Meet Gabi and Leo, new staff at CMC

CMC is welcoming new staff this summer! Gabi Díaz-Hernández is the new Mission District Young Musicians Program Coordinator and Associate Registrar. Leo Harrington is the new Young Musicians Program Coordinator.

Though Gabi and Leo are new staff at to CMC, they are not new to CMC. Gabi is a CMC student and Leo is alumni.



Gabi Díaz Hernández

Meet Gabi Díaz-Hernández, CMC’s new MDYMP Coordinator and Associate Registrar

How did you come to CMC?

I used to work two blocks from here. Last fall, I started taking classes. My sister and brother in-law were in the Latin Vocal Workshop with Martha Rodríguez-Salazar and recommended it. I loved the class. The class was an amazing way to make friends and to explore my voice as an instrument, both solo and in harmony. Martha is a brilliant teacher. She helped me see the importance and value of my own voice, bringing out the best in myself.

What drew you to the position?

Being the MDYMP Coordinator allows me to work alongside music teachers and work with youth. Education is so important to me. I wanted to be in a role where I could support that. I love the idea of working with families and recent immigrants, as well as with students that are second generation. I find this opportunity to be very interesting and inspiring. Families are a core part of MDYMP, and I look forward to fortifying those family connections.

What are you bringing to the job, what do you see the coordinator’s role as?

I see my role as building bridges between teachers, families, and students, along with the community at large. I want to help students feel more connected to the Mission community through offering performances to the community. The instructors in MDYMP are amazing. All the faculty have important things to contribute. I am really grateful for the people I’m working with, the instructors, Martha, Sylvia, and the parents.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m from a very small town in rural Georgia. So, I love exploring in the arts scene in the Bay. I love the arts in the Bay Area, theater, and music. I love walking around the city.


Leo Harrington

Meet Leo Harrington, CMC’s new YMP Coordinator

How did you come to CMC?

I’m CMC alumni. I was born and raised in San Francisco. From an early age, I’ve been connected to CMC. I am a trumpet player and was a student of John Frank at Hoover Middle School. Mr. Frank has had a long relationship with CMC through the years nominating his students to Young Musicians Program. As a teenager at CMC, I was part of the Teen Jazz Band with Ken Rosen. I went to Oberlin and got a double degree in trumpet performance and history. After college, I went to Vienna on a Fulbright scholarship teaching English and completing coursework in the Musicology Department at the University of Vienna.

When I moved back to San Francisco last year, I wanted to work more directly on the ground with students. What drew me to CMC is its commitment to financial accessibility. I wanted to come back to a context where I had deeper community roots and to a role where I can work with students who wouldn’t be able to study without the accessibility. I really identify with CMC’s mission.


What drew you to the position Young Musicians Program Coordinator?

I have explored a lot of teaching and administrative roles and know my strengths lay in working directly with students, as well as administering programs. As the YMP Coordinator, I can utilize both these interests. I’m in a support role for faculty and also a liaison between students, teachers, staff, and the community at large. I derive a lot of satisfaction seeing the progression of students, seeing moments of growth in rehearsals and concerts, and what students learn about themselves through studying music. I enjoy working directly with people. I’m really inspired by the YMP faculty and the CMC faculty. There’s such a wealth of talent and creativity. It’s fun interfacing with them and seeing what they bring to students.

What do you see the Coordinator’s role as?

Practically speaking, I run the auditions in spring for the program. I put the ensembles together. I coordinate the schedule for the year and hold the orientation for parents and am the point person for them. I also think about the program design of YMP and implement the student leadership program, where students volunteer and do outreach at CMC events.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

As of the Summer Quarter, I am CMC student again! I study voice with Jonathan Smucker. I’ve sung with different choirs and vocal ensembles. I enjoy running and biking. I feel connected to San Francisco in that way. I spend a lot of my time thinking about equity and education and how it relates to broader social problems. This interest forms my motivation for doing college access work as well. I like to go to live music when I can. I took my first dance class at City College this past spring in Salsa.