Fred Beerstein

Fredric Beerstein has been a member of CHICO since 2017 and is now thrilled to occupy the Bruce Walker oboe chair in our orchestra.  Fred, an oboe instructor at California Lutheran University, has been a member of the New West Symphony since its inception in 1995.  From 1984 to 1994, he was the principal oboe of the … More Fred Beerstein

Nancy Sieh

Nancy Sieh joined the CHICO board of directors in 2014, after retiring from the practice of law. She served as Deputy District Attorney in Ventura, then in Santa Barbara County as Assistant District Attorney . She specialized in crimes against vulnerable victims, including spousal abuse, sexual assault and child abuse.   Upon retiring, Nancy chose to … More Nancy Sieh

Celine Gietzen

Celine Gietzen has been teaching since 1986, and she currently has a full studio of private cello students in Camarillo.  She is also a coach for the Junior Chamber Music program.  Her students have been awarded college scholarships, have received honors in the Certificate of Merit program, have achieved principal chairs in student orchestras, and have … More Celine Gietzen

Nicole McKenzie

NICOLE MCKENZIE has performed widely as soloist and chamber musician. The Santa Barbara Independent declared, “McKenzie made a splash in the luscious and exciting music – she performed with gorgeous musicality.” Winner of the Sutton Chamber Music Award, she graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy, earned a BM Degree from Oberlin Conservatory, an MM Degree from … More Nicole McKenzie

Craig Thomas

  Saxophone, clarinet, and flute instructor Craig Thomas is a long time performer and educator whose work spans his years as a studio musician and sideman with artists like Al Jarreau, Les MCann, the Temptations, Four Tops, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Jim Messina, Tom Jones, Freda Payne, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Toni Tennille and many others. … More Craig Thomas

Kathie Kottler

Kathie has been a member of CHICO since 2008. She plays on a French violin approximately 100 years old. She started playing violin in elementary school and played in school orchestras through UC Irvine where she received a B.A. in dance and music. She subsequently played with community orchestras in Santa Barbara, Concord and Ventura. … More Kathie Kottler

Ann Erwin

Flutist Ann Erwin earned a Master of Music degree from USC and a B.A. with a double major in music and mathematics from UC San Diego. She studied chamber music at the Yale Summer School of Music in Norfolk, Connecticut, and was awarded Annette Kade and Harriet Hale Woolley fellowships to study the flute in … More Ann Erwin

Lynne Doherty

Lynne Doherty has played 1st french horn with CHICO since the orchestra was founded. She has played in the Gold Coast Wind Ensemble since 1992. She also plays with the Ojai Brass Quintet, Ojai Summer Band, the Ventura College Orchestra and freelance with other groups. Lynne Doherty has a Masters of Music Education from the … More Lynne Doherty

Ruth Kay

Ruth earned her Bachelor of Music degree at CS University Fullerton. She has performed in many different symphonies & chamber groups. Most recently the Burbank Symphony, Conejo Valley Symphony, Santa Maria Philharmonic, Santa Maria Pops Orchestra & the Ventura Baroque Strings. She is a true second violinist who loves the moving underlying themes, creating fullness … More Ruth Kay

Liz Watts

Originally from England, Liz Watts never actually chose to play the violin. A pianist from the age of four, she wanted to play the flute (which she tried for a few years … it was a disaster!). As a teenager, she won a full scholarship to study piano and violin at the Royal College of … More Liz Watts

David Singer

The New York Times wrote about David Singer, “To describe his playing would be to enumerate a catalogue of virtues.” His career as one of the most highly respected clarinetists in the U.S. has been established through performances and recordings as principal clarinetist of the Grammy Award winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, frequent guest appearances with … More David Singer

Mariana Smith

Mariana Smith began her flute studies in California with Burnett Atkinson, Damian Bursill-Hall and Ann Diener-Zentner. She is a UCSD music graduate. At Edinburgh University, Scotland she studied with David Nicholson and continued her flute studies with Trevor Wye at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. Later, as a postgraduate student, she received … More Mariana Smith

Miriam Arichea

Miriam has been privileged to perform with CHICO since its inception in 2004. Miriam has also performed with the Ventura College Symphony and San Luis Obispo Chamber Orchestra, as well as in solo and collaborative performances at the Ojai Arts Centre and Ventura Music Festival. Miriam has also served as music director and pianist for … More Miriam Arichea

Karen Nelson

Karen Nelson grew up in Riverside, California. During her high school and college years at UC Riverside, she played with the  Riverside Symphony, Redlands Bowl Orchestra and University of Redlands Orchestra. During her undergraduate years, Karen attended a study program in Göttingen Germany and played with the University Symphony. During those years she met fellow student Jim … More Karen Nelson

Natalie Spevak

Natalie Spevak has been playing viola and violin for 26 years and received her Bachelors in Orchestral Strings performance with emphasis in Viola from California State University, Northridge. She taught music privately in the public school setting, and most recently, teaches with the New West Symphony Harmony Project of Ventura County.  She is currently a … More Natalie Spevak

Delores Walker

Delores received the BME degree from Northwestern University in 1964 and moved to Ventura County, where she taught instrumental music in Oxnard and Port Hueneme until 2003. She joined Ventura County Symphony in 1964, where she played until 1995. She has held positions in Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Maria Philharmonic, Channel Islands Symphony, Ventura Piano … More Delores Walker

John Fare

John Fare’s life in music began with a chance mid-year invitation to join the orchestra in his sixth grade elementary school in Abilene, Texas. After a nurturing path through the public schools there, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree at Texas Tech University, followed by professional positions with the North Carolina Symphony and the Denver Symphony. … More John Fare

Chris Dimond

Chris Dimond started playing cello in fourth grade in his elementary school’s music program. He  has performed in the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra under Guy Taylor, the Ventura County Symphony under Frank Salazar, and the Ventura Community Orchestra under Burns Taft. As a small ensemble musician, he has played for fun and profit in the Seaside Quartette, … More Chris Dimond

Laura Mihalka

Laura started piano lessons as the age of four and quickly moved on to cello. In high school, she studied with cello professor, Nils Oliver, at UCLA. She completed her degree in Sociology from UCSB in 1993 and spent the next two years touring with a rock band as their lead guitarist. She has been … More Laura Mihalka

Cavit Celayir-Monezis

Cavit Celâyir-Monezis graduated from UCLA with a degree in bassoon performance, and has studied with Charles Coker, Jack Marsh, Norman Herzberg, and Andy Radford. After graduating, he worked with the woodwind chamber ensembles at UCLA, and currently coaches woodwind, brass, and chamber ensembles for the Conejo Valley Unified School District. Cavit also enjoys playing woodwinds … More Cavit Celayir-Monezis

Sharon Cooper

Sharon Cooper is an active freelance violinist and violist in central and southern California. She studied chamber music at San Francisco Conservatory and holds a BA degree in Music from Stanford University. Sharon has performed throughout California, Europe and Australia in numerous recitals, chamber ensembles, orchestras and civic events. She has performed solo works with … More Sharon Cooper

Cyndi Hall

CYNDI HALL, Violinist, is a native to Southern California. Having picked up the violin as an adult, she never dreamed of performing as a professional musician. Yet through hard work and discipline she found herself performing in her church orchestra after just eight months on her violin. Within four years she was performing in symphonies, … More Cyndi Hall

Steven Chang

Dr. Steven Chang began studying the violin at the age of 5 in Seattle, Washington, and continued intensive study throughout his youth. He played in numerous youth orchestras, including the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony and the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra, and entered and won many competitions before beginning college. He was offered a scholarship … More Steven Chang

Irving Weinstein

Irving received a Master’s degree from DePauw University and an Artist Diploma at the Los Angeles Conservatory where he studied with Toscha Seidel, a student of Leopold Auer. He played viola in the Roth Quartet, in residence at UCLA, and as a member for 10 years performed concerts throughout the U.S., England, and Scotland and … More Irving Weinstein

Ervin Klinkon

Ervin Klinkon received his musical training at the Musik Hochschule in Freiburg, Germany (Atis Teichmanis, Maurice Gendron), and at the Mannes College of Music in New York City (Lieff Rosanoff). He earned his Master of Music Degree from the Catholic University in Washington, D.C.  Ervin has performed as cello soloist and with various chamber ensembles … More Ervin Klinkon

Bruce Walker (emeritus)

Bruce started oboe studies with Salvatore Spano in September 1954, after having spent two weeks with the Trapp Family Singers the previous summer. He moved with his family from West L.A. to Ojai in 1956 and joined the fledgling Ventura County Student Symphony, attended ISOMATA in the summer of 1957 and in 1958 spent the summer at Kinhaven … More Bruce Walker (emeritus)

Paula Dublinski

Paula grew up in the Chicago area, gradually moving west until settling in the Los Angeles area in 1981. She was principal oboe in the Santa Maria Symphony, then the Santa Maria Philharmonic from 1992 to 2015, solo English Horn in the Bakersfield Symphony from 2002-present, and a member of the Channel Islands Symphony and CHICO … More Paula Dublinski

Karen Darnall

Karen is an attorney and a symphony violinist. She began training 50 years ago in Albuquerque Youth Symphony and UNM Orchestra. During college she also played in the New Mexico Symphony. She moved to California in ’74 and joined Ventura Symphony. She enrolled in law school in ’86, and while studying first-year contracts, she established Fiori Musicali , to provide chamber music for weddings and special events. Jim Wimmer made her violin in 2012. … More Karen Darnall