Jessica Bejarano, guest conductor
Jessica Bejarano currently serves as finalist and guest conductor of the Community Women’s Orchestra; Artistic Director and Founder of Passport Chamber Symphony; Music Director of West County Winds; Music Director of the Jewish Community High School; Adjunct Music Professor at Contra Costa College and Artist-In-Residence with LEAP…Imagination in Learning in San Francisco.
Jessica received her Master of Arts in Conducting from the University of California Davis; Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Wyoming; and Associates of Fine Arts in Music Education from Casper College.
During the summer of 2007, Jessica attended the International Academy of Advanced Conducting in Saint Petersburg, Russia where she received “Honorable Mention” for her performance with the Classical Symphony Orchestra of Saint Petersburg. Jessica was invited back by the Academy (IAAC) in 2008 to study with Maestro Leonid Korchmar, conductor of the Mariinsky Theater, and to conduct a performance with the Chamber String Orchestra of Urbino in Urbino, Italy. During the same summer, Jessica was selected to attend the International Institute for Conductors in Bacau, Romania where she conducted the Philharmonic “Mihail Jora” of Bacau in two separate performances.
In September 2010, Jessica was one of ﬁfteen conductors selected from around the world to study with the famed Maestro Jorma Panula and conduct in performance the Ruse National Philharmonic in Ruse, Bulgaria.
Recently in June 2012, Jessica was selected to attend the Conductors’ Guild Conducting Mastercourse with Maestra Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. One month later in July, Jessica was one of nine conductors selected from around the world to participate in the International Conductors Masterclass in San Lorenzo Del Escorial, Spain. During her time in Spain, Jessica worked closely with Maestro Jorma Panula and conducted the Camerata Antonio Soler Orchestra in performance. In August, after Spain, Jessica was accepted into the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music as a conductor with Maestra Marin Alsop and Maestro Gustav Meier in Santa Cruz, California.
Sandra I. Noriega, Strings Attached artistic director & conductor
Sandra I. Noriega began serving as co-conductor of Strings Attached in 2011. Sandra received a full scholarship to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, becoming the first woman to graduate with a degree in Percussion Performance from both the Conservatory in 1983 and CSU East Bay, where she earned her master’s degree in 1985. Sandra held a tenured position as Principal Timpanist with the Women’s Philharmonic from 1981 to 2004, and has been honored on numerous “Who’s Who” lists. She has recorded four CDs with The Women’s Philharmonic(CWO’s former professional ‘parent’ organization) on the Koch International label. Sandra served as a professor of music at the college level for 11 years, and at the high-school and elementary levels since 1975. She has produced and directed public performances including a Community “Sing-It-Yourself Messiah” in Oakland, Ca. Sandra also conducts the Bay Area Asian Children’s Percussion Ensemble, an outreach program of the Wisdom Culture and Education Organization. In 2005, she became the founder and director of The Bay Area Women’s Percussion Troupe, a professional group dedicated to highlighting and promoting the presence of women in the field of Percussion Performance.
In 2008, Ms. Noriega completed an intensive Post-Master’s Program earning a Professional Performer’s Certificate in Instrumental Conducting at California State University, Sacramento. In addition, she has recently become founder and Music Director of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music’s Symphony Orchestra, in addition to the Youth Symphony, and Percussion Ensemble. In August of 2009, Sandra was unanimously elected by the Board of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music to serve as its Co-Director. In 2010, Sandra became a charter member of Classical Musicians with Disabilities and conducted for the inaugural concert of the D Major International Music Festival in Kiev, Ukraine. In 2011, she was appointed as Associate Director of the DMIMF and conducted the Pleven State Philharmonic in Bulgaria. In 2012, she was accepted as a participant of Diane Wittry’s Beyond the Baton Conducting Seminar in Connecticut. Sandra was appointed as assistant conductor of CWO for the 26th season, 2010-2011, and as Artistic Director of CWO’s, Stings Attached, in 2011. From 2008 – 2010, Sandra worked for Education Through Music Bay Area, as a Field Supervisor overseeing Music Educators throughout the Bay Area. Sandra also teaches privately in her percussion studio in Castro Valley.
June Bonacich, Strings Attached assistant director & assistant conductor
June Bonacich first came to CWO in 2009 as a composer and percussionist. She began directing the new ensemble Strings Attached in 2010.
A San Francisco Bay Area composer, educator, pianist and percussionist, Ms. Bonacich began her musical life at the age of five when she began playing piano. In 1989 she returned to music in earnest when she began composing musicals for her son’s school. Since then, she received her BA in Music from Sonoma State, her AA degree at Mendocino College in Ukiah, and in 1999 graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a Master’s degree in Composition, where she (twice) received the Kris Getz Composition Award.
Ms. Bonacich currently teaches Musicianship, Composition, and Early Childhood Music classes in the San Francisco Conservatory’s Preparatory and Adult Extension division. She has also served on the faculty of the Walden School, the San Francisco Boys Chorus, and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Her hilarious musical, Group Therapy, was premiered by the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco in 2006 in San Francisco and Chicago. Recently, CWO premiered Ms. Bonacich’s Fanfare For Tradeswomen (March 2011), and the Oakland Youth Orchestra performed her composition: Rumplestiltskin later the same month.
Dr. Kathleen McGuire, conductor laureate
CWO performed under the baton of Dr. Kathleen McGuire for eight years from 2005 to 2013 before returning to her native Australia. McGuire has directed choirs and orchestras worldwide since the 1980s, including founding and conducting Australia’s first all-women orchestra in 1990, and serving as the first woman artistic director of the 200-voice San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, 2000-2010. McGuire founded in 2010 Singers of the Street (S.O.S.), a choir for people affected by homelessness. She also served as the Minister of Music at the Congregational Church of San Mateo.
McGuire earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder, a Master of Music degree from the University of Surrey, UK, and studied composition, music education, and conducting at the University of Melbourne, Monash University, and the Victorian College of the Arts. Her contributions have been recognized widely, including a Rotary International Ambassadorial Fellowship, election to Pi Kappa Lambda of the National Music Honors Society, and selection as Community Grand Marshal for the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration. April 22, 2010, was declared by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom as “Kathleen McGuire Day,” recognizing a decade of service to the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a recipient of The American Prize in Conducting: Excellence In Music Education Citation, was recognized as a KQED Local Hero, received the “Profile of Excellence” award from ABC7-TV, and she is listed in Who’s Who in the World and other publications.
Additional local conducting credits include The Women’s Philharmonic, Goat Hall Productions, the Empyrean Ensemble, Sacramento Ballet, and Opera by the Bay (Sausalito). She has conducted at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Sydney Opera House, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, Millennium Park Jay Pitzker Pavilion, Salle Wilfrid Pelletier in Montreal, and Buell Theater, Denver. She is a published composer, arranger and musicologist, and is sought after as a guest conductor and clinician. For more information, visit: www.kathleen-mcguire.com
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CWO’s Board of Directors consists of at least seven women elected for a one-year term by the orchestra membership.
- Linda Kay – president (viola)
- Rachael Ginsburg – co-vice-president (bass)
- Valerie Ruma – co-vice-president (violin)
- Barb Jones – treasurer (basson)
- Audrey Nelson – secretary (violin)
- Colleen Mosley (viola)
- Lisa Raber (cello)
- Sandra Regan (viola)
- Beth Voge (flute, librarian)