Exciting news about the Campus Expansion Project

On Thursday, November 21, CMC’s Campus Expansion Project went before the San Francisco Planning Commission. A robust contingent of students, faculty, and friends of CMC attended the hearing to show their support for the project. After the project was presented to the Commission, 13 people spoke in support of the Campus Expansion Project during the public comment portion. Students, parents, and neighbors of all ages shared personal, heartfelt experiences in support of CMC’s work and of the Campus Expansion Project.

Fittingly enough, two of the comments were musical in nature. Ashley Alvarado (CMC Children’s Chorus) with the help of faculty member Beth Wilmurt (Children’s Chorus and Older Adult Choir conductor) sang a portion of “Chinese Proverb” to the Commission. Members from CMC Older Adult Choirs in the Mission District also sang a spirited a cappella version of “La Paloma.”

Upon the conclusion of the public comments and after a few questions put forth by the Commissioners, the San Francisco Planning Commission voted in unanimously to approve the Campus Expansion Project.

“The outpouring of support from students, faculty, and community members was very meaningful to us. We are grateful that our community members took the time to be at the hearing and speak so eloquently on behalf of CMC and this project,” said Julie Rulyak Steinberg.

More details about the Campus Expansion will come in 2020.

Getting started with improvising: Practice tips from CMC jazz improv and trumpet faculty Max Miller-Loran

Do you want to get started learning how to improvise, but don’t know where to begin? Max Miller-Loran, who teaches trumpet, Jazz Improvisation-Beginning, and Jazz Improvisation Workshop, has great tips to get you going. Winter Quarter is a perfect time to learn a new musical skill. CMC offers an array of opportunities to woodshed your jazz skills. In addition to Max’s classes, try private lessons, Jazz Ensembles, and Djangology. All levels are welcome.

From the series: Practice Tips from Community Music Center Faculty


Improvising can be a daunting undertaking, even for seasoned musicians. Seeing players channel intricate musical ideas from thin air can be so intimidating that many decide it’s not worth it to try. However, I believe improvising can be one of the most rewarding musical disciplines, and it’s much less frightening once you understand how to practice and improve. Here are some tips to get you started!

 

1. Limitations are key. Often, players become paralyzed by the infinite number of musical possibilities in front of them. Enforcing boundaries can be liberating, because it clearly lays out where you may and may not go. You can limit your playing to specific pitches, rhythms, phrases lengths, articulations, dynamics—anything really. This process allows you to methodically target and practice any element of improvising.

2. Less is more—at first. Effective improvising is about building a direct conduit from your mind’s ear to your instrument. Playing sparse ideas, using longer rhythmic values and slower tempos gives you a chance to consider your choices and play with as much intentionality as possible.

3. You can be critical without being judgmental! Listening to your playing critically is essential for improvement (understanding what seems to be working, and what isn’t), but judgement is entirely counterproductive. Let yourself make mistakes, and be open to learning from them. Oftentimes, mistakes are beautiful!

Announcing 2020 Shenson Faculty Concert Series Grant Recipients

2019-2020 marks the 25th Anniversary season of the Shenson Faculty Concert Series at Community Music Center. This series was established by the Shenson Foundation to support CMC Faculty as performing artists and ensure their work on stage is shared and celebrated in our community. Each year, the Shenson Foundation sponsors four free community concerts for CMC faculty music projects. The faculty members and their ensembles are selected by a committee of musicians from CMC’s Board of Directors. It’s always a pain-staking decision to select four recipients from a pool of talented faculty applicants.

This year’s series celebrates local composers, CMC faculty/staff songwriters and lyricists, excellence in virtuosity, and the power of music to speak amidst difficult political times. The series showcases four faculty concerts that span the genres of classical, Latin, contemporary, Americana, R&B, and experimental musical styles.

Martha Rodríguez-Salazar – Sunday, February 23, 2020 – 4:00 pm
Martha Rodríguez-Salazar (flute faculty, voice faculty, and choir conductor) is presenting ‘It Takes a Village’ with The Bernal Hill Players, which is comprised of Jennifer Peringer, piano; Rachel Condry, clarinet; Annelise Zamula, saxophone; Matylda Rotkiewicz, piano; and Sharon Wayne, guitar. ‘It Takes a Village’ is a concert of duos, trios and quartets by North and South American composers, in diverse styles, including classical, folk, tango, contemporary, and experimental. The emphasis of the program is on multiculturalism, women’s empowerment, and celebrating our vibrant local musical community.

 

 

Larry Dunn – Friday, April 10, 2020 – 7:00 pm
Guitar and songwriting faculty member Larry Dunn is putting together a concert celebrating four of CMC’s own singer/songwriters performing their original compositions in folk, country, blues, R&B, and bluegrass styles. They will be performing songs solo (individually) in a round-robin fashion, much like a Nashville singer/songwriter circle. Each artist will play four songs. Expect backstories, anecdotes, and even a bit about the songwriting process as relates to the song an artist performs. In addition to music by Larry Dunn, Erik Pearson, Maestro Curtis, and Anne Carol Mitchell will be performing original music.

 

 

Michael Long – Friday, June 19, 2020 – 7:30 pm
Michael Long, violin faculty member, along with guest performers Eiko Mitani, piano and Ben-han Sung, piano will be performing “Music in Times of Resistance.” This classical music concert highlights music written in or about extreme political circumstances and oppression. This program includes composers who not only dealt with dictators and political tumult, but who also used their compositions to confront or address this in some way, such as Poulenc, Shostakovich, and Schulhoff.

 

 

Christopher Basso – Sunday, June 21, 2020 – 4:00 pm
Piano faculty member Christopher Basso will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth with “Beethoven and His Influence” which will feature music of Beethoven and others who were directly inspired by him. The first part of the program is all-Beethoven and the second part of the program includes Für Elise and two composers’ take (including a world premiere) on Für Elise. The program concludes with Schubert’s Sonata in C minor, D.958 restating Beethoven’s Variations in C minor on an Original Theme, WoO 80.

CMC choirs sing city-wide this December

As the year comes to a close, CMC’s Older Adult Choir Program is celebrating with festive concerts all over San Francisco during the month of December. The concerts take place around the city in the various neighborhood centers where each choir holds weekly rehearsals, and are open to the public and free unless otherwise noted. These year-end performances feature songs in many styles and languages: from gospel and jazz, traditional folk songs from Latin America, to showtunes and oldies, these songs are sure to bring holiday cheer.  Be sure to catch a performance in the coming weeks, and be uplifted by the joy of song.

Older Adult Choir December Concerts:

Friday, December 6 at 7:00pm – Christmas in the Mission with CMC Choirs—with Coro CMC del Centro Latino de San Francisco and CMC Solera Singers of Mission Neighborhood Center—at Mission Dolores Basilica, 3321 16th Street. $15 general/$10 seniors/$5 youth 18 and under. Tickets available at the door and online here

Saturday, December 7 from 6:30–8:00pm – CMC Western Addition Older Adult Choir at Jones United Methodist Church, 1975 Post Street

Monday, December 9 from 10:45am–11:30am – CMC 30th Street Older Adult Choir at Lifeways, 30th Street Senior Center, 225 30th Street

Tuesday, December 10 from 12:30–1:00pm – CMC Bayanihan Equity Center Older Adult Choir at Gene Friend Recreation Center, 270 6th Avenue

Wednesday, December 11 from 2:00–2:30pm – CMC Bernal Heights Older Adult Choir at Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland Avenue

Thursday, December 12 from 1:00-2:00pm – CMC Aquatic Park Older Adult Choir at Aquatic Park Center, 890 S Beach Boulevard

Thursday, December 12 from 2:00–2:30pm – CMC Castro Older Adult Choir at Castro Senior Center, 110 Diamond Street

Friday, December 13 from 1:00–2:00pm – CMC Solera Singers of Mission Neighborhood Center at Mission Neighborhood Center, 362 Capp Street

Monday, December 16 from 10:00am-11:00am – CMC 30th Street Older Adult Choir at 30th Street Senior Center, 225 30th Street

Wednesday, December 18 from 3:30–4:00pm – CMC Bayanihan Equity Center Older Adult Choir at Bayanihan Equity Center, 1010 Mission Street

Thursday, December 19 from 3:30–4:00pm – CMC Visitacion Valley Older Adult Choir and CMC Bayview Older Adult Choir at San Francisco Public Library, Visitacion Valley Branch, 201 Leland Avenue

Friday, December 20 from 11:00–1:00pm – CMC IT Bookman Older Adult Choir at IT Bookman Community Center, 446 Randolph Street

Friday, December 20 from 12:00–1:00pm – CMC OMI Senior Center Choir at OMI Senior Center, 65 Beverly Street

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday concerts in the Mission celebrate Latino culture and music

Two Mission District neighborhood holiday concerts are taking place the first weekend of December. On Friday, December 6, CMC presents “Christmas in the Mission / Navidad en la Misión” at Mission Dolores Basilica. On Saturday, December 7 the “Afro-Latin Dance Party with Two Generations” will light up the CMC Concert Hall. Both events shine a spotlight on CMC music programs that teach music from the Spanish-speaking world and celebrate Latino culture.

Christmas in the Mission / Navidad en la Misión
At “Christmas in the Mission / Navidad en la Misión” CMC choirs are performing a one of a kind music program celebrating holiday traditions from the Spanish-speaking world at Mission Dolores Basilica. The program contains contemporary Christmas songs and also highlights rarely heard holiday music from the 17th and 18th centuries. CMC Coro Solera and Coro Centro Latino de San Francisco Older Adult Choirs are singing Christmas songs from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. CMC Coro de Cámara are performing Spanish and Mexican Baroque and Renaissance selections as well as 20th century choral music. Martha Rodríguez Salazar is conducting the choirs with accompaniment by Jennifer Peringer (accordion/piano/arranger), Lisa Larribeau (flute), and Leo Suarez (bass).

“Our program is full of holiday favorites in Spanish,” said Martha Rodríguez Salazar, conductor and musical director. “My hope is that the audience will discover the hidden jewels of Renaissance and Baroque music from Spain and the Americas as well. It’s very beautiful music.”

Afro-Latin Dance Party with Two Generations
The “Afro-Latin Dance Party with Two Generations” returns for its second year with an intergenerational performance by CMC students playing Latin dance music. The Mission District Young Musicians Program are performing music from throughout the Americas including cumbia, música norteña, son, danzón, and cha-cha-chá. The CMC Charanga Ensemble are performing Cuban dance music, from danzón to timba. There will be a Salsa dance lesson at the beginning of the evening and two sets of dance music to follow. The concert is part of the Mission Arts Performance Project (MAPP), a series of arts, music and activist events that has been taking place in the Mission for over 14 years dedicated to cultivating, building, and defending the culture, history, character and community in the Mission District.

Christmas in the Mission / Navidad en la Misión
Friday, December 6, 2019 from 7:00–8:30pm
Mission Dolores Basilica
3321 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

$15 General/$10 Seniors/$5 Youth 18 and under (no one turned away for lack of funds)
Purchase tickets online: tinyurl.com/CMC-Mission-Christmas
Tickets also available at the door

Afro-Latin Dance Party with Two Generations
CMC Concert Hall
Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 6:30–9:30pm
Free
RSVP: https://afro-latin-dance-party.eventbrite.com

New leadership in “tried and true” ensembles

Jose Roberto Hernandez (left) will be taking over leadership of the Latin Vocal Workshop in Winter Quarter and Scott O’Day (right) recently took over the Beatles Ensembles.

Two of CMC’s tried and true ensemble classes are receiving new leadership. Scott O’Day recently took over the Beatles Ensembles. Scott, who describes himself as a “huge fan of the Beatles” is no stranger to ensemble classes. He has been teaching the CMC Tango Ensemble for the past four years in addition to being on the guitar faculty since 2014. His approach to ensemble classes focuses primarily on group playing, along with music analysis and exercises that support musicianship.

Jose Roberto Hernandez will be taking over leadership of the Latin Vocal Workshop. Jose is a new faculty member at CMC. He is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, educator, and ethnomusicologist with roots in traditional Mexican music. He began his musical career in Cárdenas, Mexico in the state of Tabasco and continued into Oaxaca, Mexico City, and the United States. He has been recognized by renowned musicians from Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Argentina for his passion and professionalism in traditional music.

“Scott is a talented teacher devoted to making the Beatles Ensembles fun and fulfilling,” said Sylvia Sherman, Program Director. “We are very fortunate to have Jose Roberto on our faculty. He is well-known in the community. In addition to playing with John Santos, he has a vast knowledge of music from throughout Latin America.”

Learn more about the Beatles Ensembles, Teen Beatles, and Latin Vocal Workshop.

Welcoming Ann Mony to CMC as the Operations Manager

Interview: Ann Mony, Operations Manager

Ann Mony is no stranger to CMC. She has been co-producing a monthly swing dance event at CMC for five years. The Bootlegger’s Ball is a well-attended mainstay in the swing dance community and features some of the hottest jazz and swing bands in the Bay Area. In July, Ann came aboard as the CMC Operations Manager. She is helping the school run more smoothly by supporting the daily operations of the staff and working on projects to improve the facilities. Ann’s talents extend to the dance floor too. She is a seasoned swing dance teacher and holds titles from the International Lindy Hop Championships, American Lindy Hop Championships, Canadian Lindy Hop Championships, and more! See her dance in the video below.

What’s your background?
I’m originally from Montreal. I’ve been in Operations for about 10 years, mostly for tech companies. I’ve also been teaching swing dancing for 15 years. Swing dancing is what brought me to San Francisco nine years ago. I was traveling around looking for a place with a good swing dancing scene and a city I liked. When I visited San Francisco, I thought the city had the perfect vibe for me. Friends and I started the Bootlegger’s Ball, a monthly swing dance to live music at CMC, five years ago. It’s a great party! You can find us on the web at sfbootleggersball.com and on Facebook. The event is also mentioned CMC’s monthly event email. 

 

What are some of your career highlights?
Being invited to teach swing dancing in South Africa. It was a highlight when I started my own dance school called Shimmytown. In terms of Operations, I’ve managed six office moves for tech start-ups. 

 

How did you first come to CMC?
I found it while wandering through the Mission. I thought, “What’s this place?” I popped in and stuck my face in the concert hall window. I knew it would be a great place for the Bootlegger’s Ball. 

 

What drew you to the position?
The arts are the field I feel most passionately about. I wanted to find a way to marry my arts teaching life with my 9-to-5 administrative life. I thought working at an arts school would be exciting. For people who don’t know, in Operations I manage the infrastructure of the school, everything from furniture, to software, to staff communications— anything that will help the school run smoothly. I’m good with a screwdriver and I can do IT.

 

How is it going so far? 
I started at the end of July, and it’s going really well. There are a lot of varied projects and the team is great. I feel like I can make a big impact here. I enjoy making my colleagues work easier and more efficient. I love walking down the hallway and hearing music during my work day.

 

What are you passionate about in your work?
I’m passionate about removing distractions, so people can focus on what they love doing. In my Operations work, I want to make sure my colleagues have what they need so they can focus on their work. As a dance teacher, I want to help students focus on what they need to learn.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to raise my kid. My toddler is one and a half. I watch a lot of documentaries and enjoy honing on my cooking skills.

See Ann Mony dance!

How do you make a violin sound great?  Throw it in the trash and buy a piano! Practice tips from CMC faculty member Heidi Kim

Heidi Kim (left) teaches violin at the Mission and Richmond District Branches. She is also a coach for Chamber Music Camp.

From the series: Practice Tips from Community Music Center Faculty


By: Heidi Kim, violin faculty member

Some days more than others I want to throw my violin (or bow) against the wall, neither of which I recommend doing. (If you’re looking to vent, I would actually suggest throwing stuffed animals or pillows at a wall.) Because the truth is: the practicing never stops— EVER, even once you’ve turned professional. Talent can only get one so far. But if you’re looking for a Lizst of practice tips to give you a Händel on your practice situation, you’ve come to the right place. 

 

Tip 1: Bullet Time

There never seem to be enough hours in the day, regardless of whether you are a young student or working professional. And then you have that one violin teacher who is asking their students to practice themselves into a black hole … But you know what? Like anything else, it all boils down to prioritization. What do you make the time for? What is most important to you? What is it exactly that you care about? Growing up, it was a nonnegotiable to practice five hours a day. But many of us don’t have that kind of time, and to be frank, studies show that after you hit the two-hour mark, your level of concentration starts to wane anyway, which means you’ll be mindlessly practicing. Who wants to be in the practice room all-day anyway? I purposely do not put a clock in my room anymore because I realized that when I was practicing, my eyes would gradually start to wander away from the music … the wheels in my head would begin to turn, and my dark conscience would say, “Hm … what can I do to burn through these next 10 minutes?” I’m sad to report that it wasn’t always the best 10 minutes of my life because I was working through those 10 minutes just to get through them, which is a terrible way to practice. So, what I discovered that has made practicing much more fun for me is what I call, “Bullet Time.” Bullet time, just to clarify, is a visual effect in many action films where time stands still for a moment, and the action is slowed down enough to show normally imperceptible and unfilmable events, such as (you guessed it) flying bullets. For me, there’s a bit of a thrill in racing against the clock while not knowing how much time is available to you. It forces you to make the most of time, creating the ultimate competition against yourself, which, in my very humble opinion, is the healthiest kind. I’ll set a timer for 20-30 minutes and, with a specific goal or two in mind, will proceed to tackle the music. Within each of those power sessions, I usually record myself. It might be sporadically throughout, or only the beginning and end products, but regardless, recording oneself is an extremely valuable tool that can really help you zero in on your sound. It makes you ask yourself, “What’s actually working, and what’s just all in my head?”, for intonation, pulse, your choice of fingering, phrasing, etc. The key to not destroying the magic of this tool is to avoid becoming overly obsessed with recording every single little thing. It’s important to have a chance to digest and enjoy the music you’re making, in real time. 

 

Tip 2: Memorization

To revel even more on Cloud 9 of music making, memorization is another component. Why do we memorize music anyway? You can blame it on virtuosi like Paganini, Lizst, Clara Wieck Schumann, and Mendelssohn. Collectively, they initiated this evolution of memorization as a performance practice. As rockstars of the Romantic Era, they made it ‘cool’ to have all the music seemingly come straight out of their heads. The practice became mainstream from the late 19th century and on, setting the stage for generations of musicians to come. But aside from the cool factor, I am an advocate of it because I do feel that once you have internalized the music, you have more freedom with musical expression and communicating with your full undivided attention with your audience and/or colleagues on stage. The benefits also extend beyond music. Completing such a herculean effort in front of an audience of any size helps to boost confidence because it develops your performance skills under pressure. Students can easily translate this skill to any number of aspects in their nonmusical life, such as giving pitches or presentations at work, job interviews, and public speaking. So, maybe I’ve now convinced you that memorization is worth trying, but you’re haunted by the fact that you’ve struggled with it in the past. Well I am here to say, if you practice something until you can’t get it wrong (as opposed to just getting it right), it usually seeps into your memory at some point. But you can also try to associate a tricky spot with something iconic, such as a memory from your childhood, a mood, a color, and how that all fits into the bigger picture. You might also consider examining your music for any finger patterns. There might be a moving bass line and the surrounding notes are either exactly the same or the intervals remain consistent as the line progresses. 

 

Tip 3: Play along with recordings

Then there’s my absolute favorite method: playing along with a recording with your headphones on (or your earbuds in), which helps with memorizing. Ever watch the Super Bowl or some other major sporting event in America? The event host brings in a different singer each year to sing the “National Anthem,” and every single one of them has a different take on the song. It’s the same thing with using this method. When you play along with recordings, not only do you have to be flexible with timing, but it might also give you some inspiration for how to approach a passage you haven’t quite decided how to phrase. You’ll have fun pretending to be a Hollywood studio musician, but I think you will also be pleasantly surprised to discover that all of a sudden, somehow you know that piece you’ve been struggling to memorize, by heart. 

 

Hopefully when you go Bach to the practice shed, you will feel less inclined to chuck your instrument against the wall after trying out some of these practice tips. Rome was not built in a day, and neither were you nor the intricacies of music. Just remember to stay the course, be patient, take it one day at a time, and definitely be sure to treat yourself to some fresh air and your choice of dessert after a hard day’s work. Easier said than done, but you Can-Can do it. 

World-class artists take the stage at Concert with Conversation series 2019–2020

This year’s free Concert with Conversation series sponsored by San Francisco Performances features Grammy Award-winning artists, musicians of critical acclaim, and raising stars who are quickly becoming legends in their genres. San Francisco Performances, celebrating their 40th anniversary season, is providing five unforgettable concerts for the CMC community. Each short concert is followed by a Q & A session where the audience can learn more about the music and lives of the performers.

 

Friday, October 25, 2019 from 6:00-7:00pm
Jason Vieaux, guitar

Grammy Award-winner Jason Vieaux, “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists” (Gramophone), is the guitarist that goes beyond the classical. His most recent solo album, Play, won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. Jason Vieaux has performed as soloist with over 100 orchestras in the U.S. and abroad.

 

Friday, November 22, 2019 from 6:00-7:00pm
Los Angeles Guitar Quartet

The Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is one of the most multifaceted groups in any genre. The LAGQ is comprised of four uniquely accomplished musicians bringing a new energy to the concert stage with programs ranging from Bluegrass to Bach. They consistently play to sold-out houses worldwide. Their inventive, critically acclaimed transcriptions of concert masterworks provide a fresh look at the music of the past, while their interpretations of works from the contemporary and world-music realms continually break new ground.

 

Friday, Friday, February 7, 2020 from 6:00-7:00pm
Dashon Burton, baritone

Praised for his rich tone and powerfully thrilling voice, bass-baritone Dashon Burton has proven himself to be a voice to be reckoned with, winning international competitions and performing with opera companies and orchestras across the country and in Europe. His talents make him equally at home performing Bach and Mozart to Stockhausen, as well as touring with the Grammy Award-winning contemporary vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. Burton’s repertoire includes classical and sacred music as well as programming with deeper political meaning.

 

Friday, March 27, 2020 from 6:00-7:00pm
Alfredo Rodríguez, piano
Cuban pianist and composer Alfredo Rodríguez has become a globally recognized Grammy nominee with multiple critically acclaimed releases on Mack Avenue Records since being discovered and produced by the great Quincy Jones. Rodríguez is leading the way for the new wave of Cuban musicians, including past collaborators Ibeyi and Pedrito Martinez, and exposing the rich musical history of Cuba to a wider audience.

 

Friday, April 24, 2020 from 6:00-7:00pm
Nicholas Phan, tenor & Gabriel Kahane, piano

Described by the Boston Globe as “one of the world’s most remarkable singers,” American tenor Nicholas Phan is increasingly recognized as an artist of distinction. Praised for his keen intelligence, captivating stage presence and natural musicianship, he performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies.

Over the last decade, Gabriel Kahane has quietly established himself as a songwriter all his own, grafting a deep interest in storytelling to a keen sense of harmony and rhythm. His major label debut, The Ambassador, a study of Los Angeles seen through the lens of ten street addresses, was hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the year’s very best albums”.

Welcoming Adriana Marrero Ocasio, CMC Program Coordinator and MDYMP Coordinator

Interview: Adriana Marrero Ocasio, CMC Program Coordinator and MDYMP Coordinator

The CMC staff is very happy to welcome Adriana to the team. She will be supporting CMC’s diverse and plentiful programs as the Program Coordinator. She will also be helping to administer the Mission District Young Musicians Program as the MDYMP Coordinator. Adriana is also a talented vocalist who performs with several local bands and has taken the stage at some of San Francisco’s most popular venues.

 

 

What’s your background?
I grew up in Puerto Rico. Both of my parents are musicians. Before I was born, my mom was a backup singer for the Fania All-Stars, a band made up of some of the best Latin Music performers during the 70’s and 80’s. My dad played música de trío, mostly boleros. I grew up around people playing music, though I didn’t start really performing music until I moved to San Francisco. I moved to San Francisco in 2011 on a whim. I met a singer-songwriter couple who used to perform at Revolution Cafe. They introduced me to their sons who invited me to join their band called Cha Ching!. I’m still a member. Since then, I’ve been in other musical projects: Soltrón,  Lagos Roots Afrobeat Ensemble, Santos Perdidos, and The Astronauts. I’ve collaborated with John Santos, John Calloway, the Funk Revival Orchestra, among others. I’m good at learning to sing music by listening, so I can sing in Brazilian Portuguese, French, Turkish, Arabic, Hindi, and more! I love singing jazz and Latin music the most.

What are some of your career highlights?
I shared the stage with the California Honey Drops at the Fillmore, along with Cha Ching!. That was great. I’ve played at most venues in San Francisco, except Bill Graham Auditorium or the Warfield. I played at the Opera House for the Ethnic Dance Festival with the John Santos Sextet. I also got to perform with Cha Ching! as part of the SFJazz Summer Series for the past two years.

How did you first come to CMC?
I took vocal lessons here with Dorothy Barnhouse. I got such a good vibe from the CMC.

What drew you to the positions?
I started teaching music and movement to preschool age kids in Head Start. I wanted a job where I felt like I was making a difference in the community, enriching people’s lives, and making music accessible to people. I read the job description for the CMC positions and thought it was perfect. I am drawn to working with youth especially. I’ve been a counselor at Jam Camp WEST. I know kids can have so much musical potential, but when they get on stage they feel scared. I thought working with MDYMP would be a good place to get involved with young musicians that need support with their performance skills.

How is it going so far?
I started in July. I am excited to be CMC’s first Program Coordinator. Since it’s a new role in the organization, I’m helping to create it as I go. I am pretty adaptable and good under pressure, so it feels like a good fit. I’m excited about MDYMP starting up in September. I’ve already met some of the kids and have been talking to parents. I’m looking forward to finding opportunities to help the MDYMP kids shine! I am ready for MDYMP to start, so I can identify the needs and help the program function more smoothly.

What are you passionate about in your work?
So far in MDYMP, I’m feeling the most passionate about finding ways for the program to run more smoothly. I’m also looking forward to helping the kids with stage presence. In both my CMC roles, I want to support communication and create better systems.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to ride my bike. I like to jam with friends and my partner, who is a drummer and a uke enthusiast. I volunteer by performing at senior centers and alzheimer’s facilities. The music really makes a difference in their day.