Conductors

Nancy Nagano - Concert Orchestra

Mrs. Nagano was born and raised in Morro Bay, California where she began her musical studies with Wachtang “Botso” Korisheli and was an original member of the SLO Youth Symphony. She finished her musical studies at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany. Her orchestral experiences include Freiburger Theater Orchestra, Southwest German Radio Orchestra, Kobe Chamber Orchestra, and the New Japan Philharmonic. She taught and conducted at the Tokushima Bunri University, where she made her conducting debut as an alternate for Kent Nagano, for eight years. She also conducted Kobe Chamber Orchestra, Kochi Symphony Orchestra, and took over the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony in 2000. Presently, she plays with San Luis Obispo Symphony and Orchestra Novo. She lives in Morro Bay with her mom, husband, Rocky, Krisi, three (musical) geese, three (non musical) dogs, and two kittens.

Carol Kersten - Academy String Orchestra & Preparatory Strings

Mrs. Kersten studied violin at California State University, Sacramento, the University of Oregon, and is the founding director of the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony Academy String Orchestra (1979) and Preparatory Strings (1991). She studied violin pedagogy with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Japan and is an active teacher and performer. Mrs. Kersten performs with the San Luis Obispo Symphony and several chamber ensembles. She has held permanent positions with the Sacramento Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and the Eugene (Oregon) Symphony, including the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival Orchestra for many years. In 2012, Mrs. Kersten was awarded the Distinguished Service Award to Community by the American String Teachers Association. 

Miriam Grisso - Symphonic Winds

A native of the Central Valley in California, Miss Grisso taught band for 26 years, fourth through eighth grade, in her hometown of Wasco. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California where she studied with Roger Stevens, principal flute of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Miss Grisso performs with San Luis Obispo Symphony, SLO Wind Orchestra, SLO Chamber Orchestra, Opera San Luis Obispo, Symphony of the Vines, and Central Coast Gilbert & Sullivan. Miriam takes great pride in being one of the first women in the USC Marching Band in 1971. She enjoys watching USC Trojan football and LA Dodgers baseball, sewing Christmas decorations, and driving her beloved lavender 1931 Ford Model A.

Amanda Lake - Super Bows!

Amanda Lake holds a degree in music education from Humboldt State University. For many years, Ms. Lake has been a music teacher for San Luis Coastal Unified School District teaching general music and beginning band. Ms. Lake has also taught advanced music history, theory, and choral techniques at Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop. Though violin is her main instrument, Ms. Lake has played banjo in a Dixieland Jazz band, been the vocalist for the HSU Jazz Orchestra, played guitar in a folk trio, and is currently learning how to play viola and the mbira (a percussion instrument from Zinbabwe). When Ms. Lake is teaching beginning band, you might see her playing flute, trumpet, clarinet, or the occasional trombone and baritone.