Youth Symphony Coaches

Claude Albanese

Claude Albanese taught instrumental music in the public schools of Southern California for thirty-eight years.  He now accepts a limited number of private music students, school aged and adult, that wish to pursue advanced study of musical performance.  For the San Luis Obispo Symphony Association, he coaches the Symphonic Winds. Yearly, for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, he judges and holds clinics for at least sixty school bands and orchestras. Claude and his wife of forty-four years, Rhoda, live in Cambria, close to other members of their family on the Central Coast.

Linda Ashworth

Linda began her musical playing piano and clarinet, adding oboe to her musical passions in the early 80s. While studying oboe with Brenda Schumann-Post, she played with a variety of groups in the SF Bay Area. Chamber music became a passion with the formation of the Vineyard Quintet in 1985. After moving to the Central Coast in 2002, Linda joined the oboe section of the SLO Symphony in the fall of that year, playing English Horn as well as oboe. She also plays with the SummerWinds Quintet, Cuesta Master Chorale, Pacific Repertory Opera, and teaches oboe privately. When not playing music, she teaches genetics part-time at Cal Poly.

Pamela Sheffler

Pamela Sheffler began violin at the age of 8 and studied with Sharon Holland for 10 years.  A native of San Luis Obispo County, Pamela was a member of the SLO Youth Symphony for 6 years.  In 2009 she won the annual concerto competition and performed the first movement of the Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto #3 with the concert orchestra.  

Pamela is now pursuing a degree in psychology at Cal Poly.  She is a member of the San Luis Obispo Symphony and is principal second violinist of the Symphony of the Vines.  In addition to classical music, Pamela also performs Middle Eastern music with the Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble and Django-inspired jazz with her band, RedSkunk.

Ken Hustad

Ken Hustad shares his position of Principal bass in the San Luis Obispo Symphony with Lara Lehmer.  He is also a member of the Mozart Festival Orcehstra and plays with the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria Symphonies, the Cuesta Master Chorale, Pacific Repertory Opera, the SLO Vocal Arts Ensemble, the Cal Poly Baroque Orchestra and the Tolosa Strings Quintet.  In addition to serving as a string coach with the Youth Symphony, he is a bass instructor at both Cuesta College and Cal Poly and plays in several Central Coast jazz groups.

John Astaire

John Astaire earned his doctor of music degree in percussion performance from Indiana University. Astaire is originally from California, and obtained his bachelor of arts in music from the Cal Poly in 1998. While at Cal Poly he participated in the Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble. His primary teachers included Gerald Carlyss and Kenneth Watson, under whom he also studied the Hungarian cimbalom. Astaire has been a guest with several musical ensembles across the United States, as well as a performer at the Cimbalom World Association's 2003 World Congress, held at Appenzell, Switzerland.

Joseph Shanks
Joseph Shanks was born in Westerville, Ohio, but has been living in California since he was three years old. He started playing the piano at the age of five, and he still continues to play actively in his church and as an accompanist. He studies piano privately with Torsten Juul-Borre. After starting violin lessons, he switched to viola in 2012. He studies viola privately with Margaret Whitson. Joseph was an active member of the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony for five years. He now coaches both the Preparatory Stings and the Academy String Orchestra. He is also the violist for the Shanks String Quartet. Besides being an active orchestral and chamber musician, he is also a piano, violin, and viola instructor at Music Motive, a music studio located in San Luis Obispo. Joseph has also played in the San Luis Obispo Symphony.
Ginette Reitz

Violinist Ginette Reitz is a founding member of the Larkspur String Quartet & Trio and performs regularly with the San Luis Obispo Symphony, the Cuesta Master Chorale and OperaSLO. In addition to her coaching work with the Youth Symphony, Ginette teaches in the Symphony’s Strings in the Schools program, coaches chamber music and offers private lessons in violin and viola. She is a member of the Symphony’s Cuarteto de las Misiones, performing educational programs in local schools, and in 2001, traveled to Washington, DC to perform their program of early Mission music at the Kennedy Center. Later that year, she performed with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra and Choir on a recording of a new work by Kyzysztof Pederecki called Credo. That CD later won a Grammy Award for best choral performance and an Indie award for best orchestral performance on an independent label.  As a free lance violinist, Ginette has performed with a range of performers including Luciano Pavorotti, Bobby McFerrin, Jimmy Stewart, Garrison Keillor, the Association, and the Michael Morris Dance Troupe.

Jane Swanson
Assistant Conductor for the Concert Orchestra & Brass Coach

Jane Swanson has studied French horn with Ralph Pyle, Fred Fox, Wendell Hoss, Sinclair Lott and James Decker in Southern California, and with Phillip Yaeger in Austin, Texas.  She also received extensive coaching in chamber music from Mitchell Lurie, both at the Music Academy of the West and at UCLA. She attended Pomona College and the University of Texas in Austin, completing a degree in music performance from UCLA. She was a winner of the Coleman Chamber Music Competition in 1966. A resident of San Luis Obispo for 38 years, Jane has long been active as a performer with the San Luis Obispo Symphony, the SLO Mozart Festival Orchestra, Cuesta Master Chorale, and Pacific Repertory Opera.

Tanya Streder

Tanya grew up in San Jose, where she started playing the violin at age three. Her teachers included Al Gillis and Lauren Jakey, and she studied at San Jose State University and Biola University. Tanya plays in the San Luis Obispo Symphony and in several other performing groups.

Rosslyn Thorp-Clauson

Rosslyn Thorp-Clauson was a student of Margaret Rowell for 9 years, as well as Theodore Salzman, Laszlo Varga, and Colin Hampton. She was the recipient of the Congress of Strings scholarship in 1965 at Michigan State University. She graduated in 1969 from San Francisco State University with a major in cello performance. While residing in Southern California (1980-1985), she performed with the San Diego Symphony, San Diego Pops, Fox Theatre pit orchestra (Evita, Oklahoma, The King and I), New York Dancers of Harlem, Sesame Street and Company, Palm Springs Symphony and several college orchestras. While residing in Mt. Shasta, Ca. (1985-1994) she performed regularly with the Redding Symphony and Chico Symphony, and taught for the Mt. Shasta Unified School District where she started a string program. She was a member of the Ganarson piano trio which gave recitals regularly. She has been the featured soloist for the San Leandro Symphony, Shasta Symphony and Redding Symphony orchestras. Currently, Rosslyn teaches music full-time  for San Luis Coastal Unified School District, coaches the youth symphony cello/bass sections, and performs as a member of the San Luis Obispo Symphony Orchestra.