlson, Oboe/English Horn
Joel Greene, Oboe
Lianne Araki, English Horn
Susan Macy, Principal Clarinet
Ron Miller, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet/Saxophone
Steven Cooper, Saxophone
Linda Wilson, Saxophone
Nathaniel Echols, Co-Principal Bassoon
Juliet Hamak, Co-Principal Bassoon/Contrabassoon
John Givens, Bassoon

Brass

Brian W. Holmes, Co-Principal French Horn
Randy Nickel, Co-Principal French Horn
David Dufour, French Horn
Anna Newman, French Horn
Paul Schneider, French Horn
Jon Pankin, Principal Trumpet
Robert Fitt, Trumpet
Benjamin Jackson, Trumpet
Richard O. Leder, Trumpet
Mike Marmarou, Trumpet
David Allmon, Co-Principal Trombone
John Sanguinetti, Co-Principal Trombone
Don Couch, Trombone
Rami Hindiyeh, Trombone
Todd Weinman, Principal Bass Trombone
James Manganaro, Principal Tuba
Vasos Lee, Tuba

Percussion & Keyboards

Michael Jay Bresler, Principal Timpani
Matthew Germano, Principal Percussion
Celeste Everson Misfeldt, Principal Harp
Thomas Hansen, Principal Piano/Celeste
Matt Springer, Timpani/Percussion
Lydia Derugin, Harp/Percussion
Benedict Lim, Percussion

Roster current as of February 17, 2017

1st Violin

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Debra Fong Concertmaster

Symphony Member since 2014

Violinist Debra Fong is a Lecturer in Violin and Chamber Music at Stanford University, and she maintains a private violin studio in Palo Alto. In addition to her position as Acting Concertmaster of the Peninsula Symphony, Debra is also Principal Second Violinist of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and she performs regularly throughout the Bay Area with ensembles such as Opera San Jose and San Jose Chamber Orchestra. She spends her summers as a first violinist with The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. An active chamber musician, Debra has performed at Toronto Summer Music; Bay Chamber Concerts in Maine; Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival in Vermont; Sarasota Music Festival; and Yale/Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Connecticut. She has been a featured guest artist with the St. Lawrence String Quartet; Stanford University’s Pan-Asian Music Festival; North American New Music Festival in Buffalo, New York; Gold Coast Chamber Players; New Music Festival at Santa Clara University; and the Virginia Symphony. Debra is an avid proponent of contemporary music and has collaborated closely with composers such as Olivier Messiaen, Joan Tower, John Cage, Gabriela Lena Frank, Thomas Adès, and Bright Sheng. Debra received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with Honors and Distinction in Performance from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where she studied with Eric Rosenblith, James Buswell, Eugene Lehner, and Louis Krasner. She has held the position of Associate Concertmaster of the Virginia Symphony and Virginia Opera in Norfolk, and is a former violin faculty member at The Music Institute of Chicago, The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and New England Conservatory’s Preparatory Division. In her leisure time, Debra enjoys photography, word games, practicing yoga, reading modern fiction, and seeking out excellent coffee. She is married to cellist Christopher Costanza (of the St. Lawrence String Quartet), and they have an ebullient violinist daughter, Isabella.



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Maria Shim Asst. Concertmaster

Symphony Member since



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Katharine Wahl Asst. Concertmaster

Symphony Member since 2006

Kate Wahl began playing the violin at age three. She has a degree in violin performance from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, and also studied at the Meadowmount School of Music, Aspen Music Festival, and Mozarteum Salzburg. In addition to performance with the PSO, Kate has played with Bay Area orchestras, Symphony Parnassus and Fremont Symphony Orchestra, and Northeast Wisconsin groups, Green Bay Symphony and Fox Valley Symphony.

Kate is Editor-in-Chief of the Stanford University Press, where she develops book manuscripts in Middle East studies. Her authors are prominent university faculty from across the United States and around the world, and her books are read by scholars, students, and the general public. When she’s not traveling to academic conferences or practicing violin, Kate enjoys finding great new restaurants in San Francisco, attending the San Francisco Ballet, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers.



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Kim Bonnett 1st Violin

Symphony Member since



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Angelene McDaniel Boto 1st Violin

Symphony Member since 2014

Originally hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Angelene began playing the violin at the age of 4 or 5. She studied under Maureen O’Boyle. In high school, Angelene sat as concertmaster for the Booker T. Washington High School orchestra, the Tulsa Youth Symphony, various regional honor orchestras, and in 2001 sat as concertmaster for the Oklahoma All-State (OMEA) Orchestra. While studying Architectural Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, Angelene continued playing all four years in the UT University Orchestra, where she has sat as principal second violin. She continued on to Stanford for graduate school in engineering, and has performed with the Stanford New Music Ensemble.
Angelene works as a structural engineer in San Francisco and has been fortunate in the past to be able to work on the design of a number of performing arts centers. She was introduced to the Peninsula Symphony by long-time classmate and fellow structural engineer Laura Whitehurst. Outside of work and Symphony, Angelene enjoys playing the violin with her husband Erem Boto, a software engineer who also plays violin. Angie also enjoys rock climbing, mountaineering, sailing, and drawing with ink. Her favorite work performed with PSO is Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2.



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Veronica Cedillos 1st Violin

Symphony Member since 2014

Veronica is a structural engineer with a bachelor’s degree from MIT and a master’s degree from Stanford University. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and now lives in Belmont with her husband who is from Slovenia.
Veronica has been playing violin since the age of 9. She grew up playing both classical music and mariachi. She has performed with various groups, including Mariachi Los Pasajeros, MIT Symphony Orchestra, Mariachi Internacional del Tecnologico, Greenwich Village Orchestra in New York City, Stanford Symphony Orchestra (SSO), Mariachi Cardenal de Stanford, and San Francisco Sinfonietta.
Veronica’s career has focused on reducing risk from natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis. She has conducted projects throughout the world, including the U.S., Indonesia, Peru, Haiti and India. Music has also taken her through the world, such as touring in China with SSO, participating in a summer music festival in Czech Republic, and performing with her violinist sister for underserved communities throughout their seven-month adventure travels in South America. Veronica also loves dancing, running and yoga.



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Samuel Y. Chan 1st Violin

Symphony Member since


Hsinkai Chang 1st Violin

Symphony Member since





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Genevieve Coyle 1st Violin

Symphony Member since 2012

Genevieve studied with Jenny Rudin and has performed with orchestras throughout the Bay Area and Sacramento regions. She has found a home with the Peninsula Symphony due to the exceptional quality of its conductors and musicians, wonderful audiences, and camaraderie among members. For Genevieve, a highlight of every season is the outdoor summer pops concert where adults and children of all ages and backgrounds experience the orchestra in a casual atmosphere, and her hope is that at least one person is newly exposed to classical music – and may even discover he/she likes it! Playing with PSO fondly brings Genevieve back to her years with the California Youth Symphony as she and a handful of fellow PSO colleagues often perform the very same works on the very same two stages (SMPAC and Flint Center) as when they were teenagers together decades ago. Genevieve is particularly grateful to have established friendships in the orchestra, sharing adventures that extend beyond music. She is an unofficial member of an unsactioned PSO hiking and beer club. The highlights to date are the Pinnacles and a 32-mile Yosemite trek, followed by brews, pizza, and aching quads. Next up (if it is up to Genevieve): Zion, Arches, and Bryce. Genevieve is an environmental attorney in San Francisco, and spends most of her free time with her husband attempting to tire out their jack russell terrier, Gigi.





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Elaine Higashi 1st Violin

Symphony Member since 2014

Elaine is a biomedical engineer with degrees from Cornell University. She was an active member of the Cornell Chamber Orchestra through undergraduate and graduate school and had the opportunity to study under Joseph Lin and Ariana Kim. Elaine was born and raised in the Bay Area and has been studying the violin since age 4. She was introduced to the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra by her former teacher, Pat Burnham and joined the group in 2014. Outside of work, Elaine enjoys playing tennis, dabbling in jazz piano and annoying her cat, Saki.



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Patricia Ho 1st Violin

Symphony Member since 2014

Patricia began studying the violin at the age of 4. As a student of the SF Conservatory of Music, she studied under Elizabeth Park, Pat Burnham, and Wei He. In high school, Patricia served as concertmaster of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, the Menlo School Chamber Orchestra, and the British American Chamber Orchestra. She was also a participant of Music@Menlo’s inaugural year. She then went on to graduate from Stanford, where she studied under Debra Fong and played in chamber groups under the coaching of Stephen Harrison.
Patricia currently works as a design engineer for medical devices. Outside of work and music, Patricia enjoys indulging her sweet tooth, as well as playing tennis and exploring the outdoors.



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Sandra E. Larragoiti 1st Violin

Symphony Member since 1987

Sandra is semi-retired. She is a retired high school counselor, high school teacher, and Catholic School Principal. Today she is a Senior Lecturer at Notre Dame de Namur University where she teaches writing and linguistics.
She began playing the violin at 8 years old. Throughout her life she has found ways to keep playing the violin for sheer joy! She trained with a number of violin teachers, and today sporadically consults with her violin teacher. She joined the Symphony in 1987, but stepped out to raise her son. She returned in 2009 to the Peninsula Symphony because playing the violin enriches her life. Her favorite composers are Mozart and Bach. She believes music should be a part of all children’s lives. She enjoys playing with IHM church.
In 2014, she was awarded the “John Macquarrie Fellowship in Philosophical Theology” for her dissertation. In her spare time she likes to minister to the homebound. Her hobbies are reading, writing, practicing Tai Chi, and being with family. She recently became a grandmother. She lives in Belmont.



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Lynette Liu 1st Violin

Symphony Member since 2013

Lynette is originality from China, where she began studying the violin as a young child, under Yunxuan Hong. She graduated from the music program of Beijing Dance Academy, studying violin performance under Yunzhang Zhang. Lynette was a member of the National Ballet of China, where she played as a professional violinist for 10 years. She joined the first violin section of the Peninsula Symphony in 2013.
Currently, Lynette works as a private violin teacher. She maintains an active private teaching studio in Danville, California. While Lynette is engrossed in the musical life, she is also passionate about her new interest in photography.





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Ann Podesta 1st Violin

Symphony Member since



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Carol Roedder 1st Violin

Symphony Member since 1974

Carol Roedder has played in the Peninsula Symphony since 1974. She and her stand partner, Anne Podesta, have played together since that year, establishing a lifelong friendship.
Carol began her violin studies at the age of ten in the California public school system. From the very start she loved practicing, and to this day she enjoys the personal challenge of a difficult passage. When she got to high school, she joined her first symphony orchestra, the Tulare County Symphony, which gave her an introduction to the joys of playing in a large group. She says playing in an orchestra gives her a connection to history. Her favorite symphonic work is probably Mahler’s Fifth, but it’s difficult to choose one above all.
Carol is a retired English teacher, having spent some 45 years teaching in the Bay Area. She enjoys reading, travel, and the great outdoors. On weekends you will find her cycling up some of the local bay area hills. She has two daughters, one a professional cellist and the other an avocational violist.



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Dana Scoby 1st Violin

Symphony Member since 2000

For 13 years Dana Cheatham Scoby has directed the very robust Strings program of 60+ students at Cherry Chase Elementary School in Sunnyvale, CA where violin instruction begins as early as 1st grade. Many of her public school and private students continue to participate in the Peninsula Youth Symphony (PYO) and other youth and high school orchestras around the Bay Area.
After a 25-year management career in consumer electronics, telecommunications, high-tech marketing and public relations, which included the market introductions of 3D printing technology and Sony’s Playstation®, Dana chose to change careers in 2003 forming Maestro School of Music. The transition was natural for her coming from a family rooted in education and music that can be traced back to 16th century Manchester, England where Chetham’s School of Music exists today on the site of the original school founded in 1653. A Los Angeles native and a graduate of UCLA, Dana studied violin under the tutelage of Dorothy Compinsky and Manuel Compinsky, who performed with the NBC Symphony and whose father studied and played with Fritz Kreisler.
“Performing under the baton of Maestro Klein is a great privilege”, says Scoby who has been a Peninsula Symphony member since 2000.  “The Peninsula Symphony truly is top-notch.”



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Lauren Speeth 1st Violin

Symphony Member since 2000

Lauren Speeth, a lifelong musician and career technologist at Elfenworks, played violin and percussion in the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra since 2000 and transitioned to emeritus status in Fall of 2015. Prior to joining PSO, Speeth played Violin I with the Coastside Orchestra, and performed solos and in small groups at home and abroad, including: the premiere performance of Jeremy Cohen’s Suite for Strings; Yoshi’s in Oakland; an impromptu roadside concert with The Carter Center; repeat performances at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia; and the occasional wedding. Although she has set down the violin, she is grateful to Maestro Klein, the orchestra, and all her teachers – including Chris Kranyak, Joseph Gold, Betty Haag, Jeremy Cohen and Aaron Rosand – for instilling skills and values that she can use daily at Elfenworks Productions LLC, “beyond film and music,” where she aims to equip, encourage, and inspire engagement. First adopted by her dear teacher Aaron Rosand, Speeth still participates in Adopt-a-Musician and is presently adopted by The Elfenworks Foundation, “In Harmony with Hope.”



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Symphony Member since 1999

Matt Springer, a professor at UCSF, has played violin and percussion in the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra since 1999. In the 1990s, Matt appeared as piano soloist and as mallet percussion soloist with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, with which he played violin and timpani during graduate school and subsequent research positions until 1999, and he gave several multi-instrumental recitals in the Stanford Music Department during that time. Matt played erhu (Chinese violin) for many years in the South Bay Chinese Orchestra and has appeared as erhu soloist with the San Francisco Civic Symphony and the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra. In the past, he has belonged to the Stanford Percussion Ensemble, the Redwood Symphony Orchestra, the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, used to perform frequently with TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, and toured nationally with the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps in 1982.
Matt’s published music arrangements include Four Pieces from the Gayane Ballet Suite (music of Khachaturian arranged for mallet percussion ensemble; 1994), the Jewish Folksong Suite for String Quartet (Springer compositions based on Jewish folk melodies; 1996), Three Grieg Dances (music of Grieg arranged for mallet percussion ensemble; 1996), and Chinese Celebrations (Chinese orchestral music arranged for string quartet; 2006). He has contributed articles for Strings Magazine about his Jewish and Chinese string quartet music.
When not being a musician, he leads a UCSF research group exploring treatments for heart disease and studying the effects of secondhand smoke on blood vessels, and he has given numerous presentations around San Francisco about earthquake preparedness with an associated blog, Quaketips. His three interests have intersected only once: when an earthquake occurred during a Peninsula Symphony rehearsal, and his heart beat a little faster.



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Judy Streger 1st Violin

Symphony Member since 1984

Judy Streger has performed with PSO for the last 31 years, joining on Valentine’s Day, 1984. Her loyalty to PSO continues primarily because of the expertise of Maestro Klein, his excellent conducting skills and musical interpretations. He has the ability to impart his knowledge and bring out the best in each musician. In addition, the members of the orchestra have formed a tight bond, both musically and personally. New members are welcomed warmly, giving the orchestra the feel of an extended family.
Having begun playing at age 11 (in a school program), Judy joined the Musician’s Union in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 16. She received a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology from S.F. State University, with a minor in music. In college, she performed in Mexico City with a 16-piece all-girl-orchestra, touring Mexico while backing up a night club act.
Judy has worked as a speech therapist and Weight Watcher Leader (now retired), has done extensive theater work (pit orchestras) and continues to enjoy that venue of playing. She loves to travel the world with her husband, Ivan, when not playing. Their daughter, Eve, is a casting director in Los Angeles.



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Karen Tsuei 1st Violin

Symphony Member since



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Laura Whitehurst 1st Violin

Symphony Member since

Laura is a structural engineer with degrees from Cornell University and Stanford University. She is an alumna of the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, and the Stanford Philharmonia. She has toured Germany and China with these groups.
Laura has studied violin since age 11, as well as dabbling in piano, guitar, mandolin, and an ill-conceived adventure with the accordion. She grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she was a member of the Tulsa Youth Symphony and numerous honor orchestras. She studied with Aldee Marquis. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2007, Laura has appeared with the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, the Community Women’s Orchestra, and the Peninsula Symphony. She is a founding member of Quartet Vino, a drinking group with a music problem. Outside of music and work, Laura is an avid runner and soccer player. With her copious free time, she enjoys adventurous travel and makes a mean Old Fashioned. She lives in San Francisco in a rent-controlled apartment and can never leave.

2nd Violin

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Deborah Passanisi Principal 2nd Violin

Symphony Member since 1974

Deborah has played with PSO both under Aaron Sten and now with Mitchell Klein. Previously, she played with the UC Davis Symphony until she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She learned to play violin in the Burlingame public schools, beginning at Roosevelt Elementary School, and continuing at Burlingame Intermediate School, and Burlingame High School with Lawrence Short. She also plays guitar and has taught both violin and guitar, and has appeared in local musicals as a singer and dancer.
After holding a variety of management positions in a biotech start-up, and a paralegal position at Farella, Braun, and Martel in San Francisco, Deborah returned to graduate school in 1997, graduating from Samuel Merritt University (St. Mary’s Medical Graduate School) with a Masters of Occupational Therapy in 1999 where she was selected as the Graduate Student Commencement Speaker. She has practiced since 1999 as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and a Supervising Therapist with an Advanced Practice Certification in Swallowing Assessment, Evaluation and Intervention, and as a Fieldwork Educator at Bay Medical Therapy Unit of California Children Services of Alameda County.
As an occupational therapist she worked with children with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and other motor disorders offering evaluations, treatments, consultations, and home and school programs. As a senior therapist she provided supervision and management of the medical therapy unit along with mentoring of new therapists and program development, and was the clinic administrator.
Deborah interned with California Children Services, Stanford Hospital and the Veterans Administration Hospital in San Francisco. In 1999, upon her graduation, she completed an in-depth research study and wrote her Masters Thesis and oral presentation on music training and intellectual development within the Elementary Education Services For Special Needs Students, San Mateo County Office of Education. Her Masters Synthesis Project was entitled “From Mozart To Euclid: The Enhancing Effects of Music Training On Children With Learning Disabilities”. This was published also at that time.



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Bradley Gibson Assistant Principal 2nd Violin

Symphony Member since



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Susanne Bohl 2nd Violin

Symphony Member since 2013

Susanne grew up in a musical family in Germany with early exposure to classical music, especially the symphonic, chamber, and spiritual choral music genres. Early music instruction included the Orff-Method for children, singing, and recorder studies. Susanne took up the violin at the age of ten and studied under Brigitte Froehlich-Rennekamp. She soon became a member of various music ensembles at her high school including the school orchestra and later joined the orchestra of the Academy of Music in Darmstadt, Germany, under Donald Runnicles.
Susanne came to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar for graduate studies at Syracuse University. Her professional background is in information systems and management consulting. She worked many years at Price Waterhouse and later at Ariba Inc., a successful enterprise software startup. In 2004 Susanne left corporate for a new career in Real Estate and has since been an accomplished Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Los Altos assisting her clients across all Silicon Valley communities.
“Playing violin with the Peninsula Symphony has become one of the steady highlights of my week. I look forward to our rehearsals and all our performances,” she says. “My favorite piece to play with PSO, I believe, is yet to come. I cannot wait for our performance of Dvorak Symphony No. 7 in D Minor which we will play at the opening concert to our 2015/16 season.” Susanne currently is the acting Orchestra Representative to the Board.
She also volunteers for the San Francisco chapter of CISV, an international organization that promotes cross-cultural friendships and peace education especially for youth. Other interests include real estate investments, jewelry making, crafts projects, and spending time with family and friends. Susanne lives in the South Bay with her husband and daughter.



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Lisa Cheung 2nd Violin

Symphony Member since 2008

Lisa began violin studies at the age of eight. She has been under the baton of Maestro Klein since 2006 in the Peninsula Youth Orchestra, and continues to stay under the direction of Maestro Klein in Peninsula Symphony in 2008. Lisa also played in the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra during her university studies, where she received a degree in Economics and Music. Outside of music, Lisa is an Assistant Instructor at Kumon, where she spends countless hours learning about current children’s trends and singing Disney songs. When she is not working, Lisa enjoys finding hole-in-the-wall restaurants, hiking, and DIY (do it yourself) nail art. The recent 2014 Taylor Eigsti concert featuring Dana Stephens is one of Lisa’s memorable concerts, it redefined orchestrated music to become more free-form; breaking all the rules that was once strictly instilled into every beginner.







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Kevin Dong 2nd Violin

Symphony Member since 2014

Kevin started playing violin at the age of 5, and has been playing with the Peninsula Symphony since April 2014. He comes from Seattle, where he played violin for seven years with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras (Symphonette, Debut, and Junior). Kevin also sings bass in Masterworks Chorale, and he is very excited about the Symphony’s upcoming collaboration with Masterworks on Beethoven’s 9th symphony.
Kevin works as a software engineer on educational technology at IXL Learning in San Mateo. In his free time, he enjoys playing more music, such as piano duets with his coworker. Every September, he looks forward to returning to his alma mater, University of Washington, to play clarinet with the Husky Marching Band and march at the first home football game of the season. Kevin also enjoys cycling and watching Netflix with his cats.


Vineet Mehta 2nd Violin

Symphony Member since 2010

He started playing violin at the ripe age of 19 while he as a student at University of Texas at Austin studying Mechanical Engineering and History. Having had no background in music before, it was a difficult road to say the least. But the old adage, “…practice, practice..” paid off in some sense and Peninsula symphony is the first ensemble he has played with. For his day job, he exercises his passion for sustainable transport by leading a couple of R&D teams at Tesla. When he is not working on electric cars or practicing the violin, he is usually spending time with his two young daughters (5.5 and 2 yrs) taking music requests from them to play “Shoobutt” and Bach on the stereo and sometimes on the violin.



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Frank Rahn 2nd Violin

Symphony Member since 2007

Frank started his association with PSO as a member of the Board of Directors in 2004, and later joined the orchestra in 2007 as a 2nd violinist. He also currently serves as Treasurer of the PSO and heads the Finance Committee.
Frank is the Chief Scientist with Whitney Research Services located in Palo Alto, and consults for many organizations regarding risk and safety of energy related facilities, in particular electric power transmission grids and nuclear power plants.
Frank also occasionally plays with local music groups and for church services. He is the proud “adoptee” of Jim Augustus and Nichole Edraos in PSO’s Adopt-a-Musician program. His favorite piece performed with PSO is Dvorak’s New World Symphony.







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Jshon Thomas 2nd Violin

Symphony Member since 2004

Jshon Thomas, MA, PMP has been performing with the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra since 2004. His musical experience began at age 5 via The Orff Schulwerk, or simply the Orff Approach, one of several developmental approaches used to introduce music to students, combining music, movement, drama, and speech into lessons that are similar to child’s world of play. At Age 10 Jshon began focusing his music education on the violin. He studied violin with Joel Berman at the University of Maryland. Jshon performed with the University Symphony and Opera Orchestras. During this time he also performed with regional symphony and theater orchestras.
Since arriving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989 Jshon continued playing with a number of community orchestras, chamber groups, and theater ensembles. Jshon also enjoys playing violin with local rock and jazz groups throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jshon is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Desk Arts Consulting, an Organization Development consulting agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. When not working with clients or serving as a volunteer mediator, or performing with the Peninsula Symphony, Jshon enjoys car camping in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with friends and family.


Irene Waldman 2nd Violin

Symphony Member since 1995

Irené joined the Peninsula Symphony in 1995, as her first American Symphony Orchestra!  Originally born in Scotland, Irené started playing the violin at 11 years old in Edinburgh.  Studying the violin and music through school, she traveled to Germany, Italy and Austria with the The Royal High School (Edinburgh), to perform a number of large choral and orchestral works, such as Faure’s Requiem,  Mozart’s Requiem and others.   Most of the performers were only 15 or 16 years old!   After the completion of her London Royal Academy of Music Exams (Grade 8 violin), at the age of 21, Irené backpacked around the world for a year, with her violin and played her instrument at a wedding in Hawaii, a cultural night in Bangkok,  and also played her favorite Scottish Reels with the locals in India!  Irené spent a short stint living in London before she moved to the Bay Area in 1995.  Now, married and working in financial services, Irené enjoys music in many areas of her life, and is an avid sailor, holding her Captains License.   Her favorite performance with the PSO is Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, although she will argue that there are too many good repertoires to choose from!



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David Williams 2nd Violin

Symphony Member since


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Angie Yeh 2nd Violin

Symphony Member since



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Murray Bowles Viola

Symphony Member since



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Katherine Bukstein Viola

Symphony Member since

Katherine earned a Masters of Music in Viola Performance with an emphasis in Chamber Music from San Francisco State University in 1997 where she studied with Paul Yarbrough of the Alexander String Quartet. She taught elementary and middle school strings at Peninsula school districts from 1998-2006 and presently teaches viola privately. She serves on the artistic committee of Peninsula Symphony and the artistic and education committees of Music at Kohl Mansion. She joined the Board of San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music in 2004 and has served as its President since July, 2009. Katherine is also an avid chamber musician and enjoys attending summer chamber music workshops. She and her husband live in Hillsborough and feel lucky that their son, his wife and their daughter all live in San Francisco!





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Ruth Freeman

Symphony Member since 2007

Ruth has performed and taught strings since 1967 in the San Francisco Bay area. She was born in Spokane, WA in 1931 and received her BA and MA degrees in violin performance from the University of Washington, studying with Vilem Sokol, Emanuel Zetlin and Eva Heinitz. She has performed as soloist and principal violist with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Marin Arts Quartet, and the Lucas Film Recording Orchestra. She was also a Viola d’amore recitalist and soloist at the Carmel Bach Festival, the International Congress of Violas d’amore, and the San Francisco Opera. Ruth’s viola was made by Joseph Grubaugh in Petaluma, CA. Ruth has two adult sons in Silicon Valley and two grandsons, each one a musician. She is married to retired lawyer David Stoner.



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Ed Hattyar Viola

Symphony Member since 2000

Ed Hattyar has a Master of Music degree from the University of Oregon and has played with the Eugene Symphony, Oregon Mozart Players, Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Monterey Symphonies. Besides his current involvement with the Peninsula Symphony, Ed enjoys playing in chamber music recitals, as well as recreating the popular music of the early 20 th century with the Pacific Coast Ragtime Orchestra. Ed lives in Half Moon Bay with his wife, Lianne, where they enjoy walking and biking along the coastal trails after work and on weekends. His favorite work performed with PSO is Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.



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Mela Hwang Viola

Symphony Member since







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Terrence O’Neill Viola

Symphony Member since



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Jerry Saliman Viola

Symphony Member since 2010

Jerry Saliman has performed in the Peninsula Symphony since 2010. For the first four seasons in the orchestra he played first violin, and then he was recruited to join the viola section. He learned to play violin in the fourth grade in the Modesto public schools. When he was 17 years old, he won the Stanislaus County young artist competition and was invited to appear with the Modesto Symphony as soloist, performing Edourard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole for violin and orchestra. Prior to joining the Peninsula Symphony, Jerry played violin in the Golden Gate Radio Orchestra, and viola in the Burlingame String Chamber orchestra where he was the viola soloist in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra. Jerry is a volunteer internist at Samaritan House Medical Clinic in San Mateo, and mentors UCSF nurse practitioner students. He retired from Kaiser South San Francisco after working there more than 30 years. While at Kaiser SSF, Jerry was also Chief of Patient Education. He received the 2012 “Lifetime Achievement Award” given by the Kaiser SSF Medical Staff. According to Jerry, “Music is the medicine which nourishes my soul, and I hope it enriches the lives of others as well.”



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Jolynda Tresner-Holmes Viola

Symphony Member since



Cello

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Doug Slaton Cello

Symphony Member since 1989

Doug has been the principal cellist since 2010. He studied with Richard Treat and Bonnie Hampton, and previously played in the UC Symphony at Cal, where he earned his BA in political science. He also has an MBA from the University of Michigan and is currently a product manager at CPI in Palo Alto.
Doug is a regular at Humboldt State’s annual Chamber Music Workshop and also played in Symphony Parnassus and the California Symphony.
Doug enjoys the orchestral music of Tchaikovsky and the chamber music of Brahms and Shostakovich. His favorite performance with the Peninsula Symphony was of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.



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Sally Baack Assistant Principal Cello

Symphony Member since 2000

Sally started playing the cello when she was eight, and studied with Millie Rosner as well as Margaret Rowell. She played with the UC Berkeley Symphony and the Santa Monica Symphony before joining PSO in 2000. Sally is a Professor of Management in the College of Business at San Francisco State University, where she is a repeat winner of the Professor of the Year Award, for her outstanding achievements in teaching, research and service. She has served as an elected President of several professional associations in her field. You also might have heard her frequent business analysis and commentary on KCBS or KGO radio, in the Chronicle, or on our local TV. She earned her Ph.D. in International Strategic Management from the University of Southern California, and is an honors graduate in Political Science and German Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Georg-August Universitaet, Goettingen, Germany. She is fluent in German. A Bay Area native, Sally enjoys spending her free time with her son and daughter playing sports and being out in nature – especially in the Point Reyes National Seashore and the Sierra. On weekends, you can find her coaching youth soccer on the field in Piedmont, where she lives. She also loves playing string quartets and chamber music with other Bay Area musicians – usually from PSO! Her favorite works with PSO include Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and Sibelius’ 2nd Symphony – and she has very fond memories of playing the Puccini Mass performed years ago at Stanford Memorial Church with PSO.





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Alan Bien Cello

Symphony Member since 1975

Alan studied cello with Alberta Hurst, Robert Sayre, and Margaret Rowell. In addition to PSO, Alan has performed with the Gunn High School Orchestra, El Camino Youth Symphony, UC Berkeley Symphony, UCLA Symphony and Redwood Symphony as well as West Valley Presbyterian Church, string quartets and other ensembles.
Alan has a BSEE from UC Berkeley, a MSEE from UCLA and an MBA from Santa Clara University (with a Finance & Marketing emphasis). Originally Alan worked as an RF Engineer, Project Engineer, Project Manager, Program Manager, and Business Development Manager with a variety of high technology companies developing products in aerospace and defense electronics; PC software (Microsoft), Wi-Fi and RFID applications, digital camera software, and digital mapping technology. Currently he is a realtor with the Sereno Group, specializing in residential real estate sales, corporate relocation assistance, real estate investments and property management. Alan is a member of Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Asian Business League (ABL), Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), FF Fraternity, and West Coast Chinese Family Camp (WCCFC); he is also currently the Chair of the Peninsula Symphony Board of Directors.
Alan enjoys attending the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet, following the Giants, 49ers and Warriors and attending Cal football games as well as cooking and photography. He is a widower with two adult sons.
Alan’s favorite work performed with PSO is the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Eroica Trio.







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Tetsu Ishihara Cello

Symphony Member since 2000

Tetsu’s favorite piece from PSO concerts is Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor, because he learned the piece from his cello teacher as a final training piece; followed by Haydn’s D major. He was trained in Japan by NHK symphony’s cellist who studied with Pierre Fournier and learned how to play the instrument with a visionary landscape of the piece. He is playing the instrument that his teacher selected for him from a modern Italian maker and playing with an A. Vigneron bow that Fournier and Casals also loved. Until joining PSO, he had been playing in a community orchestra in Tokyo while working for a large Japanese corporation as a mechanical engineer. He especially enjoyed playing R. Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben, Sinfonia Domestica, Eine Alpensinfonie, etc. along with Beethoven’s 9th that is performed always for a popular year-end concert in Japan. His wife is a pianist, piano teacher and accompanist when playing cello sonatas and has one daughter who also plays the cello.



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Tomoko Ishihara Cello

Symphony Member since







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Anne Powell Cello

Symphony Member since







Double Bass

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Suesan W. Taylor Principal Bass

Symphony Member since 1983

Suesan joined Peninsula Symphony in Spring, 1983 when the colorful Aaron Sten was conducting. In those days, he’d yell ,“Just fake it, Basses; nobody cares, anyway!” When the fabulous new conductor, Mitchell Klein, arrived, what a pleasure it was to discover he was a cellist (amongst his many talents) and understood something about low strings!
Suesan has worked in the biotech industry for 35 years and focuses primarily on start-up to mid-size companies, helping them develop their quality management systems to obtain FDA and international certifications. She holds an MA in Education/English from San Francisco State University.
Suesan married Barr Taylor in Salt Lake City in 1968. They knew each other only six weeks, were having coffee one day in the University of Utah Union Building Cafe, stood up, grabbed a “witness,” drove downtown, got married. Barr returned to class at the med school, Suesan returned to her coffee. When she announced the event to her friends, no one believed her, so they had a word-of-mouth ceremony up Little Cottonwood Canyon three days later and 125 people showed up! Eleven years and a few degrees later they had one daughter, Megan who is a professor of Mathematics Education at Sonoma State and has twin granddaughters (4 years old) and a terrific husband. Suesan and Barr live on the Stanford campus.



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Paul Breslin Bass

Symphony Member since











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David Swetlik Bass

Symphony Member since



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Michael Tong Bass

Symphony Member since 1983

Michael was introduced to PSO in June 1983 by the Bass section leader at the time, Jam Morrissey. Michael learned to play bass starting in 1958 from the best Bass Professor in China: Zheng De-Ren (郑德仁) – who is now 94 years old now and still occasionally leads music performances. Michael was working at the Shanghai Opera House Symphony Orchestra for more than 12 years before he came to the United States in 1981. Michael was an assistant teacher teaching Double Bass at Cañada College for two semesters. After graduating from San Jose University with a degree in Computer Science, Michael has been working at the United States Postal Service Information Center, maintaining the U.S. Address Management System.
Michael is proud to be a part of Peninsula Symphony as music is a very important part of his life – he remembers Maestro Klein encouraging him: “music is the best medicine” when he had a surgery.
Michael’s favorite works performed with PSO include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Woodwinds

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Ellen Crawford Principal Flute

Symphony Member since 1973

Ellen joined Peninsula Symphony in 1973, straight out of college. She has been in the orchestra for so long that she can’t remember what her favorite work is/was. However, she does know that she has the best seat in the entire orchestra – right smack-dab in the middle, where she can hear and see everyone.
Her favorite rehearsal is “dress rehearsal” because everyone knows their parts by then and they generally play through the pieces without stopping. She doesn’t like to play the concerts – it’s too much pressure. Ellen can remember laying under their grand piano when she was very young, listening to her Mom play Bach inventions. She started piano lessons at age 5, and her main memory of that time is her Mom yelling “F-sharp” from the kitchen when she practiced. In junior high school she played piano in the orchestra, but when they went outside to play for football games, ​she didn’t want to play the alternative – bass drum. So she found a wooden flute and fingering chart in her Dad’s music closet (he was a musician in Hollywood) and taught herself to play. When she was in high school, she played that same wooden flute in the band there. She also arranged the music for the 100-piece marching band’s halftime shows. That’s how she got into Stanford.
She and her horse moved to Stanford, where she learned computer programming. Her first real job was with the U.S. Geological Survey as a cartographer. She still loves maps and can sit and look at them for hours. She computer programmed her way through a number of companies that morphed into other companies, and finally retired a few years ago.
Aside from still playing flute, she is currently President of the Historic Union Cemetery Association in Redwood City, an active geocacher, webmistress for a couple of websites, “Mom” to a menagerie of animals, and “GrandMa” to her granddaughter.



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Kathryn Barnard Flute

Symphony Member since





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David Latulippe Flute/Piccolo

Symphony Member since




Audrey Gore Principal Oboe

When given the choice between oboe and bassoon by her middle school band director, Audrey chose oboe because the bassoon was too big to take home on the school bus. It was only after she heard an oboe on a  recording of Beethoven’s 1st Symphony that she learned how an oboe was really supposed to sound.

Audrey has played oboe in PSO since the early 90’s. She’ll never forget her first concert- filling in on English horn in a great Chick Corea arrangement of the Rodrigo guitar concerto. A short time later she slid over a few chairs to oboe and has been a permanent member of the orchestra ever since. She’s also a member of the Sfiato Woodwind Quintet and regularly attends chamber music workshops. Her day job is as a Product Marketing Manager at a semiconductor company.



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Dane Carlson Oboe/English Horn

Symphony Member since 2005

Dane has played Oboe and English Horn with the Peninsula Symphony since 2005, and his favorite work performed so far with PSO was Respighi’s Fountains of Rome in the spring of 2015. In addition to playing in symphonic and chamber groups, Dane gives Oboe lessons and coaches youth orchestra and chamber music students. When he’s not playing symphonic music, Dane plays bluegrass Dobro, tennis, and golf, and in his spare time works in the technical and marketing communications field.



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Joel Greene Oboe

Symphony Member since 1981

Joel has been a member of the Peninsula Symphony since 1981. He doesn’t really have a favorite piece among all the works the group has played in that time, but he will always remember fondly the William Tell Overture which was the first piece he ever played with the orchestra and Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, the piece that got him invited to join the PSO.
Joel started out playing the clarinet in elementary school, but he switched to oboe in high school when the band director asked for a volunteer (he didn’t know the oboe was supposed to be hard to play). He’s been playing somewhere ever since apart from a short break while attending college. In addition to his symphonic work, he has been a regular performer for the Lyric Theatre in San Jose for many years playing operettas, especially those of Gilbert & Sullivan. He has also played in the pit orchestras for many local musical theater productions up and down the Peninsula and South Bay and, occasionally, returns to his roots to play with the concert bands in the area.
By his count, he has played 40 different musicals, 29 operettas, 3 operas and a ballet. This pre-occupation with numbers serves him well in his work in the Accounting Department at Stanford Law School. Although he doesn’t know anything about the law, the legal experts he works with don’t know anything about accounting, so it all works out in the end.




Susan Macy Principal Clarinet

Symphony Member since 2005

Susan studied clarinet at New England Conservatory where she received her Master’s degree. She plays in several other groups including West Bay Opera, Santa Cruz Nutcracker Ballet, Master Sinfonia, Santa Cruz Symphony and you might occasionally see her in San Jose Opera, San Francisco Merola Opera, or Symphony Silicon Valley.
She spends her days as a music teacher in the Palo Alto schools, starting about 250 beginning 5th grade clarinetists each year, as well as teaching students in her private studio. She was a previous conductor of the South Bay Community Orchestra and also taught at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, teaching Band and Orchestra for several years. Susan has a previous career in high tech leading a small robotics control products company for 10 years.
She always has a good time playing with Taylor Eigsti and enjoys his interpretations of Rhapsody in Blue, but it seems every concert has pieces she enjoys playing. In her spare time she enjoys riding her bike and growing vegetables in her community vegetable garden.



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Ron Miller Clarinet/Bass Clarinet/Saxophone

Symphony Member since 1987

Ron Miller was born in Los Angeles, raised in Santa Barbara, spent time in Hawaii, and has lived in the Bay Area for 30 years. He has performed on woodwinds (flutes, clarinets, saxophones) and as conductor with several local orchestras and theater groups, and has had many original compositions and arrangements performed in the US and internationally. He has a PhD in Music Composition from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he was a faculty member for several years. He divides his time between composing, performing, gardening, and hiking, and has two grown children.









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Juliet Hamak Co-Principal Bassoon/Contrabassoon

Symphony Member since 2005

Juliet Hamak has been playing bassoon since 1978, when she mistakenly took it up at the request of her middle school band director. She thought she was getting the much smaller oboe. Fortunately, by the time she started playing contrabassoon, she had learned the relative sizes of the double reed instruments and knew what she was getting into.
Since then, she has continued to play in numerous music groups mostly in Washington State and California.
Juliet majored in biology and minored in music and U.C. Irvine. She studied bassoon with John Givens, Kay Brightman, and Alan Futterman. After raising her two children, she returned to school and received an associate’s degree in art from Skyline College and a teaching credential with a masters in science education from San Jose State University. In her non-musical world, she teaches chemistry at Mount Pleasant High in San Jose, enjoys time with her family and many eclectic things including art, cooking, hiking, guinea pigs, and science fiction.
Juliet’s favorite pieces with PSO (a tie!) are Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony and Mahler’s 1st Symphony.



Brass

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Brian W. Holmes Co-Principal French Horn

Symphony Member since 1983

Brian’s favorite work which he has performed with the PSO was one he wrote, Amherst Requiem; this was performed at Stanford’s Memorial Church in 2008 with the Stanford Symphonic Chorus, Vivace Youth Chorus, and soprano Heidi Melton.
Brian studied horn with Harry Shapiro in Boston, where he completed a PhD in experimental low temperature physics at Boston University. He has performed with the Boston Ballet, the San Jose Symphony and Opera San Jose. Since 1983, he has been a professor of physics at San Jose State University, where he teaches a course on the physics of music. He is active as a composer, with numerous publications, commissions, broadcasts, and awards to his credit. The PSO has premiered six of his works. He is married to Jolynda Tresner, who adorns the viola section of the PSO.



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Randy Nickel Co-Principal French Horn

Symphony Member since 1980

Randy joined the Peninsula Symphony in 1980 after moving to California from Indianapolis where he played with the Indianapolis Philharmonic and other local musical organizations. In Indianapolis he studied with Harry Michaels, who played with the Indianapolis Symphony. Randy graduated from Purdue University’s school of Industrial Engineering where he played pretty much every available gig. Randy now works with his most recent technology start-up.
Randy and his wife Janie live in Los Altos and have 2 grown children. Randy enjoys just about anything Mitch selects that has a great horn part. In addition to music, Randy enjoys skiing, basketball and motorcycles. He is also a home brewer and invites all to attend the PSO spring fundraising event; Beer, Bacon and Brass, which features excellent home brew ales, delicious bacon-themed food, and superb brass music courtesy of members of the PSO brass section!





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Anna Newman French Horn

Symphony Member since 1990

Anna has a Masters in Music History and Literature that focused on historic music making at Mills College during the 40s and 50s, when John Cage, Henry Cowell, Darius Milhaud and others taught and performed there. Mills is also where Anna received her undergraduate degree in Linguistics and Computer Science.
Anna has spent most of her career as a Software Engineering Manager, most recently at DreamWorks Animation, and now she works as a freelance photographer and filmmaker. Recently she produced the first Virtual Reality documentary, Zero Point, which was featured at Sundance Film Festival and written about in the New York Times. Anna lives in Menlo Park with her physician husband and her father, a retired broadcast engineer. The three have many spirited discussions about the most efficient way to do household tasks.







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Robert Fitt Trumpet

Symphony Member since 2006

Robert grew up in Southern California, graduated from UCLA School of Dentistry in 1978 and currently has a practice in Los Gatos. He and wife Karen have been married for 35 years and have two sons: Eron, 33 and Alex, 25.
Robert enjoys hiking, surfing, gardening, cooking (actually more eating), sailing, and of course trumpet/cornet/flugelhorn playing. “Performing symphony music under Mitch’s baton, with my talented colleagues in PSO is a complete honor and pleasure.” So many pieces Robert has played with PSO have been outstanding and memorable…many are favorites for different reasons. But for the full-on orchestral experience (i.e. a blockbuster classical symphony AND lots of fun trumpet), he would have to pick Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, performed in 2010.



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Benjamin Jackson Trumpet

Symphony Member since 2010

Originally from Wilmette, Illinos, Ben thought that designing trumpets would be the right occupation for him, so he simultaneously earned Bachelor degrees in Trumpet Performance and Mechanical Engineering, by commuting between Peabody Conservatory and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Ben then decided he wanted to design things more complicated than a trumpet, so he sought more schooling at Stanford University where he studied Design Methodology and served as the principal trumpet of Stanford Symphony. He has since returned to Stanford Symphony as a guest artist, performing Copland’s Quiet City and Mahler’s 5th Symphony. Ben has toured China and Australia, performing with jazz bands, orchestras, and wind ensembles.
Ben currently lives in Belmont with his wife and dog, and works as a mechanical engineering manager at Apple. When not working or trumpeting, Ben can be found driving quickly (and safely) or enjoying nature through hiking, skiing, biking, or jogging. Ben’s favorite piece performed with PSO is Lee Actor’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.









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John Sanguinetti Co-Principal Trombone

Symphony Member since 1983

John has been playing with PSO since 1983. He began playing trombone as a teenager, the highlight being playing a solo with the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C. as a high school senior. He went on to play in the band program at the University of Michigan while studying Computer Science. After a seven year hiatus from playing while in graduate school, John resumed playing by joining the Digital Equipment Corp. Big Band in Massachusetts. After moving to Silicon Valley, He joined the PSO in 1983. In his non-musical life, his wife Christine has put up with untold rehearsals and performances for 32 years, as well as four companies that he started.
John’s favorite piece with PSO is Beethoven’s 5th, having played alto trombone, which was really challenging. John also enjoyed Mahler’s 5th, Sibelius’ 2nd, the Berlioz Requiem, and playing Christmas carols before the Stanford concert.











Percussion & Keyboards

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Michael Jay Bresler Principal Timpani

Symphony Member since 1984

While Mike joined the PSO a year prior to Mitch’s arrival, he first began percussion studies at age 5, and attended Interlochen from ages 9-18. He’s won national and international competitions, and performed with artists such as Eugene Ormandy and Van Cliburn. In college (Amherst), he was the drummer in several rock bands: The Four Skins, Gang Green (The sound that grows on you…), and Things That Go Bump in the Night. And somehow he got through med school while playing in the Stanford Symphony, teaching in the music department, and playing rock.
In “real life”, Mike is a professor of emergency medicine at Stanford and also practices emergency medicine at Mills-Peninsula Hospital. He’s written both state and federal legislation which provide funding for the emergency care of indigent patients and prevent the transfer of uninsured, medically unstable patients. He’s written textbooks, lectured frequently throughout the U.S. and internationally, and won a number of national awards.
And now Mike’s son is continuing the family tradition. Also an Interlochen alum and Amherst grad, Ben has played percussion with the PSO, toured Europe twice with other orchestras, and is rock drummer. He is currently a grad student in aerospace engineering. Adrienne and Mike have another son of whom they are equally proud. Fluent in Mandarin, Aaron is currently teaching in China. But alas, he is not a musician – yet…


Matthew GermanoPrincipal Percussion

Matt received his Bachelor of Music Degree with an emphasis in Percussion Performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory at Cal State Long Beach in 2004.
He has performed with the Long Beach Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, Pacific Brass Ensemble, and the Saddleback Civic Light Opera. He is also a member of the rock/pop group Livewire, the SF Panhandlers, and performs with many other groups throughout the Bay Area.
He currently serves as the Percussion Coach for the Peninsula Youth Orchestras and is also faculty member at “Lessons On B” in San Mateo where he maintains a private teaching studio.



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Celeste Everson Misfeldt Principal Harp

Symphony Member since 1974

Celeste began studying harp at age twelve with Marjorie Chauvel of Palo Alto and has played harp for fifty years. In 1969 she toured as a member of the California Youth Symphony to Australia. During a one-year stay in Maryland, she toured with youth orchestras to Boston, and to Louisville, where she played for Colonel Sanders at his original Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant. She graduated from Los Altos High School, and received her B.M. and M.A. degrees and Secondary Credential from San Francisco State University.
Celeste has been a harpist with several local ensembles, including the Nova Vista Symphony, Master Sinfonia, Mission Chamber Orchestra, Fremont Symphony, West Bay Opera and California Coast Opera. Her longest musical association is as a member of the Peninsula Symphony, playing continuously since 1974. She has also performed with the San Jose Symphony, San Jose Civic Light Opera, Schola Cantorum, Santa Clara Chorale, and numerous area churches. She taught elementary school music and a youth choir at her church for six years. Celeste is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon and the American Harp Society and teaches privately in San Jose.





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Matt Springer Timpani/Percussion

Symphony Member since 1999

Matt Springer, a professor at UCSF, has played violin and percussion in the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra since 1999. In the 1990s, Matt appeared as piano soloist and as mallet percussion soloist with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, with which he played violin and timpani during graduate school and subsequent research positions until 1999, and he gave several multi-instrumental recitals in the Stanford Music Department during that time. Matt played erhu (Chinese violin) for many years in the South Bay Chinese Orchestra and has appeared as erhu soloist with the San Francisco Civic Symphony and the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra. In the past, he has belonged to the Stanford Percussion Ensemble, the Redwood Symphony Orchestra, the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, used to perform frequently with TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, and toured nationally with the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps in 1982.
Matt’s published music arrangements include Four Pieces from the Gayane Ballet Suite (music of Khachaturian arranged for mallet percussion ensemble; 1994), the Jewish Folksong Suite for String Quartet (Springer compositions based on Jewish folk melodies; 1996), Three Grieg Dances (music of Grieg arranged for mallet percussion ensemble; 1996), and Chinese Celebrations (Chinese orchestral music arranged for string quartet; 2006). He has contributed articles for Strings Magazine about his Jewish and Chinese string quartet music.
When not being a musician, he leads a UCSF research group exploring treatments for heart disease and studying the effects of secondhand smoke on blood vessels, and he has given numerous presentations around San Francisco about earthquake preparedness with an associated blog, Quaketips. His three interests have intersected only once: when an earthquake occurred during a Peninsula Symphony rehearsal, and his heart beat a little faster.



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Lydia Derugin Harp/Percussion

Symphony Member since 2008

Lydia has really enjoyed staying with the great orchestra all these years! It’s been great fun (and a great honor) meeting some famous, very talented soloists like Angel Romero and Taylor Eigsti.
Lydia grew up in San Francisco and started taking piano lessons at age five. She went to Lowell High School and joined the orchestra, where her music teacher/conductor was also a professional percussionist (John Pereira). He always selected very creative repertoire, so he taught her to play timpani and percussion, since there was little need for a pianist. Then, when the orchestra was rehearsing Scheherazade, which has a huge harp part, Lowell High didn’t own a harp, so Lydia was playing the part softly, gently on the piano. One day Mr. Pereira comes over to her and says that “it sounds too tinny, would I consider learning it on the harp?” and she said sure! He had Lowell cut her a check so she could go to the SF Conservatory and learn to play a harp, then he found an old harp in someone’s house in the neighborhood close by, which the owner donated to Lowell on a long-term loan — so Scheherazade was the first piece she played on harp! The Lowell Orchestra performed at Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan, and Lydia had great fun traveling around Japan for two weeks – and because San Francisco and Osaka are sister cities, KRON-4 sent a news team with them on the trip, and they filmed the orchestra and made a half-hour show called “Tell Them We’re From San Francisco.”
Music has been a FUN part of Lydia’s life ever since!!! She worked for many years at UCSF as a Business/Finance Department Manager, but is now retired from there and works part-time for an attorney friend who does Bankruptcy Law. She as two grown kids and four grandkids who live in Oregon, but she enjoys her life here. Besides Peninsula Symphony, Lydia also plays with Redwood Symphony, doing timpani, percussion, and second harp.



 

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Debra Fong

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Debra Fong Concertmaster

Symphony Member since 2014

Violinist Debra Fong is a Lecturer in Violin and Chamber Music at Stanford University, and she maintains a private violin studio in Palo Alto. In addition to her position as Acting Concertmaster of the Peninsula Symphony, Debra is also Principal Second Violinist of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and she performs regularly throughout the Bay Area with ensembles such as Opera San Jose and San Jose Chamber Orchestra. She spends her summers as a first violinist with The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. An active chamber musician, Debra has performed at Toronto Summer Music; Bay Chamber Concerts in Maine; Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival in Vermont; Sarasota Music Festival; and Yale/Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Connecticut. She has been a featured guest artist with the St. Lawrence String Quartet; Stanford University’s Pan-Asian Music Festival; North American New Music Festival in Buffalo, New York; Gold Coast Chamber Players; New Music Festival at Santa Clara University; and the Virginia Symphony. Debra is an avid proponent of contemporary music and has collaborated closely with composers such as Olivier Messiaen, Joan Tower, John Cage, Gabriela Lena Frank, Thomas Adès, and Bright Sheng. Debra received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with Honors and Distinction in Performance from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where she studied with Eric Rosenblith, James Buswell, Eugene Lehner, and Louis Krasner. She has held the position of Associate Concertmaster of the Virginia Symphony and Virginia Opera in Norfolk, and is a former violin faculty member at The Music Institute of Chicago, The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and New England Conservatory’s Preparatory Division. In her leisure time, Debra enjoys photography, word games, practicing yoga, reading modern fiction, and seeking out excellent coffee. She is married to cellist Christopher Costanza (of the St. Lawrence String Quartet), and they have an ebullient violinist daughter, Isabella.

Section 2

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