Nancy Nagano finished her musical studies in cello performance at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany. She has played with the Freiburger Theater Orchestra, Southwest German Radio Orchestra, Kobe chamber Orchestra, and the New Japan Philharmonic. She has also performed solo and chamber music throughout Europe and Japan. For eight years she taught and conducted at the Tokushima Bunri University, where she made her conducting debut (as an alternate for Kent Nagano). This eventually led to Ms. Nagano becoming the Music Director of the Kochi Symphony Orchestra in Japan. Her performances have included Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite with the City Ballet of Tokyo, opera excerpts from Carmen, La Traviata, La Boheme and several major piano concertos with well-known artists in Japan. At present, Nancy owns and runs Elite Travel, and is the Principal Cellist with the San Luis Obispo Symphony.



During her musical career, Carol Kersten has been an active teacher and performer.  She is the founding and continuing director of the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony Academy String Orchestra (1979) and the Preparatory Strings (1991). She also directs the Shaver Lake Chamber music Camp in the Sierras each summer  This 5-day camp for invited student musicians, organized in 1983, continues to be a source of fun and musical learning.  Ms. Kersten studied violin at CSU Sacramento and at the University of Oregon. She also studied violin pedagogy with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Japan.  Ms. Kersten performs with the San Luis Obispo Symphony and several chamber groups.  She has held permanent positions with the Sacramento Symphony, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and the Eugene (Oregon) Symphony.  For many years, she performed with the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival Orchestra. In 2014, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award to Community by the American String Teachers Association. In addition to performing and conducting, Ms. Kersten teaches privately in her studio in Los Osos.



A recent arrival from the Central Valley, Miriam Grisso taught band grades 4 through 8 in her hometown of Wasco for 26 years.  Miss Grisso received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music (Flute Performance) from the University of Southern California where she studied with Los Angeles Philharmonic principal flute, Roger Stevens.  She has performed with the Long Beach Symphony, Marina del Rey Symphony, Palomar Symphony, and Bakersfield’s Musica da Camera Orchestra.  Although Miss Grisso has been in the San Luis Obispo area for only two years, she has performed with the San Luis Obispo Symphony, San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra, San Luis Obispo Chamber Orchestra, Opera SLO, Symphony of the Vines, and Central Coast Gilbert and Sullivan.  Miriam takes great pride in being one of the first women in the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band in 1971.  She enjoys watching USC Trojans football and LA Dodgers baseball, sewing needlepoint and Christmas decorations, and driving her beloved lavender and purple 1931 Ford Model A.