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  • Ryan Brown

    Associate Dean for Professional Development

    Ryan Brown has a breadth of experience with many aspects of the music industry. In addition to his work as a composer and performer, he has worked professionally in symphonic concert production, marketing, development, and ecommerce. In 2006, he co-founded Switchboard Music, a 501(c)(3) music presenting organization based in San Francisco, which he currently serves as Executive Director. He recently received his Ph.D. in Composition from Princeton University and has taught composition, theory, and music history at Princeton University, Rutgers University, and Cal State Long Beach. In addition to Professional Development, he currently teaches in the music history department at SFCM, of which he is also an alumnus (MM, Composition '05). Visit him at

  • Rachael Smith

    Director of Community Engagement

    Rachael Smith is dedicated to increasing access to music and music education. In 2014 she founded Composed, a youth organization focused on fostering a personal connection to music through songwriting. She served as the head of the Vail Jazz Festival’s volunteer program, which helped bring over 200 performances to Vail, Colorado in Summer 2016. Smith has also taught youth literacy classes, collegiate-level Spanish, and music theory. A Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude graduate, Smith earned a BA in Music Composition from Dickinson College. She currently manages the Community Engagement programs offered through PDEC.

  • George Jones

    Coordinator, Community Service Program

    Before pursuing a postsecondary education in music, George Jones was raised in Sitka, a small fishing town in Southeast Alaska. George owes a great deal to the music outreach programs within his home community. He is excited to be the Conservatory Service Program Coordinator and to share similar experiences with the residents of San Francisco. George is a second year graduate student studying trombone under the direction of Timothy Higgins. His previous teachers have included Lee Allen and James Desano who taught him during his study at the Oberlin Conservatory. George is focused in chamber music outreach and performs with a brass trio, brass quintet, and trombone quartet frequently in and around San Francisco. He is engaged in pedagogy and has worked through SFCMs Conservatory in the Schools program, been an intern with the Sitka Fine Arts Camp and the Youth Orchestras of Los Angeles, as well as a private instructor of trombone for college students at Oberlin. George has toured with the Oberlin Orchestra and has been a participant and soloist in the Cleveland Trombone Seminar for two years. George’s most cherished performance is playing Rzewski’s “Coming Together” with Angela Davis and the SFCM New Music Ensemble.

  • Jessie Barnett

    PDEC Peer Career Advisor

    Upcoming engagements for mezzo soprano Jessie Barnett include singing Bianca in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music's fall production of Britten's The Rape of Lucretia and Eduige in their spring production of Handel's Rodelinda. She has previously performed the roles of the Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas), Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette), Third Lady (The Magic Flute), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), and Meg Brockie (Brigadoon). She has also recently appeared in opera scenes put on by the SFCM's Graduate Opera Workshop (Le Prince Charmant in a scene from Massenet's Cendrillon and Sesto in a scene from Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito). She received her Bachelor’s of Music degree in Vocal Performance in 2016 from Furman University (Greenville, SC), where she studied with Lisa Barksdale. Jessie is currently pursuing a Master’s of Music degree in Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Catherine Cook. Here she also enjoys working as a graduate assistant for the Voice Department and a student assistant in SFCM’s Box Office and Professional Development and Engagement Center. You can learn more about Jessie at her website:

  • Esther Tonea

    PDEC Peer Career Advisor

    Romanian-American soprano Esther Tonea has performed in concerts and recitals across the United States, Canada, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Spain, and Portugal. This December, Esther will take on the role of Female Chorus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Other roles include Suor Genovieffa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Olga and JouJou in Lehár’s The Merry Widow, and Second Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Esther is a Presser Scholar and a recipient of the Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council. She is the winner of the 2016 UGA and 2017 SFCM Concerto Competitions as well as the 2017 New York Lyric Opera Theatre National Vocal Competition. Esther is earning her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from SFCM studying with César Ulloa and holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal and Cello Performance from UGA, where she studied with Frederick Burchinal and David Starkweather. This year, Esther is also a graduate assistant for the Voice Department and an editor for Modern Singer Magazine. Learn more about Esther at her website: